Shams The Producer - BLOG

This blog contains tips, tricks and information to help you become a better musician, music producer or both.

  • Shams The Producer

Updated: May 20


In my opinion YAMAHA NS10's are not the best speakers for mixing and/or mastering audio. I "grew up" on them, I should know. However, you may be me surprised at my next statement.

There's really no "BEST" speakers for audio mastering or mixing.

Here's why.

I've been an audio engineer for over 20 years and I've worked in many different recording studios with a variety of reference studio monitors aka speakers. I've also worked with some of the top names in my genre of music as mixing and mastering engineers, and I have came to the conclusion that Speakers used for mixing and mastering audio gain their popularity and credibility in various ways. 1) Great marketing and branding, 2) When a hit record is made using said speakers, 3) When a person of "authority" uses and speaks publicly about said studio monitor. There are many more reasons but these three I believe to be at the top.


Yamaha NS10's were not the only popular mixing and mastering studio monitors.

Have you ever heard of the KRK ?


KRK's have been around for as long as I've been an audio engineer. This picture shows the KRK Rokit 5 & Rokit 8, they also make the Rokit 7. Many audio engineers and recording studios believed them to be the best in their class of speakers. These bad bays had a bit more low end than the NS10s, that's probably why they were a staple in most reggae and hip hop studios.


Yamaha discontinued the NS10s in 2001. Realizing there was still a market for them, they then released the self powered HS50M, and after a few updates its now the HS series. there's the HS5, HS7,HS8. These sound nothing like the NS10s to me, remember I "grew up" on NS10's. I worked with them for more than 10 years, I still love them. However, they come pretty close.(HS5 pic below)

Avantone, another giant in the pro audio space, most popular for their version of the classic cube style reference monitors made by Auratone (Original Avantone5C brown, Avantone mixcube black), Also makes a version of the NS10's. its called Avantone CLA 10, branded by award winning Producer/Engineer Chris Lord Alge.


I haven't personally used the CLA10 but there are reviews on youtube you can check out.

Let me know what you think.



Bottom line is there's no BEST mixing and mastering speakers simply because it all boils down to a matter of preference. The room you are working in, and who introduced you to whatever monitors you are using also plays a role in this. Its kinda like fast food. Some people like McDonald's, some Burger King and some Wendy's. It is as simple as that. So my advice to you if you're in the market for mixing and mastering speakers.., go to your nearest pro audio store and listen something you produced, mixed or mastered on a few different monitors, compare them, then make your choice based on if you like what you hear coming from the speakers.


PS.

You may have noticed a few hyperlinks above, they link to the actual product on amazon.

If you use any link for purchase I do get a commission. This helps me to maintain my blog, website and youtube channel. Speaking of youtube channel, check out my unboxing video of the AVANTONE MIXCUBE . Thanks for your support :)








  • Shams The Producer

This is a question I used to ask myself all the time. I'm sure you must have too or you probably wouldn't be reading this blog. So, where is your money?

Most people go through life not paying attention to exactly where or how their money is being spent, and on what. For example, you got paid on Friday its now Saturday morning.

You say to yourself, "well, I have a little money now maybe I'll go buy breakfast instead of cooking". Later on you also decide to have takeout for lunch while running errands and maybe that evening you go to a fancy restaurant because you are too tired to make dinner after running errands all day (not to mention the snacks and Starbucks coffee in between...lol). Did you stop at any point to see how much is left after spending a little here, and a little there?

There is also the convenience of subscription based services, $5 per month on this, $12.99 per month on that, credit cards, rent/mortgage...I could go on an on.


The point is if you are not tracking how much you spend and exactly on what you'll never know where your money is actually going.


I remember when I used to make a lot of money touring the world as a musician and making even more money as a record producer. Back then I wasn't financially savvy, more young and free so as the money came in it went out. It wasn't until a few years ago I actually started reflecting on my life and financial situation that I found a very interesting audio book called "The Richest Man In Babylon". This book has motivated me to look at my finances and money in general a whole new way. If you like audiobooks you can get it HERE it should shed some light your financial situation too.


So whats the solution? It's quite simple. BUDGET!

We need to look at our personal finances in the same way those big cooperations/companies/businesses look at theirs.

Set a weekly or monthly budget, keep track of money coming in (earnings/income) and keep track of money going out (expenses). This way we can save a little at a time and invest a little at a time.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional financial advisor nor am I an accountant. Please consult your professional financial advisor, your husband, your wife before making life changing financial decisions :)

I also have an interesting video on youtube relating to this topic. You can check it out below.



  • Shams The Producer

Updated: Apr 24

First of all, what do you think it takes to be a music producer?

Another question you should ask yourself is, "What kind of music producer am I?"



Let me explain. There are different types of producers. There's the producer who pays musicians

and artists for services, and their main contribution to the finished product is the money used for the production. Then there's the producer who spends the money and also is able to communicate to musicians and vocalists his/her needs as far as the song production goes. And there's the producer who can play the instruments, knows the keys and is very hands on in the production process.

To be the latter you need to know at least music theory and some fundamentals in music.

You can download for FREE, my "KEYBOARD BASICS" - Introduction to notes on a Piano/Keyboard pdf HERE.

I see too many young music producers/beat makers today not having a clue about keys or notes, just simple stuff. I'm not saying you can't make a hit record if you don't have knowledge, sure you can. But, if you make a big enough record and you are called upon by a mega star to produce a track, wouldn't it be less stressful if you knew even a little bit of music theory so you could at least tell what key a song/beat is in?

Song production goes far beyond just fitting loops together, yes, it's a good start. However, you'll need to step up your knowledge in music if you really want to play with the BIG BOYS!