In The Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, Franklin R. Covey writes about the importance of scheduling priorities. Schedules tend to get a bad rap. People who schedule out every single part of their lives are considered cold, rigid, and non-spontaneous. People who don’t schedule anything are considered flaky and irresponsible.

So what does this mean for your home studio? I suffer from an acute case of “flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.” I rarely schedule studio time into my week or month. I get there when I get there. Once I do sit down in the mix position, though, I sometimes scratch my head as to what I’m actually going to do.

The Time-Wasting Begins

It’s when I’m in this state of indecision that I start doing some of the things I mentioned in the first article of this productivity series, things like re-wiring my studio or rearranging my gear or furniture. Very little of this has anything to do with music. Read more »

One of the things I enjoy most about starting a new recording project is setting everything up. If you’ve done much recording, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a certain sense of giddiness that bubbles up when you sit in front of a blank Pro Tools screen.

It’s very god-like. You’re creating something out of nothing. When you open Pro Tools for the first time, it doesn’t open up with a huge song already put together for you. It’s a blank slate. There’s not so much as a single mono audio track created. You must do this yourself. For me, that’s an exciting part of the creative process.

But what happens when it takes you thirty minutes to set up your Pro Tools session for every new song you start recording? While it is certainly fun to build your virtual Pro Tools mixer, is this the best use of your time? Shouldn’t you be…um…what’s the word…recording instead?

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. However, as I mentioned in the first article of this productivity series, it’s important that we view our home studios as professional studios. Time is of the essence. If there’s a basic activity that you’re doing over and over (i.e. setting up a Pro Tools session for recording), wouldn’t it make sense to automate that process? Read more »

One of the easiest ways you can save time in your home studio is by labeling your inputs, outputs, and busses in your DAW. This is easy to do and will only take you a few minutes. 

Once you do this, your routing life will be much easier. You won’t have to waste time guessing where a certain track is being routed. Check out this short video on labeling your IO in Pro Tools.

 

How do you set up your IO? Leave a comment!

Workflow and time management are crucial in any endeavor. Home studios are no different. I am constantly amazed at how much time I waste in my studio. I could easily spend two hours simply “setting things up” or “trying things out.” By the time I could feasibly begin recording or making music, I’m either tired or have run out of time.

Most of us pursue music in our spare time. “Weekend warriors” they call us. But if you’re like me, you’ve had many a good-intentioned weekend come and go without a single snippet of audio to show for it.

Just this weekend I was planning to make some serious progress on my album. My wife was going shopping, so I knew I had time to get a few tracks recorded. Unsurprisingly, she shows up an hour and a half later, and I’ve barely gotten a thing recorded. I was just getting into it. Read more »

I love technology. It is a beautiful thing. However, while there’s nothing wrong technology itself, we need to consider the role that technology should play in our lives.

I’m mainly referring to technology as it pertains to making music, particularly in the recording world. These days everybody and their dog can have a home recording studio. Don’t get me wrong, that can be an awesome thing. Thirty years ago it simply wasn’t possible to spend a couple hundred dollars and be able to make high-quality recordings at home. The technology wasn’t there.

Technological advancements of the last few decades have brought a new, massive percentage of the population into the world of studio recording. My life would certainly be dramatically different if I couldn’t record my music (and the music of others). Without the onset of new technology, the entire recording industry would consist of the select few who could drop $400,000 on a huge recording studio, fully equipped with analog tape machines and massive recording consoles.

Today an average Joe can pick up an interface and a microphone and do a lot of things the big analog studios of the past could do, and a lot of things they couldn’t!

Read more »

Mopad from BottomWhen I first heard about the Auralex MoPADs, I was skeptical. Once I got them in my studio, however, I changed my tune.

The MoPADs are monitor isolation pads. They’re designed to live between your studio monitors and the surface on which they are resting. Why is this important?

Good Vibrations

We all know that sound, by definition, is vibration. When a speaker vibrates, it not only vibrates the air around it, but it also vibrates whatever surfaces it comes in contact with.

You’ve probably seen pictures of a speaker suspended in an anechoic chamber by a couple wires. This is how they test the frequency response of speakers, they hang them in a super-quiet room. They are able to hear the speaker by itself, as it was intended to be heard. Read more »