Make a Big ol’ Mess

Last week my wife Pam and I took on the task of refinishing our kitchen cabinets. They were very dark, so in an effort to brighten up our kitchen, we refinished them with a nice white color.

The problem with working on cabinets is that once you take them off the hinges, you’ve got to put them somewhere. So our entire kitchen and dining room was covered in cabinet doors. PLUS you get the added bonus that all of our cabinets were wide open, leaving plenty of things for our 1-year-old to get into.

Needless to say, our kitchen was a MESS.

And that’s exactly how it needed to be.

The mess kept us motivated.

The longer it took us to finish the project, the longer we had to live in a disaster area. The motivation to get our house back in order far outweighed the desire to be lazy and take our sweet time.

And there’s a big ol’ lesson here for us studio folks, too. (more…)

4 Reasons to Have a Regular “Recording Day”

Got this awesome email from Peter, one of my Understanding EQ customers

Check it out:

“The whole issue of time was an enormous obstacle for me…and getting together with other musicians to collaborate on projects. So this may be a useful tip for some people.

What I did was to take the randomness out of it. I started by doing a deal with my wife, every second Sunday is totally dedicated for me and my studio.

That doesn’t sound much I know, but a few things happened:

  1. My wife could plan her own outings with family and/or friends on those days (she is actually accomplishing more). Win/win.
  2. My musician friends could actually schedule the day in advance. They all know its an all-day thing at my place, and they know what days.
  3. I could plan ahead and actually maximize studio time by knowing what the heck I was doing before I went in and did it, therefore improving the efficiency of the time that I had in the studio.
  4. I now can set timelines for projects and can produce to certain deadlines.

Anytime that I have on top of that scheduled time is a bonus. So it’s not like I only work in my studio on those particular Sundays, it is just that those days are completely dedicated.

That and producing a song in an hour (albeit usually just guitar,vox and some simple rhythm track), which we have discussed, has greatly improved my recording experience.



Love, love, LOVE that.

He’s dedicating ONE day per month to recording. That’s it.

12 days per year.

And I bet he gets more done this year than most people.

Heck, even Peter said that one day a month “doesn’t sound like much,” but you’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in one HOUR, much less one DAY.

(If you don’t believe me, check out the 1-Hour Challenge I did for my VIP members over at:

One song. One mic. One hour. It turned out really awesome.)

It’s all about getting in there and getting things done.

Kudos to you, Peter, for making it happen.

Now, for the rest of you, can you find time to work on music?

Ask Joe #33 – “Should I Record With Compression?”

Got a new podcast for you today. If you’re new to Home Studio Corner, I run a weekly podcast where I simply answer reader questions.

(It is quickly becoming very popular.)

If YOU have a question for the show, you can ask it here:

Happy listening!

Topics covered:

  • Joe’s new guitar!
  • Mixing drums
  • Should I record with compression?
  • Recording in stereo with or without a matched pair of mics?
  • Dealing with “fake-sounding” virtual instruments
  • Ribbon vs Condenser mics


Links from the show:

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Ask Joe #32 – Mastering and more

The podcast is a few days late due to some traveling for the Gilder clan.

I’m back in Nashville and have a brand spankin’ new podcast for you

Some topics covered today:

  • Should I upgrade my computer?
  • Mastering individual songs vs an album
  • Electric guitar recording techniques
  • External converters
  • My approach to mixing
  • Choosing studio monitors

… and a lot more.

Happy listening!

Links from the show:

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Take a Minute to Celebrate Your Studio

It’s Independence Day here in the US.

That means lots of food, fireworks, and celebrating.

We have a lot to celebrate. I’m actually celebrating a few personal victories this month by buying a new guitar! (I’ll tell you all about her once she arrives.)

I’m immensely thankful that I live in the US, a land of freedom.

But I’m also immensely thankful that I live in the 21st century, a time of insane technological advances. For a minimal investment, normal folks like you and me can start making and recording great-sounding music.

And for that I’m stupid thankful. (more…)

Don’t forget…

Before you race off to have an awesome weekend, don’t forget about the special offer I’m doing for new Production Club members.

If you join by the end of the month (June 2012), I’ll give you one of my “Understanding…” products for free. That’s a $47 to $97 value, depending on which one you pick.

If you’re wanting to jump on it, do it now before you forget:

(You gotta join before Sunday, though.) (more…)

Welcome to Mistake-ville

What’s the deal with everybody being so anti-mistakes?

We want everything to be perfect, or at least we want people to see us as “mistake-free” people who have their act together.

You know what I call those people? Booooooring.

A friend of mine is a well-known producer here in Nashville. He’s worked with lots of major artists and has some serious clout. But you know what I like about him? He makes mistakes, AND he doesn’t mind telling you about them.

Just the other day he told me about a concert he was asked to play bass for. The band called him the day before, and he agreed to play. (more…)

Ask Joe #28 – HSC Production Club, Home Studios, and more [HSC Podcast]

Image by DTGraphix

You may have caught wind of this in the last few days or so, but it’s time for me to re-open the doors to the HSC Production Club!! Listen to the first part of this podcast, where I talk through the Club and discuss some new features.

Happy Listening!

Links from the show:

Got a question for the podcast? Leave a message in the official HSC voicemail. The number is: (615) 852-8472.

Subscribe to the HSC Podcast in iTunes.

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