166: How Bus Processing Can Help Your Mixes Sound More Cohesive & Polished

166 - How Bus Processing Can Help Your Mixes Sound More Cohesive & Polished

In the episode on piano recordings and sparse arrangements we briefly talked about using bus processing to glue things together and keep things a little more organic. Today we want to explore this further.

Let's discuss what bus processing is and how it can help you achieve a more cohesive and polished sound in your mixes!


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt, the host of the show!

On this episode, we explain exactly how we use bus processing in our own mixes. Routing, plugins, plugin order, settings and, of course, the reasons behind our decisions, based on the context of the mix.

Let's first define "bus processing" and explain how it works.

  • How bus processing differs from individual track processing
  • Examples of common bus processing techniques, such as (parallel) compression, EQ, limiting, clipping and saturation
  • It's possible to do a mix without any busses (other than the master bus of course). We don't recommend it, but explaining this might help you understand it better.
  • Busses aren't the same as folders (unless they are ?).
  • Busses and Auxes can be viewed as the same thing, in many situations (and depending on your DAW).

Now let's talk about the benefits of bus processing, including creating a more cohesive and polished sound.

  • Bus processing can help address common mixing problems quickly, such as muddy low-end or harsh high-end
  • Bus processing can help create a sense of depth and space in your recordings
  • Bus Processing can help glue things together and enhance the groove
  • Bus processing allows you to make very musical decisions and elevate the mix using a few broad strokes, rather than many surgical changes that can add up and degrade the overall quality of your mix
  • Bus processing focusses on the music and the context more than the technical details. It helps you listen more carefully and mix faster and more intuitively.

And finally, here are some practical tips and techniques for implementing bus processing in your mixes.

  • How to set up bus processing in your DAW and how to route your tracks to the bus(ses).
  • Selecting the right processing tools and plugins for your bus(ses)
  • How to use those tools effectively - common settings/applications (starting points!)
  • What we use on our busses and how we use it based on the context of the mix
  • The importance of experimenting and trusting your ears when using bus processing. Keep experimenting and comparing different tools until you have your go-to chain(s).
  • Gear selection matters here, especially on the mix bus, because everything will go through these plugins, so they will color your mix a LOT.
  • Always keep learning and improving. Switch things up every once in while. It's the frame of your mix, and the filter you're listening through, while crafting your mix.

Try out bus processing in your own mixes and experiment with different techniques.

You might end up using many groups and main busses, like we do, or just a simple mix bus and that's it. And you probably won't do exactly the same on every mix.

There is no right or wrong.

Bus processing is just one tool in your mixing toolbox, and it should be used in conjunction with other techniques (clean up, shaping of important individual tracks, etc.) to achieve the best possible results.

Let's go!


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB - Automatic Episode Transcript - Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Benedikt: Hello and welcome to the Self Recording Band podcast. I'm your host, Benedictine. If you're new to the show, welcome. If you're already a listener, thank you for coming back and hanging out with us again. Um, a couple of episodes ago, or maybe it was the last one, I can't remember. Probably not. Um, so we recorded an episode on piano recordings and sparse types of arrangements, and in this episode we briefly talked about using bus processing to glue things together and keep things a little more organic. So today we want to explore this further, discuss what bus processing is, why it can help you achieve a more cohesive and polished sound for your recordings, and explain exactly how we use it in our own mixes, the routings, um, plugins, plugin order settings, and of course, the reason behind our decision based on the context of the mix. And as always, I'm not doing this alone. I'm here with my friend and co-host, Malcolm Owen Flood. Hello buddy. How are you?

Malcom: Hey man, I'm good. How are.

Benedikt: I'm good too. Thank you. Finally, I'm back. Last week I was completely knocked out, had a scarlet fever of all things. Uh, but I'm, I'm back feeling energized, fresh, and, uh, it's all good.

Malcom: Yeah, it was a, it was a tough week for the SRB crew. You, you got knocked out with a cold and then I had a, a episode lined up to do with a, a guest, which I won't give away just yet. Um, and then my cat had to go like to the cat hospital that day and I was just like, this sucks

Benedikt: What happened? She

Malcom: Beasley Beasley, the cat is okay. She's doing better. Some, some meds and a big old vet bill later. Were back, back in action. But, uh, we're here. We we're gonna try and catch up on episodes and, and we didn't miss a week yet again, so I'm still stoked on that. We're going strong.

Benedikt: We're going strong and we'll continue to do so. There's challenging times ahead too, because you're about to leave for like, I don't know, 5, 6, 7 weeks, something like that. Five weeks,

Malcom: I think. Yeah.

Benedikt: yeah. But we have

Malcom: got a, nice reality show coming up, so I'm running around.

Benedikt: Awesome. Yeah, we have, um, a couple of episodes in the bag already, and then I have a few backup plan, so we're not gonna miss a week. This is, this is not, this is not gonna happen.

Malcom: For sure.

Benedikt: It's, it's, it's fascinating to me that I've never been that consistent with anything in my life. I'm pretty consistent with a lot of things, but like that consistent with like, it, it's pretty insane. It's like episode 1 66 and we haven't missed a single week. It's like three years now.

Malcom: Yeah, I'm, I'm very proud of it. It, it's like, it's one of those things that doesn't, I mean, you know, nobody's life is gonna change if we're a week late on an episode, but I just want to keep going. It's

just, it's just important for some reason.

Benedikt: yeah, the streak, uh, uh, totally. Totally.

Malcom: hey, uh, some music related banter or industry related banter. Uh, I would love to get your thoughts on what do you think of all this waves Update plan stuff, or not really? Sorry, that's not really what it should be called. Waves update plan isn't really the topic of the conversation. It's just waves, plugins and their, their whole new model and approached it going at that model in general.

That was interesting. Uh, I'm assuming you know what I'm talking about.

Benedikt: Yeah, I ab I absolutely know what you're talking about and my, and I, I'm sure I have a pretty unpopular opinion because,

Malcom: Okay. So fir first, first, let me give everybody an idea just in case they don't know what's going on. Uh, maybe a week ago, waves audio, you know, probably the biggest plug-in manufacturer or developer I should say, uh, in, in the world ever.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm.

Malcom: Would you agree with that? They, they

gotta be the

Benedikt: I think so. They are one of the oldest, like they, they, they were the OGs, like they developed an like popular plugin. They didn't, they made plugins, popular third-party plugins in the nineties. And, and it took a while for the others to catch up, so they.

Malcom: they were the first ones to do a good job. I'll give them that as well. Like it was, uh, they, yeah, they, they're the reason the plug-in ecosystem exists the way it does for sure. Uh, but what they used to be able to buy their plug-ins, you know, for whatever amount. And then a few years ago they introduced this update plan where you had to pay to be able to get updates for like, so if they released a new version with like, you know, some new features or whatever, if you had run out of your update plan, you would have to like pay to update. It wasn't included anymore, where a lot of software, if you buy it, you kind of just got lifetime updates, which is great. Uh, but then just a week ago they released, uh, a subscription only model where you could subscribe and get all their plugins. It's my understanding, I don't know if there was different tiers or whatnot, um, but. Two different tiers. Okay. Where, yeah, you, you pay a monthly fee, so you don't own any of them. You just have to pay a monthly subscription to be able to have access to these plug-ins. Not my favorite way to do things, but it's what they did. But what was interesting is that they at the same time said, all right, and you can't buy them anymore. They're not for sale. It's, it's subscription only. And for everybody that has bought them too bad, you can't even update them anymore. Like you're, you're out of luck. Which was fascinating because

Benedikt: okay, go. Go on.

Malcom: it's a whole generation of people that have bought these plug-ins and spent a lot of money owning these plug-ins that are now being told that, that are not supported anymore for any future virgins. And we are right. It was interestingly released on the day that Avid announced their M one, uh, version, like their update for native M one PRO tools, and you need to update all your wave plugins to be able to use them with that. So interesting timing on that. Um, but. This is a long story. Everyone, I'm sorry. They now have backpedaled because there was this huge reaction, which I want to hear Benny's reaction, but, uh, but people were not happy. And now you can buy them all again, but for cheaper than ever, which is another interesting move on their part. So Benny, yeah. Love your thoughts,

Benedikt: Yeah, I, uh, uh, I just, first of all, a couple of additions to what you just said there. Um, it's not exactly true that you can't update them, or do you, even if they wouldn't have backpedaled you, you would still be able to update your old plugins as for as long as your existing update plans, um, remain. You know, like when you have existing update plans and they run, like they expire whatever, later this year or next year, uh, you can still, you could still update just those people who didn't have an update plan or whose update plan is expired. They could, they can also keep using their plugins until they're not supported anymore. And then, and then there's no way to buy a new, or to extend the, the, um, the update plan. So in theory, I think it wouldn't have turned out that bad for most people for the foreseeable future, because in my experience, even with the M one change and everything, so the worst case would've been you would've to buy one update plan now and like, or, um, extend yours. And I think they gave you, I think they sent out an email a couple days before that if you want to, uh, renew the update plan or if you want to activate your whatever third party licenses that you bought somewhere. So you have time until that day they didn't tell them what would happen that day, but they sent out emails that you could, should do it until that day because then whatever happens, so worst case, you would have to buy another update plan and then, um, you would, could, you could update for like, for another year or so. And in, in reality, Like I've, I have updated my waves plugins twice or so in 15 years almost. So they, they keep, usually keep working for a long time. And I don't think that once you're on the m m one M two sort of architecture, um, I don't think apple's gonna change that very soon to something completely different. So I, I think it's just speculation, but I think people would've been fine with their plugins for a pretty long time, actually, without updating. But that's, nobody knows. So

Malcom: in the last year,

Benedikt: if the, if

Malcom: they don't have that M one version. So for me, all but two of my plugins, uh, like I'm, I'm probably a few hundred plugins cuz I've got some bu big bundles that don't have an update plan. So for those become, if they hadn't backpedaled here, there is no way for me to use those going forward without subscribing.

Benedikt: And that I don't, and I don't think that's a good way to go about it. So I am, my opinion is like twofold here. So I don't agree with what a lot of people said that, that it's like another subscription on our credit cards and we don't want that and blah, blah, blah. And like people are, a lot of people are very antis subscription these these days. And I think that part is, Wrong or they view it the wrong way because that's a, that's just the way business is done these days. And it's for a very good reason because that, that keeps companies alive and that makes sure that they can develop plug-ins faster, they can fix bug bug faster. They can, um, it's, it's a more predictable business model. It's most companies who did that, like they did it for a reason and most companies who did that are better off for it and so are their customers. So I don't think that a subscription model for software is a bad idea in general. I also don't think that it's way more expensive if you are being responsible with your subscriptions and if you're budgeting correctly. Because in reality, if you have a lot of waste, waste plugins and you keep buying their update plans, that's pretty much, that pretty much cost exactly the same as their subscription. So, uh, I just did the math and I talked to a bunch of people. For me, updating, keep keeping my old waste plug-ins up to date would have cost me about 260 or so 70 bucks a year. And their baked tier, like, um, that subscription that includes all the plug-ins is two 50 a year. So I would even, I'm, for me, it's even cheaper to just get, uh, get the subscription. Um, you could argue that yes, in, in one case you own the plugins and in the other case you don't own them. Uh, I'm personally fine with that because I don't think that, you know, waves is gonna go away or like go get bankrupt or whatever. So, So what I'm, what I'm saying is I don't think the subscription is bad. I don't think that 25 bucks a month is crazy expensive for 220 plugins or like the other one, the 15 bucks a month for whatever, how many plugins those are. I think this is reasonable. I think it's a good deal. I think that if you are making for, I think for people who are making any sort of money from music, it's not a, you know, you shouldn't be worried about it, just, just, you should just do it if you need waste plugins or not. Um, but it should, this shouldn't cause you, you know, serious financial problems. For the ones, for the ones however, who are like hobbyists and they bought a couple of waste plugins and that's all they need. And then, and they're, they don't make a, like an income from that. And for those people I think it's a very bad idea because, um, then it's not a monthly business expense or anything that you could like, um, yeah, it's not a tax write off. It's not like, you know, it's different. And I don't think as a, as a. Personal private expense. I wouldn't want those 25 bucks, uh, monthly for just, you know, if I just need five plugins or whatever. And this is the case for a lot of people, for the professionals, I don't think it's even, I, I don't, I don't think it just doesn't, I think it just doesn't matter, honestly, for most pros. And those were are arguing as well on the internet. I think they probably wasted more money spending time on forums and like, um, you know, arguing about this that probably was more expensive than, than the difference that it really makes, uh, at the end of the day for them. So there's two kinds of people that it affects. And then there is a difference between hating subscriptions in general and the fact that they did it the way they did it, because I don't agree with that. I think they,

Malcom: Yes.

Benedikt: did, the way they approached this, which, uh, it was just wrong. They should have told people in advance, they, there should have been at least like a sort of a grace period or whatever, you know, um, anything like that or, They should have done what they did now in the first place. They, you know, people should have just be able to, to just be able to keep what they bought and in addition, they would introduce the subscription model just like plug-in Alliance did, for example. I think that would be the way to go because technically I don't think you can take something away from someone who's legally bought it. I think that's just not a thing. So in your case, if you are one of those people who bought like big PL bundles and you know, you gotta realize there is people back in the day, pe those plugins were not 29 bucks all the time. Like there were people who spent thousands on, on bundles like that. There was a time when, you know, the SSL collection alone would, would cost like a thousand bucks or something. And then if you got Mercury Bundle or whatever, you could spend like 5,000 or even more on like a bundle of plugins. And there's a lot of people who did that. And if you've done that and you've been a loyal customer over the years and bought a plugin every once in a while and, and you've spent thousands with them, I just think you can't. Um, take that away from people. You just can't take those licenses away. And I also, I, I don't know anything about like US law, but I also think that it might not even be legal. Uh, it might have caused them, I think if they wouldn't have backpedaled, it could have cause them, um, trouble, like, like got them into trouble. Um, they, they could, they could have been a lawsuit, I think.

Malcom: I think so too. Yeah. So I'm, I'm with you. I don't, I'm not antis subscription, it's just not what I like, I don't like having subscriptions. Um, so, so I didn't want to do that. So it didn't, they didn't offer an option for me originally. Um, which, which was what peeved me. And the, the thing is, like you, you said if you're a professional, subscribing shouldn't be a problem for 25 bucks or whatever it was. It's like that, that should be a totally reasonable amount to be spending on that amount of tools that is gonna save you and provide. You time and provide good results. They are good plug-ins, a lot of them. Um, but all of those professionals, I've already given them hundreds or thousands of dollars buying these plug-ins already, right? We already have done that. And now, uh, to lose them, it was really just how they did it. It was like the, uh, too bad guys approach. Um, but they've backpedaled it. And like I said, they've now, they've now made like almost all of the plugins 30 bucks to buy still with this update plan thing. So you still gotta like, you know, pay for an update plan if you want to go that route. Um, but yeah, it's, it's interesting just how they went about it. You wonder how decisions like that happen on companies so big, right?

