I released my first album (if you could call it that) in high school.

I knew literally nothing about recording. All I knew was that I had written these 8 songs, and I wanted to record them.

A few months later, I was selling CDs all over the place.

Equipment list for that album: free software and that little stick mic that used to come with desktop computers (for dictation or something).

Freshman year in college, I borrowed a few condenser mics and a mixer, and I recorded my second “album.” 10 songs, all performed live straight to a stereo track.

Sophomore year I finally bought my very own condenser mic, a tiny mixer, and a cheap keyboard. I set about recording a more “full band” album (and by full band, I mean me on acoustic guitar and vocals, and everything else played by me on the keyboard…epic.)

That project consisted of only 6 songs, and I never even got around to really releasing them or making CDs or anything.

That’s when I really started to learn about audio. I was taking recording classes and getting to work in real studios. I got myself a small Pro Tools rig, my first Mac, and a second condenser mic.

Wanna know how long it was before I released my next album? A “proper” album?

Six years.



Quick recap for you:

8 songs – high school
10 songs – freshman year of college
6 songs – sophomore year of college
10 songs – 6 years later

Do you see what happened there? As I learned more about audio and the “right” way to record and mix music, I actually recorded and released less and less music.

You would think that as I amassed better gear and better skills that I would also release more music, but that wasn’t the case. As my studio evolved, my musical output dropped off for over half a decade.

Was the problem the gear? Of course not. The problem was ME. I had learned what “proper” recording was supposed to look like, and I developed a bit of an elitist attitude. (“There’s no way I’m going to start working on a new album until I get a better mic. Otherwise the recordings will all be crap.”)

It’s that stupid thinking that kept me from making music.

And it kept me from getting better, too.

All the time I spent learning techniques and playing around with equipment, I wasn’t really improving.

You don’t get better unless you work on real stuff. Real music. Stuff you’re going to release to the world.

So put down the gear catalog and get to work.

See, this is the whole vision behind Dueling Mixes. We want to give you a place where you can put in the hard work and get a MASSIVE payoff — in the form of better mixing skills, a growing portfolio, increased confidence, and less regrets about what you should have been doing with your music for the last few years.

Time to pony up and commit to getting better.

We can help.

Get signed up here:


Joe Gilder
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