Time+Space tackle the Record Production Month challenge

What on earth are we doing?

February has arrived and a few of us in the Time+Space office are somewhat apprehensive about what we’ve decided to undertake…

Record Production Month is a musicians’ challenge to create and release an album in the 28 days of February. The recurring theme of January, and the New Year Resolutions that we’ve seen over and over on our social media is ‘I never finish a track’. Well, why not finish 10?

Now, we’re not promising the works of Beethoven, Guns ‘n’ Roses, or Daft Punk. For all we know, every single track on our EPs might be a complete train wreck! But we will have finished and released them, and we will learn where each of us individually wastes time, and where we struggle to make decisions. It’s a chance to learn about yourself as well as learning about music and meeting deadlines.

I would but I’m rubbish at music and I don’t have the gear I want…

The RPM website has this to say about the challenge, “Anyone can come up with an excuse to say “no,” so don’t. Many of you are thinking “But, I can’t do that! I don’t have any songs/recording gear/money/blah blah blah…” But this doesn’t have to be the album, it’s just an album. Remember, this is an artistic exercise. Just do your best using what you have in order to get it done. If you have a four-track, become a four-track badass! Use your iPhone, your ’80s cassette recorder, that program on your laptop, a Pro Tools rig, or just borrow something – use it. Do your best.

RPM isn’t meant to be about the end product, although you may well come up with something awesome! It’s about the journey and the experience. Making yourself work, forcing yourself to get inspiration instead of waiting for it to come to you. If you’re like me and you’ve bought something musical in the hopes that it’ll encourage you to make more music, then do a whole album with that as the focus. That last bit of software you got? Get creative with it! Teach yourself to finish what you start, and you’ll start finishing more.

Okay, okay, I’ve made it this far and I’m interested in the idea. What do I have to do?

The RPM Challenge is to create 10 tracks or 35 minutes of music in the month of February. No pre-recorded ideas, no pre-released materials, no half-baked projects that just need some love. Brand new music from February 1st to February 28th. That’s it. Nothing else. Get busy and get writing.

Garrick and Harry are going to be attempting the RPM challenge. We’ll be catching up with them through the month to see how they’re progressing. Here’s a bit about their backgrounds and their game plans for RPM.

Garrick:

“I’ve got a background in playing Classical and Jazz music as I’m primarily a pianist and saxophonist. As well as playing those genres, I enjoy listening to rock, metal and EDM. I studied Music Technology at university, so I’m feeling confident about the production quality of my album, but I’m worried about keeping tracks concise and focused.

Classical music and Jazz like to explore concepts and ideas at length, so I sometimes struggle to keep my attention focused on representing an idea clearly instead of constantly exploring and re-forming it. I’ve got a concept in mind for the kind of music I want to write, and I’m interested to see if I keep even remotely to that idea. We’ll see!”

Harry:

“I’m coming into this challenge with a background in producing music from my bedroom since I was 14. Although I may not be musically trained, I like to think I know my way around a DAW! My music taste tends to depend on what mood I’m in. It can go from smooth jazz and soul to heavy metal or dubstep. I’m hoping my varied taste in music is going to give me an advantage in this challenge when finding inspiration.

I think the difficulty for me is going to be not spending too much time tweaking sounds, and just trust the original idea that I had in my head. There’s nothing wrong with spending time on sound design, but when you spend a whole evening editing and playing around with a sound only to change it all again the next day you’re never going to get anything done!”

We’re encouraging everyone to get involved, and if you want to show off your RPM project at the end of the month we’ll be creating a playlist on the Time+Space Soundcloud to add your tracks too!

Stay tuned for a progress report coming soon.

Posted by Garrick Wareham

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