So it is done. Over the past year I have attended and completed a three part program taught at Portland State University known as the Oregon Music Technology School. The focus of these classes was not music theory, songwriting, or performance. Rather, it was the science of acoustics, harmonics, how sound waves are recorded, learning about microphones, mixers, cables, compression and equalization, the history of MIDI technology and it's implementation, and working with MIDI in conjunction with recorded audio in the digital studio environment to produce music.
If you know me, then you know that I've been working with MIDI and electronic music for some time now. I can confidently say that my skills have never been so sharp and competent. I'm grateful to have taken these classes, and I can already hear an improvement in my work.
For the course we used a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) called Digital Performer by MOTU on Mac computers. This was the greatest challenge for me as I've become very familiar with my preferred and beloved FL Studio and there's no question that I'm a PC guy. Nevertheless, I rose to the challenge and grunted my way through to becoming able to communicate with Digital Performer, knowing that the cross-platform training could only serve to my benefit. In the end I still prefer the layout and functionality of FL, but finding the same controls and functions in a foreign environment only solidified my understanding of what my own DAW offered. Sorry MOTU, you didn't find a new customer here, but perhaps we'll face each other again someday.
So now I am a certified music producer. What does this mean? First of all, It means that I know of which I speak when it comes to music production. It means that I know when to use a condenser microphone vs a dynamic microphone in a studio session. It means that I can explain and utilize the concept of ADSR in my sonic vocabulary, and use equalization and compression to better fit elements together in an aural plane. It means that my channel levels will not attempt to exceed digital zero. In short, it means that the music I create from here on out has no excuse for not sounding professional, and that I can also do this level of quality engineering work for others.
"We begin with what is possible, and move gradually toward the impossible." - Robert Fripp