I love a good challenge.

And I’m giving myself a whopper of a challenge later this month.

More on that in a second…


You’ve heard me stress that limitations in the studio are REALLY good for you. But that can be hard to believe.

More is better right?

“I don’t think so, Tim.” (anyone?)

So for all the naysayers, let me give you 3 reasons to set some limitations in the studio:

1. It brings out good stress.

All stress isn’t bad. In fact, stress can drive you to perform better.

Think about your favorite athlete. One thing that makes him or her great is his/her ability to make plays under pressure.

It’s the same in the studio.

If you put some pressure on yourself to create something awesome under a specific set of parameters, you’d be surprised what comes out.

2. It takes you back to the basics.

When you don’t have time to experiment on EVERYTHING, you’re forced to focus on the basics of getting a good recording and a good mix.

When you don’t have 20 microphones to choose from, you’ve got to focus on mic placement and capturing a great sound.

When you don’t have a million plugins at your disposal, you’ve got to learn how to use a simple EQ and compressor to get the mix rockin’.

3. It forces you to finish.

I’ve said this time and time again, but one of the best ways to get better is to FINISH a project.

Heck, finish a LOT of them. You’ll find that you get a little bit better with each project you finish.

So…there are three reasons to try to limit yourself in some way in the studio, even just occasionally.

Now, back to that challenge I mentioned…

At the end of the month (May 31st at 3pm Central), I’m giving myself a 1-hour SM57 challenge.

The goal?

To record and mix a song in one hour, using only the SM57 as my microphone.

So, guitars, vocals, piano, percussion…it’s all going to be recorded through the trusty 100-dollar SM57.

Then I’ll try to knock out a quick mix before the hour is up.

The catch?

It’s all gonna be LIVE, streaming from my studio to your computer. (Talk about stressful.)

Yep, I’m doing it as my monthly live training session for VIP members. If you’re a member, the details are in the members area. If not, you can join up here:

(And don’t worry, everything will be recorded, and the video will be available in the VIP members area.)

Will I see you there?

Joe “Keeping it Stupid Simple” Gilder