You think they would've asked, done some market research before that happened?

Benedikt: I can't believe it. And also they must have realized that people already hated the update plans thing. Their waves wasn't exactly popular for their, like, um, business practices even before they did that. You know, it was always like, yeah, we kind of need it. But like a lot of people that I talked to, almost everyone actually says like, I wish I could just get rid of, of waste plugins because I hate to always have to, that I always have to update my plugins and I have to pay them again and again for the thing that I've bought. And like, nobody liked that in the first place. And then on top of that, just taken away completely after all this. Like they, there's no way they couldn't have, they, they could have anticipated that reaction. You know, like it's, I don't, I don't understand it, but, you know, the thing why I say why I'm saying I have an unpopular opinion is probably not so much an opinion because I agree with the people and I agree with what you said the difference is, and it, it made me think about myself and how I react in those types of situations. It's a mindset thing, I think to me, and, and again, it's a different thing when you're a professional and it's your job versus being, uh, like a hobbyist and, and, uh, and, and, you know, using your private money and budget for, for things like that. But in my mind, if I look, I got that email, I have voice plugins too, and I pay them their, the update plan and it's annoying and whatnot, but I have those plug-ins, I wanna use them. So when I got the email that my licenses, uh, like there's no more thing like perpetual, uh, no more things, um, no such thing as a perpetual license anymore. And I have to subscribe my reaction, like I spent exactly five seconds thinking about the whole thing. I didn't have any bad reaction. I was just like, okay, so now I have to subscribe. Cool. What does it cost? 25 bucks. I get all the plugins. All right, sign me up. I took out two subscriptions for me and Thomas and I moved on. And now, because I think it's the right way, but I th but I have adopted this kind of mindset where I'm like, this is out of my, outside of my control. I can't do anything about this. This is the way it is now. I don't like it, but I need this plugins and it's my job. And so give me those two subscriptions and I move on with my life. And I don't wanna spend a single second arguing with anybody or like worrying about this or anything because I can't do shit about it. And so it's so interesting to me how you know that it just doesn't stress me out at all. I don't like it and I don't agree, but I also just move on with my life and make sure that those 25 bucks won't ruin me. You know, it's

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. So everybody listening, this is why you should go and get your fruity one-on-one coaching call with Benny, because he's, he's a absolute legend with stuff like this. Um, so what what's interesting though is I, I had a, a very similar reaction in that. I was like, this is kind of funny. What the hell are they doing? All right, I'm done. And I just like stopped, like in my head, I don't own waste plug-ins anymore. I'm not gonna use them anymore. They're gone. And even funny now, is that, uh, so it's like the same solution that you had where I'm just like, okay, this is hilarious. Done. Uh, but I just was, instead of describing, I'm just like, they're cut, they're gone. I'll just take 'em outta my plug-in folder. Um, and now what's funny though is even though they've backpedaled, I think I'm still done. I think I'm just gonna not use them anymore. I'm just like, ah, it's kind of simpler. I've removed some, some choices from my, my, my mixing process where it just, those don't exist anymore. I'll use something else I already have. Um, yeah. So funny. But, uh, I did keep a pulse on it because again, I did find it kind of entertaining and I thought it'd be interesting to, honestly, I thought it'd be interesting to chat about on this podcast.

Benedikt: Absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely. And I think it was a total shit show. It was a total disaster the way they handled it. And I think to me, bottom line is just what you did is just as fine because you just made a decision quickly and moved on. The, the what matters is in those situations is not that, not exactly which decision we take, but that a decision is made In most situations in life, something happens, you can't control it, make a decision, move on. And a lot of people seem to think about that and you know, and ask, tell all their friends about it and argue and, you know, and stuff and, and I'm. Either I, I decide to not use it anymore, or I decide to, that I keep use it, and then I just pay and then I do something else. You know? And it, it's just important that some decision is made quickly and then you can move on. And this doesn't mean that I like what they've done, but it also means that I'm not gonna spend the energy, um, going online, talking about this for days in all kinds of forums, you know, like all those people did. So, but on the other hand though, that's what probably caused them to backpedal, which, so I can't really say those people, what they did were wrong. The reaction probably would cause it. And, and if everybody would be like me, nothing would've happened. So it's

Malcom: it was a huge win. Like people having that reaction and then them reacting with actually making the change the people were asking for was, that's a, that's a really good thing to happen in this industry where plug-in manufacturers are gonna be a little more cautious about how they treat their customer base now. Um, which is, I, that's a, yeah, you're right. That's a really great thing. So thank you everybody that did complain.

Benedikt: Yes, absolutely. And, and again, maybe I would've complained if it would have affected me personally in not just my business. I, I only think about things like that when, because it's like a rational business decision type of thing. If it's my personal money and a hobby they'll love to do, and, and that's a different story. It's just, I'm, I'm, I'm talking from a different perspective here, you know, but interesting thing to watch, just, I was just fascinated by how I went down and, and, uh, fascinated by those business decisions that they made. And I can't believe this happened that way.

Malcom: yeah. Very, very fascinating. And, uh, key takeaway for the listeners is what Benny said. It's just more important to keep making music and keep working. And, and the reality is, is while they do make some great plugins, so does everyone, uh, all of the big manufacturers are gonna be able to cover your bases with any plugin you could need. Really, it's just a luxury to have options. Um, so you don't really have to sweat it. Uh, and uh, yeah.

Benedikt: sorry. Mm-hmm. Sorry. Go

Malcom: was just gonna say thank you for listening to the, this episode of the podcast.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Malcom: We still haven't got into, I mean, I don't think, uh, that guy on YouTube can get upset about our banter this time, cuz it is industry related at least,

Benedikt: Yeah, I

Malcom: but that's gonna be one of our longest segments ever.

Benedikt: I think so too. Yeah, totally. But it's also something we almost must cover. Like that would've been an episode topic, actually, almost. But the final thing I wanna say is my personal highlight in all of this, I, I have to say this, my personal highlight was what Dan Cornif did. Uh, did you see that? Uh, because everybody was asking for, uh, so people started asking him, he's a plug-in manufacturer. Pretty cool dude. Like, he's a, a mixing engineer, legendary producer, mixing engineer. And he also has a plug-in company. Um, they make amazing plugins and people asked him for, I asked him to make an alternative to the Legendary Waves L one Limiter, which is a 30 year old plugin at this point. Um, it was like the first sort of brick wall limiter of, I think that was available in the doll. And it has a sound, it's not transparent, it kills, but it has a sound. It's still used for certain things because, because it has, it does that one thing that it does really well. And, uh, so people were, people who decided to quit using waves, asked Dan Cornif to make an L one alternative, and like one day later he came up with a prototype that was working, that was like apparently sounding pretty close or similar, similar, um, user interface and all of that. And he really just went and, and did it immediately. And he called it the the el er, like the Spanish name, which is hilarious. The EL one. Um, And, and, uh, and yeah. So I don't know if that's gonna be a thing if, if they were gonna release it, but it looks legit and it's a prototype, so we'll see.

Malcom: I didn't know that he actually went ahead and started coding it. I

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. Didn't you see that? Like

Malcom: I, I just saw him like saying he could do it or

Benedikt: No, no. He did it, like, he, he posted the screenshots and measure measurements and like the user interface and all that. He actually did it. So,

Malcom: wow.

Benedikt: yeah. And then, then he said the ultimate troll, the ultimate troll move would be to offer it a subscription only. That was what he said then. Like, that's what they gotta do. Uh, I don't think they're gotta do that, but, um, you know, I don't know, maybe it's free, maybe it's cheap. Maybe it never sees the, you know, maybe never comes to life. I don't

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. He's gotta weigh the lawsuit risk.

Benedikt: yeah. Yeah.

Malcom: Oh, that's fantastic. Yeah. Very, very funny. Um, there was some brutal, like, marketing ploys from other companies too. Like, uh, what, what did I think? Waves, or no, sorry, uh, soft tube. I'm pretty sure it was sent out an email that was wave goodbye to subscription plans or something by our perpetual licenses.

Like, oh, that's so harsh.

Benedikt: Oh yeah.

Malcom: Yep. It was ruthless.

Benedikt: SSL brought back their perpetual licenses in reaction to waves taking theirs away, which was also pretty, pretty interesting. So Waves announced that the, uh, perpetuals are gone and like two hours later or so SSL announced that they're bringing back perpetual licenses. Uh, so yeah, it's pretty crazy what happened there. But yeah, it had an effect on the whole industry apparently. So

Malcom: Yep. Absolutely.


Benedikt: onto today's episode, I'd say, right? Cool.

Malcom: So that, that's definitely felt like an episode.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe we should just leave it like that. No, let's do, let's do one though. Um.

Malcom: do it.

Benedikt: Bus processing, that's what we wanna talk about. Um, let's define bus processing and explain how it works. First, I'd say so how does bus processing differ from individual track processing?

Malcom: Right. So yeah, bus processing is where multiple tracks are being sent to the same place so that if you do any processing, it's going to affect all, all tracks that are eroded there. So instead of throwing EQ on your kick drum and you know, boosting the top end, let's say if you had roaded all of your drum tracks to a bus and then done that same move, plopped an EQ on that bus and boosted the top end. Now the whole drum kit is being uniformly adjusted with that top end boost, not just the kick drum. And, you know, continually, if you do, you know, uh, a big mid cut, you're gonna have that same effect. All of the drums are gonna experience that scoop that you've now put into the EQ or compress or whatever. So it's a way of treating multiple tracks with a single instance of, uh, processing.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. And he couldn't be small groups of tracks like putting all the mics on. On a kick drum into one bus or all the maximum guitar cap into one group. Or it can be a major, like, main bus. Like all drums or all guitars. All vocals or the mix bus, you know, the, all the, the whole mix basically. So, um, it's just, yeah, like you said, multiple individual tracks are being summed together and that group of tracks that results from that is being processed, um, with a single chain basically processed together. Okay. Now common examples before we, we don't wanna dive into how and, and what exactly we do this, but just examples that people can think, um, think of what we're about, what we're talking here. So common examples of bus processing techniques would be drum bus compression, compressing all the drums together, right? Mix bus compression, sending the whole mix through one single compressor, one stereo compressor. What else can you think?

Malcom: Uh, parallel buses are another common thing that most people have probably heard of. So you, you might send, uh, just the close mics of your drum kit to a parallel bus. Uh, so kick snare and tom's maybe to this parallel bus, but you'll leave out the overheads and stuff like that. And then most commonly, people will crush this with, you know, very aggressive distortion and maybe even, uh, or, sorry, very aggressive compression and maybe some distortion and, uh, and then mix that in with their other drum tracks, you know, so it's not replacing, not it's, it's, it's a parallel, uh, blend where you can have your unprocessed and your processed track mixed together. So that would be another, another common example.

Benedikt: absolutely. And we're gonna explain the routing later on, so don't, don't, uh, don't worry. Uh, if you don't fully get with parallel means versus like a standard bus, we're gonna have to get into that. But yeah, that's a good example. Um, having an EQ on the mixed bus is probably pretty popular too, so people have a, like a, a pull tech or something musical, you know, broad, uh, on the mix bus just to, to be able to boost overall brightness or overall low end, you know, polishing the mix a little bit. Same could be said for drum buses or, you know, anything like that. Like broad musical EQ I think is common.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah, definitely. You can really be as, you know, granular as you want to be. Uh, I think Benny and I are both actually kind of over users of buses. I know I am. I like, like every pair of guitars has a bus in mind. You know, I've got like, uh, like pairs of vocals usually have a bus as well. Um, and then those buses go to a master bus that has all of the buses

And and, uh,

Benedikt: the mixed bus and then, you know, and that goes to the master bus and

Malcom: Yeah, lots of, lots of buses. But it allows for all of these, uh, instances of different control where I can go to the individual tracks where I can go to their little subgroup bus, where I can go to their master group bus. So example being I could treat the backing vocals individually if I wanted to, or I could treat all the backing vocals together, or I could. The vocals in its entirety. So the backing vocals and the vocals are all getting that change. You know, there's a lot of different options for control there, which I really like. Is it overkill? Probably. Yeah. But it's, it's the way that I like to see things and think about things and, and control things. But that said, you can do a mix without any buses at all. Sand's a master output. You have to have one place. They're all going to be able to print the mix, but, uh, you don't have to have, in theory, any buses other than that. So that might be a little bit of a, like a thing to wrap your head around if you're trying to visualize this. Is that all of your tracks have to be eroded somewhere, say the master output, and that's your mix bus in the end, your master bus. Um, and, and that you can, you can do a mix that way, but it doesn't allow you to do any bus processing. Uh, other than that, that final output, which is I would find incredibly frustrating to try and make a, a mix that lose, trying to do it that way, but you should know that it's possible to do it that way. You just, I would encourage you to explore adding buses for at least each instrument.

Benedikt: Yeah, yeah, totally. Absolutely. Uh, there is certain advantages and maybe also risks, um, that come with it. We're gonna talk about that too. Um, but, but yeah, it's possible. Some people never, like, some people are very minimalistic when it comes to using buses or don't use any at all. Other people do use a lot of buses, like you said, like Malcolm and I do. Um, there's no right or wrong. Um, just know that somewhere everything's gonna end up on a bus. And even if it's just your master bus somewhere, it's gonna be some together because you don't listen to like a 64 channel audio and 64 different speakers, but you listen to stereo audio, you know, where everything is gonna come out of two channels eventually. So it has to be some together, and that's a bus. And you can do subgroups and subgroups and subgroups into other groups as much as you want, uh, depending on the song and your preferences. Uh, another, maybe the final common example that I want to give people is transient control, like clipping and limiting that's, uh, an application for, for, uh, bus processing. Because if you think about it, when, for example, drums and vocals go together into your mix bus and usually like a snare drum, a kick drum, and the vocals are sort of the loudest things in a lot of mixes. You might wanna control the peaks of your drums because the snare is a little too dynamic. Or you want to just to get more loudness, you wanna control the kick and the snare. Um, and if you do that on the master or like the mix bus or the master, it could also, like a side effect could be that the vocals in between the kicks and snares, they are also also loud and they could be negatively affected by the clipping. And so the vocals could start to distort. Same is true for Lao guitars. They could start to crackle and like behave weird because of the clipping that you actually just wanna apply to the transients. And to avoid that, you could clip, uh, the drum bus very hard and not so much. The bus with that has just the vocals. And then you mix 'em together. And then you have to do less limiting and less clipping on your actual mis mix bus because you've already controlled those drum transient without affecting anything else. So it just gives you the option to address certain problems on groups of instruments without negatively affecting the rest of your mix basically.

