First of all, you will need to be open-minded about other types of music.  Yeah, yeah I know that all of you will insist you are open minded, but how much different music do you REALLY listen to?  How many of you “turn off” listening depending on the style of music you are listening to or (even worse) working on?

Why do you need to be more open-minded?

You will learn to appreciate more things that may only exist in other styles.  Jazz piano should sound very different from rock or classical piano.  If you do not LISTEN to jazz, you will not understand WHY it should be both intimate and aggressive.  Rock drum sounds use the room differently than jazz.  Rap vocals need to sit differently than ballads.

I can’t tell you how often I used something I learned from a different style of music while working.  I have used rock mixing “tricks” for hiphop and club “tricks” for jazz.  I have always sought out weird and different stuff to work on in order to keep myself from getting “stale” or in the “rut” of a single type of music.

Most importantly, the "units" will be in different styles of music.  If you are totally turned off by the type of music being worked on in a particular unit, you will definitely NOT get as much out of the unit’s content.


You should have access to some form of an audio system.  At the very least it should be a computer, software and a pair of headphones.  At the most it can be a Neve 8068, Studer A800, rack of Fairchilds, (etc).  It does not matter.  While some of the units will be videotaped in major studios, others will be done in a bedroom.

The units will include discussions, demonstrations and labs.  If you come across a lab you cannot follow along with because you do not have the same equipment (as some of this stuff gets expensive), don’t worry…just try to follow along and you will learn.


I assume because you got this far you have the minimal amount of curiosity needed and most likely have a computer with some software. 

I recommend the following:

1. Listening to different music on different systems and considering the differences.

2. “Tom Dowd: The Language of Music”


It is helpful if you can do certain minimal audio engineering skills, such as:

basic editing

understanding of basic arrangement