How To Structure A Song (Part 2)

Song Modifiers

We spoke about basic song structure last week. Now, you’re able to identify the sections the verse, chorus, and bridge. If you haven’t read How To Structure A Song (Part 1), you may be confused by a few of the terms I’m going to use. So, give part 1 a read first. As you’ve been listening to songs with basic structure in mind, I’m sure you’ve noticed structure deviations. As an artist or producer you should focus on creating interesting structures that make songs stand apart from each other. Well written and produced record have different styles, tempos, moods, feels, and STRUCTURES. So, how do you deviate from the basic song structure? Here are 4 song structure modifiers you can use.

1. Pre Chorus. The pre chorus separates the verse from the chorus. You’ll be able to identify a pre chorus by listening for a different chord progression or a different vocal motif after the verse and before the chorus. This part is used to set up the chorus so you’ll likely hear a mood change as well. You might hear a drop in dynamic in the pre chorus. This is a popular arrangement trick. Softening the dynamic allows for the chorus to have more impact.

2. Intro. There’s a lot of confusion about this song modifier. Every song has a beginning (or intro.) Not every song has the song modifier referred to as “intro.” In terms of structure, an intro is a different part of the song that does not happen again (Except in rare cases where it’s also used as an outro.) This also means that an intro can be a part of a song played without vocals for a few chord rotations. So, if the chorus is played at the beginning of a song, without vocals, it can be considered an intro. To help you better understand intros, I’m going to link to Say Anything’s “Alive With The Glory Of Love.” The intro happens just once at the beginning of the song.

3. Theme. Themes and intros are very similar, but themes need to happen more than once. A theme is likely to be heard at the beginning of songs. It’s considered a theme because it can be used to set the mood of the song. It likely has a catchy instrumental top line. The theme will repeat after choruses. To help you understand the idea of a theme, I’m going to link to Paramore’s “Misery Business.” The theme starts the song, and come back two more times. You can find it after the first chorus and the last chorus.

4. Post Chorus. A post chorus occurs immediately after the chorus. This song modifier is used to transition out of the chorus and into a verse or bridge. So, a post chorus is different than a theme because a theme happens at the beginning of the song and likely has a catchy instrumental top line. A post chorus does not happen at the beginning of a song. A post chorus is just as likely to have a vocal topline, as it is to have an instrumental one. Now, I’m going to make one more distinction so that I cover all bases. But this distinction is not an incredibly important one. If a post chorus is used at the beginning of a song without a vocal or instrumental topline, that part is considered an intro.

Use these song structure modifiers to help build the song. Each modifier you use needs to have a purpose. Consider how the theme was used in “Misery Business.” It created an in your face feel and provided an instrumental hook. We haven’t gone over all of the song modifiers yet so keep an eye out for Part 3.


So You’re Looking to Become a Record Producer (Part 3)

The Steps to becoming a record producer

Most of you have probably already read part 2 on what Record Producers really do. If you haven’t, go check it out and share it with your Mom. (That wasn’t a dig at your Mother, I’m sure she’s a really nice lady. Read the article, you’ll get it). So now you’re ready to take the first step in your Production career. But where do you start? You want that first step to be meaningful, so let’s make sure we don’t fall on our way to the finish line.

1) Don’t Step In Gum – Skip School.
Going to school can literally be the biggest mistake you make in your audio career.

– You do not need a degree to become a Music Producer.
– The last 5 Producers of the Year DID NOT have an audio degree.
– On average, most audio students pay between $60,000 and $80,000 in tuition.
– Putting $80,000 towards your own studio, at your own pace, is much better than starting your career in debt from student loans.
– You can learn everything you need to start your career in 6 months.
– You can start MAKING money in 6 months.
– Schools teach you a little about a lot of things – and little to nothing about some basic recording functions. (Things like copy pasting audio and grid mode.)
– You should learn the essentials of your preferred DAW.
– You should learn the essentials of capturing audio.

2) Walk Before You Run – Learn on your own.
There are plenty of great resources where you can learn how to become a producer. Find the ones that work best for you and stick with them.

