Is Football Worth It?

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.  (more…)

I Was Wrong About This

[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.


6 Annoying Words

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? (more…)

This Vocal Track is Ticking Me Off

I worked one two mixes today. One is shaping up nicely. The other is making me wish I had some hair to pull out.

Instrumentally the mix sounds great. Punchy drums, big guitars. Thick bass. All is well in the land. But the lead vocal is KILLING ME.

This is a track I produced, so I’m the one who recorded the vocal, and I even swapped out microphones to get a better sound (you know, GIRATS and all), but it’s not coming together for me…at least not without a fight.

So what did I do? (more…)

Mixing & Beards

I couldn’t help myself.

You may have noticed I’ve been growing quite the beard over the last month or so. I let it go on as long as I could, but it’s time to say goodbye for now.

Like most dudes, I couldn’t just shave it off without having a little fun, so I’ve been walking around the house today looking like this:


Pam is THRILLED with it, by the way. 🙂

Why the heck am I sharing this with you? (Other than to give myself yet another thing to regret in my life?)

Because shaving a beard and mixing a song are really quite similar. (more…)

I Almost Died

Okay, not quite.

I played basketball tonight for the first time in years. So glad we only played half-court. Full-court would’ve killed me.

I’m out of shape. My feet are killing me, and I had a blast. 🙂

The thing about basketball is it doesn’t take a ton of skill to play poorly. I played in high school (all-conference, baby), but I’m not (I repeat NOT) all that great. I’m a mediocre player at best.

Here’s the fun part. If I get in better shape, and if I play regularly, I could be a much better player than I am today.

Guess what, pumpkin? Same thing is true for working on music and audio. (more…)

Do. Fail. Repeat.

Man, this isn’t what I was planning to write today, but it popped in my head, and I can’t shake it.

I go through seasons of watching a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk videos. I’m listening to his Ask Gary Vee audiobook right now. While there’s plenty he says that I don’t agree with, I kept seeing this phrase pop up in some of his videos:

Do. Fail. Repeat.

I friggin’ LOVE that. Especially after yesterday’s episode of Ask Joe, where I talked about getting fired by a client.

Most people have a major aversion to anything painful or uncomfortable. “Avoid pain. Maximize pleasure.” are words they live by. But is pain such a bad thing? Could you make an argument that pain is a GOOD thing?


Why Speed Matters

photo-1466196390423-fe0b175e30faYou may have seen that I’m running a special discount this week on my really fun Speed Mixing course. Click here to check it out. I’ve put together some cool bundles, including an option to have me mix one of YOUR songs AND record the whole thing on video for CHEAP. (These offers goes away on Friday, so place your order before then.)

Before you check out Speed Mixing, though, you and I need to have a little chat.

“What’s with the emphasis on speed, Joe?” you might ask.

Speed isn’t everything, but it IS important.

I make music because I want to express myself, connect with others, and have an impact. I can’t do any of those things without finishing and releasing music.

The most common complaint I hear from people is that they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to finish projects they start. If that’s true of you, that you don’t have much time for music, and you struggle to make the best use of that time, then becoming faster at your craft is almost an absolute necessity.