The other day I had a songwriting session with my buddy Joel. At the end of the session, I set up a mic to record the song we had written.

(This was just to capture the song so we wouldn’t forget it.)

I set up a single mic, grabbed some headphones, did a quick level check, and recorded.

In the headphones, the balance between my voice and the guitar sounded fine. When I listened back later I realized the guitar was MUCH louder.

No big deal, it was just a scratch recording.

But I was intrigued.

Then I remembered a vocal session I had a few years ago.

I was recording by myself, and I somehow managed to sing an ENTIRE VOCAL TAKE into the BACK of the microphone.

How can this happen?

How can I possibly not notice this while I was singing?

Answer: At the time, I was a MUSICIAN, not a recording engineer.

The two can’t really coexist.

I was focused on the performance, not the recording.

If you’re like me (both the musician and the engineer), the solution to this little predicament is to develop a healthy distrust of yourself.

When you’re performing, you can’t make critical recording decisions.

Separate the two.

Record/perform first. Then analyze/listen.

Rinse and repeat.

A lot of my VIP training material is centered around helping you record your own music in your own studio.

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Joe Gilder
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