If you are starting out in the world of music production or you are a seasoned studio pro, chances are you have experienced some stumbling blocks along the way. Whether it's the gear you should be using or simply not being able to find a creative flow, this hefty batch of sage advice is going to get you back on the right track.
Page is a veteran in the studio and on the road, and he has penned over 100 pieces of advice that cover everything from studio gear to the creative process to basic songwriting. If you are in a creative jam or just frustrated in general - these tips will inspire you and get you back on the path to creativity and peace of mind.
We caught up with Page to get some insight on this project and hit him up for some advice tidbits as well.
Check out over 100+ Tips HERE
What brought about this collaboration with OWC?
I've been a fan of OWC's products over the years and use their gear in my studio, so it was a really natural partnership. Both the Quick Tips and OWC products share a common goal of improving workflow in the creative space. We initially linked up when I showed OWC the tips, and they suggested we include them in shipments. The tips can apply to so many other fields beyond just music: graphic designers, architects, video editors.
What was your process in creating these categories? Are these what you consider to be the essential building blocks and roadblocks in production? Which of the categories did you struggle with the most as an artist?
I felt that technical studio tips are already very well covered on YouTube and in music schools, like how to make a fat kick drum, so I wanted to make tips that were "force multipliers," ways to grease the gears and reduce the friction you encounter working on a creative project. A lot of these center around workflow, but it's also more holistic and some are more philosophical ways of looking at the process. All the tips came from notes I wrote to myself in 20 years of making music. Techniques that worked to spark and sustain the creative process. We chose 20 from a master list of around 800 tips. The hardest part was figuring out how to visualize the tips, as some can be more abstract, but eventually, the illustrator and I settled on a more simplified, geometric style that really felt actionable. For me, the hardest part as an artist is probably hearing a song too many times, and you can never un-listen, so optimizing your workflow, so you don't over listen is crucial.
What does your current studio set up look like, and what advice would you offer beginners setting up their first workstation?
Right now I'm doing everything in Ableton Live on a Mac Pro with Focal SM9 monitors and Universal Audio Apollo converters. I've gone through a lot of gear lust stages, acquiring gear and then letting it collect dust, so you really don't need much. Learn the stock Ableton plugins before buying any fancy ones. Learn one synth inside and out. Organize sonic references, so you aren't producing music in a vacuum. Make sure you are using a cloud service like Dropbox and also physical backup.
What is your most essential piece of gear aside from your DAW?
I love my V-Moda headphones because I know them so well, and it's a constant reference point for me since I DJ with them. All my essentials are really just software: Fabfilter, UAD, Xfer Serum, Cableguys Shaperbox. Gear requires maintenance, takes time to sell, and takes up physical space. That said, I think having a few good guitars and a piano are really helpful for the songwriting process.
What are some things that you do before long studio sessions - do you have any ritual or do you just slam a lot of coffee and get to work?
The ritual is more about the time of day than anything. Mornings and evenings always flow better. Going against this is like trying to defy gravity, so I'll chunk out my day in 3-hour blocks to take advantage of this, and do more administrative work like emails in the early afternoon. And yes, coffee is a big part of my routine! I have a Ratio pour over that makes amazing coffee.
What is the biggest mistake you see most new producers make?
To be honest, I see a lot of guys getting very good, very quickly now that there are such great free resources, but many shy away from songwriting and focus most of their energy on building Serum patches from scratch. This kind of production is fine, but it's more disposable. Songs last, and sound design is temporary.