– Talk to your friends who record music. They’ll show you a thing or two to get you started.
– YouTube tutorials are free.
– Several websites will teach you about audio for a significantly lower price than schooling. (A $200 subscription to a website is .25% of what you’d pay going to audio school. WOW!).
My tutorial website is completely free. (If it’s not, track me down.)
– Join Facebook groups and forums and pick the brains of the other members.
– Subscribe to online magazines and blogs.
– Immerse yourself in all things audio to make yourself an asset to any studio.

3) Start Training For The Big Race – Intern Your Ass Off.
After gaining some recording knowledge, apply for internships. If you become an integral part of a studio, you may have found yourself your next job.

– You won’t be paid when you’re starting off.
– Be prepared to do grunt work such as taking out garbages, cleaning the floors, and getting coffee for the staff.
– Have a positive attitude.
– Sit in on every single mixing, writing, and tracking session you can.
– Take notes on everything you learn.
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions. (If the time is appropriate, most professionals are more than willing to share their knowledge.)
– Get really good at one thing to become the “go-to” person for it. Some of these things may include Melodyne, Elastic Audio, or even contacting potential clients.
– Don’t be afraid to take the initiative. Studios love interns because it’s free labor. You get to learn, and they get to relax.
– The more initiative you take, the more hands on experience you gain. This is a business of learning by doing, so take a lesson from Yoda – Do or do not. There is no try.
– When you think you’re fully capable of taking on your own projects, ask the studio if you can join their official staff. If you’ve become an indispensable member, they’ll put you on the payroll because they can’t afford to lose you. If they say no, then do your own thing.

4) Go For The Gold – Build your own studio.
When you become your own boss, you will take 100% of your own projects, and a percentage of every project that walks through the door.

-Working at someone else’s studio means you’ll split your pay for studio costs.
– Some studios will take up to 75% of a project you worked on.
– Building your own studio means you keep 100% of your profit.
– Start with a basic at home studio.
– Start by charging a cheap price to build up your name.
– As you strengthen your skills, buy better gear.
– Better gear and more knowledge means you can charge more.
– When you build a big enough rolodex of clientele, consider upgrading to a bigger location.
– Make sure you’ll be able to cover your overhead costs.
– Build up your studio through word of mouth, Facebook groups, and a webpage.
– Start building a team at your studio.
– Live the dream.

Completing the race is not as out of reach as it may seem right now, I promise. It will take time, but with enough determination you’ll be able to make a comfortable living doing what you love. Keep on the lookout for the final segment where I’ll give you your first lesson and test your producer knowledge. Please feel free to share, subscribe and like this post. Peace and rock on.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4


How To Structure A Song (Part 1)

Properly Identifying Song Sections

Maintaining proper song structure while creating original and innovative music is much more impressive than ignoring structure all together. There will always be a place for progressive music, and there will always be some artists making incredible progressive songs. But generally, if you structure your songs like this: riff one, heavy part, groove, calm part, solo, ending riff… thank you. Sincerely, I really am grateful. You are one of the reason producers exist. Producers study song structure. They can change that collection of riffs into a song.

So how do we do it? First, we learn how to identify each part of the song. These 3 parts are in every properly structured song:

1. Verse. In the most basic song structure (Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus) the verse is the part the song starts on. It also serves as the first separation between choruses. You’ll be able to identify the verse by its lyric changes and chord progression. In verses, the lyrics change. The second verse vocals will not be the same as the first verse vocals. The verse may also have a specific chord progression, but that is not a rule. A lot of top charting songs use the same chords in the verse and chorus.

2. Chorus. The chorus should be the easiest part to identify. You will hear it at least three times in a song. This is where the artist puts the “A hook.” The top line hook is usually a vocal singing words that fit a specific vocal motif.
* Top Line – The melody that stands out from the chords. It is usually a vocal but can be an instrument.
*A’ Hook – The primary catchy melody in a song.
*Vocal motif – A melodic pattern used in repetition. The words can change, but the melodic pattern stays constant.

