Saturday, November 28, 2015

Considerations, deliberations.

When was the last time I actually bothered? Of companionship and company, of endearment and adoration. Looking back at old entries and taking a guess, probably two years.

Two years and no less of solitude, I daresay I nevertheless appreciated the predicament placed upon me. I spoke not of it nor did I venture finding such. Friends remained friends, and I remained focused on nothing else apart from work.

But maybe the days are free now, thus my foolish heart seeks things to fill itself up when there is nothing else to distract it. Finding someone to be a bundle of fun yet serious, witty yet silly, smart yet ignorant. It's all a contradiction, yet still the right kind of weird. I find myself enjoying the conversations no less than any before, if not more so.

Forget the minor moral implications, ignore all the past actions that might make this any less appropriate, yet I cannot ignore one thing. Regardless how charming and lovely this idea is, it is nothing short of a train wreck. This locomotive, grand and beautiful, well built and elegant, doesn't change the fact that it is headed straight towards a brick wall.

Such as it is, I cannot help but join in the ride regardless. Such is life, full of contradictions.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 13

Friday 3/7/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 4pm - 3am (11 hours)

Foreword: Bunkface! guitar and bass tracking


4pm - Reported to work, moved on to run tracking bass for Bunkface!

6:30pm - Finished tracking, short dinner break

9pm - Continued to run tracking session for rhythm guitar and lead guitar

3am - Wrapped up most guitar overdubs and main lines, dismiss for the day


Perhaps one of my most exciting and yet challenging tracking sessions tonight, partially due to the energy the members of Bunkface! have, it can be quite hard to keep up sometimes, especially since I'm still a novice.

Tracked most of the night without much incident, although I realised that more engagement between myself the engineer and the session musicians is crucial in maintaining a calm environment for both parties. A smile and a warm reception always helps with calming the studio anxiety most musicians face, even experienced ones like Bunkface!.

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 12

Thursday 2/7/2015
Site: Home
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 12pm - 10pm (10 hours)

Foreword: Intern site mix work-at-home


12pm - Started mixing for Garden's International School band competition winner's originals

10pm - Finished 1 session, dismissed
My supervisor had some personal matters to attend to today, and thus left me with some mixing assignments to be done at my leisure today.

Finished one mix today, another to be completed during the weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 11

Wednesday 1/7/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 8pm - 1am (5 hours)

Foreword: Tracking day

8pm - Reported to work, briefed on tracking session for later

9pm - Did mix prep for previous sessions

10pm - Tracking drums, handled the tracking

1am - Dismissed 


Today I had the pleasure of running a session tracking for drums, was properly challenged on my DAW chops again.

Also did some session prep for my supervisor's previous sessions.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 10

Tuesday 30/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 4pm - 2am (10 hours)

Foreword: Recording drums on a long haul

4pm - Reported to work, went on to continue mixes from previous assignment

8pm - Observed demo tracking for corporate contract
9pm - Set-up drums and mics for drum recordings, artist was Bunkface!
11pm - Recording commenced
2am - Dismissed
Today was a pleasure in that I managed to observe local band Bunkface! conduct their drum recording for their new material. I was able to learn a few tips and tricks from observing the band, listening to the kind of feedbacks and effective communication of ideas being thrown between the members from the control room to the recording booth, from engineer to band leader and vice versa. The creative energy this evening was very inspiring, and the drummer was spot on.

I also managed to observe how the band nitpicks on the recordings, being fairly conservative with their punch-ins and retakes, preferring to nail takes in one go. Also learnt how to weed out bad takes by observing what the band mates scrutinise on between take reviews.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 9

Monday 29/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 7pm - 1am (6 hours)

Foreword: Consultations

7pm - Reported to work, briefed on today's consultation job

8pm - Went over to Paranormal Studios with supervisor to oversee set-up and recording of artist Narmi in new studio
8:30pm - Observed set-up and recording session, assisted in set-up and session prep

1am - Dismissed
Today is an outlier in that my supervisor doesn't usually do consultations. I suppose it is my luck to be able to observe him working as a consultant to a relative new studio set-up, as I too get the benefit of learning the ground-works.

The session was in Logic X, which was more familiar to me as opposed to my supervisor, glad to say I managed to assist better today than I usually would back in the studio.

The artist today was Narmi and his band, we did a live recording in a medium sized room, surprisingly good room sound given that it wasn't fully treated yet.
Once again efficiency proved vital in sessions like these.

Friday, June 26, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 8

Friday 26/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 4pm - 8am (4 hours)

Foreword: Observations

4pm - Reported to work, observe mixing session by supervisor

5pm - Observe mix review between band and supervisor

8pm - Dismiss

Straightforward day to be honest, mostly observational. If anything useful today, learnt a bit of tips and tricks on how to present a mix to a client, the nuances and in-betweens of etiquette and communicating.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 7

Tuesday 23/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 7pm - 12am (5 hours)

Foreword: String quartet in the studio yo!

