What brought me to study Audio Production?

As a wannabe audio engineer or music producer, whenever I feel lost in my life, I always like to read about personal lives of the musicians or bands that I love. Learning about the thought processes of how and why these great creative minds ended up creating music for lives naturally guides and inspires me in my own musical journey. Out of all these incredible people, Steven Wilson, who is a self-taught producer, audio engineer and songwriter is the one who ultimately guided me into studying audio production here.

Mr. Wilson is best known with his contribution in the genre of progressive rock, which he is sometimes referred to as “King of prog rock” and a “musical genius”, because of how he is able to come up with his own progressive “sound” without receiving any proper musical education. I admire him for no matter what role he is taking in the production of music, he has always been one of his kind. Furthermore, I am always intrigued by how he is able to tell stories with music, how he always breaks long-kept rules even when he helped producing or mixing other’s music and most importantly, keep being an innovative mind in music.

However, he did not achieve much success until he was in his mid-30s, although he started off when he was just a teenager.

Before studying here, I have been in a existential crisis. I always know, deep down, that I want to pursue music for life, but I dare not to do it. The reasons of not having the courage to do music, is the fact that I feel not comfortable with having an unstable live or income as a musician or songwriter, and the fact that I do not know what else I could do in the music business except being a musician. I have no clue how to solve this dilemma so I have chosen the easy way out, studying something else in my first degree and explaining to myself that it is to fulfil my parents’ expectations.

Needless to say, I hated every bit of studying for something I do not like, and struggled to find my purpose.

Being lost, I started reading about his personal lives from various interviews he made, in which I found out he started off not only being a musician, but also an audio engineer and producer for local bands. Frankly, although being a musician and a long time music fan, I did not know much about audio engineering. I then started researching about this field and realised that being an audio engineer fits well with my life goals of doing music while having a rather stable life. Just out of pure interest, I tried to record some music with my bands as well as others after going through hours of instruction on YouTube. It is the time that I realised, that the process of making music is what brings me immense joy and peace, and whatever roles I take do not matter.

I am fully aware of the fact that, securing a place in the creative side of music industry, not just as musician, but also as engineers and producers, is growing harder and harder given the shrunken market size. But then, I start to think of how my music hero, struggled for years to reach his fame and his position. He did not even have the privilege of receiving proper music education.

Yet, he is still there. So, what is my excuse?

That is why, I am here, in SAE, working towards my life goals.


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