3. Bridge. You won’t hear the bridge of the song until two verses and at least two choruses have been completed. In a basic song structure it will come after the second chorus. But, in a song that intros on the chorus, it will come after the third chorus. A new melody and/or chord structure will be introduced at this point. In some advanced structures, the bridge will not come directly after the chorus.

Keep this in mind while you listen to music. You should be able to identify these 3 parts even when you’re listening to more advanced structures. The next article in this series will explain song structure modifiers. That’s where you can have some real fun.


Part 2


So You’re Looking to Become a Record Producer (Part 2)

What a Producer Actually Does:

If you read part one, you now know why being a music producer is the best job there is. But what does a producer actually do? We’ve all seen the meme online: “What my friends think I do, what my Mom thinks I do, what I actually do.” Well Mom, this article is for you and all the other moms out there so you’ll finally know.

1) Has An Ear For Talent.
 Record producers have become the new wave of A&R workers. A&R people used to walk into a club, hear a great band, and sign them to a label. You find me an A&R person that will do that today and I’ll find you a person who just lost their job. See, record labels want to make sure a band is already successful on iTunes, Facebook and Spotify. They know they’ll benefit from a band like this, and signing them is just smart business. As producers, we listen for talented artists that may be the next big thing. We won’t work with “Johnny No Talent” because our name will go on the bottom of that record. We want to create a product we’re proud of and that a listening audience will fall in love with. So when we scout, we scout for talent.

2) Has Vast Song Knowledge.
My brother is a lawyer. He studied his behind off to pass the Bar, and he did it. While he was reading torts, I was listening to tracks – but contrary to your beliefs at the time, Mom – I was also studying. I was learning all about song structures, arrangements, builds, and dynamics. And I didn’t just confine myself to one genre either. I made it a point to grasp a multitude of styles so I’d be well versed in punk, rock, metal, folk, pop, and everything else. Acquiring this knowledge is crucial for any great producer, especially when it comes to pre-production. Having a whole musical arsenal in our brain allows us to guide our artists in the best direction for their sound. We should always have a reason for our recommendations to our clients, so we’ll say something like, “let’s drop out the lead guitar during the second verse, it will create a softer dynamic, and then chorus will absolutely slam when it hits” instead of “get rid of that guitar part, I don’t like it.” If we’ve done a stellar job in pre-pro, we already know we have the best possible product before tracking even begins. This is the law that I live by.

3) Engineers.
This is an area that truly separates a producer from an Engineer. An Engineer will hit the record button and sit idly by while every instrument is tracked. A producer will get his or her hands dirty in the process. When we play an instrument, we use that to our advantage. We’ll bounce ideas off of an artist, play a cool lead, and show off a sick drum fill. Most clients appreciate it when I pick up a guitar and show them a few nice passing tones. It’s definitely helpful to throw out ideas when it comes to melodies and lyrics as well. The singers tend to be the hardest on themselves, and they’ll truly admire all creative input. If a band doesn’t like a recommendation, I don’t take it personally – I mean, it is their music after all.

4) Mixes.
Once the song is fully recorded, we move to the next stage. Mixing is it’s own ballgame, but I’ll give you a little league description. When most people think of mixing, they think of those big fancy boards with all those knobs and faders. Those knobs and faders have a purpose besides looking cool – they actually control things, such as volume, pan, EQ, etc… During mixing, producers will tweak the sounds of the recorded tracks. We make sure everything works together and the tracks sound balanced. Experienced producers will throw in cool effects to impress our clients. We may add a radio effect to a vocal or booming reverb to the drums. At the end of the day, the artist may have a few requests such as raising the guitar, or lowering the bass during certain spots. Our clients always appreciate it when we make the tweaks and this only helps strengthen our relationship with them.

5) Masters.
The way I like to explain mastering is with a photoshop analogy. If one were to Frankenstein together a photo of a bear riding a tricycle – one could consider that their mixing process. Now, if someone wanted to take that picture and put it on Instagram, all they can do to that picture is add a filter over the whole thing. This is mastering – effecting a track as a whole. Mastering is used for fine tuning eq, compression, and other effects on our final track and ultimately helping it reach the volume of the other songs in our iTunes playlists. To me, its always been the “eating your vegetables” of the recording process. It’s not very fun, but you have to do it.

