Tiger Woods is laughing at you.

Remember that book* I mentioned yesterday?

I think these guys and I were cut from the same cloth.

They’re talking about starting a business, and how so many people focus on the wrong things, spending money on things they don’t really need rather than focusing on building a profitable business.

(That reminds me of the show “Parks & Recreation.” Did you see the one where Tom and Jean Ralphio start a company called Entertainment 720? Haha. They spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a really awesome facility with all sorts of things like a real caged tiger, free iPads to anyone who visits, and 6-figure salaries for the employees who literally sit around all day and play video games. They had no method of generating income, and they went out of business fast.)

Anyway…back to the book.

They talked about how the tools don’t matter nearly as much as the talent of the person using them.

They said if you handed Tiger Woods a set of crappy golf clubs, he would still OWN you on the golf course.

It’s the same in the studio, too. (more…)

The Sharpie Technique

I started reading a pretty cool book* this week.

It’s one of those business books we entrepreneur nerds love so much.

Anyhoo, the authors are talking about their successes in building a pretty big stinkin’ company.

One thing they talked about is what I call “The Sharpie Technique.”

They said that when they first come up with an idea for a new product or feature, they only let themselves use a sharpie to draw up ideas (as opposed to a pen).

Why a sharpie?

Because you can’t get very detailed or specific with a sharpie.

You can draw boxes and arrows, and you can label things, but you can’t get down to the nitty gritty.

And that’s a good thing, because there’s no need to focus on the small details until you’ve figured out the big picture. (Why obsess over the design and color of a website before you even know what the website is about? See?)

How can you apply the Sharpie Technique to your work in your studio? (more…)

Got a case of the BGV’s

Getting this email to you a bit later today, because I’ve been in the studio all day.

Finished up tracking electric guitars for my album. There was one song with a cool instrumental section with an interesting key change. I tried a bunch of different guitar parts, and was somewhat happy with it, when my brain whispered in my ear, “BGV’s….”

Ah, that’s right. Thank you, brain.

So I proceeded to whip out my SM7B mic and sing 8 tracks of background vocals, essentially singing the same guitar parts I just recorded, plus adding two more parts to it.


Me love it.

You can take a listen to the parts here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait. (more…)

Podcasting [Behind the Scenes]

Got an entertaining question after the last episode of the Simply Recording Podcast.

The listener knew that I live in Nashville and Graham lives in Tampa. He was asking how Graham’s voice sounds so clear on the podcast, since we use Skype to talk to each other as we podcast.

He thought I was recording Graham’s voice over Skype.

The way it works is like this. We just listen to each other over Skype, and we each record our own voices in our studios. Then Graham’s sends me his recording, I sync it up with mine, edit the podcast, mix it, and put it out for all you lovely people to hear.

That got me thinking. (more…)

Pro Guitarist Takes Recording by the Horns

I love this.

One of my new VIP members, Thom Daugherty, is a pro guitarist. He’s toured with a bunch of cool acts, and in the last few years he’s gotten into mixing.

He left this comment in the VIP forums the other day:

“The only reason I wanted to learn how to mix was because I decided it’d be the only way the things that I produced would come out sounding the way I’d envisioned when it was all said and done.  In the year and a half that I spent on the road, I read every article I could get my hands on, and bought a lot of tutorials, but Joe’s Understanding EQ and Understanding Compression are the ones that made this entire thing make sense to me.  I’ve learned a TON from Joe.”

I love his reason for learning how to mix. He wanted to take matters into his own hands.

He’s taking the proverbial bull by the horns, rather than being a musician who relies on someone else to get great recordings. (more…)

An “Ah-ha” Moment

Sorry I’m late getting this to you today.

I’ve been busy mixing and getting things ready for tomorrow. It’s the first of the month, which means all new multi-tracks, tutorial videos, and other goodies over at Dueling Mixes.

What’s that? You haven’t checked it out yet?

You really should. I think you’d love it.

Details here:


Anyhoo…I had an interesting “ah-ha” moment this week.

As I mentioned a week or so ago, I’ve been experimenting with doing some mixing through my StudioLive mixer, rather than mixing entirely “in the box.”

I discovered something really interesting. (more…)

25-Year-Old Piece of Gear

I own a piece of gear that is 25 years old, and it still works.

Granted, it’s ugly, and I’ve had to have some work done on it from time to time, but it still works juuuuuust fine.

What is it?

The HVAC unit on my house. (Haha. Gotcha.)

See, we’re planning to move into a bigger house in a few months, so we’re getting ready to put our house on the market. And that means getting the HVAC unit checked out.

I knew it was old, but I just found out that it was made in 1988.


(The guy who installed it was probably listening to “Groovy Kind of Love” while he worked.)

But you know what? (more…)

4-Step Listening Check

Today I’m gonna share with you something that could literally transform your mixes.

It’s something I learned from my good buddy Graham Cochrane (who co-runs Dueling Mixes with me).

It’s what Graham calls the “4-Step Listening Check.”

When you’re nearing the end of your mix, put the mouse down and just sit there and listen to your mix, using the following “methods.”

  1. The Low-Level Listen
  2. The Cheap Speaker Listen (Or as I like to call it, “The Crappy Speaker Listen”)
  3. The Tiny Headphone Listen
  4. The Open Door Listen (more…)