Almost 180 article-related working hours and more than 37000 words later, we can celebrate all together the anniversary of the 50th blog article here on albrechtproductions.net that is followed by hundreds of loyal and new readers each month from across the globe. The blog includes weekly published articles covering debates about the music industry's topics, audio equipment, music recommendations, motivation and tips for young professionals of the creative industries and news about AP's recent projects. It is aimed to cover various topics and to satisfy everyone from the different reader groups of albrechtproductions.net - from the interested music consumer to the professional of the creative industries. We collected a bunch of questions asked via e-mail and Instagram and let Benjamin, Founder of AlbrechtProductions, answer them. Enjoy!
Q&A With Benjamin Albrecht
1 - How did you come up with the idea to start writing blog articles?
Benjamin: I often have various topics in my mind that I want to discuss or talk about. Also, I noticed that I frequently gave recommendations and suggestions to friends, friends of friends or colleagues regarding audio-related topics such as audio equipment and production techniques, but also about how to work focused and efficient in a very organised manner, meet deadlines effortless and manage teams of sometimes "difficult" characters like creatives or IT developers from different cultures. Therefore, I just tried to write the first article in April 2017. I enjoyed the work and recognised afterwards that people started reading it.
2 - What was your most successful blog article until now and why?
Benjamin: Until now, the biggest success of AP's blog is the article "Hackintosh v2 – Thunderbolt 3 & UA Apollo Interface" from November 2018. It is about a self-built computer running Apple's Mac OS optimised for professional audio production using then-state-of-the-art components. I was calling it "updating" my previously built Hackintosh from 2014, but to be honest, it was more or less starting from scratch with this new computer. I guess the article is successful because it features the latest Thunderbolt version and Universal Audio's new generation of Apollo audio interfaces. I would say that the biggest desire of someone who plans to build a Hackintosh is to get running Thunderbolt as it would an original Mac do. And I was achieving exactly that with my second Hackintosh build.
3 - Do you work as producer full-time? If not, would you like to do it?
Benjamin: No, I do not work full-time as music producer. I work in the IT industry for years, and I enjoy it. It is like my second home besides music, and in general, I like to be more versatile. Also, I realised a lot of similarities between working with musicians and developers in a project environment. As previously mentioned, both are often unique characters, and you need to know how to communicate and tread them to get the best results out of their skills and resulting work. I definitively like that challenge - especially when I see great results at the end of the day. Would I like to work full-time as a producer? Yes of course, if I could earn a living with such work and be happy doing so. Perhaps the best solution could be to combine both music and IT in one job. Nevertheless, I am happy right now with the current situation to have both things more separated.
4 - How could you describe yourself as a musician?
Benjamin: I would say that my focus lies on rhythm and that this is my real strength. I am not so good at writing melodies, harmonies or lyrics. Indeed, I like to share my melody ideas or lyrical phrases with the team during songwriting, but I am sure that others are far better than me working on such song elements. It is most enjoyable for me to create a draft based on drums, bass and guitar on which other musicians jam and build on to get a lovely, finished song.
5 - What would you never do as a musician?
Benjamin: If I were a signed musician, I never would give the label or managers the full control over how I am presented in public. From my point of view, their job is to optimise and to support your character and public image, not to entirely change and manipulate it to their needs or current trends. Besides, I would never release music as an artist I do not like or fully stand behind just because someone holds the opinion that I need to do because of certain trends or something else.
6 - What was your most embarrassing moment as a musician?
Benjamin: (giggles) It was back in high school, and I was playing the drums at a school's concert. You need to know that the venue had a horrible acoustic and we used only two wedges for monitoring the entire band. Unfortunately, I did not own the super fancy in-ear monitors in those days as I do now. On the mentioned day, it just happened that I could not hear the rest of the band anymore although the monitor was cranked up to the max. I was completely isolated from the rest of the band and only could hear myself playing. Questions like "Are we still playing together?" and "Did we lose the beat already?" popped up in my mind and I was panicking. All I can say is that this situation was extremely embarrassing because it was a failure of the equipment and the tech team and not necessarily a lack of the musicians' skills. But in those moments, the audience does not care about the reasons and is probably just disappointed, or even angry, because of your horrible performance. To sum up, that situation taught me how crucial proper monitoring is for live performances. (laughs)
7 - With whom would you like to collaborate?
Benjamin: I am quite open regarding collaborations with artists. I mean, the chemistry should be right, and of course, you should share the same objective or vision to get the best results. I am more specific when I am thinking about my desired producer collaborations. It would be awesome to collaborate with legends such as Mark Ronson, Rick Rubin and Pharrell Williams or to have them as mentor one day. That would mean so much to me... (thoughtful)
8 - What do you expect from your collaborators?
Benjamin: As already mentioned, good chemistry and shared vision is a fundament for a successful production. I take the collaborator's professionalism for granted. I assume them to be punctual, hard-working, focused and delivering high quality. Moreover, I prefer collaborators to be communicative professionally and directly. The best collaborations were those where we complemented each other.
9 - Which brands for audio equipment can you recommend?
Benjamin: (sighs) This a very broad question. It does not make any sense that I go through a list of brands with you without any explanation and further details. I regularly address audio equipment and brands in my blog, so it would make more sense to search for the specific topic you are looking for. If you cannot find it here, just let us know, and we maybe will talk about it in one of our future articles.
10 - Why are you all the time so focused on getting things done in-time and in an efficient way?
Benjamin: Working full-time in the office, running music projects and managing teams, having several hobbies and trying to spend time with your beloved ones and your business network contacts on top of that is a real challenge even if you are organised and plan your day in detail as I do. Because we cannot change the duration of a day, it is up to us that we do the best and most possible out of it. If you internalise this fact, you would understand why I act this way. I have ambitious objectives, and I cannot reach them if I am unfocused, unorganised, missing deadlines and do not optimise my efficiency.
Did you like that Q&A session with AP's founder Benjamin Albrecht? Do you have further questions? Feel free to send us those via email, social media channels or leave a comment below :)