Aren’s Music Tech Tips – Episode 1

| Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

Mixing deskWelcome to the first episode of Music Tech Tips with Aren!

My objective with the series is to help you become a more avid, efficient, savvy, knowledgeable, and generally better-than-before music listener.  If ever the content gets too technical and you’re uncertain of what I mean with something, go ahead and leave questions in the comments area and I’ll try to reply ASAP.  If you’d like me to make an entire episode about a certain topic you’ve been wondering about, either email me via aren [at] vitalevents [dot] net, or send the request via twitter @arendej, or @vitalradio with the #Amusictips tag.

This first episode is a set of pointers to try and enlighten you with the better things surrounding the technology you use to hear your favourite music (such as every episode of vital radio).

If you enjoy the quality of the music from your portable player (iPod, Blackberry, Zune, etc), here are some suggestions for “better” music listening experiences:

  • do your best to replace the stock headphones/earbuds that came with your music player. They were very cheap to produce and would sound just that way. Earbuds are also the easiest way to deafen oneself before that age of 40, and worsen the matter beyond that. I’ll write a headphones only episode at a later time, but for now, just aim for a new pair of earbuds or headphones that sound good TO YOU, and FEEL GOOD to wear.
  • There is an EQ or Equalizer in almost all portable players these days. If you don’t know how to access it, dig up the manual that you perhaps neglected to read and figure out how to access it. Fiddle with the settings until the music sounds good.
  • Your best reference material is your most prized, most listened-to, most well-known album or track or set. Throw it on and find the best EQ setting. Keep in mind that just because the music is house or dance, doesn’t mean the EQ preset can’t be the “rock” setting to help it sound better to YOUR taste.
  • There’s a plethora of portable players out there to keep all tastes satiated. If you’re not a fan of the iPod, there’s plenty of other choices that WILL work with both PC and Mac and even Linux!. Just take the time to do your homework and research the player before dropping any  amount of money on a device that will contain and play your beloved tunes. Consider that your music library only feels safe, until you put it ALL on one device and have it fail, with no backup. If that were the case, I would say you’d be “screwed” for lack of a more technical term.
  • Regarding backups: always have an extra internal or an extra external hard drive on your computer that stores your music library. Use it to store your music. Store the entire library in it, AS WELL AS on your original computer’s hard drive (unless you don’t have the space)
  • Keep it organized! A future episode will have me going over some more effective ways to organize your library…. and NO, iTunes does a less-than-ideal job of “organizing” music, in my opinion.

That’s all for episode 1! There’s no telling when the next one will be, but I’ve already got a number of topics to cover, so check back often, or follow @arendej and/or @vitalradio on twitter to know when these episodes go up!

Author Background: Aren writes voluntarily as part of the Vital Radio team. He is CleverSound Studio‘s lead engineer and founder. Under his name, he produces and spins electronic music.

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