7pm - Reported to work, began mix session prep work on upcoming Hari Raya song.
10pm - Set up mics and stands for recording session for string quartet

11pm - Tweaked studio set up to optimise for the players

12am - Dismiss

Today was pretty interesting, as I manage to observe some miking techniques used for string instruments. The process of setting up the studio for the quartet was a little more intensive than I expected, mic stands and cables were easily cluttered due to the not-so-big workspace.

Pity I didn't get to stay for the whole session, had to leave before the recording started, as I needed to go back and continue my college projects of which submissions are the following day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 6

Friday 19/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 1pm - 8pm (7 hours)

Foreword: More mixing prep work


1pm - Reported to work, observe mixing session by supervisor, track by various artist.

3pm - Prep mix session from Lim Kok Wing students.

8pm - Dismiss

Did more prep work and observation today, manage to pick up a few new approaches to mixing for multiple vocal tracks from supervisor.

Also polished my editing speed today on Cubase.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 5

Thursday 18/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 1pm - 8pm (7 hours)

Foreword: Studio maintenance day.


1pm - Reported to work, briefing on maintenance work schedule for the day

1:30pm - Install new cable ties on studio XLR and 1/4" jack cables

2pm - Cleaned most of the studio cable contacts with contact cleaner

4pm - Re-patched all cables after drying

4:30pm - Dust away mix console

5pm - Observe mixing session by supervisor, song by artist "Aina"

8pm - Dismiss

The studio's annual maintenance day happened to be today, thus I got the opportunity to have a taste of the inner workings and patching of this studio, which I sorely needed as I failed to fully comprehend the full signal chain during the 1st briefing.

After cleaning through all the cable contact point, I had the challenge of recalling all the original patch work and restoring it.

Remainder of the day was spent on observing my supervisor running a mix session from the day before. Managed to pick up some new mix techniques, but also made me realise how inadequate my own techniques are.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 4

Tuesday 16/6/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 1pm - 12am (11 hours)

Foreword: First try on working hands on as a recording engineer during a session.


1pm - Reported to work, jumped straight into mixing prep work.

4pm - Assist drum recording session for local artist "Dafi"

7pm -Assist bass recording session for local artist "Dafi"

12am - Dismiss


First time working the full shift after approximately 2 weeks of hiatus (Due to supervisor being abroad). Was rather taxing on my studio knowledge and versatility, being asked by my supervisor to helm the session today without much prep prior to today, considering also the fact that I am still relatively new to the Cubase 8 DAW, meant that I had a rather interesting day having need to learn on the fly and also consult my supervisor several times (much to my embarrassment) halfway during recording.

But today I also realise an important part of the studio recording process between engineer, producer and sessionist. Communication, positive communication, is greatly needed, and considering that my supervisor's major client base is Malay, placed me in a spot where I get often tongue tied.

All in all, today I begin to understand the subtle nuances that makes or breaks a good engineer.

Friday, June 12, 2015

6MU013 - Graduation Portfolio Journal 1

Wednesday 11/6/2015
Site: Titiwangsa Sentral
Agenda: 1st discussion with Curry, Okay? core band members

Foreword: For my graduation portfolio, I will be producing an Extended Play (EP) for local band Curry, Okay? and will be writing down the ins and outs of the process from pre to post production


Began the discussion with core members Jo Wong, Sin Weng and Walter to define the roles they will be playing the production, mainly the individual job scopes they will be partaking in this project, namely song writing and arranging roles.

Moved on to create a tentative schedule for the duration of this 2 months on how to pace out the recording sessions. Decided to approach song writing in traditional jam session arrangements before finalising onto a sequenced demo before recording.

Wrapped up discussion with members sharing their ideas on what atmospheres and sound qualities they hope to go for by sharing their favourite tunes and/or albums that they wish to emulate or aspire to resonate with.

The challenge was to stay focused in discussion, in part due to my character failing to spearhead a discussion, ending up swaying towards any spontaneous non-related discussions. Note to self is to improve on focus and not let spontaneity take over. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 3

Thursday 29/5/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 12pm - 7pm (7 hours)

Foreword: Session editing mayhem!


12pm - Reported to work, briefing on quantising drum audio on Cubase

12:30pm - Quantise drum audio for mix session(Metal Song)

6pm - Consultation with supervisor on the state of the current music industry

7pm - Dismiss


Finally began working on mixing-related editing work, spending the good majority of the day editing drums on a metal band recording session. Given that the drums aren't as tight as desired, my supervisor wanted me to tidy up the drum tracks while he went on to run errands throughout.

By the time he came back, I was only halfway done, which goes to show the scope of the job, not easy at all despite my best efforts towards efficiency.

Ended the day with my supervisor giving me some insights on the current market for music and his past experience, before leaving for the day.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 2

Thursday 22/5/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 2pm - 7:30pm (5.5 hours)

Foreword: 2nd day into work, much to learn.


2pm - Reported to work

2:30pm - Introduction to mix session prep work on Cubase DAW

3pm - Mix session prep work practice

3:30pm - Observation on vocal tracking session, talent is local artist, Aina

5:45pm - End of tracking session, continued mix session prep work

7:30pm - Dismiss.


