I bet you listen to all sorts of famous songs and wonder,
"damn, I wish I knew how they did that."
or "why does this song work so well, there's not that much going on here."
It's funny because us engineers tend to think too technically about music. In reality, it all comes down to listening and appreciating the music as the art it truly is.
You non-music friends usually just listen to music because it has a catchy chorus, or a beat they can bop their head to.
But you know there's so much more behind the music that's causing all of that.
It's just that you haven't quite figured out how to reproduce that in your own songs.
They never achieve the same heights as the cool pop songs you hear on the radio, or the groovy old folk tunes you listen to with your dad.
The worst part about producing is second-guessing whether anything you’re doing is actually any good. You might have a smartphone full of song ideas that you can't bring yourself to start producing because what you've got recorded is so far removed from how you'd like it to sound.
You want a big production that's perfectly arranged around your incredible songwriting.
Instead you have a roomy sounding recording of you singing and playing the acoustic guitar.
Not exactly what you'd put on the radio...
In a way, your non-music friends love their blissful ignorance of not caring about what it takes to create a great production.
But you care.
You have a superpower. You can hear what goes into a production. You just don't know how or when to do it.
The production techniques of these superstar musicians and engineers is what's separating you from them.
Those musicians know that even an awful sounding demo can be the start of something truly great. It's the beginning layer of the production that everything else blooms from.
It's the foundation from which you'll build your mansion to hang your gold records. It's the land by the lake where you'll build your summer songwriting cabin.
You've already done most of the work already if you have a bunch of demos lying around. The next step is taking those demos from rough ideas to rocking productions.
And what better way to learn to improve your productions than by analyzing successful productions.
Listening, studying and analyzing diverse songs will give you the training to help you revisit your unfinished songs and think of them from a structured and analytical perspective.
Even though you could grasp this by spending hours listening to every single song on the Billboard 500, it’s easier to break it down into bite sized pieces.
Bite-sized pieces that give you the blueprint for what you should be listening to and then applying it to your own songs.
If you're stuck feeling like you can't ever transform your demos into a finished production and want to learn new and different things you can apply to your own songs, I've created something very special for you.
In Music Production Strategies we'll look at a diverse mix of productions throughout history. From the Simon and Garfunkel's 70's folk to Imagine Dragon's dubstep rock.
We'll look at ways you can use those songs to inspire you and give you ideas and structure that helps you finish your own productions.
We'll be discussing the song structure, chord progressions, arrangement and production techniques to analyze what makes these songs work.
Don't be put off if your favorite song isn't on this list.
Chances are the next session you're working on won't immediately become your most favorite.
But knowing how to produce music using some of the most popular productions throughout history becomes invaluable when you're working on new sessions.
Learning fundamental tricks to add excitement and interest to songs can be learned and applied across any genres.
"I was just getting to a point with my music where I’ve been thinking of different ways to present a piece and I felt like I needed some direction or at least a different perspective on arrangements and song writing. I’ve been writing and recording music for decades and have one solo self produced album out. Great course. Thanks for all your hard work in analyzing these songs and pointing out what makes them work so well. It’s been very eye-opening and will be useful in my own arrangements and songwriting. Cheers."
12 In-Depth Reports
Each song comes complete with an in-depth report that gives you a detailed breakdown of each section of the song and production tips related to each part.
Each module comes with a "Song Highlights" video that talks about all the most important parts and fun stories to keep in mind for your own productions.
12 Arrangement Graphics
Each song also comes with a detailed breakdown of the arrangement, allowing you to visually follow along with the instruments as you're listening.
In addition to the song production analysis reports, videos and arrangement graphics you'll also get my free report: Your Music Production Cheat Sheet.
From pre-production to the finished hit song, there are multiple things to keep in mind.
In this Music Production Checklist I walk you through a list of 30 things you'll need to think about at every stage of the process.
You can use this list to cover your bases whether you're doing your own productions or you're working for a client.
Use it to keep track of everything, from knowing whether your arrangements are done to how you want your mix to sound.
Think of it as a map to keep you on track during the production process. Use it to save time so you don't get lost and burdened with a million other decisions that detract from the overall goal of finishing a great production.
I get it. Music is personal.
Music is your heart pouring out of you and now you're just supposed to show it to the world?
But what if it isn't good enough?
Well let me be the first to tell you that you're not alone in feeling that way and that's exactly why you should show it to the world.
