Joshua Au-Yeung is the author of The Music Producer’s Ultimate Guide to FL Studio 20, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Joshua: Music Producing and Soundtrack Composing
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Joshua: I started out producing music, scoring short films and being actively involved in the Canadian music scene. After a few years I created several best selling online courses teaching music production and film scoring. Sometimes the best way to learn is through the written word though, so this book to help musicians up their music production skills.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Joshua: I’ve been teaching music production through online courses for a few years now, so the book was the natural next step. Packt reached out to me because of my online courses. If you want to write a nonfiction book about a subject, creating online courses might be a good first step for an aspiring author.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Joshua: There were a lot of issues dealing with images for the book. It turns out, there’s this little setting in word documents that’s turned on by default and downscales the resolution of all your images. If you’re making a book and don’t know about this setting, this feature will ruin every single one of your images. Long story short, I had to make this book twice. Once the first time, and then a second time to recreate all the images used.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Joshua: This book introduces readers to the best of the best music production technologies currently in the market. Music production software has improved leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. Producing music now easier to do than it has ever been. Creating music is fun, accessible to anyone, affordable, and a really enjoyable experience for musicians.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Joshua: If you’re a musician or a wannabe musician and/or took a class, you’re no doubt swamped by music theory and lingo but still don’t know how to efficiently produce songs like those you hear on the radio. This book bridges that gap. This book provides practical step by step explanations to tools of the trade to produce and release music like the pros. Its not some high level discussion, in this book you will actually learn exactly what tools you can use and what they do. The concepts in this book will be applicable regardless what music production software you choose to use.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Joshua: By the end of the book, the reader will know how to compose, mix and master, market, and publish their own music. They’ll be able to make money off their music. They’ll also know how to use lots of really cutting edge music production tools and software.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Joshua: I think learning technology from a theoretical perspective is pointless. Its hard and you don’t remember what you learned. I think the only way to learn anything technology related is to build stuff. If you actually want to get good at a technology, build something with the tech. I’m in a business producing songs with technology. It took producing over a hundred songs before getting to a level where I feel I knew what I was doing and even now there’s a lot I still have yet to learn. The point is, you can’t learn everything and you won’t remember most of the stuff. So just go out and create the best thing that you can with what you have, and do it over and over again. After you’ve failed a few dozen times you’ll get the hang of it.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Joshua: chestersky.com has online courses to learn music production.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Joshua: Packt has been overall a good experience.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Joshua: Learning about the latest software is important in that you use good tools, but you pick them up relatively quickly and then it becomes second nature. In music production, once you get to a certain level, you can listen to a song and break it down in your head how you would recreate it if you were to do it yourself. So I’m always checking out songs from musicians to see what cool stuff they’ve come up with and incorporating that into my own practice. The experts are often the creators of the hottest songs out at the moment.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Joshua: I thought about what are all the things I’d want if I wanted to become a music producer from reading one book and knew nothing. Then I wrote down all the information in the way that I’d learn best.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Joshua: Its really hard to learn or write about something that bores you. Its so much easier and enjoyable to learn and write about stuff that interests you. If you’re excited about a subject, you naturally start asking the right questions and learning all the things you need to learn to get good. If you’re thinking of writing a book, pick something that you really like.
You can find Joshua’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here