’Tis the 4th of July here in the US.

Independence, freedom. It’s easy to take for granted.

But with all that freedom comes a different kind of oppression. No, it’s not on par with the events leading up to the American Revolution, but it’s still a kind of oppression nonetheless.

Except this kind is self-inflicted.

Running a home recording studio in 2014 means you have lots of options available to you. You are free to buy as much gear and software as you can afford. You are free to use as many tracks in your sessions as you want. You are free to do whatever you want in your studio.

Hey, it’s your studio after all.

But this freedom can feel like shackles sometimes. It makes you think crazy thoughts, like…

“Well, the song sounds great with just drums, bass, and one guitar, but I have unlimited tracks available in my DAW, so I better come up with more stuff to record.”


“My mixes don’t sound like I want them to sound. Oooo…Waves is having another big sale. I’ll buy that bundle, the one the professional mix engineer uses. Surely that’ll make a difference.”


“My mixes sound like garbage. I’m going to mix this song as many times as I need to to make it sound great. I won’t even consider the fact that the tracks themselves sound like garbage. That can’t be true, because I use the same microphone that the pros use.”

See what I mean?

You desperately want your music to sound incredible, but you’re unwilling to look at the real problem. You’re a slave, investing all your time and money into everyone else’s solution.

The real solution (the ONLY solution) is to improve your own skills. Writing, performing, recording, editing, mixing, mastering — THESE are what matter. The stuff you use to write, perform, record, edit, mix, and master doesn’t matter nearly as much.

Why oh why do you focus so much on them?

Instead of dropping another couple hundred bucks into another plugin bundle that absolutely will not make you any better, why not invest in yourself instead? Invest in something you CAN control. Make YOU better, and the rest will take care of itself.

Dueling Mixes is a great place to start.

No fluff.

No tricks.

Just better mixes. (And better recordings if you’re really paying attention.)

So scarf down one more hot dog, light one more bottle rocket, then maneuver yourself over to:


Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. You know we offer a big fat refund policy, right? If you’re not happy with what you’re getting out of your membership, just let us know. It can be as silly as my southern accent…or the fact that Graham lives in Florida. We’re here to help. For realsies.