How to Get Better: Copy Someone Else


They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

As a home studio owner, you’re constantly trying to make your recordings sound “professional,” or at least on par with professional recordings.

Well, if you want your recordings to sound like pro recordings, have you ever actually tried to emulate a professional recording??

The Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you. Take a listen to some of your favorite songs, pick one, and try to re-create that song…from scratch…in your studio.

Listen to the song critically, pull out a piece of paper and write down all the elements you’ll need to capture, then get to work recording sounds that sound as close to that recording as you possibly can.

Will you perfectly emulate it? Nah. Probably not.

Will you learn a lot in the process? Absolutely.

A few things you will learn:

  • A great recording always begins with a great song.
  • The “sound” of a recording comes from the source.
  • A great mix comes from great recording/production, not the other way around.
  • Beginning with the end in mind is HUGE. Knowing the sound you want, before you record a single note, makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly you have a goal.

What do you say? Try it this weekend? Leave a comment and let us know. I’ll hold you to it…

[Photo Credit]

How Orchestral Music Can Help You Get Better Mixes – Part 3: Instrumentation


Last week we looked at what orchestral music can teach us about arrangement and the three components of arrangement.

Today let’s talk about instrumentation. If you take away nothing else from this little orchestral series, pay attention today.


How do you decide what instruments to add to a song you’re producing? Do you always add a B3 and doubled electric guitar? (It’s okay, I do it, too.)

Pretend for a moment that you’re a composer, and you’ve been hired to write a film score for Braveheart II: The Adventures of Bill Wallace, Jr. If all you had at your disposal was a standard orchestra, what would you do to make things interesting and engaging?