8 Rookie Recording Mistakes

I made a crapload of mistakes when I first got into recording. (And as I mentioned last week, I still make plenty of mistakes.)

But today I wanted to share with you 8 of my most common rookie recording mistakes (and maybe help you avoid a few of ’em while I’m at it).

The first four mistakes have to do with mindset, the last four have to do with technique.


1. Perfectionism – Focusing so heavily on a mistake-free recording generally leads to a stale, boring recording. Perfect ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. (more…)

A Case Against Pre-Production

I’ve talked about pre-production before…a lot actually.

(In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, pre-production is the process of planning out a song before you record it, nailing down the essentials like tempo, arrangement, key, etc.)

Why do I keep bringing it up? Is it all about productivity and efficiency? Yes and no. Sure, you want to be productive in the studio; you want to finish things relatively quickly.

But more importantly, you want things to be FUN.

If working in the studio starts to feel like a JOB, you’ll be less and less motivated to get in there and make some progress. (more…)

“Leave Room for the Creative Spirit”

Remember those Junior High dances?

Awkward city, baby. 🙂

I was that kid who really only danced on the slow tunes. And by “dance” I mean the awkward swaying back and forth without ever actually making eye contact with the girl.

Then there were the awkward comments from the well-meaning chaperones. If you were dancing a little too close to your date, they’d jokingly say something like “Hey, leave room for the Holy Spirit!”

Ah, adolescence. (more…)

The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Recording Engineers

You know that old saying? It goes something like this:

“Even the best-laid plans of mice and men go awry.”

So, if that’s the case, why bother planning your next recording project, right?

Because if you plan it, it’ll just go wrong anyway, right?

Bzzz. Wrong.

Here’s my experience. (more…)

Step 1 – Pre-Production

To Do'sAs I mentioned yesterday, there are really only 5 steps to the recording process. If that seems overly simplistic, then perhaps you’re overcomplicating things. The best way to keep yourself from being overwhelmed is to figure out how many steps you need to take to get to the finish line. Rather than saying, “I’ve got to finish this song,” you should be able to say, I’ve got to finish recording X instruments, then edit them, then mix then, then master them.”

You get the point.

Today let’s look at Step 1 – Pre-Production. (more…)

Why Pre-Production is so Important (and Fun)

Just this week I started working on an EP I’m producing for an artist friend of mine named Whitney Winkler. She’s ridiculously talented, and I’m very excited about the project.

Once you’ve locked in a project, what do you do next? Schedule a recording session and start tracking guitars, drums, etc.?

Slow down, turbo. You’re getting ahead of yourself.

Don’t forget about Pre-Production.

Are you familiar with pre-production? Do you do pre-production on your projects? Do you think it’s dorky? Let me tell you why I think pre-production is just as important — if not MORE important — than the recording, editing, and mixing stages of the pre-production process.

Aside from that, pre-production is fun.

So what IS pre-production?


The Importance of Pre-Production

pro-tools-markers-2Okay, so you’re getting ready to start recording that next hit album. You’ve got the musicians lined up, you’ve scheduled your sessions.

Now what? Do you jump right in and start recording? Easy there, Tiger. There’s an important step that needs to happen next — pre-production.