Preamble – Joe

As per CDR session usual, we had a little catch up with Joe ahead of his session at Rye Wax next week:

How has your music production process evolved over time?

Software wise, from Fruity to Reason to Cubase to REAPER. Although I was never “seriously” producing until I started using Cubase.

I now also use REAPER ReWired with Reason or Live.

I don’t record as many sounds as I’d like, but getting a small, portable recorder made a big difference. I knew I’d only carry and use it often if it was as small and good-sounding as possible. (Sony PCM-M10, but sadly they stopped making it.)

I started out working from my bedroom but have used various spaces that aren’t where I live for a few years. (I don’t like staying at home all day so this is definitely better for me. 🙂

What key changes have you seen in the music industry/bidness during your time making records? Is independent the only way to go? Are these tryin’ times?

I really don’t know much about the industry, or about the difference between being independent/not. It really depends how you define those things, and maybe something that’s changed in the past 10+ years is a blurring of the lines between “industry” and “independent”. (Or a change in the way the two interact.)

I guess social/digital/Internet stuff has maybe been the most obvious change, and it’s full of pros and cons. I’m sure there are lots of other people worth following, but as a starting point, Mat Dryhurst seems to pose questions that are worth thinking about.

Talk us through the track your last [cmd] ‘S’d ? ([ctrl] ‘S’ to PC users)

Just a little edit of an old funk/soul/disco record which I ripped. There’s almost nothing to it, just running from side 1 to 2 seamlessly, a bit of EQing, looping up a couple of short sections, etc.

The more DJing I do, the more production time I spend preparing things like this. I realised a few years ago how much time some of my peers (who DJ way more than me) spend on this. I think that made me see it as a more legitimate use of my production time.

What piece of studio equipment would you NOT part with – Ever!!

I rarely use any gear other than a computer, software, audio interface, monitor speakers, desk and chair in an acoustically nice room.

It’s not a very exciting answer, but I guess it’s worth pointing out how important working in a decent room on nice speakers is to me. (I really struggle to work in headphones, for example.)

And away from the studio, custom earplugs are essential.

Who/What has been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?

At the moment, I basically just listen to NTS, Red Light Radio, Reprezent, or Point Blank. That’s when I’m using/near a computer but not doing audio work. For better or worse, I never listen to music when I’m walking or commuting in London.

What can the CDR audiences expect from your time with us?

Hopefully: some thoughts/ideas/discussions which are useful for their own creative work in some way, at least.

More likely: rambling which is aiming for concise points like the above, but getting caught up on enthusiasm for various tunes, complaining about bugs in software, or debating standing desks, etc.

Have you any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?

Not specifically for CDR, but consider the playback environment: sound system, room, vibe/audience, and so on.

It’s important to keep in mind what you’re aiming for, and aim for that. (The tricky thing can be working out what it is you’re actually aiming for. This might be an unconscious process that just happens for some people, while for others it might take real conscious effort.)

Listen to things at different volumes.

Play it back to at least one other person. (They don’t have to give you feedback, but you need to be in the room at the same time and they need to be listening.)

I’ll see what else I can think of at the workshop. 🙂