Malcom: Yeah, that's a, a great technique for sure that I, I can't really, it'd be very hard to do that without using bus processing. You'd have to go and try and manually do it to each track, which I don't think is gonna yield better results. Necessarily. Um, and, and it's a lot of extra processing and Yeah. Junk.

Benedikt: yeah. Totally, totally. Now, the next part that you added here, Malcolm, is, is important too. Buses aren't the same as folders and you put there unless they are, because it's different from Dodge to doll. I think. So in Cubase, they are completely different things. A folder in Cubase. Can't have plug-ins, a folders just to organize tracks, um, visually, and you can open and close those folders, organize them, color code them, and that's pretty much it. I know though, in other dolls, a folder is pretty similar to a bus because you can put plug-ins on a folder track. Um, and so that depends on your doll. I was surprised and confused when I work with, with people in, when I help people in their dolls and I told them to create a folder, and then they were telling me that they had all these processing on the folder. And that was new to me because Cubase doesn't do that. But I learned that some dolls do, and, and interestingly, you can still create an ox track or a group or a bus or whatever, and also a folder, and I don't really know why. Like what's the difference then, or, you know, it's a little confusing to me in Cubase, it's straightforward. You can either make a group or you make a folder or you make an effects track, which is like your axis for reverbs and stuff like that. Um, pretty straightforward there, but

Malcom: Yeah. in the case of Pro Tools, you ha when you make a folder, you can select make a routing folder. And a routing folder is essentially a bus. It just, the advantage of a folder is that you can like collapse it and hide all your tracks kind of inside of it. It's just a folder is an organization structure, but some dolls allow for routing through it, which means that that folder is also acting as a bus, um, where you can apply processing, which I really like. I do love that workflow of my folders being my buses. Um, cuz then it's just simple. It's the one and the same thing for me. But yeah, just we want people to understand that they could be called a folder. They could be called an ox. They could be called a Send a Return. Uh, they could be called a bus. There's probably a name I'm forgetting, but they're probably all the same thing.

Benedikt: It's basically a pair, like it can be mono to, it's either a single channel or a pair of channels that you can send any audio to, and, and no matter how much you send into it, it's gonna be summed down, like to mixed down to that pair of channels or that one channel, and that, that's basically it. It's like, A place where audio goes and ends up being two channels or one channel, and, and it can be parallel, it can be serial, it can be um, folder, box, whatever. But it's always the same thing. Just call differently.

Malcom: So one cool thing about folder routing, polar routing buses, I guess, is that because of the, the organizational nature of them. The, the tracks that are being sent to that bus, to that folder bus are nested inside of it. So it's visually they're always together. Where with oxes, if you just manually create an ox and use that as, uh, the, the, like the group send or, or ox uh, processor, that doesn't have to be in your door at the same location as those tracks cuz it's not nested in it. So you could just drag your ox all of your oxes to one side of the doll if you wanted, and have them living in a totally different places. Or you could drag it to the tracks or you could make a, a folder ox where they're nested together and all that. Processing it like it visually makes a lot more sense to me. But people work different ways, so there's kind of different flexibility options a.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. Totally agreed. Yeah. Cool. Now, um, let's talk about the benefits of bus processing. Including creating a more cohesive and polished sound, because that's what a lot of people, I think, think about, or that's what people hear online. When people talk about bus processing, people talk about how it glues tracks together or how it, how you can polish your mix overall. Uh, or in the, in the mastering or on the mix bus, you know, these types of things. It's, it's not associated with surgical moves usually. It's more of a polish and glue thing and a character thing. And let's unpack what that actually means and why it is beneficial, why it could be beneficial to do bus processing and like what are people trying to do with it?

Malcom: So here's an interesting way to think about it. If you set up a drum kit in a room, um, whatever room you're familiar with, let's go with that for this example, and you record the drums, they're all gonna have characteristics that match that room. You can't avoid that. The room is gonna pl impact those recordings, and that is similar to what bus processing is because when you now throw EQ on a bus with all of those same drum tracks right to that bus, you are affecting all of the tracks uniformly with the same processing. So it is it, it's the same thing. It is these things being influenced. Equally, I guess kind of equally because not everything hits it. Uh, I guess like, like if you got a limiter on a bus, not all the tracks might hit that limiter. Uh, but it, it just kind of does work that way. So that's why it results in glue is because like that e how you're shaping that EQ is affecting the whole image and it's our ears perceive that as something that seems more cohesive. Does that make.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally makes sense. True for eq, also true for compression. If you compress a, like, you know, drums and a bass for example, together, um, they might feel a little disconnected before you do it, but once you compress them, the kick slightly ducks the bass, you know it because the, you know, the compressor reacts to the kick, but it attenuates the whole signal. So it also turns down the base whenever the whole thing is turned down. So it seems like the kick is sort of pushing the base away a little bit, or if you have, uh, a mix bus compressor every time the Laos air comes in, it kind of. Um, feel, it feels like it pushes into the mix a little bit and, and everything moves with the drum groove. You, you do subtle things usually on a bus. You're not compressing like, I mean, you can, but usually when people use a mix bus compressor, they're not doing like 10 to be of game reduction. It's a 1, 2, 3 to be game reduction thing, you know? Uh, and it's subtle, but it makes the whole mix move a little bit with the groove of the song if you said it correctly. And that's, I think what also creates glue because it feels like the rest of the music is reacting to the drums in a way. And, um, Or, or if in a, in the sense of like we, we were talking about piano and vocals and sparse arrangement types of things. If you compress a piano and a vocal together, um, you, it's probably gonna be not a very punchy fast compression, but more of a slow musical leveling. But that also, when when the vocal gets louder, it probably pushes into the piano a little bit and there is an interaction between the two. There's a little bit of movement and a com. Each compressor, especially if it's like a character full, like wind vintage compressor type of plugin or, or actual analog thing, it has a sound, it has just, the box itself has a certain sound, and the more you drive it, the more obvious the sound gets. And this character is applied to all the elements, which is similar to what you just described when it comes to EQ decisions, that now your piano and the vocals share that same grit, that same characteristic, um, even though they might sound different to begin with, but now they have something in common. The, the harmonic structure is similar and in a way it just, It just makes it feel like it belongs together. And it's a subtle thing. It's hard to hear in the beginning. Um, but it's, I think it's more of a feeling thing than something you can actually hear immediately, but it makes a difference. So.

Malcom: Yeah. Uh, a way that it was kind of taught to me, particularly mixed bus processing and mixed compression, um, was taught to. When I got my internship, I, for people who haven't listened to all the episodes, I got my start at an in with an internship at a studio called The Witch Shop Recording Studio. Really beautiful studio in the couch and valley here. And the owner there, Zach kind of explained it to me that he's starting a mix and he's kind of got things balanced. And then he's brought in a mix bus compressor in this case, and an eq actually now I think back to it. And I was kinda like, so why are we doing this? Like, why not just do it on the individual tracks? I don't really understand what the, the point of this is. And he, he explained it as, you have to kind of build a box to mix inside or to paint inside. If you picture it as if you're coloring in a mix like a, a pencil, like a coloring book, you need to give yourself a canvas, you know? Uh, and then that's what you mix within. Otherwise there's, there's no end in sight for it. So this way you're mixing into that processing and finding the. Finding kind of the constraints of your, your canvas to do your mix within, which is a really great way to think about it. That, for me, made a lot of sense

Benedikt: Absolutely. And I remember you shared that at in some episode before, and I, I love that, that's why I think I put it in, in the notes here. Um, the, the frame sort of, it's the frame of, of your mix or whatever, but like yeah. That, that canvas, that frame. And I love that that an analogy because it's true. It's, it's gonna be on every, if it's the mix bus, everything's gonna have that character. And if you're mixing into this from the beginning, that is your canvas and there's no way around it. That's, that's what what you have. And you have to work with that and it's gonna affect the way you paint. And so,

Malcom: and that can be really good or really bad.

Benedikt: exactly. We're gonna get to that too. Cool. Now let's back, back to the benefits of like, why it makes sense to use bus processing, because we will get to the hall in a second. Um, other than like the gluing and all that bus processing processing can, yeah, this is a good one. Can help address common mixing problems quickly, such as muddy, low end, or a harsh high end. Not in the sense of like, I don't mean this like, um, it's not the same as like doing surgical correction moves where you notch out resonances. You could do that, but that's gonna affect something negatively too, because not everything's gonna have those same resonances typically, but more in the sense. If something general is wrong with the mix, if you just feel like that everything feels kind of muddy, that could be because it's alive off the floor recording in a room and that room has a certain problem. And so all the mics suffer from that, and there's just too much, 300 hertz in that room or whatever, and it, everything just sounds a little muddy. Now, instead of doing that same tweak to every single, um, you know, channel, you could just clean it up on the bus, make some room there, and voila, you have a more, you know, open mid-range and like more clarity, less mud. That could be an application. Or if everything is super dark because there's foam all over the walls, it's a super dried, overly treated, you know, um, room and everything's just too dark, there's probably no harm. Like you can probably cause no harm by just boosting with a broad musical shelf EQ and making everything a little brighter. You know, it's a quick way to fix. General problems, or if you're done mixing, uh, because there's two approaches you can mix into your bus processing or you can apply it at the end. There's two different approaches. But what I, and I do both, but, um, an example for doing it at the end would be, I'm done with my mix and I like all my decisions. I don't wanna go back and change anything. But I feel like, like, like a mastering engineer would listen to a song. I feel like overall it's a little harsh. There's a little too much, you know, two K, three K, 4k, something like that, the upper mid range. And instead of. Try. Sometimes I try and find the, the reason for it, but sometimes the quick and easy way that just does the job is to go to the mix bus, make queue there, and just do a little one and a half db, so to scoop there. Um, and all of a sudden it's less harsh. Everything sits better. Perfect. Done. And similar of to what a mastering engineer would do. You know? So sometimes there's a problem with the whole mix and you can just fix it quickly on a bus. Uh, and you don't have to undo any of your mixing decisions. Uh, that could, which could cause a chain reaction, you know, and in all kinds of ways.

And so, um,

Malcom: Definitely it, it's, it's very powerful in that it, when you're making decisions with a a bus, you are listening in context by, by the nature of what you're doing because you're, you're, you're not gonna solo a track and then make an adjustment on a bus because you're not hearing everything that's going on there. So you are listening in context, which is very, very recommended and very hard to actually put into practice when you're getting started, cuz it's, you just, you hear a problem and you want to just solo that and make the change. But it really doesn't matter how it sounds in solo, it only matters how it sounds in full context. So it, it's very good for that. We're purposely skirting around the topic, uh, and technique of top-down, mixing a little bit, like we're kind of touching on it, but we plan to have our next episode be entirely about top-down mixing, just heads up. So stick around for that one.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: But yeah, it, bus processing is, is what top-down mixing is built around, of course. So it, it can be very, yeah, very helpful. But just like you said there, if you were to go and make individual changes, rather than just doing it on the mix bus, that there could be chain reactions by doing that. There is of course, by the nature of making changes on the mix bus chain reactions that happen to every change you make on the mix bus. So it, I've gone, I remember getting started with, with mixing and, and going back and forth being like, oh, this is, this makes it so easy now that I know how to like, make changes on my mix bus it, this, it's so easy to mix songs and then like one mix happens to turn out good by luck and then the next mix is a disaster because I just tried to do it all there. I just was like scooping things like crazy and it's really hard to know what you should change versus what you can change. Uh, very tricky skill to develop.

Benedikt: Yes. Yeah, totally. And as I said, it can be, uh, yeah, it can lead to very cool results. It can be pretty dangerous and people new to mixing will probably make mistakes at first, but yeah. Okay. So it is, it helps. Enhance the groove and it can help enhance the groove. And it can sound, uh, it can help glue things together. It can help address common mixing problems like overall mixing problems quickly. Um, it is a more musical approach or like, helps you make more musical decisions and elevate the mix using a few broad strokes rather than many surgical changes because those can also add up and degrade the overall quality of your mix if you do too much in individual channels. So sometimes you feel like less individual processing is necessary if you do, um, bus processing instead, which can be a good thing. Helps you focus on the music more as you said. And the context more than the technical details helps you listen more carefully, which is also the danger here because people YouTube mixing don't really know how to do that yet, and so they don't know. What you, like you said, what you should change versus what you could change and, and how to know and how to listen for that actually. But it's a good exercise and it helps you listen more carefully, I think, and um, mix faster and more intuitively too. So it's just fo it's just more musical, I think. And one interesting thing here before we move on to the how. At least it helps me create a sense of depth in my, uh, in space and my recordings that I can't really do as well on individual tracks. What I mean by that is, for example, if I have similar groups of instruments, like two different guitar groups, one for rhythms, one for lead guitars, for example, I probably have a couple of individual mics, maybe multiple mics on a cap, maybe an amim that runs with along with it or a di or whatever, but like multiple sources per guitar possibly. And then those go into a pair of guitars and then those go to the rhythm bus. And then I have like the same going for the leak guitars and those go to Elite Bus. Now, if I want to make sure that the leak guitars are a little more forward, and the rhythm guitars are a little behind that, for example, it's pretty hard to do that on the individual tracks, let alone the individual. Like Mikes without context, you know, I can't do that in a vacuum. I can't listen to a single 57 and, and make a good decision that. Pushes it back in the mixer brings it forward because I have to hear the other mics, how it interacts. I have to hear the other guitars and all of that. But if I just hit solo on my rhythm guitars and then solo on my league guitars, and then the two together, I can do things like cut a little bit of mid-range on the rhythms and boost the same mid-range on the leads. And boom, my rhythms are a little more back and the leads are a little forward and it affects all of those guitars. And it's way easier to do that than trying to go in and do it on any, on every single guitar, right? So I can create a quick sense of depth and put things where they belong, um, without having to, you know, to be too, like surgical and granulate. So very quick, intuitive musical thing to me.

