Across the Room and Under a Microscope

One of my buddies from college released an EP last year. His name is Seth Talley.

I attended the release party at a cool studio in Franklin, where they recorded a few live acoustic versions of the songs with a bunch of folks gathered around. It was sweet.

Being the dutiful friend that I am, I promptly forgot to buy the EP. Fast forward a few months, and I finally remembered, and I headed over to Amazon and snagged it up.

I ordered it right at the end of the workday, so I couldn’t listen to it in the studio. Instead, I played it on our little Bose system in our kitchen area while we got ready to eat dinner. (more…)

The Number One No-No of Recording

When you run a blog about home recording for almost eight years, it’s easy to get away from the basics. But as any football coach or guitar teacher will tell you, fundamentals are crucial.

Whether you’re new to recording and haven’t recorded a single note or you’ve recorded a thousand songs, you need the fundamentals. Today I want to expand on one of the most basic principles for recording. It’s so stinkin’ easy to forget about this one, but it truly is the unforgivable sin of recording.

But first a story…


2016 in Review and Planning for 2017

Every year I like to reflect back on the year and see what lessons I learned. It’s helpful to look at the big picture sometimes, and it helps me look forward to next year. So…off we go:


2016 was an interesting year for me. Lots of great things happened, and I also worked through some less-than-great things. Here are a few highlights, lessons I learned in 2016:

Lesson #1 – Putting Yourself Out There Works

As you may recall, I want to play a show at Ryman Auditorium one day. It’s a ridiculously big goal for a guy like me. I honestly have no idea if I will ever achieve the goal, but thinking about it regularly helps me figure out what the next step is for me. I can’t get to the Ryman in a year, but I can figure out what the next step is supposed to be.

Here’s how it’s worked so far. (more…)

5 Ways to Spend that Christmas Cash

Merry Day-After-Christmas!

If you’re like me, your family never knows what to get you for Christmas. Oftentimes they just hand you a wad of cash and mumble something about music and Santa and merry something…

If that’s you today, I’ve put together a fairly random but interesting list of ideas of inexpensive goodies to buy for your studio.

These are all things I own or am thinking about buying very soon.

Here we go… (more…)

Four Studio Challenges for Your Holiday Break


I love a good challenge.

I decided to take the last two weeks of the year off, and it’s been great. Lots of family time. And I’ve played a lot of Minecraft. (I know, I know…make fun of me if you like.) If you’re not familiar with the game, Minecraft is a simple world where you collect resources and build things. It’s one of those games where there’s no real “point” to playing, other than being creative.

(Sometimes your home studio can feel the same way, a place where you can be creative, but you never actually DO anything.)

I wanted to create a new world in Minecraft, but I quickly realized that without some sort of challenge, I would get bored. I would build a little house, start up a little wheat/cow farm, mine for a few diamonds, and Zzzzzzzzz… (more…)

The Incredible Self-Balancing Musician

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10.49.03-amI’m re-watching the TV series/rockumentary Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways on Amazon. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. Each song on the album is based on a different city in the US, and they recorded each song in each of those cities. Each episode of the show is about that particular town, and the history of music there. Super inspiring stuff.

On Episode 5 (the Los Angeles episode), the band heads out to a studio located outside of LA in the desert. It’s called Rancho de la Luna studio. It’s basically just a small house with a bunch of studio equipment in it, but the vibe is incredible.

Because of the lack of space (much like a typical home studio), musicians are forced to play in close quarters, and something magical happens. (more…)

I Wish I’d Thought of This Earlier

So much goes into making great mixes. Of course, you need good songs and good recordings, but once you start mixing a song, it’s easy to lose perspective. A second set of ears comes in handy. Big time.

I’ve been running my VIP membership for years. One of the foundational components of it was mix critiques. At this point I’ve critiqued hundreds of mixes for my members. Once a month we have a little live-streaming mix critique party, where I’ll critique as many mixes as I can in an hour.

The way I approach critiques is to listen like it’s one of my projects. When something stands out to me, I hit pause and make suggestions. By the end of the critique, I’ve handed out a virtual to-do list for the person, things that need to change to make the mix better. (more…)