6) Makes Connections.
As producers, we make personal connections with each and every client we work with. The music industry is not that big, so burning bridges is never a smart play. We know that even if we get a grumpy artist, we should still treat them with kindness and respect. I share my artists music when it comes out on iTunes, I’ll comment on their statuses, I’ll even go out to a few shows. If our artists like us, they’ll keep coming back and they’ll even bring their friends. It’s a giant game of networking, so it’s important to stay connected.

Now you (and your Mom) know what a producer actually does. And if you ever see anyone posting that meme, just direct them to this article (or better yet, tag them!). It’ll clear up all the confusion. Keep on the lookout for Part 3 where we’ll go over the steps of becoming a producer. Please feel free to subscribe, like, and share. Peace and rock on.

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4


How To Tell If Your Band Is Ready To Record A Full-Length

I’m taking a week off from the “How To Skip Audio Engineering School” series to answer a question I get a lot. As a producer or an artists, I can say with 100% certainty that you’ll eventually come across this question.

Should I do a full-length record or an EP?

You’re getting geared up for a recording and the first question crossing your mind is should I do an EP or a full-length. Everyone you’ve spoken with has a vested interest in you doing more songs. Your fans want as many songs as they can get, the studio you’re recording at makes more money if you do a full-length, and your mom really likes that soft song you wrote a few years ago and insists you record it.

I’m about to do something so counter-intuitive that you won’t believe I say it to my clients. Hi, I’m a record producer and I’m going to do everything I can to talk you out of doing a full-length before your ready.

1. What three artists do you fit on tour with?

Be careful with this question. It has a tendency to devolve into a conversation about influences as quickly as a bad Rolling Stone article. Stay focused on the core of this question. You only fit on tour with artists who have similar fans as you. If you can name three artists who’s fans would appreciate you, you have an understanding of your sound (you may be ready to do your full-length). If you can’t or other band members disagree whole-heartedly, you do not have a clear enough understanding of your own sound (start with an EP).

2. Do you have enough material?

When a national act records a ten-song record, it’s likely that they wrote more than ten songs. Don’t stop writing at ten. If you stop writing at ten songs, you will likely have 5-7 that show off your artistic potential and 3-5 that don’t. Contrary to popular belief, putting the first ten songs you write on a record together as your debut is usually a mistake. If you have ten songs, pick your favorite five, and do an EP. If you have more songs, you’re much more likely to be prepared for a full-length.

3. How many different tempos do you use?

This is a great way to self-police your music. A full-length should take you on a ride with the tempos. There should be peaks and valleys created by tempo difference. There are rare cases where this isn’t 100% true (ie: Street Punk). If you have too many songs that hover around 120 bpm, time to ditch a few. That may mean that an EP is the way to go for now.

4. Have you explored different time signatures and feels?

Really think about this one. Having one song in a 6/8 time signature doesn’t cut it. Try a swing feel, write in 7/8, write a riff-centric song, write a feel-centric song, use dynamic shifts to write a song softer than your softest song, then write one heavier than your heaviest song. Varying time signatures, feels, and dynamics helps you find your musical identity and makes for a more interesting full-length. If you haven’t explored this yet, start with an EP.

5. Are you organized enough to capitalize on a full-length record?

There are a lot of benefits to doing a full-length, but most of them call for an organized effort on your part. You may save some money by booking longer sets of time or doing more songs at once. This only matters if you’re ready to move units. Doing a full-length lets you capitalize on economies of scale by buying more recording at a cheaper per unit cost. It also lets you increase your return on investment. You can usually charge about $5 for an EP and $10 for a full-length. When you start looking at the cost of printing hardcopies of your CDs (which is still very important when it comes to touring and having events like a CD release party) you’ll see they vary according to how many you buy, but the price is likely to be between $1 and $3 per CD. Lets use the CD duplication cost of $2 per cd for this example. You spent $2 per unit on EP duplication. You sell it for $5. You make $3. It’s pretty simple math, but when you compare it to a full-length you see a big difference in profit-per-unit. You spent $2 on full-length duplication. You sell it for $10. You make $8. That is a per unit profit of 266% more than your EP. If you have the ability to book a proper CD release show and make arrangements for touring/record promotions, you’re ready to do a full length.

