In an increasingly digital world it can become difficult to find ways to connect with each other, despite social media and internet experts touting their websites ability to create meaningful connections across vast distances. At the end of the day, we are human beings that connect best when we can meet in person rather than on a video call or messaging board. That being said, if your local resources are limited then online may be the best way to go with the intent of meeting in person at a later date. There are countless communities for music production available online that can help you with learning, growth, feedback, and occasionally maybe even collaboration opportunities.
Trial and error is one of the best ways to learn, however it is important to avoid common pitfalls and beginner mistakes that may be holding you back and eating away at your inspiration, such as too much reverb or squashed tracks from compression on every track. Indeed, it is important to get as much feedback from as many varied sources as possible and sift through the responses to get the information you need and online communities are one of the many options available. Keep in mind that the internet is a volatile place, and while many people may have good intentions they can come across as harsh or uncaring at times. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, something can be gained from the response even if it may not be directly applicable to the music. Remember that one of the most important and exciting aspects of being a musician is creating connections between people, sometimes from very different backgrounds. With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the top online communities for musicians and producers alike.
First up is the longstanding www.homerecording.com forum. Created in 2010, this site boasts a membership of over 100,000 and is used by those wanting to learn how to mix and record music in their own bedroom setup. It has individual boards for equipment and gear, programs such as Pro Tools and TASCAM, and a great board for feedback called the “MP3 Mixing Clinic.” Feedback is generally positive and they even have a board for new members to introduce themselves. With over 40 boards and some with their own sub-forums there is a plethora of options and knowledge to be gained at Home Recording from beginners and experts alike. It even has a section for working on Linux, as well as the standard MacOS and Windows. The only downsides are that it is a strictly online community and it is visually similar to old school forums from years past, but it is easy to navigate and the membership is free.
Sound On Sound [www.soundonsound.com] was originally a magazine publication founded in 1985, with its original launch on television program on The Tube via United Kingdoms Channel 4. It has since launched its own website with a substantial expansion in 2008 that added interviews, tech demonstrations, and podcasts among other features to the lineup. Similar in style to Home Recording’s forum style website, it has 15 boards to choose from including one specifically for remote collaboration. What makes SOS especially exciting is it’s long history through the years and the ability to read news, interviews, and historical events in the music industry since 1994 thanks to their digitization of their monthly magazine. Additionally, it has headers for current news, techniques, reviews, and advice for navigating the music business at the top of its page. While SOS does have its own messaging boards where new members can gather and introduce themselves, it also doubles as a vast resource of information for getting started in music technology with numerous articles, podcasts, and interviews to get you started. While it does offer a subscription to both online and print versions of its magazine, it is free to join the boards and start collaborating with artists around the world!
www.kvraudio.com is your one-stop shop for all things audio related. At first glance it may not seem like a place for building community, but after clicking on the drop-down menu you will find the forum with over 100 boards to choose from, ranging from music theory and sound design to those dedicated to specific products. It is a software powerhouse with regular updates to the latest plug-ins and programs available on the market, as well as its own store where you can browse products via operating system, plug-in format, or brand to name a few. It also has hundreds of deals with some products as much as 50% off. On the drop-down menu you will also find sections for newsletters, giveaways, industry interviews, music made by other KVR members, as well as special events such as the KVR developer challenge and readers’ choice awards. KVR is a great place to dive deeper into audio technology and once you gain a better understanding of the inner workings of digital music it can be a limitless tool for expanding your knowledge and career.
With its seemingly innocent, smiling, alien-like mascot named “Snoo,” www.reddit.com is the fourth most visited site in the United States and sixth in the world. As such, it has experienced its fair share of controversies since coming online in 2005. Nicknamed the “front page of the internet,” Reddit allows users to discuss things like news and content, no matter how niche the subject matter. If by some miracle you cannot find a forum—called subreddits on the site—dedicated to your subject matter, Reddit allows users to create their own to start building the community. As you might expect, this means there are countless numbers of subreddits on the site and it would be impossible to name each one related to music. Some, however, have become abandoned or archived due to low activity or breaking of the website rules. Below we will list and briefly discuss a few of the top subreddits best suited for musicians and producers.
r/music—A subreddit dedicated to everything music related. Because of its wide net and general range of topics, in addition to over 33 million members, it is not the best place to pose questions or get feedback for your work. It is, however, a great place to discover new music and gain insight on the general direction music may be heading.
r/audioengineering—This subreddit is all about the ins and outs of audio engineering and is a great place to gain a better understanding of your chosen DAW. It has a decently sized community of almost 600,000 users, enough to get answers to your questions but unlikely for your post to get lost in a sea of content.
r/wearethemusicmakers—One of the best places for independent artists to make connections and learn how to better your craft as a musician. It has almost 3 million members, with weekly threads on feedback and promotion. This is one of the better subreddits to get answers on mixing, mastering, and creating various styles of music
r/musictheory—Lost when it comes to knowing how to resolve a French augmented sixth chord in your latest composition? Or maybe you just want to learn what that funny symbol means in the piece of music you found online? This subreddit is a great resource for those new to music theory and others wishing to brush up on their knowledge. It has an active community of over 500,000 users, so you’re bound to have your questions answered by someone there.
The internet can be daunting at times with its wide range of topics and information, but wading through the mess doesn’t have to be difficult. With the links provided in this article you should be able to find your way through the noise to better understand your craft and ultimately yourself as a musician and person. Again, the best way is trial and error but everyone needs help from time to time. If you’re still having trouble, feel free to contact us at iFixYourMix for help with production, creation, or branding your business and we will be more than happy to help you get on your way to producing better music and self expression.