Fear is a wonderful thing because it applies to all of us. Imagine how many songwriters never became successful because they gave into fear? It's just easier to turn away from a song because you think it's not good enough.
So overcoming that fear means that you're already more successful than most songwriters that never show their stuff to anyone.
Trust me, the first draft is never good enough. It's what you do with it afterwards that matters.
That's why I've added an extra mini-course on self-producing and getting over the fear of finishing your songs.
In order to help you develop and get more ideas for your music, we'll have an exclusive Facebook group that talks about everything we've learned in the course, as well as everything we're doing to improve our own songs.
This is the area you post your rough song ideas or mixes and get constructive feedback from likeminded students that also want to succeed.
Music is not a zero-sum game where one person's production wins over someone else's.
All of our productions matter the world to us and by helping each other we'll make every production greater than the sum of their parts.
In this Facebook group you can ask for feedback on your songwriting, your arrangement or anything related to your productions in general.
"I like how you compare songs to each other even if they are different genres. It kind of puts things into a wider perspective. I like the little recording stories you told and especially how they got interesting sounds. Little tidbits like that are really cool and I really like having those nuances pointed out."
12 in-depth production reports to help you improve your productions
12 arrangement graphics to help you visualize and hone your critical listening
Music Production Analysis Cheat Sheet
Music analysis highlights videos
Access to Facebook community to share and improve your productions
Your Music Production Checklist with 30 tips to keep your productions on track.
Your 4-Part Self-Production Series
As with all of the Audio Issues products, if Music Production Strategies doesn't live up to your standards I will happily refund your money, no questions asked.
You can watch all the videos, try all the tricks and even keep the videos for a full year before deciding whether you like them or not.
Can't I Just Learn All This By Myself? Sure, if you want you can always sit in a room listening to the same song over 50 times to catch all the little intricacies and nuances of the performance, the arrangement and the production. You will also spend dozens of hours researching the songs, the producers and the stories behind them. I'm not sure whether that's a good use of your time though. It's easier to spend a few dollars/day to learn something new and exciting that will give you your next big idea than waste weeks listening, researching and wondering about why your music doesn't excite you on your own. That's time better spent writing new songs, landing new clients or impressing your significant other.
Is there a specific timeframe I need to work within? No. As soon as you join you get access to all the materials. Everything is downloadable so it can wait for you so if you get busy with work/school/life. All the content will be there whenever you have the time. That said, I will be sending out weekly reminders to keep everyone on track and to generate discussion about the songs and to hear your thoughts on the content. Think of it like a self-paced course where you get all the materials ahead of time.
How Will These Songs Help Me? Everyone who wants to work with music needs to have an open mind towards any style and genre of music. Learning from a different style of music to use in your own is not only great practice, it can also help you create something new and exciting. How else do you think the dubstep rock of Imagine Dragons was made?
I Don't Have Time for ANOTHER Course! That's understandable. You have a lot going on. However, if you can spare an hour or two every once in a while to listen to the music, read the reports and watch the videos you'll get through it pretty quickly without feeling overwhelmed. These materials aren't supposed to consume your life. They're supposed to excite it!
Why is Iceland Green and Greenland Ice? Because we wanted to throw people off that we didn't want hanging around with us.
Hi. I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m an audio engineer, musician and writer. I’m an Alumni from the SAE Institute and I've been working in the audio industry since 2006.
I've worked in live sound doing huge concerts back home in my native Iceland (that's where the name is from), recording bands in Madrid, Spain (where I went to audio engineering school) or producing, recording and mixing my own band today in Tucson, Arizona (I get around a lot...).
Through these diverse experiences I've grown to learn one thing:
I've taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.
If I can help somebody improve the sound of their music and that helps them get extra fans and exposure I think I've done a great job.
I believe in sharing my knowledge with everyone and through Audio Issues I've been able to do that. I might not have won any Grammys but I enjoy being the person that inspires others to make great music while aspiring to learn as much as there is to know (and pay forward!).
That's what I'm all about. I've learned a lot from being a professional in the music industry and I hope I can share some of that knowledge with you.
Music Production Strategies is just that. My experience with listening and analyzing popular music and how I use that experience to produce my own.
I hope you'll like all the different stories, techniques and insights I've put into Music Production Strategies. And I hope you like all the different ways I've managed to present the materials, as videos, written reports and graphical interpretations of each song.
See you soon on the inside!
Thank you for sharing your experience to improve my work... ; )
I like your training materials. Well produced, focused, and a pleasure to watch and learn from.