Second day into the job and currently familiarising myself with the Cubase DAW, working mainly on mix session prep work. For today, I was taught to insert all the minor edits for a mix session such as trimming the tracks, inserting fade-ins and outs for all the tracks, to which I was tasked to complete for the remainder of the session.

For the rest of the day observing a vocal tracking session for local talent "Aina" for her upcoming single, further observing my supervisor's work flow on Cubase.

Wrapped up the day by finishing my mix session prep, with feedback from JD to work on more details during the prep edits. Further learnt how to add relevant plugins specific to JD template before being dismissed for the day.

Friday, May 22, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" - Site work Day 1

Thursday 21/5/2015
Site: Studio 21:05
Supervisor: JD Wong
Working hours: 1pm - 6pm (5 hours)

Foreword: Apart from class related paper work, I will also be documenting my daily (or at least almost daily) experiences on-site during my interning period.


1pm - Reported to work

2pm - Studio signal chain briefing

3pm - Observation on vocal tracking session, artist is local talent, Yubi.

6pm - Dismiss.


As briefed by JD prior to starting out my work in the studio, I will be spending the bulk of my 1st week just observing.

Signal chain in the studio was quite a stunner, apparently (although not surprisingly) my college's signal chain is quite vastly different from the one JD has set-up for his studio, as his is quite specific towards his work flow habits.

Spent remaining time observing Cubase work flow, which is a new DAW for me.

Work soon ended after vocal tracking, last minute cancellation of tonight's session meant I could leave early. Was advised by JD to try out Cubase trial version when I can before dismissing me for the day.

Friday, May 15, 2015

6MU017 "Career Prep" Week 2 Homework

Foreword: In the case that you, my followers, having not seen me post in almost year and are wondering why I've reappeared, I've decided to re-purpose my blog site as a means to supplement my my final-year academic endeavours, in part due to the fact that my college's own sorry excuse of a student site journal web-app is hopelessly unintuitive. If you've read thus far through my ramblings, I appreciate that you'd still hear me out, and invite you to read my mundane journal entries that I expect won't be much of an excitement for you to be honest, but feel free to make sense of it.

15th of May 2015

Work 1 - Career goals:
After using the method given in class, I have managed to reflect deeper into my own career goals using refining questions such as the following:

1. Write down your goals:
  • To be a record producer / studio sound engineer.
  • Part time drum session player for small live events
  • Be in a local band for the long term
2. From the above, choose one most important to you.
To be a record producer / studio sound engineer.

3. Now imagine you have attained that goal, what does that give you that you did not have before?
Opportunity to actively work in new projects and work stability.

4. So now that you have that, what will that give you that you did not have before?
Having time to experiment with mixing techniques

5. So now that you have that, what will that give you that you did not have before? (Keep asking till no answers)
Develop own unique sound

6. Ditto
Become on-demand for that sound.

Conclusion: Based on this exercise, my true goals are to find my own unique sound in the industry as a producer / engineer so I have my own identity in the industry.

Work 2 - Reflect on career goals

Based on the exercise above, I have come to the conclusion that as an aspiring producer / engineer, my long term goal is to develop a unique sound for myself as a way to stand out from the saturated market of the local recording establishments. Famous and inspiring record producers have highly developed tonality to their mixes and records that people would opt to go for when they are looking for a definitive sound in their records. Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin & Ryan Tedder all are known for highly distinct sounding records, and after reflecting on my own goals, have realised that in order to realistically set-up my own career, have need to work towards my own unique sound.

Work 3 - Mapping my personality (based on the Jung Typology Test) to my career goals

After taking the typology test, I came out with a result of ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceptive). After reading through the implications of having an ISFP personality, there are many positive traits suited for the my potential career in the studio, such as the introverted trait which indicates my tendency to be less affected by influences around people in my workplace, allowing for more focused decisions. Traits that may work against me are my sensing trait, as I will tend to be less inclined to think of the bigger picture nor process abstract concepts, preferring to be a doer instead of going by-the-book approaches, which may hinder my progress in areas more academic in nature. My perceptive trait may be somewhat of a double edged sword, as this trait implies that I allow myself to be spontaneous and laid-back, preferring to go with the moment, implying a strong creative output. But this also implies my lacking towards management in regards to time and scheduling, possibly bad judgements as well, indicating a possible unprofessional attitude in my future working ethic.

Work 4 - Reflecting on necessary steps towards planning my career

Reflecting on my personality in relation to my goals, I have realised several things that I must start doing in order to overcome some of my potential shortcomings. For starters, I will need to start making it a habit to keep a schedule, be in control of the way I spend my times for the benefit of myself and my future employers. I also have to start approaching certain concepts with a more critical interpretation, allowing myself a capacity to take in abstract ideas so that I may see the bigger picture towards a problem, supplementing my tendencies toward creative spontaneity. Doing all these would potentially shape me towards being an overall more professional worker, thus allowing myself to attain my goals much more efficiently.