[MUSIC] Let's talk for a minute about applying technology to art. And in this particular case, we're going to be talking about applying music technology to the art of making recordings. I want you to consider these four questions. Number one, what technology do I have access to? Number two, what skills do I have? Number three, what people do I have that I could collaborate with? And then number four, what technology is the most appropriate for the artistic outcome that I have in mind. So, let's start with number one. What technology do I have access to? If you don't have access to much technology, you're going to answer this question very quickly. And students often ask me, what gear should I buy? And obviously, the answer really depends on the individual person and what they're trying to accomplish. If you're a singer, songwriter and you play guitar, then chances are that you're going to want to buy an interface. That has two microamps and a good guitar mic, and a good vocal mic that you can use simultaneously. If you're a drummer, and you want to be able to record yourself, and play on other people's projects, and have them send you files. Then you're probably going to need at least an eight channel interface, and mics that are appropriate for kick drum and snare, and overheads. And a room that you can play in where you're going to get a good sound. If you're an electronic musician, probably the question is more of what programs am I going to be using? What virtual synthesis am I going to be using? What different engines and soft samplers am I going to be using? Am I going to want to actually use analog synthesizers and drum machines, and bring some of that into the picture? But deciding what tools you use is obviously an important part of this art form. And doing that with an eye towards the artistic outcome is always important. Number two, is what skills do I have? And if you are in this course, I imagine that you're trying to expand your skills. And I have to say that being in music technology for a long time, we're always learning new skills. We're always learning new tools. Because they come out so often. And it's absolutely fine for part of the outcome of a project to be, I'm going to learn a new tool. I'm going to learn a new skill. I do this all the time. I'll attach learning a new skill or trying a new piece of gear to being part of what I'm trying to accomplish when I'm recording something. But I will say this, that you want to also attach an artistic outcome to this. Almost always, unless you're just exploring. You're just trying things out, you're just checking things out. It can be really helpful to make a decision as to what emotion you're trying to convey. What story you're trying to tell. What musical outcome you're trying to have. So that you can use this new skill or this new piece of gear in service of an actual artistic outcome. You'll have a much better chance of figuring out whether or not you succeeded in that area. Then, who can I collaborate with? One of the most powerful ways to learn new skills is to collaborate with someone. And so often these days, we're acting as the composer and the performer, and the producer, and the engineer, and that's necessary these days. And it can be awesome. You have absolute creative control. But I would also say that it's really great sometimes to collaborate with someone. And often, if I have the luxury, and I'm surrounded with people who are also creative and who I love to work with. I will opt not to do everything myself. And especially if I'm going to be the artist, if this is going to be my music. A lot of times, I'll pull someone in and I'll say, hey, would you engineer this for me? Would you come over and produce my vocals? Would you produce my guitar tracks? And so, I have somebody to work with. You might even meet someone in an online course that you want to collaborate with. This has happened quite a bit in online courses with Berklee Online. It certainly happens a lot when you're at Berklee itself and other schools. You wind up meeting collaborators, people that you click with that you can work with and learn from. Then finally, what is the most appropriate technology for the task at hand? The longer that I do this, the more I find myself making the decisions upfront. As to what do I want this guitar to sound like? Okay, you know what? I'm just going to use one mic. I'm not going to mic it and stereo because that's the sound I'm after. I'm going to double it later. So why double mic it? Well, I'm after the specific kind of a drum sound, so I'm not going to cover every possible base by putting up every mic. Now, obviously, if you want to, if you're not sure about whether you're getting something really good. You might want to keep options open. But the more I do this, the more I decide that I want to make decisions along the way. And use just the minimum amount of technology that is appropriate for any artistic outcome.