Malcom: Absolutely. So that actually brings up something really interesting, and it's kind of like a lost art, uh, in, in recording. Uh, due to the nature of con prosumer and consumer interfaces coming up, this feature has been totally lost since the days of big mixing consoles, and that is called summing. And summing, uh, analog summing is something that you used to be able to do on the way in quite easily, where you could have multiple sources inside of your mixing console be sent to a single track and just record that one track. So in the case I got to do this with, with my band Band Rascals, on our last album, we had like three amps running at a, any given time. Multiple cabs, multiple mics on each cab, and finding blends like that. And we recorded one track plus the di. We had DI's going as well, but we blended and summed before recording all of our amp tracks. Com commit to aone and that was awesome because we're making those decisions in real time and, uh, that allows you to yeah, make decisions in context and when you are mixing in the box. My, my least favorite thing about mixing in the box, which Benny has overcome with faders is when you have a, a, a couple guitar mics and you wanna find a balance. If you're using a mouse, you can only change one thing at a time. You can't experiment with the blend with just a couple fingers and find that sweet spot of the two. In relation to each other, but also in relation to the entire mix. So a bus kind of lets you do that. If you can first get a mix together, uh, of those two tracks, and now use your bus as the volume vader to get it in context with the song. It's kind of a workaround. So you can think of, uh, buses as, uh, ways to sum things together. And just the advantage of just having a volume knob for a group of instrument tracks or a group of audio tracks is really handy.

Benedikt: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, couldn't agree more. I actually did, I didn't do some like analog summing, but I treated when I had my, um, 16 channel, um, controller. I treated it like an analog console and hear me out. It's of course not the same. But, um, I used to have a 16 channel. Controller and I tried what people do who use analog suming, which is, you gotta find a way to sum the tracks in the do first. So to reduce your 168 channel session down to 16 pairs of channels in some way. And then so that you can send those out to your 16 channels that you have available on your summing device or whatever. And what I did with my controller was I tried the same thing. I tried to limit myself to like 16 groups and no matter how many tracks the session had, I tried to, uh, bring it down inside the doll before I really start mixing to those 16 groups. I, I still have access to the individual tracks, individual tracks if I need to, but I try to do something. To end up with something like kick snare, Tom's, um, kit rooms, bass guitar, left guitar right. You know, league guitar, main vocals, so on and so forth until I arrive at the backing vocals and I tried to, to break it down into 16 tracks and those were my, and then I put those on my 16 fades here, and I, and I tried, which brings us to top down mixing, which we covered in the next episode. I tried to do the bulk of my mixing on those 16 fades and only go back to the individual ones if I really need to. But I, I did my best to create a good balance on those first, maybe do some corrections. If something's really wrong, you know, clean it up a little bit, but then I won't touch it again. And I was working from those 16 fighters the most, the, the, yeah, most of the time. And this was a really good exercise and so much fun to mix because you don't have to think about these three mics and then. Doubles of the guitar and whatever. I just have guitar left, guitar right. And perfect. You know, and then I can balance that against my symbols. And so, such a fun way to mix. So,

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. That's, that's a, such a great way to do it. Um, and I, I could see it being very enjoyable as, as well. Yeah. I, I need to get some faders going.

Benedikt: yeah, for sure. For sure. And I still do kinda, kinda the same thing just in the dawn now, and I have just eight fades, but I still break it down into my many, many subgroups and, and, uh, buses to achieve a similar thing. I just released actually an, um, a very, very in-depth action plan for our coaching program, the surf recording syndicate that is exclusively available in there for people where I did eight. It's a total of eight videos on drum mixing, like very in-depth, um, where I showed everything I did to a particular mix and. One of the themes, the recurring themes was that, and I, I find myself doing that all the time, was that I almost don't process individual mics, but I always find a balance between kick in, kick out and whatever I have. And then on the kick bus, I do the processing to not mess up the phase relationship and the transients. And I, I just find I can work faster, more musical and, and ma and I keep more punch in the signal and not ruin it and smear it as much when I do that. So I still have that same approach. I just have to, you know, switch between two eight channel fader banks now, uh, versus having 16 fades. But I still like to, to work that way and, and, you know, yeah, do on the buses.

Malcom: Yeah, a lot of, a lot of like the, the. Legends of mixing work in a similar style, right? Where they of course, are taken advantage of in the box stuff, but they've also got maybe a console with their group summed out, um, so that they can also mix with their hands.

Benedikt: Yeah. And CLE or whoever, even if they have an ssl, they might just have, you know, 32 channels or something, or 48 channels. I think in his case it's 48 or whatever. I, I might be wrong, but like, definitely not 180 or 500. So they have to commit in the box before he can even send it out to his console. And I don't think he goes back much after he's done that. I think he's just driving the console and he's mixing there and uh, and you know, that's it.

Malcom: Yeah. Wild.

Benedikt: yeah. Okay, cool. Now how some practical tips and techniques for implementing bus processing in your mixes. Like how do we actually use it? Examples, real life examples. Um, let's start by how to set up bus processing and how to route your tracks to the buses. We kind of touched on that a little bit, but I think. The, you know, I can only speak for, for, for Cubase, but I think it's pretty similar in all kinds of dolls. You ha you start out recording to individual tracks. Um, so you create a bunch of audio tracks, you assign an input, you record, and then you have a waveform dis some sort of waveform display on all these tracks like events or regions or whatever they are called. These are audio tracks. And then you can create a different type of track, which could be called ox track, group, track folder, bus, anything like that. And then you can set the output of those individual tracks that you've recorded to be that bus. And or the input of that bus to be the output of those tracks that's different from door to doll, how it exactly works. But what you have to make sure is that those tracks don't go to the mix bus anymore, but instead go to this other track that you created and then that goes to the mix bus. You just inserted one more, uh, one step in between basically where you can process the thing be before it goes to the mix bus. Uh, that's one way to do it. And, and it's a little, as I said, different from do to do, but basically you're just creating one summing stage before the final summing stage. And you can do that multiple times and then you can sum all these buses that you've created once again together in the main mix bus. So you can do that as, as often as you want. You can go from very broad to a little narrow and narrow and narrow and narrow until you arrive at the final pair of stereo tracks. Um, and then, The other thing would be the parallel processing that you describe Malcolm. Um, so how would you, how would you set that up? How do you do that in Pro Tools? Because maybe that's different in people and I, it's, uh, it doesn't hurt to hear a different thing than the Cubase way.

Malcom: So I'll, I'll briefly cover just regular busing in my own words. Cause then that terminology will carry forward for parallel. But essentially, yeah, you've got all of your audio tracks, which the outputs are all, if you haven't done anything, are assumingly all roaded to your master output, which is again, your master bus. Even if it doesn't have, even if it's not set up so that you can control it, it still exists. It's one place. Um, now you're gonna take, uh, let, let's stick with drums is our theme. You're gonna take the output and change that to one of your oxes or one of your buses, say bus one, two, it might be labeled, and that is now your drum bus. And you can rename that, uh, or you can just leave it titled bus one, two. So you've now correct effectively created a drum bus, which is fantastic. Congratulations. But if you'd wanted to have a parallel bus for just your kick and snare so you could crush that, you would then need to. There's two ways actually now I think of it. You can make another bus and, and have the output of those that kick in. The snare sent to both your drum bus and this parallel this, this extra bus. And now they, there's hopefully two tracks living in your session that you can control the faders of. That's one way of doing it. Or you can use your sends and returns and you make a send on those two tracks. You're kicking your snare that goes to this new bus as well. Different ways of doing the same job and really hard to visualize on a podcast. I'm not positive.

Benedikt: Yep.

Malcom: but yeah. Now you've, uh, you're gonna end up with this, this, uh, the, the, the main thing about a parallel bus is that you can blend it. So it's not the only, the the, it's not the only place that those tracks are being sent. So if you mute your, your parallel bus, the output that they were going to, your master output in the original case is still still happening. And if you mute that, you've got no sound, but then you could unmute your parallel bus and it's back. Right? So it's, it's always going to exist in conjunction with your existing.

Benedikt: Yep. Perfectly well explained. I think that makes total sense. And I think parallel processing is something where you have to try to follow along with, with what Malcolm just said, and do it once and then you'll get it. You have to do it, and, and it will be, it will become obvious. It's sometimes hard to, to grasp maybe when you just hear it, but as soon as you've done it and you, you see it in front of you and you hear it and you've, the first time you've balanced the two favors, you, you gotta get it.

Malcom: Yep. Yeah, it's hilarious how long it took me to get, it's kind of like tying, learning to tie your shoes

Benedikt: yeah,

Malcom: in that you're like, why is this so hard? And then, uh, like, you know, hopefully by now it's not hard to tie your shoes anymore. Um, but it, it, like, it just was like I had to just keep watching YouTube videos and be like, all right, then they did this, and then they did this, and then it just clicked one day and I was like, oh, yeah, easy. It's the same thing I've already been doing, just in parallel, uh,

Benedikt: What helps me is to draw signal flow, simple signal, flow lines, uh, on, just on a piece of paper that helps to totally, like, I, I draw like, you know, four, you know, like lines. Those are my four channels. And then I draw like cables to one line, which is my bus. So those four channels now end up in one bus, and then I just draw another line for my parallel bus and another four cables to that. And then I connect the final two to one, and now I get the, the parallel bus. You know, do you start with four?

Malcom: Nice.

Benedikt: Yeah. Like, yeah. Yeah. You start with four, you connect all of those so that they end up at one, then you create another one, and again, all four with four additional cables to that. And then you connect the final two to one final one, and that's your parallel routing. And now you can balance the two against each other. Um, and if I can visualize it like that or draw it, then it helps me understand it a little better.

Malcom: Yeah. And the, the beauty of all this is it because it's kind of time consuming, which is my least favorite part about it. But once you find, uh, a setup that you really enjoy working with, like say that bus compression, having a, like a parallel bus, compression bus in addition to your drum bus is something that you really like. That just really works well for your, your mind and how you think about mixing and your workflow. You just save a template of that and you just never have to make it again. It's always exists in every new session you make. That is super key. I haven't made a bus in ages because they just all exist there. Whether I plan to use them or not, I just have them ready.

Benedikt: Me too. Same thing. Yeah. By the way, if you wanna see what that actually looks like, the routing and how I set it up with the buses and, and all the, all that, what that we just talked about. Even the plugins on the buses, the bus processing, the routing, everything, parallel buses and so on and so forth. Uh, you can go to the surf recording band.com/session template. And then, um, there you go. And it's a free video, a free, uh, in-depth video walkthrough where I show you exactly what my template looks like, what I use. It's not my current one, but it's pretty similar still. And, uh, I think this will, this will explain all of what we just said in a, in a visual way and, and makes it, makes it clear to you. So go to the self recording ban.com/session template and just get that for free. All right. So, um, there's not much more to say actually, but. I mean, you know, the, let's just go quickly about some, some to, uh, to some actionable things that we actually do. So, uh, you know, now how to set up a bus and how, what parallel, uh, processing is now selecting the right processing tools and plugins for your buses. This is very individual, but I think most people will agree that there are certain tools that are, that, you know, tend to work well on buses, and there are certain tools that people are more likely to use on individual channels. You can use everything on everything, but I think there are some very common things that are typically used on buses or some, some categories of, of tools and plugins that are typically used on certain buses. So I, I don't, I don't know if you would agree there, Malcolm, but I, I, there's some tools that come to mind when they think about bus processing that just lent themselves well to that type of, of job,

Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah, I, I just had an interesting thought because I. Most people have made a reverb send, uh, but maybe haven't yet made a parallel drum bus. And they're the same thing,

Benedikt: Yep.

Malcom: right? Like, uh, it's a place you're sending a, like you say, it's a vocal reverb send. You've made, you're sending your vocal there and it's coming back wet, a hundred percent wet in that case. But that, that is a parallel bus. So just wanted to quickly get that out there that if you've done that, you've already accomplished a parallel bus.

Benedikt: Agreed, agreed. Absolutely that, yeah, good talk. The typical bus processing tools would be, to me at least, rather musical EQs. So while you could use a fat filter or a stock eq, of course. Um, when I think of EQs on that, I use on buses, it's typically something like a polt tech or some sort of mastering eq, uh, emulation or, um, you know, something that has a character to it, that has a saturation, not just a clean boost and cut usually. Um, and then something that has. Broad musical curves, uh, in, so that I can do an overall brightness boost or low end boost, something like that, that that's what I mostly use on buses when it comes to eq. So I, I paint with broad strokes there rather than do, do surgical, um, moves. Um, when it comes to compression, it depends on the source. So drum compression would be pretty similar to bus comp, what I would use on a bus compression thing. So something VCA relatively quick and punchy then. But this is also genre dependent. This is just because I work on heavy and, and music and rock a lot. So something like an SSL compressor would be my choice for mixed bus, but also drum bus compression. Then, um, I don't know. You, do you have any, do you have any go-tos on like guitars or vocals or, or even Well, different choices on drums or.

Malcom: Well, little pro tip for everyone is that if the plugin is a bus plugin, that's a good clue. So bus compressors and bus EQs, they usually work pretty good in those settings.

Benedikt: yeah,

Malcom: Um, and uh, and if you don't, like, I can't really think of a, an instance where I'm making a bus where I don't plan to use at least one of those things. Um, so that's kind of interesting. Um, but uh, yeah, so, so for me, uh, bus compression and, and anQ are, are very common to live there. Um, I also like to group distort things. I find that rather than having individual instances of distortion, getting a little bit of distortion, say on a drum bus overall with like a plugin, like double lock is, uh, a cohesive

kind of gluing, uh, tool that I use quite a bit.

Benedikt: Totally. Um, also things like. That might be different compared to what other people do because it can be dangerous. But I personally don't like to use a lot of instances of, like, for example, tape machines. I don't do the put a tape machine on every single channel thing. Um, but if I want the character of tape for whatever reason, I just put it on a bus. I won't do it on individual tracks, but I might use tape on all the drums or all the guitars or whatever. Um, if, if that's what I want. Um, so a lot of people do you know the multitrack tape thing with tape machine instance on every, on every channel? I don't, I don't do that. If I want tape, it's gonna be on the bus probably.

Malcom: I'm the same. Yeah, I, I just never got, Real results out of the an instance on every track. It, it doesn't, it makes things noisy.

Benedikt: Yeah, it adds up and it's like, I don't wanna fight to the tape machine. You know? It, it's gotta be, I mean, I don't, you know, never say never. That might be the odd production where this is the vibe, but it doesn't make things easier for sure. So I don't see a reason to do it, and I can get the exact amount, type of saturation I want on specific things without having to use it on everything. So,

Malcom: Yeah. And, uh, another reminder, everyone that different doesn't equal better. So it, when you, if, if you're new to this and you haven't really developed your year for recognizing that difference between different and better. When you hear the plugin of the, the, the YouTube video of them putting it on every track and then they bypass them on and off, it does sound different, but does it sound better on each of those tracks? That's the question. And it's really hard to hear it.

