I’ve been debating telling you about this…

But I think there’s a valuable lesson here.

A few weeks ago in one of my daily emails, I mentioned that I sang in a friend’s wedding.

One guy replied to that email and essentially said, “No offense, but why would anyone hire you to sing in their wedding? You’re not a good singer.”

I replied to him that my dear friend Ben asked me to sing. I assume he likes my voice. Then I wrote:

“…but that’s the great thing about music, it’s a very subjective thing. Not everyone likes the Beatles or Justin Bieber, but there are a lot of people who do, and nobody’s wrong. :)”

Yes, there are many absolutes in the world…but not when it comes to music. Read more »

Play

This week I talk about working in short bursts vs ongoing, regular, consistent work. And in the questions section, I answer your questions about stuff like:

  • best practices for setting levels (for recording, mixing, and mastering)
  • how I mix my podcast
  • using EQ plugins during tracking (why it’s not necessarily wrong)
  • tips for getting great guitar tone in-the-box
  • mixing levels
  • compensating for hearing loss
  • EQ-ing reverb
  • setting up a reference track

This month over at Dueling Mixes we’re doing an acoustic-guitar-heavy rock tune. (Well, MY mix is acoustic-guitar heavy…it’s a unique approach to a rock mix. I liked it.)

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If you haven’t jumped on board yet, get all the mixing training and practice you need right here:

www.DuelingMixes.com

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Anyway, the acoustic guitar in this song is the only instrument that plays throughout the tune from start to finish. That’s why I gave it such a prominent place in the mix.

But there was something about the way the acoustic sounded.

It was too…pretty.

Normally, I’m all for a very clean, crisp acoustic guitar sound.

But this time I didn’t think it worked well for the song. So what did I do?

I dirtied it up.

I added some distortion to the acoustic.

No, it wasn’t a super-obvious, “hey that sounds like Iron Maiden” amount of distortion, but enough to change the tone to (in my opinion) really fit the song.

Who’da thunkit?

Distortion on acoustic.

That’s the thing about music, you’re always trying new stuff (or you should be). Never a dull moment.

To see my exact technique for “dirtying” up the acoustic guitar without completely ruining it, perhaps it’s time you became Dueling Mixes member.

It shouldn’t be fair that we have this much fun.

Come join us here:

www.DuelingMixes.com

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

Giving away stuff is super fun.

In case you missed it, everyone who bought a copy of Understanding Microphones in the last week was entered for a chance to win one of three microphones. I drew names over coffee this morning, and the winners are:

* Javier from Cincinnati, who won a CAD M179 multi-pattern condenser microphone

* Jim from Canada, who won a Shure SM57 dynamic microphone

* Ange from Australia, who won a Cascade FatHead ribbon microphone

Jim, Javier, and Ange, congratulations! You should have an email from me to work out where to ship these mics.

Speaking of giving away things… Read more »

I read a great article about Jerry Seinfeld recently.

(You know, the millionaire comedian, best known for his leading role as Barry B. Benson in Bee Movie…Okay, maybe he created a TV show too?)

As the story goes, Jerry was asked by an up-and-coming comedian for any tips.

Jerry told him that the key to comedy was writing better jokes, and the key to writing better jokes was to write every day.

He told the guy to buy a big wall calendar. Every day he sat down and wrote, he could put a big ol’ X on the calendar for that day. The goal was to string together a few consecutive days, creating a big chain of X’s.

Then the goal simply becomes “don’t break the chain.”

Jerry could have told him anything.

“Study the greats.”

“Go to lots of comedy shows.”

“Watch ‘Seinfeld.’”

But he told him to just…write.

So what does that mean for you and me?

If we want to make better recordings, better mixes, better music, we’ve gotta get into some sort of routine. Read more »

Play

This week I talk about my top microphone mistakes, plus I introduce you to my brand new tutorial product, Understanding Microphones.

I also answer questions about things like:
  • “checking” mixes in mono vs actually mixing in mono
  • what I look for in a mic stand (and how to make ‘em last a long time)
  • the number one reason why you shouldn’t master your songs in your mixing session (and it’s not what you think)
  • preventing ear fatigue
  • why you shouldn’t only mix on earbuds (read this great article from Ian Shepherd)
  • headphone mix basics
  • fun way to maintain consistency when mixing an album

Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

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