BooksToday is my 500th post here on HSC. Five hundred…wow. I feel like I’m just getting started. 🙂

So today I’m taking a bit of a break. I want to hear from you. You notice how there’s a little comment section below this blog post? I want you to scroll down there and leave a comment. Here’s what I want you to tell us. Tell us one of the biggest things you’ve learned since you started your recording journey.

It can be something you learned here on HSC or another website. It can be something you came up with all on your own. Anything. The idea here is to have a big long list of cool recording tips and tricks that YOU use to get great results.

Let’s make this an epic list. Even if you don’t normally leave a comment, make an exception for today. 🙂

A Quick Thank You

I wouldn’t be at 500 posts if you did hang out here on HSC. I would have quit a long time ago if nobody showed up. Thanks for showing up.

And for those of you brave souls who have purchased one of my training videos or attended one of my classes, special thanks to you.

I’ll Go First

You may be stumped as to what to write below. I’ll share a couple of the “biggies” that I’ve learned over the years:

  • High-Pass Filter – If ever there was a magic pill for your mixes, this one is it.
  • Get it right at the source. – Every time I want to rush through recording just to be able to “fix it in the mix,” I have to slap myself and remember how important (and fun) the recording process can be.
  • Know your weaknesses. I really enjoy “outsourcing” parts of the recording process to people who are better than me. I sold my bass a long time ago, because I’m a mediocre bass player at best. I’d much rather pay my brother-in-law Joel to play on a track than hack through it myself. Same with Travis on drums. It’s better for the song…and it’s fun to work with other creative people.

Your Turn…

  • Paul Dews

    Don’t panic! If your song is strong and is still exciting you then you can get a good mix eventually. Just make sure you’ve got all your parts recorded well and don’t hesitate to go back and re-record if you have the slightest doubt about the tracking quality. Also, turn your computer monitor screens off when listening back to a mix and turn the lights down low. This will help you to listen to the song rather than watching any possible mistakes you might make on the screen. Enjoy! Cheers, Paulus.

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  • Christopher Gunlock

    What a great idea!

    I haven’t been doing this for too long, but one thing that I KNOW that has been working for me is to remember to keep things subtle. I started out compressing and EQing the hell out of everything, but only making things worse. I discovered that some of the best things to do to a mix are hard to hear unless you listen very carefully. A good recording shouldn’t need too much of anything, but a little bit of this and that could make it sound it’s best. Art is definitely like this everywhere: you start with something that comes out fast and big, then you take a step back and make minor adjustments to refine it to perfection.

    This, by no means, is an easier approach to audio engineering. Hearing those little tweaks takes a lot of focus!

    Hope that helps!

    • SUCH good advice, Christopher. A lot of little adjustments over the course of a project add up to a huge difference. One BIG change after the other almost always hurts things. Thanks for sharing!

      • Christopher Gunlock

        Well put, Joe.

  • Kurt

    Hi Joe,

    only recently I came across your website and I’m thrilled….the stuff you share is really awesome. it’s not only very educational but also inspiring…thanks a lot and all the best

    • Thanks Kurt!! See you around the site.

  • Erik Helbl

    I could say that I have learned everything from you, but I especially learned a lot of both theoretical and practical stuff from your “31 Days to better Recordings”
    Thanks a lot for sharing all this with us, I look foreward to the next 500 posts.
    Big hugs to you and your family from Erik (Sweden)

    • Thanks Erik! I’m glad to know my recording advice still applies in Sweden. 🙂

  • Jason

    Congrats on the 500th post! Websites like HSC, Recording Revolution, and Silverlake Studios have taught me that it isn’t all about expensive gear in expensive studios, and that you can make great recordings with what you have. Shedding the elitist stigma that tends to shroud the recording world truly was/is half the battle. Just listening to the tracks you guys edit in the tutorial videos is proof and a HUGE inspiration. So a big thanks to you, Graham and Travis for inspiring us to make great music, no matter what!

    • Thanks Jason. I’m definitely in good company. Travis and Graham are awesome.

  • Spencer Polwort

    1. G.A.S.
    2. Patience
    3. Right tools for the job
    4. More than one way to do things
    5. Listen, Listen, Listen
    6. Learn, Learn, Learn
    7. Room treatment; gotta have it
    8. Good mic (at least one);gotta have it
    9. Read, Read, Read
    10. Repeat steps 1-9 🙂

  • Shovon

    tell us more about compression (for free…lol).. :p