Benedikt: Totally. Yeah. Um, another thing I like to use on buses, and that might be different from what you do, Malcolm. I, I don't know, but, um, maybe not. Uh, I like to use the intelligent sort of type of plugins on my buses, like golf o or sooth, uh, that type of thing because instead of, I feel like if I use it on, it's tempting to use it on everything because those things are so good and so easy to, or like seemingly easy to dial in. It's pretty dangerous too, but they always seem to make things better in pretty much immediately. And so it's tempting to put them on everything. But I find if you do that, you end up with a pretty, you can't end up with a pretty boring mix with a pretty, there's no, you know, resonances anymore that make things exciting because they're not always a bad thing. Um, it's like, uh, overcooked and just, you know, but, so I tend to use those types of plug-ins on buses rather than on everything. And the nice side effect of that is that when. It kind of does a little bit of auto mixing for me. Meaning if I put something like sooth on, um, a vocal bus and I said it so that when the lead vocal is on its own, it's barely doing anything. So it's pretty transparent. There might be a little bit of surveillance control or harshness control, but not much. But then when this group of backing vocals come in, or the gang shouts or whatever, and when like vocals get more and more towards the chorus and they all go to my vocal bus, then the more vocals are being added to the stack, the more sooth controls things. And that does some auto mixing for me because then I don't have to automate as much and do as much to, to make sure that this, this growing stack of vocals stays part of the mix. Sooth does it a little like automatic sooth in com in combination with bus compression, um, does it automatically or semia automatically for me and, and that I find that really helpful. Some of those like thing works on the guitar bus too, so I tend to use. To set my bus processing so that it doesn't do a lot, if anything, as long as there's, uh, not much going on. But when, as soon as things add up, it counteracts that a little bit and keeps it under control, and that's what I like to do with those intelligent type of plugins like Sooth or also Golf Force and other things.

Malcom: Yeah, I mean, this is a little bit of a off topic tangent, but these intelligent plugins are only as smart as you let them be. And um, with that in mind, you do need to be. Conscious of how intelligent you let them be. So if you put it on, uh, right on a lead vocal, it probably will, like gold Foss, for example, will make that sound smoother, no doubt. But that doesn't mean it's gonna be better in the context of the mix. Whereas if you put it on the vocal bus later in the mix with all of the vocals together, it then does a better job, in my opinion, usually of figuring out what to take out from all of those stacked vocals together. Um, and, and then better yet, the on the mix bus, it's now making a decision in context with the entire mix. And, and then yet again, where on that mix bus you're putting it, are you putting it before the compressor or after the compressor will, it's gonna make different decisions based on what it's hearing. Um, and I do find that like putting it last isn't always the best option. Um, but it, it's, it is fascinating. It's like you just kind of have to think, okay, I'm gonna let you have this much information to make some decisions with.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And so it sounds like you're doing a similar thing, right? I just find it, it's tempting to use it on everything. Don't like to do that a lot. I use it sparingly on, on the buses.

Malcom: Yeah, I, I try to avoid it on individual tracks because again, it just doesn't have enough context to make the right decision unless something's terrible. Like if I get like a really bad, uh, super honky vocal, some reason it can be like a miracle worker in those situations. But

Benedikt: Or symbols with really annoying whistling, resonances and I, before I find myself making like 12 notches, I might just use sooth and let that do the bulk of the work, you know, on the, on the symbols. So that's totally a thing, but very selective and intentional and not on everything, just because I can. Yeah. Okay. Cool. What else can we think of when it comes to bus processing? This is pretty much what I do when it comes to parallel stuff. We talked about that a little bit. There's people like Andrew Shep's who sort of sent the whole mix to a parallel bus where you have a, some analog consoles had a back bus where, or a rear bus where you had the main mix bus, and then you had. Mix bus, sort of, that was called the rear bus or back bus. And so you could run an entire second mix basically and blend that against the main mix. That's a, like a simple explanation now. And, uh, what, what Andrew, shes for example, did for a while and a couple people, um, try to, to do that too. Then was, and I don't know if he still does it, but he had a pair of 1176 s very characterful distorting compressors set to super fast aggressive settings on that beer bus. And he would send parts of the mix, uh, and oftentimes the whole mix except, uh, kick and vocals I think, or drums and vocals, but like, uh, bass guitars since all of that, um, into that rear bus. And it, he would blend it with the rest and then, um, yeah, and then he would add character to like mid-range instruments, for example, or he would also get this auto feature. But I, I think I explained it wrong now. The auto feature was, I think he sent guitars and vocals, but not the drums to that rear brush sometimes so that when the vocal gets louder, it ducks the guitars, but the drum groove stays the same sort of, you know, so he would com compress the, the guitars, the mid-range instruments and the vocals together on a parallel bus, but would exclude the drums, you know, advanced techniques like that. And I don't think this is where most people should start, but I, I'm just saying what is possible and how to think about it. So it's, it's about, it's either about controlling dynamics or about shaping the frequency, um, spectrum, the frequency response of something, or it's about gluing things together because the processing makes things move, um, together or imparts like a, a certain character to something, or it's about adding a certain flavor to a whole group of instruments or the whole mix. Those are the main applications. You either wanna control dynamics or shape the sound when it comes to frequencies or. You know, add this, this character to it.

Malcom: Yeah, it, I'll add that, I mean, you kind of covered this with the tape machine topic, but it's buses are where I use my color boxes as well, you know, um, so like there's a, a Shadow hills compressor that sometimes I don't use the compressor. It's just got like little kind of EQ circuits that you can engage that sound really good. Or, uh, the AIP by corn of audio, who we mentioned earlier, um, on electric guitars, that's gonna live on my electric guitar bus every single time because I like the little color box that it has, like, it just in parts of color that I find pleasing on guitars almost every time.

Benedikt: yep. Totally. Totally. And the important thing to add is that what we use, and we said it before, but I wanna say it again. What we use on our buses is highly, you know, um, it's based on the context of the mix and on of the song. So we say we have go-tos and we say we usually do this or that, but any of those things that we mentioned could be completely bypassed or removed in a certain session because it just doesn't fit that vibe. You know, it's like there's never a right or wrong. It's starting points and things we generally tend to like, but it's always, especially on buses based on the context of the song, the music, and, and you could say some of those tools are maybe part of our sound. So we try to mix into those and we get to that in the next episode. Um, and, and it's something that we have on many of our mixes and it's kind of the way we mix. It's like when someone has a console and they always mix on that console, that sound is gonna be part of everything they do, right? So we have similar things in our template that are almost always gonna stay there, but. Individual compressors and you know, um, EQs can totally come and go and, and change over time. And I think that it's very important for you to experiment, to keep experimenting and learning to listen and trust your ears when using bus processing. And you have to experiment and compare a lot of tools, I think, until you find your go-to chains. Uh, On, especially on buses, the gear selection really matters because that color, whatever you end up choosing, will be on everything. Like everything or, or big groups of instruments at least, will go through these plugins. So they will color your mix a lot. So you'll have to really compare a lot of tools, find your go-tos, and remember that you are affecting big parts of the mix and the overall color of your song. When versus like choosing a different EQ on an individual mic of a guitar cap is not going to, you know, the, the. The moves you make with e EQ are gonna be more important than the choice of eq. But on a bus, the, the choice of the plugin can cause everything to sound completely different depending on what you use. Same with compression. And so I think your selection matters here, and you just have to keep learning, improving, switch things up every once in a while. And like Malcolm said, it's the frame of your mix, the canvas, the filter you are listening through while you're crafting your mix. It's super important. It's not just that you are adding this character to everything, it's also that you are listening through it all the time. So it's like putting a filter on, um, on your, on your music that you are just listening to and making decisions based on that. So just keep that in mind and try many different things until you arrive at something that you feel like fits your aesthetic and the music you're working on,

Malcom: Yeah. Don't, don't go by the plug-ins we mentioned, because that's, that's just not a sure thing for you at all. Um, but let's bring it full circle back to the waves conversation. It's like, all right, just move on. Use the tool you already have.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: It's gonna be fine. You know, nobody called me up after I got that corn of audio plug-in and said, man, your guitars are sounding really good now. Nobody's called.

Benedikt: Nope, that didn't happen to me either. I have to say though, every single time that, that, that's really the thing. Every, that's the most impressive tool when it comes to doing mixed walkthroughs, walkthroughs with people. So I do these a lot in the coaching program and, uh, I show people what, uh, what I've done to their tracks so that they can, uh, learn from that and then do the same thing or compare it to their own decisions. And usually when I bypass the plugin to show an ab difference, hopefully it sounds better when I engage the plugin, but it's not that people are like crazy impressed a lot of the time. It's a lot of the time it's like multiple small things that just add up. But with that KF plugin, that's the one thing where every single time I just hit bypass on that thing, everyone goes. That's insane because it, you know, they hear the guitar, it sounds fine. Then I turn their plugin off and all you hear is, you know, in like all kinds of residences. And so that is really impressive. That really impresses people. But they've never called, they just realize when I, as soon as I show them, right.


Malcom: That's funny. That's super funny. Um, yeah, so maybe by the corn of audio aip, but that's the only one.

Benedikt: exactly.

Malcom: we want that L one

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Totally cool. Now, um, yeah, and then, you know, there's no right or wrong. You, if you find, if you do the experimenting and you find that you don't like bus processing at all for whatever reason, like order like multiple buses and all you wanna have is like a few individual tracks and then you mix bus because you might not have like huge arrangements or whatever, that's totally fine. More power to you just try it, uh, see if it works and if you can't make it work, there's nothing wrong with just summing 16 channels in two, two channels and that's it. That's totally fine and has been done for ages and works super well. So, uh, it's just another tool in your mixing toolbox should be used in conjunction with other techniques. So it's, it doesn't mean that we don't process individual tracks either. We do a combination of all of that, whatever the track needs and, uh, to achieve the possible, best possible result, you have to learn those things, experiment with it, and then find your own way of to.

Malcom: Yeah, I, I spent years just with a drum bus. That was my only bus. Other mean, I guess other than effects buses, they, they exist. My master bus, of course, but, uh, it was a, a drum bus was the only group bus I used for years and years. And I definitely like using buses a lot now. But back then I didn't really see the, the reason, and I was still getting results. So it's not gonna kind of make or break it. Um, but experiment with what workflow works best for you. And I would say that I wish I did it sooner. I think I, it was partially laziness and partially confusion about routing that stopped me from doing it sooner. So just tackle it, head on, try it out.

Benedikt: I wonder what people like, you know, whatever Glenn Johns in the sixties or seventies would've said to a conversation like this where all they had is like the EM I consoles with eight fades and one bus and that's it. You know, like it was like that that'ss so crazy that we have that everyone with the half decent laptop has these things available now

Malcom: It's so insane.

Benedikt: things like that. You.

Malcom: Do I like, regularly have like 250 tracks going? So nuts.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: All right. But yeah, hey, next week we're gonna talk about top-down mixing. So subscribe if you haven't already. Um, cause that's gonna be a super fun chat, very relevant to this because buses are all about top down mixing.

Benedikt: totally. Yeah. See you then. And if you got any value out of this, these, uh, out of the past episodes and this episode, then share this podcast with your friends. Please make a screenshot. Share it on socials. Tag us at Malcolm own Flood at Benedictine. We really appreciate that. We re-share, we comment, we, uh, react and respond. Send us your questions. We really, really, really appreciate that. So, uh, thank you for being a listener and see you next week.

Malcom: See you next one. Bye.

Malcom: Hey Benny. I'm great, man. How are you?

Benedikt: I'm grade two. Thank you. This time I actually wanna, oh, sorry. Go.

Malcom: Well, I just wanted to, to, I, I realized as you were explaining that you got a question from one of your students that some people might be like, what do you mean students? Are we all students if we listen to the podcast?

Benedikt: You're right.

Malcom: uh, you, I mean, if you consider yourself, yourself a student by listening to the podcast, that's great. Thanks for listening. And, um, we're super happy you're learning, but, uh, you can take things a lot further with Benny. Um, Benny has probably mentioned if on an episode that you've listened to, that he offers like a free one-on-one coaching call, and he offers that on an ongoing basis, plus a lot more plus like a whole academy of video lessons and stuff like that. Uh, for people that want to level up their recording skills really quick and, and in a very thorough, comprehensive way. So that is what Benny's talking about when he mentions that, you know, one of his students reached out to him.

Benedikt: To thank you for that, Malcolm. Totally. Yeah, that's right. It's a, it's, uh, a member of the self recording syndicate. It's what the coaching program is called and, uh, yeah, totally. That's right. And I mean, I love getting these messages and, um, it's obviously great that, that, that I, I'm, I was able to motivate and, and be positive and, you know, encourage people in there. But also, as I said, made me think because, um, music should be fun, right? And, and so that's why we, why we wanted to talk about this. Yeah, exactly. Now be, but before we do that this time, actually for once I can start the banter, um, Because you can expect some more running banter in the future. I guess again, it's been a while, but like it's getting warm here. Yeah, it's getting warm here. Like, you know, spring is here. I'm not at all in winter mode anymore. There's still snow in the mountains, but I don't care. I'm in summer mode and I actually. You know, LA last year I signed up for my first ultra-marathon, which is like every, everything longer than a marathon is considered an ultra-marathon. And I signed up for one last year, which was 68 K, um, in, in like 68 kilometers and two hun 2,500 meters of elevation gain. And I prepared for that and I was ready. And then shortly before the race, I got injured and wasn't, was barely able to walk for weeks and, and couldn't run anymore. But I just signed up for it again this year and now training begins and I'm not gonna give up. So I'm gonna keep you updated on that journey. There's a couple of prep races in between. I'm gonna do half marathon and a road marathon, and then maybe another road marathon in late fall. So it's like a pretty, pretty crazy race schedule this year. And, uh, I just try to test the limits of my body, I guess this year and I will not give up.


Malcom: Oh, awesome man. I'm, uh, I'm, I mean, as if you weren't already testing the limits of your body, it's just, you just keep going. It's amazing. I can't imagine running that far. Um, I, everybody knows I also run, but I'm like the mini me version of Benny when it comes to distance.

Benedikt: Well, but you're fa but you're fast though. You got fast in the last couple of years. I feel like when we first started talking about it, you, your runs were pretty, I mean, you know, hobby level, slow sort of thing. But then all of a sudden there were some races where I thought, ooh, like he's getting, he's getting fast. And that's not my strength really. I just, I can go along and I can suffer for a long time. That's probably my biggest strength, but I'm not that fast. But you are so,

Malcom: Ah, it, it's just about fun for me. I, uh, I, I do want to do some, some races this year, but, um, but for the most part, I just want to keep getting out there. I've got a, a, a TV show that I'm working on coming up. Um, Pretty soon. That starts soon. I'm, I'm not allowed to say what it is, but it requires a lot of running, so I've been training quite hard for that, just trying to get out like a four times a week if I can. Um, keeping the distances pretty short because it's all about, uh, fitness and not injury.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And sort of a strength endurance thing where it's like, yeah, yeah. Totally get it. Yeah. Um, we'll see how that goes this year. Yeah, that's, that, that was my banter. Uh, any, I don't know, any music related banter.