You now know what the next step. This guide is to help you choose between an EP and a full-length. If you know now that you aren’t ready for a full length, it’s time for an EP. So, don’t put everything on hold and lock yourself in a room till your ready for your full-length. An EP can help you answer a lot of these questions. It’s a great way to test how your music is connecting with your fans. You can get real feedback, and your fans can show your music to their friends. This will increase your viral fan-base growth. The experience you get by recording will help you as you continue to write, and you’ll have a better understanding of your own songs. No matter which route you choose, send me a link to the finished product. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!


So You’re Looking to Become a Record Producer (Part 1)

If you’re anything like me, you love music. Chipotle is great, video games are awesome, but music creates this completely different feeling altogether. It’s euphoric. If I could bathe in that feeling I would. And somehow, being a musician, that sentence feels right.

That’s what music does. It gives us this overwhelming sense of peace which allows us to feel completely comfortable with who we are. But there comes a point in every musicians life where we need to make a decision – a career in our passion? Or the dreaded “regular person job”. I suggest the former, and seeing as you clicked the post, I think you already know which career path you want to take.

1) Touring Musician.
The dream of becoming a rock star is one we’ve all had. If you get out there and put every ounce of energy you have into it, becoming famous is an attainable goal. However, when musicians go on tour it isn’t all peaches and cream. They are constantly lugging around all of that heavy gear and driving for hours and hours on a daily basis. They’re on a constant grind and sometimes consider themselves lucky if they make enough money at a show to pay for gas. (Not to mention the constant paranoid fear that their van is going to break down and leave them stranded in the middle of Shamokin, Pennsylvania). It may take years before touring musicians can establish themselves and some people just don’t have the patience and drive to wait that long.

2) Live Sound.
Prepare to be yelled at by artists who think they’re Dave Grohl, but act more like Justin Beiber. This is an arduous job that requires running cables, setting up microphones, adjusting PA’s and dealing with technical issues. Be warned, there will be a night when you only have room for 15 microphones, and the 16 piece folk band is complaining that their washboard player doesn’t have a mic. This isn’t always the case, but I’ve heard horror stories where the sound engineer walks home with less than $30 for a 5 hour night. Baby, baby, baby, no.

3) Music Teacher.
If this is what you want to do, be 150% sure. Being a music major is tough. You’ll have to take a boatload of classes. Some are only worth half a credit and you’ll be required to learn instruments that you have no desire to play. Not to mention the fact that when schools need to cut programs – music is the first to go. If you major in music education, all you can do is teach it. If you decide at some point teaching isn’t for you, you’ll end up with a useless degree – you can say goodbye to all of your time and money that went into school – and you’ll be back to square one asking yourself what you want to do with your life.

4) Record Producer.
Being a record producer combines the elements of every musical job there is. You’ll experience the thrill of teaching when you help a band in pre production. You’ll enjoy the technical side of live sound without the stress of working in a live environment. You’ll get to live vicariously through every single band you work with (and as a bonus instead of putting all your eggs into one basket and hoping you make it as a touring band, each and every band you work with has a chance of hitting the big time. This means only one of your bands needs to land for you to make a splash in the industry.) A record producer can make a living by being musical, creative, and helpful, all from the luxury of their own studio.

So now that you know you want to produce records for a living, you’ll want to learn yourself what a producer actually does. In part 2 I’ll explain just that. Please stick with me through these articles and if you enjoy the content, share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else you hang out on the internet. Peace and rock on.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Click Track Setup

Here we’ll learn quick track setup, how to change tempos, and a few advanced options. The session file used in this video is available for free on our site.

The click track is the unheard backbone of the song. Knowing how to effect the click track, tempo and meters are crucial to creating quality recordings.

