I love figuring stuff out.

Always have.

I was the kid who didn’t just want to know the answer to the question; I wanted to know WHY it was the answer.

And I’m the same way in the studio. I don’t want you to tell me what compression settings to use on a kick drum track. I want to know WHY you chose each setting, and what each setting does to the sound.

There’s something noble to sitting down and forcing yourself to figure something out. But what happens if you CAN’T figure it out?

What if you are missing a key piece of information that will prevent you from EVER figuring it out?

Think of a little kid.

Like when my son Owen tries to build something with Legos. After several failed attempts to build a tower that doesn’t fall over, I can show him how to make it more sturdy.

But he wouldn’t come to that conclusion on his own. He would just keep building the same tower over and over and over and over…never improving.

Sometimes we need some outside help, especially when it comes to figuring out stuff in the studio.

Particularly mastering.

It seems like a mysterious black art sometimes. What exactly does it involve? Where should you start?

There isn’t really an intuitive way to think through this.

You need help from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

And that guy is my buddy Ian Shepherd.

In addition to being British (which is awesome), Ian is a fantastic mastering engineer (he mastered my latest album Help of the Helpless), and he’s firing up his popular Home Mastering Masterclass on Friday.

If you’ve not taken the class before, you should check it out. He’s offering a discount if you sign up before Friday.

And fun fact: he uses one of MY songs in the class. Pretty cool, eh?

Find out more here:


Joe Gilder
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