Malcom: yeah. We had a question we wanted to ask the audience, and, uh, to be completely honest, it's, it's left my brain. What were we gonna ask them? Benny? I can't remember.

Benedikt: I know, I know what we wanted to ask him. Uh, you're right. Thank you for reminding me. So, um, we were talking about, like, you were telling me that some bands recently, like friends of yours, got grants, like recording grants, like money from the government to help fund recording projects. Right. And uh, so we thought this could be a great topic actually for an episode because funding is a problem for many bands is depending on how big the project is, it can be become pretty expensive, pretty quickly, and in many countries there is ways to get support and, um, to get money, uh, from, from the government to help you bring these projects to life. And so, We know some, like we know a Canadian, like a friend of yours, Malcolm is an expert on this when it comes to Canada and maybe in general how to apply for those things and what to, uh, include in like an application and stuff. So we could bring like a person like that on, uh, to the podcast. But then we also realize that it's probably very different in like different parts of the world. And if you know something about that topic, like you, the listener, I'm talking to you right now, if you know anything about that topic or maybe your band got grants it at some point. You know how it works in your country, uh, and you can help us out with info on that. We really appreciate that. So please reach out to us. Um, induce the email podcast, the surf recording band.com. So just send us an email there, reach out to us and, uh, let us know. Or you can, you know, send us a DM on Instagram, whatever. But like the email is probably most streamlined way of doing it. And, um, let us know. We, we'd love to mention you and your band on the podcast, and if you have valuable info for us, we'll include that and maybe we can get enough info so that we can cover like a couple of countries or, you know, uh, specific things for specific people to make the episode even more valuable. And so, yeah, that was it, I

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, if, if that sounds like something you'd like to learn more about, we can definitely make that happen. So, but just let us know if it's what you're interested in because it's, it's outside of our normal scope of, uh, DIY recording for, um, you know, self recording bands. So we'd love to know if that's something that actually interests you.

Benedikt: Oh yeah, that, that too, not just Exactly. Thank you Malcolm. Uh, don't just, uh, reach out if you know something about this, but also let us know if you actually want this because, and where you're from, because then we can maybe do the, some research or like ask people from your country if they know something about it. So that would really, uh, help us too. So just reach out, let us know if that is interesting.

Malcom: Maybe for this, it makes sense to do a community forum kind of post, um, in our Facebook community where people can chime in with if they're interested and what they know about and where they're from. So we can really get some data going into this episode. That'd be very helpful, I think.

Benedikt: Great

Malcom: are not already part of our Facebook community, this is yet another reminder to go join that, the self recording band, uh, facebook.com/the self recording band community. Is that right?

Benedikt: Just go to the self recording band.com/community and that will redirect you to the

Malcom: Uh,

Benedikt: Facebook group. Yeah.

Malcom: knew there was one.

Benedikt: Yeah. Or, or just search the self recording band on Facebook and you'll find it. But like, the direct link is the self recording band.com/community. Um, speaking of community, I mean, not to put like too many calls to actions in one episode, uh, here, but, um, at some point, and you don't have to do this right now, uh, but at some point we're gonna, uh, do a little poll again. Also reach out to you about the community because, you know, every year or so, I wanna know if that is actually still relevant or we should move to Discord or, you know, some other medium or whatever, you know, but that's a whole thing for another day. Uh, but for now it is the, the Facebook group still. So just join us and if that changes anytime soon, that's why I'm saying it. You'll, you'll know when you are in there. Like, we'll let you know. Cool. Let's get to today's episode then. So we talked about like the, the what and, and why we feel like this is important. Now, just let's go through some ways that we can think of, um, that could help you, like, uh, yeah. You know, make music fun again, sort of, and, and, uh, You know, actually it's kind of weird that, that we have to do this, but it's also, I totally get it because I've been there myself too. You know, you, you, you'd think that music in and of itself is fun, but you know, it can also, it sometimes if it's a big project or like it is something that is hard, um, it can turn into tedious tasks and we kind of forget about that. It's fun. So, so what can we do to bring that back and to, to make sure we enjoy it?

Malcom: It's so important. I know there are some people listening to this that haven't gotten to to musical burnout yet, and hopefully ever, but I'm also positive that there's a lot of people that have, and there's a point where you take music so seriously that it stops being about fun at all. And it all, it's, it's purely business and, and the pursuit of achievement and, um, progress and whatever your goals are. Uh, and that can be really powerful because for me, when I've got like tangible goals, you know, like this many people in the room, this many streams, this many sales, this many songs recorded by this date, those tangible deadlines and, and goals make it a lot easier to accomplish. But if you do that too long and with too much focus, all of the fun gets, this is like drained out of it. And then you are left with something you don't enjoy anymore. And if you hit burnout hard enough. I know people that have fully quit music and have never come back, which is terrifying to think. Imagine like you're right now you are listening to two nerds talk about recording music because we love it so much and you obviously must love it too because we talk for like an hour at a time with 10 minutes of about running before we even get to the music stuff. So you must really love music. So it would be so sad for you to stop loving music and and to quit. Um, and that is what will happen if you, if you don't get this right, if. Keep loving music and, uh, the art of making it, of playing it, um, the, the kind of like sister and brotherhood of, of jamming and working with teams, it's, it's so important. So, uh, like this feels very close to my heart cause my dad's been on a hi like indefinite hiatus for couple years now and I had no interest in playing music at all. They even jamming with friends until like weeks ago.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Malcom: Just a matter of weeks ago, I've started jamming for fun again, which is crazy. That's like two years of not wanting to play music. Wild.

Benedikt: totally. I I can totally relate. Uh, it's the same for my band, my, like, my original band that I've had for years. Um, we are still on a, on a high risk sort of. And, um, uh, and, and it. It didn't bother me. Like it bothered me in the beginning, but then it didn't bother me because of the same thing. I didn't even want to play music anymore, and now I'm in a, since I'm in a new band, it was kind of hard to get into it and I was very careful and I actually, I wanted to do with like minimal effort and, but I, I thought like some, something inside me told me that like, You probably should do this. And, and it's like, I need a band. I need to be in a band. I cannot be not in a band sort of. Um, and so I just did it and, and now I rediscovered how much fun it actually is. And part of it was playing these first shows and interacting with people again around the, the show and in the venue and all of that. That was part of it for me. And like, I, I rediscovered it and, and turns out not, not just that in the process of like working on our songs and like talking to the bandmates about like mu music that we love or new records that come out. Things I haven't really done so much the last couple of years. Uh, I find myself also listening to music more. Again. I didn't do that too because I was listening to music all day in the studio, and so I mainly listen to podcasts and audiobooks and all of that, but for some reason I'm back into music in general again. And, um, so it can be done. It's just a, a sort of a, a burnout thing that you have to go through, I think, and then, um, and, and kind of, yeah, but it can be done. You can, you can come back and, and it's actually so sad that this even happens.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. And, and ideally if you listen to this podcast and, and pay attention, you skip the burnout entirely.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And, and to be fair, like I, I, I was always working on music and still enjoying it. I didn't have like complete, you know, creative or music burnout, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do my job. It was just too much and I forgot my own sort of outlet and like that it's fun for me to, to make music, uh, myself. So anyway, um, I think it all starts by, you know, being clear about what you want to accomplish because you probably don't need to do all the things you see other people do. What I mean by that is that, Everyone has different goals. You know, some of us are very ambitious, some of us see music as a career. Others just wanna make music for themselves or their friends or family or just, you know, here and there is a, like a recreational thing, hobby, you know, whatever. And that is totally fine. And if you are not that ambitious and you don't, if that, if you don't have like, business goals basically with your music, then you don't need to do every single thing that all the ambitious people tell you to do or that you see online. Maybe it's okay to just do a little bit when you feel like it, you know? And like, no one's gonna judge you and, and you are gonna have more fun. And I, I've talked to quite a few people who feel like it's too much and they, they feel like they have to do all these things in order to, to record their music. And I'm always like, you know, but what, what for if you don't, you know, like, you don't, you don't have to do it all. Like, so that's, I think what, what it starts with. Like, be clear about your, about what you want to accomplish if you are ambitious. However, if you wanna become successful with your music in any way, then. It's, it's not gonna be easy. So you, that's just the reality of it. But still, it can be fun. Uh, but it all starts with knowing what you actually wanna do, I think.

Malcom: Yeah, I used to run a podcast, another podcast called Your Band Sucks at Business. It's still up there if anybody wants to check it out. Um, and there actually might be very sporadic, new episodes coming out, um, but it like not gonna be a consistent thing, uh, anytime soon for sure. Um, but we, yeah, we talked about the, you know, the business side of running a band and a lot of, a lot of the topics were about releasing music effectively and, you know, having a bunch of digital assets prepped, you know, a music video, uh, you know, promo photos, single art, um, have you like sent it out to radio people ahead of release to. Of music blogs or whatever, you know, there's, there's literally unlimited things you could do. And what I started finding was happening was bands that were about to release their first song, um, like didn't even have a Spotify page at this point. You know, they're brand new bands were messaging me being like, and, and what else? And what else, and what else? And, and, and like, I can't release a song yet because I haven't done this. And it, it's like, well, more is always gonna be more. So there's always gonna be more to be done. And potentially that could equal more success for that song, but it'll never stop. So it, you have to eventually just, just go and, and, and actually do it, um, and, and be satisfied with you did what you could and what was reasonable. So it, it doesn't mean you should always do everything because you actually can't do everything. Does that make sense?

Benedikt: Yeah, to totally, absolutely makes sense. Um, it's oftentimes, and like, like we always said, an advice buffet sort of thing. And, um, sometimes it takes a whole, it would take a whole team to do all the things, you know, and so you, you don't, yeah, you don't have to do it all, but if you want, it will never stop. There's always more to do as you said. Like he, you know, you can always do more and that will if you do it rightly to more results, but it all comes down to what you actually wanna accomplish and how much you actually can do with the time you have without burning out.

Malcom: And it is the same in this podcast in a way too, um, in that like there's always, you know, further steps you could take. And if your brain is working against you, if your uber maybe overly detail orientated, you might keep redoing your guitar parts because you hear a little squeak. And let me tell you, there's always gonna be a squeak.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Malcom: It's okay that there's a

Benedikt: there

Malcom: your guitar track.

Benedikt: Ex. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So, um, yeah, let, let, let's dive into like the, like some more actionable things that you can do. I'd say, um, part of it that works for me at least, is to separate the prep work from the actual sessions and actually making music. Um, this is something I do in the studio too, where I try to make sure. I have different sort of, I'm in a different sort of state of of mind when I, when I mix versus when I prepare sessions or, you know, fix something in the studio. So, um, the better you, the better prepared you are when you actually sit down to just make music, the more fun it's gonna be. Because then you don't have to think about all those things that you forgot and then this is not working and you know, you have to look up another thing and before you know it, your time is basically over and you haven't really made music. You just, you were just troubleshooting. So, I would separate the two. Uh, it's the same thing, like when, when I track bands at the studio and I knew that we were tracking drums, for example, which takes a long time to set up and prepare. I would always make sure that the band would come in the day before and we would spend like half a day or so setting up the drums, tuning, changing heads, and like moving mics around and all the nerdy shit. And then when we were done, when we were done with that, we would just call it a day and then come back in fresh the next day. And everyone was excited to just start recording right away. Versus what I did in the beginning was to, the band came in in the morning, we spent half the day setting up, and then nobody felt like making music anymore. So if you can separate the preparation from the actual session, that just helps. And then, uh, it's two different, you know, it's gotta be done, but like, it's two different things. And it, and the, the whole prep work and troubleshooting doesn't cause you to, to not enjoy making music anymore. Basically, if you're separated.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. This could be applied to your rehearsals as well. You know, if you're, if you're doing band meetings every week at your rehearsals, Like maybe set that to be the end of the jam. So you just show up, you play music and then you talk or vice versa, like whatever system works for you, but don't just kind of have it flip flopping, like in between each song you stop playing music and you have a serious chat. It just is gonna grind kind of like everything to a halt. It's gonna take people out of enjoying the playing because they're just now stressing out about whatever was just talked about. Um, in the band meeting, there's Yeah, like the more you can batch things and uh, isolate the type of activity, I think the.

Benedikt: Exactly, exactly. Another thing that I do is like to, to separate the practicing from actually writing and performing and recording and also to set aside time to improve your workflow and skills. And what I mean by that is I do that with mixing too. Like I'm not practicing or trying new tools or improving my, my tools or workflow while I am. Working on the sessions for my, the artist I'm working with, right? So when I do that, I focus on the, the things that I already know that I feel comfortable with, and I'm focused fully on the music and the creative parts of it, and the emotion and all of that. And I don't try new plugins, or, I mean, every now and again I do because I need something, but usually I try to stick with what I already feel comfortable with, just so I can fully focus on the music. And then I set aside time to improve my skills, to learn new plugins, to improve the workflow at the studio. And I do that separately. So, so that then I can, I can apply what I've learned in that session to my actual sessions, if that makes sense. Instead of doing it all, all the time and then nothing really, you know, um, if that makes sense. So I think there is a benefit to that. So if you're struggling with certain features of your do for example, maybe just, you know, set aside some time to just practice that, to figure that out. And then, and not, and don't do it while you actually just, you know, wanna record that song now. Uh, and, and that way. I think it's much more enjoyable and you can be more present and focused on the music, which is always more fun. So,

Malcom: yeah, definitely. When you're first starting out, learning to record yourself, it feels like it is an impossibly slow process and that it's just impossible to finish like a whole song because it takes so long to do everything. But that is just because you're not very fluent with knowing you're recording gear and your software, um, for that process. So it's just a matter of getting good at it. Uh, almost every industry agrees on this that you should never try out a new piece of gear. On a real gig, you know, you always want to plug it in the night before, at the very least, and, and play with it and, and figure out how it works before you're actually on the job site. Um, so if you think of the actual recording session with your band as the job site, just make sure you get to play with whatever you're doing before then as much as possible.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Preparation is so important in general and, and, uh, and, and being in the right, I think everything's more enjoyable if you're fully focused. I think that's part of it too. It just gets frustrating when your mind's all over the place and you feel like you don't, you're not getting anywhere. And it's overwhelming. I feel the more you can focus on one thing, the more you enjoy it and you can go really deep and you know, and then you, you solve that problem and next time you can focus on something different. And when you want, when you work on music, you can be fully present with the music. And I think that's just, that's just a good thing in general. So, yeah. Um, the other thing is, it sound might sound obvious, um, the next thing here is listen to music you love and, and as well as like, new music. Just discover new artists and, and find joy in that and, and like have fun with that and let it inspire you. You know, just, that's something I forgot to do for a long time, really.