In this video you’ll learn: Click track, Changing Tempo, Changing Meter, Transport Window

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  • 0:26 Create a click track
  • 1:06 Changing the click sound (accents)
  • 2:31 Changing the tempo
  • 3:09 Changing the meter
  • 4:10 Bars|beats/min|secs Tempo/meter/markers
  • 4:55 Transport window and conductor
  • 5:17 Adding a count off
  • 6:09 Adding a tempo change
  • 6:24 Tempo tap (figuring out the tempo)
  • 7:10 Changing the meter at a specific bar
  • 7:44 Slowing down the tempo (ritardando)

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How to Skip Audio Engineering School (Part 2)

How To Skip Audio Engineering School

If you read part 1, you already know why you should skip audio school. You also know that I skipped audio school and you probably remember this amazing fact: 5 out of the last 5 producers that won the Producer of the Year Grammy don’t have an audio degree!

In this article, I’m going to layout the steps you need to take in order to skip audio engineering school.

How To Skip Audio School

1. Give yourself a budget for learning. You’re about to teach yourself a lot about audio engineering. Get the right tools. You’ll need a computer and a DAW. A DAW is a Digital Audio Workstation. I personally recommend Pro Tools. It is the industry standard. That means you will be able to walk into most studios in the country and start working on Pro Tools. That can’t be said for other DAWs. If you want some help choosing the right computer, click here.

2. Set a schedule. Set aside time every-week specifically for your audio education. This can be an hour a day or 40 hours a week. You can learn at whichever pace you want, but don’t allow yourself to stop or stray from your schedule. Remember, this is not a hobby. This is your career.

3. Find some relevant blogs and YouTube channels. I aim to be your number 1 source for free training and free information. However, it’s always good to explore many blogs and YouTube channels.

4. Join Online Audio Communities. I’m a member of several online audio communities. The information in these communities is not always 100% accurate, but people are sharing knowledge about what works for them. You can pickup some good ideas from these communities. You can find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites created specifically for audio engineers.

5. Find professional quality audio files to work on. It’s hard to tell what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong when you’re working with amateur audio. You should be practicing your edits and processing (EQing, Compressing, etc.) on professionally recorded tracks. That way, you know that there aren’t major flaws in the sound quality. I know that it’s difficult to get your hands on professionally recorded tracks. So, I’m going to leave a Pro Tools session file right here for you.

6. Practice recording. You’ll need to eventually start working with artists. I highly recommend practicing editing, processing, mixing, and mastering before you ever work with an artist. But, when you’re ready, you’ll need to tap into that budget you made for yourself during step 1. Remember, when you acquire recording gear, you will be able to record artists. You’ll have what you need to start the career you want. First, you’ll need an interface (which converts the analog signal from your microphone into a digital signal that your computer can process and understand) and you’ll need microphones. This article will tell you exactly what you need to put together that recording studio. Click here

7. Find a producer you trust. You’ll need advice from someone who has been successful doing what you are trying to do. Find a full-time producer who’s willing to help you round out your edges. There are great resources for this online. It’s likely that producers will charge a fee to examine your sessions and give you professional feedback, but it can really help you get better at your craft. Budget for this. I also recommend attempting to get a recording internship at an active studio. The best way to do this is to bring in business. So, the small recording studio you personally set up will be the catalyst for this. Keep recording bands. You can do it for free or charge low rates, but this is about practicing and building relationships. Soon, these bands will want to take their sound to the next level by going to the type of studio that has $4000 microphones and acoustically treated rooms. You may be able to leverage your relationships with the bands, into an internship.

8. Never stop learning. So you made it. Your recordings are sounding good, and artists want to work with you. You have an edge. But, you need to constantly be a student. Look into processes that you take for granted. You might find out that your noise shaping you use during dithering isn’t as good as it can be. As boring as that may sound, that’s some of the advanced stuff that you’ll be thinking about when you get further into your career as an audio engineer.

9. Build Relationships With Other Producers. Keep going to those communities you joined. Invite someone you respect to co-produce a record with you. Share your new techniques. Other producers will respect you for it. They’ll know you by name, and they might even send a project your way.

