The Electronic Nation

The Electronic Nation (T.E.N.), founded by Nicholas Cooper, is an online magazine company pertaining to the electronic/dance/house genres within the music industry. Their goal is to

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create a centralized hub for musicians and producers to congregate and discuss topics such as technology and equipment, news within the industry, shows and festivals, studio tips and tricks, etc. T.E.N. was nice enough to ask Marc Bauman, owner, engineer and producer at House Recording Studios, to take part in an interview, which will be publicized in their upcoming January 2012 edition of their magazine. The interview questions were a lot of fun to answer, as they allowed us to get introspective with our roots in the recording and music industry. Here is the interview:

1. What made you become a producer?
Answer:

“The road to becoming a recording engineer and

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a music producer started as a musician. I was very active as a drummer in my high school’s marching, symphonic and jazz band. In addition to that, I played in numerous creative side projects including musical genres such as rock, hip-hop, reggae, funk, punk, jazz and blues. After developing an ear, a taste and an aesthetic for music I became fascinated with the creative and technical end of the process. I attended Five Towns College where I majored in business management and audio recording. During that time I was building a name for myself in my home studio, working with all styles of music and honing my skills. It wasn’t long before I outgrew the home studio and started up this incredible business venture and my dream studio…House Recording Studios. Typically during a session I where the hat of an engineer (where I take control of the technical aspects such as running Pro Tools, getting a great tone, placing microphones, using outboard processors properly, etc.) and

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I also where the hat of a producer (where I give the artist creative guidance by suggesting a cool vocal harmony, or writing a catchy melody for the song or recommending

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a phenomenal studio musician to lay down a tasty lic, etc.). To sum it up, I became a recording engineer and music producer because I love being part of the creative musical process and there is nothing more gratifying for me than seeing a vision evolve into a fully produced, cohesive song.”

2.Who was your biggest influence when starting in the music industry?
Answer:

“Growing up I listened to a lot of Beatles, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd among other great rock bands. During the peak of my drumming days, I listened to Dream Theater quite heavily…who could deny the chops of Mike Portnoy! I also love Notorious BIG. These days I am heavily inspired by 311, Sublime, Bob Marley, Incubus, etc. I also love listening to Frank Sinatra and various pop artists such as Usher, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, Pit Bull, etc. I think it is very important, especially as a full time engineer/producer, to be open to and appreciate as many styles of music as possible. It makes you a better, more well-rounded person not only musically, but in life.”

3.How long does it take you to make a record?
Answer:

“This really depends on the client, the deadline, the budget, the level of seriousness and dedication to the project, etc. I’ve cut albums, fully recorded, edited and mixed, spread across two, 10 hour sessions, and I’ve cut albums spread over periods of 6 months or more, consisting of many sessions and many hours. Sometimes it’s tough to put a project to rest…Even after it sounds phenomenal, it seems that it could always somehow, someway sound better. The creative process never ends and I’m always learning something new and cool about audio everyday.”

4.What is the most enjoyable part about being in the industry?
Answer:

The most enjoyable part about being in the music industry is experiencing a new musical project on a daily basis. One day I’ll be working with a high school a cappella group, the next day I’ll be working with a heavy rock band, the day after I’ll have a hip-hop artist at the studio, the next day I’ll be recording a voice over spot for a television network, etc. It’s just a treat to be working with such great, diverse projects. It is also incredible being my own boss, making my own schedule, working for myself and reaping all of the benefits of my dedication and passion for this field.”

5.What’s the feeling you get when you create a new record?
Answer:

“Creating a record is an incredibly exciting process that I get emotionally attached to. How can you not when you live and breathe a certain project for an extended period of time, working so closely with the client and your colleagues, embracing a plethora of creative ideas, etc. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing an album project come together, fully tracked, edited, mixed, produced, mastered and duplicated…it’s an involved process, but the feeling I get upon completion is indescribable.”

6.What does music mean to you?
Answer:

“Music is my religion. One of the first questions I ask people upon meeting them is “What kind of music do you like?” I feel that you can tell so much about a person by how they respond to that question. I find it mind boggling the small percentage of people who answer that question with “I don’t really listen to music.” Those people are lacking something spiritually, creatively and emotionally. Music is a universal language and the best form of self-expression.”

