When I interview people, I usually try to ask them for the one, single piece of advice they’d give up-and-coming home studio recordists.

What’s ONE THING we home studio guys and gals can do to get better?

I think we tend to get so bogged down with recording techniques and mixing skills that we sometimes miss “the vision” for the song.

Subscriber Max asks, “Are there any tips for developing the vision for a song?”

While it’s a seemingly simple question, it really gets to the heart of everything we do in the studio. Think about it. Who cares if the acoustic guitar you just recorded sounds amazing if it just plain doesn’t fit the song?

Or who cares if the bass tone is great if the actual part being played by the bass is completely wrong for the song?

How do you answer THOSE questions? Questions like…

What instruments should I record for this song?

What parts should each instrument play?

Should I do a huge production on this song or keep it simple?

With such subjective questions it can be really hard to get a straight answer.

But there’s one answer that seems to keep sneaking up on me. One piece of advice that seems so simple I tend to overlook it.

It’s simply this:

Always be listening to new music.

Great producers listen to a LOT of music, and that’s where they get a lot of their ideas for how to flesh out songs they’re working on.

No, it’s not stealing ideas, it’s FEEDING your creative self. If you ONLY listen to projects you work on…or the same set of albums in your iTunes library…you’re music will probably stay fairly…stagnant.

On the flipside, if you’re constantly feeding new music into your brain, creative things will happen.

This is just some of the great advice I got from pro producer Brent Milligan and mix engineer/producer Kevin Ward for my VIP members. Solid advice from great guys.

You can listen to the entire interviews by becoming a VIP member here:


P.S. The VIP forum is a great place to share songs you’re working on. Sometimes you just get stuck and need a few opinions. The VIP forum is a great place to get just that.