10. Build your own studio. Some of us may have no interest in running a business. Freelancing can make you a great living. But, the best way to make a lucrative living as an audio engineer/producer is to own your studio. You will now make what you made as an engineer plus you’ll collect fees for studio time. You’ll have a lot more control over your income, and you can rent it out to your producer friends.

I know that I may come off as anti-school. I’ve been accused of that before. I assure you that I am pro-education. I’m just anti-getting ripped off. Some recording colleges cost $80,000 or more. If you could educate yourself, you’ll take on less debt and have enough left over to buy some amazing gear. In my next article I will dig further into a few of these steps. And remember, as a leader in free education, I have over 100 lessons available for free inside this site. Just click here to get started.


Grab, Trim, and Grouping

Here we’ll take a look at the grab and trim tools. We’ll be grouping instruments and editing those groups to help speed up our workflow. The session file used in this video is available for free at

Workflow is key in audio. The better you are with shortcuts, the more efficient you become. We’ll learn how to use the trim tool for trimming regions and the grabber tool for grabbing and placing regions. We’ll even use our shortcuts on multiple group tracks.

In this video you’ll learn: Grab Tool, Trim Tool, and working with groups.

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Training Information


  • 0:54 Creating a marker
  • 1:25 Moving pick slide where it belongs
  • 2:52 Grabbing in grid mode
  • 3:33 Relative grid
  • 5:07 Create a group
  • 5:54 Deleting parts of the audio track
  • 6:47 Trimming to fix the deleted tracks
  • 7:30 Cutting a clip so it starts on the grid
  • 7:56 Fixing the clip using the trim tool



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How to Skip Audio Engineering School (Part 1)

Why You Should Skip Audio Engineering School 

You are about to learn how to skip audio engineering school and jumpstart your recording career. I know how to do this from experience. I skipped audio engineering school. I’ve been working professionally as a music producer for 11 years. I own several recording studios. I’ve been hired by platinum selling artists, indie labels, national television brands, and no one has ever asked to see my recording degree.  But, I’m not the only one who took this route. In-fact, 5 out of the last 5 producers that won the Producer of the Year Grammy DO NOT have an audio degree! In this article, I’m going to explain why going to one of the many audio engineering schools is not just a tremendous mistake, but possibly the worst life decision you could ever make.

Why you should skip audio school:

  1. The numbers don’t add up. These sound recording programs carry insane price tags. Getting a bachelors degree in Sound Recording can cost over $80,000! You shouldn’t have to start your audio career in debt. At the beginning of your career, you will not command high prices. You need to build your reputation. Building reputation means working for little or no money just to get your name attached to great sounding records. Taking on the debt of recording school can destroy your career before it even starts.
  2. Most of the professors haven’t worked full-time as an engineer or producer for years. Recording technology is constantly changing. You need to keep up-to-date on new trends and techniques. As much as we all love to hear stories about how recording used to be, we’d be better off spending our time learning what to do in today’s production environment.
  3. The information is available outside of these programs. Music producers are artists. If you ask them how they created their art, they’re likely to tell you. I keep no audio secrets. I post all of favorite techniques and my workflow online for free. There are other fantastic producers doing the same thing. You can learn some really interesting techniques from some of the best producers in the world by searching for it on Google or YouTube.
  4. Audio schools will teach you a little bit about a lot of things. But, what you really need to learn is the essentials. Then you’ll hone your skills by with hands-on practice. Audio engineering schools will spend a lot of time teaching you about the inner workings of different types of compressors, and tell you that FET compressors have a very fast attack. But, will they show you how to properly edit your drums in Pro Tools or how to use your ears to determine the correct type of compression to use? I’ve had interns who went to recording college for 4 years but and still didn’t know how to paste a chorus vocal to the right spot. It’s like having an accountant who knows the components of a calculator, but was never taught how to do someone’s taxes.

I’ve heard people say “You get out what you put into it” while talking about audio school. The same can be said about skipping audio school and educating yourself. Except, audio school charges tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of “getting out what you put into it.” In my next article, I’m going to explain how you can skip audio school and give yourself the audio education you need.

In my next article, I will outline how to skip audio engineering school.