I just stuck to, you know, my reference playlists and, and of course like Fran bands and the stuff that I was working on. But it has been a while since I really started to just discover new bands again, listen to like playlists on Spotify and just see what comes up. And then every once in a while I'd be like, that sounds interesting, who is that? And I, I'd love to know who did that and, and you know, and that inspires me and that that's a just fun. And then I immediately have this sort of spark where I hear something exciting that I haven't heard before. And immediately my brain goes, I gotta try to make a sound like that. And, and I'm looking forward to the session now. And now it's fun because I have something that I'm excited about that I wanna do, you know? So that is definitely a way I think to, to bring back some of the fun.

Malcom: Yeah, a, a trick for me when it came to writing music was always learning new music. So every time I would learn a new song, it was like, oh, this is like a new approach or a new style. And that would give me ideas and I'd end up stumbling upon a riff. You know, as a result, it was like the quickest way to come up with song ideas was to learn somebody else's song. It's fascinating.

Benedikt: Totally. And I mean, we don't, we can't reinvent it anyways. Like it's always, you know, you draw on what's been done before and you put your own twist to it and, and, uh, on it and, um, make it your own and, and further develop what's already there. But it's unlikely that you can invent something completely new. So we need this inspiration anyways.

Malcom: Yeah, totally. And, and so much of music is muscle memory, so you might not even realize it, but you fall into these patterns of like what frets you're playing or, or what rhythms you're playing, strumming patterns. So by learning a different one, uh, it, it just kind of like expands what's possible in your brain.

Benedikt: To Totally, absolutely. Cool. Uh, and the next one sounds very simple too. Here is just jam. Um, and I, I think you have done that lately, Malcolm, where you don't, you know, you have a session without any agenda and without any plan or any, you know, things to do. You just sit down and jam. And if

Malcom: Yeah,

Benedikt: of it, that's fine too, you know?

Malcom: it, it's really fun when there's no, no reason, you know, it's not a rehearsal, it's not, uh, like we gotta get this down for a, a show. It's just jam. Usually we're just making stuff up as we go. It's like literally as low pressure as possible. So it's a lot of fun. Um, and I think most people probably started their bands doing exactly that. They got together for a jam and then things developed from there. So see if you can get back to that original.

Benedikt: Yes, exactly. That's a good thing. Um, you mentioned that, that sometimes we just have to remind our. Of what we did when we started this in the first place. Like there was a certain feeling, a certain excitement, a certain thing we did that we loved. And, and if we can bring that back, uh, that can only be fun. You know, I've heard this in other areas too, where, when it comes to like personal development and stuff like that where people talk about, um, when you sort of. When you don't feel like you have a, a purpose or a vision for your life, or you kind of feel lost, you know, to have a crisis, whatever. Then I heard this advice of, uh, to, to like think about what excited you when you were a child. A child, like things you love to, to do when you were, uh, little and, and see if you can do the, some of these things again or similar things or like bring back that, that feeling because we have some natural, you know, things that, that we just enjoy doing and we haven't really thought about it before. We just do it, did it automatically. But as adults we kind of think, we like overthink everything. And with music it's the same. When we were like starting our first bands as teenagers, we didn't think about anything. We just want to jam and and have to band and now we tend to overthink it all. And if you can bring that back and remind yourself of how it felt like 15 years ago or so, that can really help I think.

Malcom: Yeah, kind of on the same topic of jamming is, is the interaction you get with other people, jamming with different people. Um, and when you've been in a band for a long time, you kind of start predicting what other person's gonna do, which is really, you know, powerful and great in, in a lot of cases. But there's something to be said for jamming with different people because it's that same thing as like learning a new song. You get exposed to just a different approach and different feel and different riffs, different whatever. And it that can also be really exciting and fun, but also help creativity, I

Benedikt: Absolutely. And, you know, more people in the room. Uh, this is a thing that comes up in the outline here later too, is like, um, you know, it's just more fun with others usually, and more ideas, you know, more, you know, I don't know. It's just def definitely can, can unblock you. I'm happy to help you get rid, uh, overcome like roadblocks like that. Yeah. Okay. Go ahead Malcolm,

Malcom: Well, I was just thinking that when, I remember when writing with my band every once in a while, like, not every song's gonna be a winner.

Benedikt: Yes.

Malcom: You know, sometimes the majority of the songs won't be winners, and that can be defeating because not everybody in the room realizes that the song sucks. Sometimes it's you that thinks it's gonna be great, but you, you kind of have to get to the finish line to realize, all right, this one's a dud. Uh, but sometimes even more painfully, I think, you know, it's a dud, but you just gotta suffer through and write the song anyways. Um, and you just got to be okay with that. You just gotta like, come to terms with, not every song's gonna be a hit. You just got. Go through the process and realize that you are learning something, even by writing a bad song.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: As weird as that is, just try and enjoy the process. You're just making music after all. You can't like force a good song, so just go through it, get the song done. Uh, enjoy it. Even if you're not gonna play it live, or even if you're not gonna end up recording it, you never know. One of those parts of that song might join, like be used in a good song down the road. So it might seem like a waste of time at the, like, while you're writing it, while you're polishing this turd. But it, it might, it might end up being good down the, down the road.

Benedikt: Absolutely. I had this a couple of times in the coaching program where students would like, like particularly one student I can think of, without saying who it is, but he, he, um, got frustrated because he wrote a bunch of songs and like none of them, and he felt like he just wasn't able to write good songs and he was like, felt like giving up, you know? And then we listened to his ideas on the group coaching call and we were like, and the whole group. In this song, this part is actually really great. And in this song, this idea, this part is actually really great. And we found a couple of these nuggets and then he was able to like, put it together and, you know, they, he had a great song, sort of like, he had a couple of starting points for, for a couple of great songs actually. And he kind of combined them into something new. And so totally what you said there, so true and in general, I mean the, it's easier said than done, but don't be so hard on yourself. I don't, you don't. Why, why would you deserve that? You know, you don't want to be mean to yourself and, uh, you can be proud of whatever of what you do, and you're probably doing great. And, and at the end of the day, what's the worst case scenario? If that song is not great, like, you know, no one's gonna die. And it's like,

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: and you know, it, it's not usually not that important. It is important to us, but it's not a life or death thing. It's not something to worry about or to something that we should really get to us, you know?

Um, so yeah,

Malcom: Yeah, it, it's, it, it just is what it is. Like time is obviously valuable, but it's also the, in this particular case, it's just something we have no real control over. So you just gotta just go with it, create, make, make the process work. Um, just keep writing, uh, and, and try and enjoy it.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. And also the things that need to get done, because there will always be some things that are not as much fun, but they just have to get done. You can even learn to enjoy those too. Something I always do with myself is I do a lot of tasks that I don't really enjoy, but I have to do. Uh, that's just part of, of my work and as much as I try to automate things and outsource things, but there's still gonna be something that I have to do that I don't enjoy. But you can turn those things kind of into a game. Um, and I try to always make it fun somehow. You know, I try to, to either, I try to like score myself. I'm very, I'm a very competitive person, so I try to come up with things to just make it fun. And then you can also reward yourself if you have to. You can be like, okay, if I just get this done now. This is an accomplishment and then whatever. Just, just something to make you feel better about it. Jump something to get to look forward to, to be excited about. And, uh, just, you know, gotta be a little creative here, but, um, I think you can learn to enjoy even the tedious things. I learned that as a kid actually when I was ha when I had to do chores and, and stuff. Like, I always found a way to make it enjoyable. And you can do that same thing.

Malcom: Told that. Yeah, that, that's a great tip. Just there's a way to kind of gamify anything, um, you know, be, be it how fast you do it, um, coming up with different ways to do it. Like whatever, there's, there's a way to kind of make it less tedious and, and less annoying. I, I think one another point that could be made on this kind of related to this topic is that, If you realize that not everything is equally important, or, or like, like we were saying, not every song is gonna be your hit. Um, not every song's gonna be good, so don't think that you have to do every step of the process for every song. Um, so if you, like, we preach really good pre-production on this podcast a lot, and like if you're doing pre-production, you might as well do it right, because those tracks might be like keeper, you know, you might end up with guitar tracks that are already done by the time you record the album. That's amazing. Um, and you need to make sure they're really in tune. You need to make really good pre-production tracks, but you don't need to do that if the song sucks, because you don't need to record the song at all. I mean, you, you should record the song so you can just listen to it. But like, you don't need to do it in that way, right? So don't think you have to take every song to the finish line because that, like, if you just know it's no good, there's no reason to spend all of that time on

Benedikt: Yeah, so good. It's so important to know when to get out, uh, and to, there's this, um, I can always think of like other areas where this will, the supplies, like there's this, the sunk, I think it's called sunk cost fallacy sort of thing, where people invest a lot in, into something and then they think they have to finish it just because they already invested so much into it. And what that leads to is they usually just end up losing even more. And it, because it never really turns into something. And that's the same thing. Just because you've invested time into a song doesn't mean you have to finish it. You can quit. Uh, and it's better to, to quit early than, than to to finish it and it's still isn't good, and then you've wasted even more time. But we tend to believe that we now have to do it just because we put so much into it already. And this is just a fallacy. This is not.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. Here the example is you buy 12 beer, you drink four of 'em, you feel great, and you just keep drinking all of them, and you feel terrible.

Benedikt: Yeah, that's a good way to think about it too. Yeah, exactly. I gotta finish those because I bought them.

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: yeah, yeah. Knowing when to get out also, um, Again, if you're not, if, if it's not your job and nobody's depending on you, like writing music, and if you don't have to to show up, like no, no, then you don't have to show up if you don't feel like it. That's what I wanted to say. Um, you can, you know, it's probably okay to just, you know, um, do something else instead and come back later. It's probably not the end of the world. And, um, it all depends on your goals, of course. But if you were working, if you've been working on a song for a while, it, it leads to nothing. It goes nowhere. The song is not good, then just quit. And if, if that kind of ruined your day and you don't feel like making music again, now just quit for the day and come back tomorrow, you know, if nobody, it's a different thing for like professional songwriters, maybe when there are deadlines and stuff. But if nobody depends on you writing music, you know, throw away that song idea. Come back fresh tomorrow, start something new.

Malcom: Absolutely that, that's like a great point and you should think about that. On like a schedule routine level as well. Um, figure out when creativity works for you. Um, so like for, for me, I do much better work in the morning than I do in the evening. The idea of trying to write a song or even record a song late at night, just like makes me shiver. There's, there's no juice left in my tank late at night. I just want to be sleeping.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: All of my energy is in the morning, and other people are the total opposite. So if you are finding yourself in that situation where you're tr like the, you, the only time you've set aside for your, uh, recording project, for example, is late at night and you just can't get results late at night, you gotta figure out, you just gotta wake up early and do it in the morning or fi figure out another way to get it into a more optimal spot for you.

Benedikt: totally. Pay attention to your natural rhythm. And it's interesting for me that. I is the same. I have most energy in the morning, but I can do different types of tasks best at different times of the day. So, for example, deep work that requires a lot of thinking and problem solving and like really a lot of energy. Absolutely mourning, um, strategic work, you know, thinking deep works type of stuff. Um, interestingly though, creative things that don't require a lot of like, really like thinking and brain power, but more of like intuition and just going with the flow. I'm better at that when I'm actually slightly tired already. So sometimes I find myself do better mixes or even like riding or just jamming away in the afternoon when I'm, I don't have enough energy anymore to really overthink it and I just let it happen. And, and, you know, and I, I don't know, that's a, so creative things is for me sometimes better later in the day. Deep work stuff. Absolutely. In the mornings. And then whatever time is left, I, I do, I use for just tasks that just need to get done, you know, like the, the, the sort of. Don't think just do it, you know, type of work. Um, there's always al almost always room for that. But important is that you know, your own rhythm and also you'll have like ups and downs. For me, for example, I usually get relatively, yeah, sometimes in the afternoon I will start to get tired and then, but then I find that in the evenings, like sometime after dinner, sometimes even I get a second sort of high sometimes where I could do more work. Usually I try to still go to bed early and stuff, but I could do work actually at night after a certain, like after certain ti break, you know? So I get that sort of second wind and another, you know, energy, um, thing in the evenings and you just have to pay attention to that. And. When you do, when you're able to, to do your best work, and maybe you, you can spot a pattern, you know, maybe you feel like, yeah, you're, that's right. Like the last three great songs I, I've written, I've all done them, you know, Saturday evening or whatever, or whenever. And then, you know, that probably works for you.

Malcom: absolutely. Uh, and different things for different times, like you kind of mention. I do my work in the morning, but I can study like crazy at night.

Benedikt: Oh yeah. For exa that's a good one too. Me too.

Malcom: that totally works for me. Um, so you'll figure out what works for you and it can change. Like I used to be a night person now I am not, so

Benedikt: totally. Same

Malcom: if that's just getting old.

Benedikt: Yeah, no, same here. You can absolutely change. I think staying consistent is more important. You can change and then after a while of staying consistent, you adapt basically. And then you find a new, you have some natural cl uh, some sort of natural clock, I think. But I think we, we can still adapt

Malcom: rhythm.

Benedikt: Yes, exactly, exactly. But I think to a degree you can change that and adapt. Um, but you just gotta find out for yourself. What's important is that you pay attention to it. Um, then again, collaborate with others. Um, we talked about that before. I just wanted to add that if there are things that you absolutely hate to do, no matter what, which time the day, you know, whatever, uh, you just don't like it. You can't turn it into a game. You just can't. You just, you know, don't do it. You just, uh, avoid doing it. Just know that there are people, Definitely who love doing the things that you hate to do. Believe it or not, there are gonna be people who love doing these things and who are good at it and fast at it and maybe not even expensive. And so, um, collaborating is always a good idea to make it more fun and to make it quicker. And it's fun in general. Maybe it's not even a pay thing. Maybe you find a group of people that you just make music together, like in a band or an online collaboration or something. And more brains. It's like more creativity, more ideas, frequent feedback, outside perspectives. It's just fun. A certain sense of accountability also. And um, and yeah, that, you know, you don't have to do all the things if you can't find a way to make it fun. Find somebody, somebody else to do it.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. It, it, a delegation doesn't have to be a dirty word.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: Somebody might be happy that you have assigned a job to them. Um, so it just, when you figure that out, it really levels up like the, especially in a band situation, if you can delegate tasks across the band, it really increases like output and pro productivity.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. And the next one is really big for me too. That's the ultimate like, reason for me why I want to, to be in a band and especially on stage and have, feel that energy and like yell into the microphone and all the things I do in a, in a hardcore band, it's like, um, Pay attention to, I think, your thoughts and feelings, certain events in your life and how you deal with those and use music as an emotional outlet and, and just pay attention to how good it feels to make music and, and rediscover that. Because music can be sort of a, a therapy definitely. And, you know, it can be a way to communicate or it is a way to communicate. And once you rediscover how good that feels and what that does to, for your men, for your mental health, it's, it starts to become fun again. Definitely. That, that's what, what happened with me in, with like my new band, the moment we started playing shows again and I was able to just scream into a microphone and, and jump around on stage and feel the energy from the audience and all of that.