7.When did you start to make music?
Answer:

“I started to seriously make/produce music during my education at Five Towns College at the age of 19 or so. I was a drummer my entire life and I knew that I wanted to do music full time, but I wanted to make a career in the recording industry and not so much as a performing/studio musician. Being a musician prior to becoming a recording engineer and music producer was a critical component in helping me to better understand music in addition to much of the concepts I implement on a daily basis at the studio.”

8.Do you think “age” is a factor in creating music?
Answer:

“I do not think age is a factor at all in creating music. Some of the most talented people that I work with are the youngest and the oldest clients I have. Music moves people, no matter what the age.”

9.How hard is it to make it in the business?
Answer:

“The recording industry is certainly competitive, but I feel that any one can say that about their industry in today’s economy. You definitely must have a certain drive, ambition and passion to succeed. You can’t be deterred by closed doors. Networking is absolutely critical. I have made so many new acquaintances and clients simply by putting myself out there and meeting the right people. Thinking outside of the box about innovative and creative ways to promote is essential. Taking advantage of online marketing and social media is also extremely important these days.”

10.What’s the hardest part about creating a record?
Answer:

“The hardest part about creating a record is sculpting so many different perspectives and opinions into one, cohesive, unanimous vision. I’ve been in many situations where band members have tried to kill each other over differing views about the arrangement of a song or a vocal melody or the production, etc., and while everyone is looking out for the best interest of the song, it is important to find a nice common ground so that everyone is happy.”

11.What types of music do you most enjoy?
Answer:

“I enjoy every style and genre of music that is out there. I find that when I ask people what kind of music they enjoy, they often say “Everything, except for country.” I’m not sure what it is about country that people don’t like, but if something has a nice melody, or a nice message, or was engineered/produced well, it totally speaks to me and I get some creative fulfillment out of it. I love rock, reggae and hip-hop and when I come across a band or an artist that combines these three styles, as do 311 and The Movement, I’m in a blissful state. I also love punk, jazz, blues, and house/electronic music. I feel that every genre of music offers something unique and it’s important to be open to as many styles as possible.”

12.Do you have any advice to give for someone looking to create a career in the music industry?
Answer:

“Work hard. Make positive connections. Always be networking. Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do. Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you.”

13.What program do you use to create music? (i.e. Logic; Abelton; ext) Why?
Answer:

“I use Pro Tools HD for all of my music production, recording, editing and mixing

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needs. It’s the program that most audio school’s (including Five Towns) ingrain in their students and it’s the program that one will most likely come across in any major, commercial recording studio. I have used most of the major DAW’s out there, including Cubase and Logic, and I find that Pro Tools best suits my needs in any recording or mixing application.”

14.Where do you see yourself in the future?
Answer:

“I see the studio and I being quite successful in the future. I’ve been involved in so many incredible sessions with so many talented players in the two years I’ve been running a commercial recording studio. I can only imagine how awesome things will be 10, 20, 30 years from now, when I have that much more experience and connections under my belt. It is not as important for me to be involved with anyone famous or a big label gig (of course that would be great), as much as it is important for me to remain busy with diverse sessions and keep the House name and reputation prosperous.” Right now I am doing everything myself at the studio, from all the marketing, to the engineering, to the sales, etc. One day I’d like to potentially take on some employees to help me run some of the daily operations.”

15.How many years did it take to get noticed?
Answer:

“Despite being quite busy at House Studios over the last two years, we are still very much in the process of “getting noticed.” It is essential to be networking and meeting people at all times. I always have business cards in my pocket ready to go. I also do some heavy online marketing with my website and I get most of my leads that way. Word of mouth is huge and when you do one good job for someone, they tell their friends and it leads to the next job.”

16.How often do you work on your music?
Answer:

“Unfortunately, I don’t work on my own musical productions as often as I’d like to. The reason is because I am kept so busy working on my client’s projects. When I first started learning about audio, and I didn’t have many clients, I would only work on my own music and I had so much fun recording some of my original song ideas. It was also a phenomenal way to get acquainted with some of the audio concepts and terminology that I now use regularly. From time to time, when I have the opportunity in between client’s projects, I enjoy putting together a remix with cool a cappella’s and stems I come across, or programming a high energy dance track or catchy hip-hop track, etc.”

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