In this episode, I talk about how important speed is to everything you do as a musician/engineer. I also answer questions about deadlines, how I recorded the song “Mission” (see Mix Together), and how many projects to take on at once.

Click here for that Momentum article.

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If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m not a huge automation guy. I don’t like to “ride the fader” on every track in a session. I see the benefits of automation, and I certainly use it from time to time, but it’s not something I rely on heavily.

Part of it is simply laziness. (You can call it “minimalism” if that makes you feel better.) I tend to approach mixing with a sort of “Name That Tune” mindset. How few moves can I use to get a great mix? But it’s not efficiency for efficiency’s sake. In my experience minimalism ends up saving time AND being the best thing for the mix. My minimalist mixes sound great.

What does minimalism look like in action? It looks like getting a great-sounding mix with only the faders and pan knobs before ever reaching for an EQ or compressor. Minimalism keeps me from pulling up every track in solo and EQ-ing it to death. It forces me to think more about the big picture, to always have my eyes on the end game rather than getting bogged down in the details.

Details are important, to be sure. Sometimes you need to EQ a track to death. Sometimes you need to automate every vocal line to get it to sit on top of the mix just right.

Sometimes. Read more »

Up until recently, I don’t think I could have articulated this clearly. But now that I’m aware of it, it makes so. much. sense.

I’ve talked a lot over the years about the importance of finishing projects. In a very real sense, learning how to get better at recording and mixing music is pointless if you never actually finish something, release something. It’s a waste of time and money. Sure, there’s enjoyment in the process. It’s fun to get new equipment and learn new techniques. But be careful that you don’t become so caught up in learning over doing. To know how to produce an album and to actually release an album are two completely different things. They live in completely different universes.

First, the problem…

Before diving into the solution, I think we need to explore the problem for a minute first. Cool? Read more »

I’m writing this on a beautiful Saturday morning in the fall. Most people I know here in America sacrifice their Saturdays on the altar of college football.

Thus begins the season of life where I am in a perpetual state of feeling left out in most public conversations, because I don’t watch football.

I’ve got nothing against the sport. I actually love watching it. I played football in high school. We went to the state championship my junior year. But alas, I’ll probably watch one quarter of a football game all season.

Shift gears a bit. One of the cool things about running Home Studio Corner since 2009 is that I interact with a lot of cool home studio folks, most of them musicians. Wanna know one phrase I hear more than anything else?

“I just don’t have TIME.”

I can empathize. As a husband and father of three kids (including 3-year-old identical twin girls), I understand it. Time is short. There are a million things demanding your immediate attention. It can be difficult to make time to get in your studio and make some music.

As with most things, however, there are two sides to this story.  Read more »

[UPDATE – I’m on vacation this week, so there will be no Ask Joe podcast or videos this week. But here’s something for you to chew on this week.]

The beautiful thing about running a website for seven years is that everything I’ve said during that time is documented. This means if I ever change my mind and say something different, you’ll be able to find examples of me giving both opinions on the internet.

To me, that’s a cool thing. There’s no law that says you have to maintain the same consistent opinion for your entire live. Opinions evolve. We change. It’s fun to see how my approaches to recording and mixing and songwriting and life in general have changed over the years.

Three years ago I posted a video called “One of the Best Mixing Tips Ever.” Check it out here:

If you don’t feel like watching the video (and seeing thinner version of me with more hair), here’s the gist of the video: When you’re mixing a song, use a high-pass filter on every track but kick drum and bass. This will keep your mixes from becoming muddy.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

Read more »

I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t own a $500-million business, but I’ve managed to build a couple successful businesses over the last seven years.

Wanna know six words that used to annoy the crap out of me?


I hated hearing that sentence for a long time. Why? Because I didn’t know anybody. And nearly every music business success story I’ve heard first-hand starts with something like “I was hanging out at the studio playing on a random session, and I met X artist who just happened to be there, and he liked what I was playing so he asked me to go on tour with him.”

Or “I met this guy around town, and his bass player got sick and a mutual friend told him he should use me on that session…then he called me back a few weeks later to play on a major label recording session.”

So if you don’t know anybody, and everybody seems to say “It’s all about who you know,” then of course you’d be angry, right? Read more »