But what are those specific things that you are really good at in the studio? And what are the things that you’re not-so-good at?
If you remember that old TV show called “The Weakest Link”, at the end of the show this British lady would stand up and say, “Joe, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.”
That poses an interesting question. What should you do with the weaknesses that you have in your studio, in your abilities as a recording engineer? Let’s think about that.
So chances are you are well aware of what your weaknesses are in the studio. Or perhaps you’re not. Take a few minutes to think about the last project that you worked on.
What were the things that came really easy to you? What were the things that were most difficult? Which parts of the process do you really enjoy, and which parts are really tedious and boring?
The idea here is to identify those weaknesses, so at least you know what they are and can decide what to do with them. More on that below.
Once you’ve looked at what your weaknesses are, focus on what your strengths are in the studio.
For me, I’m very good at coming up with guitar parts, especially acoustic guitar. I’m also good at arrangement, coming up with creative ways to flesh out a song in the recording process.
Those are just a few examples of things I really enjoy and I’m also good at. I also love to sing and come up with really nice harmony background vocals. Those are things I’m good at and also passionate about.
Focus on your strengths.
Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, a lot of people will tell you to focus on those weaknesses and get better at them. If you’re not good at programming drums then you should spend 10 hours a week perfecting that craft and learning how to do it better.
Or if you’re not good at recording acoustic guitar, they say you should spend lots of time learning how to record acoustic guitar. I get that. And there is some truth there. You should learn to improve those skills that you’re not very good at.
However, I suggest that you focus on your strengths, those things that you are really good at. Focus on those, and do your best to improve those.
If it’s something you are passionate about, you’re going to improve in leaps and bounds, as opposed to something you don’t really care about.
And, if there are certain things that you don’t like to do, think about outsourcing those. If you don’t like editing, pay somebody $20 to edit a track for you. It will save you time and it will be something that you didn’t really want to do to begin with. Next thing you know you have a nice, edited track that only cost you $20 and zero minutes of your time.
I know this is fairly philosophical and somewhat outside the norm here on HSC, but it’s something to think about. If there are things you love to do and things you hate to do, do the things you love, and find somebody else to do the things you hate.
What do you think? Are you willing to “outsource” certain parts of the production process to make your life easier?