Q and A with Finn McKenty of CreativeLiveMarch 11, 2014
Finn McKenty has his hands in a lot of areas of music from working with CreativeLive, to writing for Metal Sucks. Check out what Finn had to say when we asked him about his many talents.
BS: You’re a busy man. What all do you do?
FM: I’m the channel head for the Music & Audio channel on CreativeLive.com — http://creativelive.com/audio. I also write for a bunch of websites and have a stupid joke band called Enpedestalment.
BS: What made you want to work with CreativeLive?
FM: Recording school, forums and Youtube are great for what they are, but when it comes to learning the REAL WORLD techniques that studios use to make the records you love, there was really nowhere you could go for that. If you wanted to learn stuff like high-end drum editing and sample layering or how to record and mix high-gain guitars, you had to either piece it together from forum posts and your own trial-and-error or intern at one of the studios. I loved the idea of building a platform where we could give DIY musicians access to those techniques, straight from the mouths of producers who use them every day.
Also, I’ve known the co-founder, Chase Jarvis (http://chasejarvis.com) for about 15 years. He’s a great friend and a great businessman, so anything he’s involved with is something I want to be involved with too.
BS: How has the company been going for you?
FM: I mean, I get paid to work with people like Big Chocolate, Kurt Ballou and Matt Halpern and companies like Toontrack, Alternative Press, and MetalSucks… I really can’t complain about that! Obviously there are challenges like in any other business, but at the end of the day I have an amazing job and I know a lot of other people would kill to be in my shoes.
BS: What is CreativeLive?
FM: CL produces education for creative professionals. We have 5 channels.
BS: What is your favorite class you’ve set up?
That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child!! I’m so proud of them all haha. I sincerely think that they’re all great but if I had to pick one, it would be Jesse Cannon’s “Fundamentals Of Mixing Rock & EDM” class (http://www.creativelive.com/courses/fundamentals-mixing-rock-and-edm-jesse-cannon ). Jesse has worked under some of the greatest people in the business (Ross Robinson, Steve Evetts and Alan Douches/Westwestside Music) and it shows— he is just on another level in terms of knowledge. Making great mixes is all about mastering the basics, and that’s what this class is all about.
BS: From what you’ve seen, what is the most challenging thing to teach/learn on CreativeLive?
FM: The main thing with recording is that there is no one thing that is “The Secret.” A great recording is, in the words of Alan Douches, “an accumulation of subtleties.” It’s the product of a million little decisions that all add up to something great— everything from what kind of strings you use on the guitars to what kind of sticks the drummer is using to mic placement, what kind of EQ plugin you use to the gain structure in your mix… they ALL matter, and that’s the toughest thing to communicate without overwhelming people.
BS: How can people become involved with CreativeLive as a teacher and/or student?
FM: If you want to teach on CL, you can hit me up directly— firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to be in our in-studio audience, we’d love to have you! You can learn more about what it’s like to be a student and sign up here: http://www.creativelive.com/front-row
BS: You’re also a writer on Metal Sucks, and Stuff You’ll Hate. What is it you like about writing about music?
FM: My basic approach to writing about music is “making fun of stuff I like.” Like how when you get together with your friends, you bust each others balls about stuff and make fun of each other, because that’s what guys do when they hang out. So to me, writing about music is a fun way for me to draw attention to stuff I like and make fun of my friends— good times!
BS: What type of pieces are the most fun for you to write?
FM: My favorite thing is giving some recognition to smaller bands who don’t get as much love as they should— for example A Memoria Brooded ( http://www.metalsucks.net/2013/07/08/oh-my-goddamn-sht-a-memoria-brooded-is-heavy-sludgewave/ ). I also love it when I say that a band is going to be the next big thing, and I turn out to be right haha— for example my friends in Issues ( http://www.metalsucks.net/2013/04/17/issues-the-band-that-finally-gets-nu-metal-right/ ). I said they were going to be big, and a year later they debuted at #9 on Billboard. Boom! [we called that one too!]
BS: What are your goals for 2014?
FM: I want CL’s audio channel to be the #1 place in the world to learn how to make music: songwriting, mixing, engineering, and mastering. I’m super proud of the work we’ve done so far, and I think we can make that happen before the end of the year!
BS: Anything else you’d like to add?
FM: We have music production classes streaming free 24/7, so check out our channel guide at http://www.creativelive.com/calendar and tune in!