Mahatma Jack tries to be a wise man now!
Here are some things I've learned in the studio about music & production. Perhaps this will help you finding your own way:
Music converts emotion into tones:
Great music comes out of your hips and NOT out of your head!
Find your own way:
Do you have your production sound already in your mind? GREAT! That's the most important thing. Now, you have to learn to say: NO! Because there will be a lot of guys, who'll convince you, that you're on the wrong way! Fuck them!
The ear is the gear:
Start listening to music - NOW! Try to find out the secrets of your favourite records. Why do they sound like that? Don't try to reinvent the wheel. There are some good reasons, why great songs became hits.
Expensive equipment doesn't ensure a good sound:
The "perfect" sound starts in your head first, then in the voice of the singer and in the fingers of the musicians. If they aren't good enough, it will NEVER sound really good!
We live in a modern music-world.
Contra: Most of modern music sounds like crap!
Pro: You'll get a lot of good equipment at a low price!
A good mix is all about balance:
Perhaps the best thing is to let a person do the mix, who is NOT involved in the band. Otherwise: be careful with the compression!!!
More is more:
Less is more? Absolutely BULLSHIT! More is more! So, if you wanna do a big production, start with a good songwriting but don't forget the details, which make a song lively.
As far as playing the instrument is concerned, I've to admit, that sometimes less is more actually. For example, not every fast guitar solo is a good one! Do you always wanna play as fast as you can? Then go and do some sports!
Live vs. studio:
Studio is NOT stage! In studio you can do some experiments! But don't forget to prepare the songs well! Learn your instrument & your parts (this is also a good tip for the stage as well).
Go and make some money:
You want a good sounding, big production? Take a lot of time for that! Then go and make some money, because making a great record won't be cheap!
Here are some fantastic bands and albums which influenced me a lot and which I can recommend: good musicians, good songwriting, good production & studiowork. Check it out!
... and check out the good old stuff to learn about the roots like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, The Beach Boys, ...