Why Workflow Matters (and Why It Doesn’t)

Here’s some great advice I got…

Last year I was interviewing Jon Tidey (of Audio Geek Zine and The Home Recording Show) for a product I was putting together.

We mostly talked about editing.

Now I had been using Pro Tools for years, but I had never really gotten into the “keyboard focus” stuff. (That’s essentially when you put Pro Tools in a certain mode, and keyboard shortcuts get even shorter.)

In other words, you can press just one key to do a specific task, rather than holding down a modifier AND pressing a key.

The two big ones that Jon shared with me were for zooming in and out and separating a region. (more…)

Develop “The Twitch” (How the Save Button Can Save Your Butt)

I’ve got a twitch, an involuntary “tick.”

But it wasn’t always involuntary. In fact, I used to be twitch-free. But I trained myself over the years to have this twitch.

Now you may be wondering why someone would willingly develop a twitch. What kind of idiot is this guy? …you may be saying to yourself.

A. Yes, I’m an idiot, but that’s not the point.

B. My twitch has saved my butt more times than I could count.

Do you have a twitch? (more…)

MY Steps for Recording a Song (plus a BIG announcement)

Steps to the Round BarnLast week I asked what YOUR steps are for recording a song. Thanks to everyone who chimed in. There were a lot of great responses (and yes, I read every one of them). 🙂

Over the next week or so, I want to share with you the steps that I take to record a song from start to finish. This may seem very elementary to you, but I’m convinced that taking a big picture approach to recording is one of the best ways to make sure you actually finish your projects.

I get lots of email from a lot of great home studio folks like yourself. One common theme comes up. People love tinkering with studio toys, but the vast majority don’t actually finish their songs.  (more…)

3 Home Studio Nightmares to Avoid

halloweenYou know I couldn’t let Halloween go by without some sort of Halloween-themed post, right? Right.

I’ve had plenty of “scary moments” over the years in my studio. After all, you put your blood, sweat, and tears into the thing, an it definitely hurts when things don’t go exactly as planned.

If you’re just starting out, here are a few things you want to avoid as much as possible. If you’ve been recording for years, you should read this too and make sure you’re not getting lazy. Any of these can happen, and most of them are avoidable. (more…)

Stop Reading This Website

Where the rubber meets the roadAn HSC reader over in the UK contacted me for an interview. He’s working on a school project about the music industry and wanted to chat with me about home recording technology and how it’s impacted music as a whole.

During the course of the interview, James was asking about the types of people who visit this website, and what they’re goals and intentions are with recording. As we talked about you, dear reader, James asked an interesting question. He asked if I thought that learning about recording, researching techniques, reading articles, watching videos, etc. could potentially inhibit people from getting better. The answer? Absolutely. (more…)

The Wrong Way to Set Deadlines

analog clockI’ve got a confession to make.

I don’t always hit my recording deadlines. It’s true.

I’ve shared with you why it’s important to set deadlines, but if you don’t go about it the right way, your deadlines are just arbitrary dates…snatched out of thin air. They’ll come and go before you know it, and you won’t be any closer to your goals.

That said, you should accept the fact that you’re probably going to miss a deadline or two, especially if it’s self-imposed. The problem with self-imposed deadlines is that you can always talk yourself out of them. There’s no one there to hold you accountable.

When working with clients, it’s a little easier, because once you tell them a date, you know they’re expecting you to be finished by that date. (more…)

How to Collaborate Online

Are you a VIP member yet? If you like HSC, you’d love being a VIP member.

Each month we have a live “VIP Session,” where I cover all sorts of fun topics. This month we’re covering the topic of collaborating online with other musicians I’ve wrangled in the super-talented Travis Whitmore (make sure you check out his blog) to play drums on a track for me.

Travis doesn’t even live in the same state as me…but he’s playing drums on this song, and we’ll share with you how we go about making it work REALLY well. Plus, you’ll get to hear some pretty killer drum tracks, and even get a few drum mixing tips while we’re at it.

It’s all happening on Tuesday afternoon, and the recording will be available for all members.

Sound like fun? $5 gets you in. You’ll have access to all the previous VIP Session recordings AND the private members-only forum.

Go check it out here:


Inexpensive Wireless Transport Control

If you’re like me, then a lot of your recording sessions in your studio involve you wearing several different hats. For me, I’m a musician, so I’m always recording myself. The problem is studios tend to be noisy. I like to get as far away from the computer and hard drive as I can. That means moving across the room.

The problem, of course, is that now I’m very far away from the computer. I have to do what I call the “recording dance”, where I scurry back and forth between the microphone and the computer. This gets old really quick.

When you’re in the zone to record, and you’re feeling very creative and musical, it’s no fun to stop, take off your headphones, and walk back over to the computer to stop recording and set up a new take.

This is especially frustrating if you make a mistake two bars into the first song, and you have to stop everything and start over. You’ll find pretty quickly that you’ll lose that “zone” that you were in, and playing the music then becomes a chore.