A Musical Production Musing
So, as you know, I’m fiddling around a lot with music at the moment, because it’s fun and also it’s a hobby I can do in my basement, which is convenient for my purposes. As it’s a hobby, there doesn’t have to be a particular metric for it, nevertheless I find as I go along I kind of have goals or at least a minimum standard I’m aiming for.
As an example, I’ve determined that I would eventually like to have my music sound as if it’s professionally produced — but not professionally produced as it would sound in 2023, which is, you know, a lot, but like it was professionally produced in, say, 1981. This both conforms to my own basic musical aesthetic (hey, guess the musical era I grew up in!) but also my actual competence at this point with the tools I have with me.
“1981” as a descriptor still covers a lot of ground in pop music — that covers everything from Kraftwerk to Ozzy Osborne to Journey to the Go-Gos to the Rolling Stones — so above you will find the 1981 I’m talking about: The basic but undeniable synth noodlings of a very young Depeche Mode on the Speak and Spell album. It’s not overly complicated nor (for electronic music) overly produced, and I like the sound. I can, in fact, probably make something like this in my basement with Logic Pro and a bunch of virtual synths (although, as a professional writer more than three decades older than Vince Clarke was when he wrote these songs, hopefully I’ll be a slightly better lyricist).
So that’s the goal, for now. Simple! But as I’m finding even as a hobbyist, not necessarily easy. I’m having fun getting there.