That was so good that I, that, that it made me want to be in a band again, just because that felt so good. So

Malcom: Yeah, that, that, that's wicked. Um, Benny, can you book a show for when I'm coming to Germany? Can you? That'd be really fun for me.

Benedikt: Y Maybe. Maybe, maybe. Yeah. Uh, that's actually good. A good idea. Yeah. Let, let's, let's try and make that work. Yeah. So, so cool. Yeah. I would love to, to see you there. So, yeah, I think, you know, um, that is, um, that is really, that is really important. And like if you're going through, you know, a hard time or whatever, maybe making music is exactly what you need, um, to deal with that or to help you deal with it. So, and, and I think that's at the core of it, right? I think all art basically is sort of an expression of like the events in our, in our life and what happens to us and how we deal with it and how we want to communicate. That's ultimately what it's all about. So maybe try to reconnect with that. Then, you know, again about collaborating. I think not only is collaboration good, but like, show it to others and be proud of your work and don't be afraid to show it to someone, because I think getting positive feedback on your music, Is really, really rewarding. It will boost your confidence and the more confident you are, the more fun you're gonna have. And just know that your music is not only helpful for yourself, your music matters and might be life changing for someone else. Like if you start releasing music and overcome that fear and show it to people, show it to friends, um, you know, you, you might not just get, um, good feedback. That might be bad feedback, I don't know. But in general, um, it, it feels good to put it out there, get feedback and, and usually, I mean, it depends, but usually you'll get good feedback, at least from your friends and family and stuff. And, and if you, somebody's gonna resonate with your music and, and the moment you discover that your music matters to someone else, that's definitely fun and definitely a confidence boost and just feels rewarding.

Malcom: It can be so rewarding. I've had somebody come up to me and tell me that like a song of ours has saved their life through a depression, which is like incredib. Emotional and, and so like, yeah, like really mind blowing. They were like literally crying, telling me this. It's like, whoa, didn't expect that. It's not what we set out to do and it's way better than what we set out to do. You know? Um, we've had people like send us like, like drawings and paintings of us. It's like, you know, like you don't realize how much what you create can impact somebody else. Because usually when we write a song, it's because we're coping with something that we're going through. But it can, it can be even more useful and powerful for somebody else, which is really amazing to think about. And that brings me to the next idea of reflecting on what you've accomplished and achieved with your music. Uh, can really remind you why you're doing it and just how rewarding it is to be doing it. So if you get caught up in, you know, the grind. Of having to output and having to rehearse and all of these things, and it's tiring you out. If you reflect on like what all of that work has done, it can really help remind you that like, wow, this is pretty cool that I get to do this. And that it is impacting other people in this way or impacting you in certain ways as well. Um, you know, when I, the memories I have of like our best shows is so valuable to me and it, it, I'm just so happy that those memories are, are there forever.

Benedikt: Oh yeah, to definitely. Totally. And you said a very important thing there. You get to do this and you gotta remember this. You don't have to do it. You get to. You could be, I mean, gratitude is a big thing here too. You could be in a different situation where you would have to spend, you know, farming and hunting or whatever all day just to like survive. Or you could have to, you know, struggle to, to get by and, you know, and would, like, there's so many people on this planet who, who don't have time to do something like that. And to be able to just to be able to have the time to create art and communicate and like that and express yourself like that, that's a privilege and that's something we should be very grateful for. And the fact that you get to do this and get to impact others with it, and you're free to do this and you have time to do this, this alone, if, if you put that into perspective is like, makes it feel good. I think it's, um, it's not something you have to do. It could be way worse. It's like something you get to do really. And, and so, yeah.

Malcom: It, it really is, even if it's not at the level. Shit was, you're still getting to do it at a level which is, you know, really a pretty awesome thing.

Benedikt: Yeah. And the world needs it. You know, we need art. We need, um, to express ourselves. We need this, this outlet we like this is, the culture is, that's so important. Like, imagine a word without that. So, um, you, you, you're, you, you're the, you, you have the privilege to be a part of that and to get to com contribute to that. And, um, that is, that is fantastic. So, yeah.

Malcom: Is is music taught in school in Germany?

Benedikt: Yeah, it is

Malcom: They're, they're trying to remove it out here, and they have in some places. It just, I can't wrap my head around what evil people are

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: making these decisions. It's like they, it's so dumb.

Benedikt: Blows my mind. Like the school that my daughter goes to is like, they call themselves a musical, like the literal translation would be a musical elementary school, sort of where they, um, they focus a lot on music. They actually use music in all the other, um, parts that they're teaching too. Not just in music class, but like all the other topics that they teach. They, they use music to do that. And, um, they have a lot of like, concerts throughout the year and a lot of projects that involve music, they use l Music as a learning tool and, and it's so great. It's so cool. But the, what's so sad is that only a couple of people, like very few people actually think like, like us, like our family and we, uh, and support that. And a lot of people don't see the value in it, and they are trying to, you know, Why do, do, like, they're saying things like, why do these kids need to sing and dance all day? And they, uh, should aren't, they're supposed to like, learn how to read and write and like, what, you know, they don't have to, they don't see the value in it. And I'm, I'm so grateful that they do it, and I see how good it is for the kids. I see how, how easy it becomes to learn other things and how valuable this is. But unfortunately, a lot of people don't see this.

Malcom: like from an AC academic standpoint, it's so good for like your, your brain and problem solving and, and memory skills and motor skills and, and, and like pa problem solving and patterns. It's like, it's in, it's, it's obviously beneficial in all of those ways, but it's also this huge social learning tool. It's a communication learning tool. It's a coping like medicine. Uh, everybody in, everybody on the planet listens to music. Like, I mean of, of course everybody that has hearing ability listens to music, right? It's universal in that way. So how could people not think That's wise? Don't get me wrong. I think the, the music program, uh, in, in our schools in Canada is, is ridiculous. Like, it, it's a band, right? Like, you know, big band kind of format. You know, they probably average like less than a 10th of a percent of people that actually go on to be musicians that go into the music program, which is ridiculously low. But even that, I think is still a good thing. It doesn't really matter if they end up becoming musicians. Like the program could be much better, you know, could be, uh, something relevant about, you know, creating music that people actually like to listen to and that these students enjoy. But that's my own rant. The, just the fact that they get ex they have the option to be exposed to music is, is obviously so powerful.

Benedikt: Yes. Period. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, yeah, to totally blows my mind.

Malcom: And we're, we're off topic.

Benedikt: Yeah, but no, that's, but that's important. But that, that, yeah. No, but that's

Malcom: I'm so worked up.

Benedikt: yeah. No, but that's,

Malcom: Canadian export. Like we, it's a, one of our,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: Like we got Bieber and Shawn Mendes and stuff on the weekend. It's like, it's a huge Canadian export and they don't invest anything into it. So dumb.

Benedikt: yeah. It's so dumb. Blows my mind too, like, but yeah, I don't know. And but so, um, yeah, back, back on that, back on topic though, and it, it is kind of related though, and thank you for bringing it up and I, I totally agree with everything you said there. Um, the next thing on the list would be for me that. Sometimes the fact that it's not fun at the moment is actually a good thing, or you can't kind of embrace that or just know that you will get through it because nothing really worth doing is, is easy really. So the fact that you have to work for it, you have to learn it, you have to put in some effort to get better at it just means that it is something important and something worth doing. If it was easy all the time, you wouldn't actually enjoy it that much. And we really only enjoy those things that we have to work for. And, and so don't expect it to be easy and don't expect it to be like, um, you know, um, something that is just you, you, you can do wherever and always feel good doing so. Um, It is good that it is hard and that it challenges you because then when you get through it and when you accomplish it and you write your first song, you really enjoy it. Imagine the difference between writing your own lyrics that mean something to you and getting that done versus entering a prompt into chat, G P T and that getting lyrics from that. In both cases you would have a song and they would both be about the topic that you want it to be about, but which one would feel better and and more rewarding. The one that you fought for and you know, put hours into and it was hard to get to those lyrics, but then they mean something to you at the end. And this is just part of it,

Malcom: And it, it, it's the same for every, everything you do.

Benedikt: Yes.

Malcom: Um, book recommendation, the obstacle is the way. Can't recommend it enough. Uh, such a good book that really drives this point home. But, uh, yeah, it should be hard. It's told the, it's a good sign if it's, uh, if it's work.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Um, and also trust the process and learn to enjoy this process. It's not about the, the results, it's about enjoying the small steps to take along the way and just trusting that if you keep doing that, you will eventually get there. It like, it compounds, it's like, seems like small progress now, but you will get there if you just don't give up. And, um, and then at the end you will, you will reap the, the, the benefits and the rewards and it's, it's gonna be awesome. Um, the next thing is also related to that actually, and it's, you brought up the, the obstacle the way by Ryan Holiday. He's a big teacher of like the, the whole stoic philosophy thing that I, I love to, to read about too. And one thing that the stoics actually also says, I think is a Seneca quote, is that we suffer more in imagination than in reality. And this is relevant here because often. It's not really the fact that it is so hard or not enjoyable, but it's like the fear and the insecurity that make us feel bad or make it seem less fun. It's not that we really suck or that it's really too hard right now, we're just overwhelmed before we even try looking at this big project that we have in front of us. And we, we are overwhelmed before we even start. But then when we finally start and just take the first step, we realize that it is actually doable and fun. It's some, so sometimes we just go through this whole project in our mind, suffering through it and like, um, feeling bad and like that, that we suck and we get insecure and we think we can't do it. But it's actually not real. It's just in our imagination because we haven't even started. And, you know, there, there's this quote, I think, um, mark Twain, uh, quote that I love where he says, uh, I, I suffered, I think he says something like, um, I've gone through like terrible. I've gone through many, many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. So

Malcom: That's awesome. I like that a lot.

Benedikt: I've, I've lived through many terrible things, some of which actually happened. Yeah. And, and that's, that's so good. And I find myself doing that all the time. You know, I have something in front of me and I, I suffer through all of it as if it already happened when it actually, I didn't even, I haven't even started and already makes me feel bad and, you know, doesn't make sense.

Malcom: Very good. Um, yeah, I think an example that musicians could relate to is like, you get together and jam with your band and you have fun and you go play a show with like a ton of people in front of you and it's really fun. And then you play a show where there's like two people in the audience is an empty bar and it's just like, terrible. You just like, ah, this sucks. And like they're, they're not listening, you know, or, or worse yet you're a rock band and it's like a sit down venue.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: just trying to enjoy their, your dinner and you're like, ah, this is awful. But there's no difference between that and your rehearsal space really. Right. When you think about it, why isn't it as fun as the rehearsal? It's just you and your friends on stage playing music and it's like, it's entirely imagined that this is an awful situation. You, you don't have to think about it that way.

Benedikt: You're so right. Yeah. That's a such a good example. Absolutely. And actually I, yeah, yeah, totally. Let's leave it like that. I never, I never

Malcom: I realize that's easier said than done.

Benedikt: yeah. But I also never, I wanted to say that I never really understand. I, I never really understood bands who would, um, make it really obvious that they don't enjoy their show right now. It's such a weird thing to watch from the audience's perspective when I'm like, I mean, I'm here and I paid to see this, or I, I made, I made my way here. Like, I'm here to see this. Why would you not do your best now? I mean, I'm, it's not my fault that the others didn't show up. You know? And like, you always have to do your best and you, and it doesn't, it doesn't even have to suck. Like you said. Like, you have fun. You should have fun just playing music regardless of the circumstances. And, and yeah, we, we all know the other perspective too. It's sometimes not as easy, but still you should, I think, and. And with recording projects, same thing. You, you look at this when you do it for the first time and you, you fir, you hear what goes into recording a song. For example, like the people who start the coaching program with me and they see their roadmap, they see the phases of like producing a song or a record. Yes. That feels, that can't feel overwhelming. That's also the reason why I don't give people all the action plans at once, but I start at step one and when that is completed, we do step two and, and so on and so forth. Because if you look at the whole thing, it makes you want to give up because, because it's so much that you have to learn. There's the gear aspect, there's pre-production, there's arrangements, there's recording, editing, mixing, mastering, consolidating, like all these things. Um, But you don't have to suffer through all of that before you start. You can just focus on the first thing and make that fun. And when you've done that, you can go onto the next thing. And each step is fun. Each step is different, a different challenge. And, and so don't, don't be so hard on yourself. And then the next one, you edit this Muk, which is great. Um, also about fun, of course, having a fun, a four fun outlet.

What is that for you?

Malcom: Yeah, so I mean, that could be anything you want. Some people like to go to open mic nights, um, you know, and just try out a new song or play a cover or whatever. Or even just sit there and watch other people play. Um, yet it could be going to a concert and not performing. Could just have, uh, a group of friends you jam with that aren't your, you know, your serious band. It's just, Jamming for fun. Just have, uh, an outlet that is musical that is purely for fun. That is the goal of this point. Um, and I totally wish I did more of this, uh, cuz it like all became professional for a long time. And if I had, I think I would've maintained my relationship with music a lot to a, to a lot healthier degree. If I had a for fun, I would outlet at the same time.

Benedikt: Interesting. For me, it's probably my, my one band that I have is the for Fun Outlet, because my job is the other part of it, you know, so I have this, this for fun outlet with my band. If you are in a band or you're making your own, um, records and it's not your gig, um, and you still, and you feel overwhelmed, then maybe you need a, a second like side project where we don't have any goals or it's just for fun, like Malcolm said. Um, but, but definitely the, the open night, mic night or jam sessions. Yeah, we have, we have, there's a venue here in town where there's like frequently they, they just do, yeah, open stage jam sessions type of thing. Um, super awesome. Uh, and. And try, I would really make it a point to, to not have any ambition or goal or anything there. Just let it happen and, and just use it as a, as a purely for fun outlet, really. Yeah.

Malcom: That's the, again, the topic of this episode was music should be fun. Um, so just make sure you're finding ways to keep it fun. If, if you're not, if you're dreading your, what, what you're gonna have to do later in the day that, like your musical hour, if you're dreading that, it's time to reflect on that and figure out why and, and what can be done to change your perspective on that.

Benedikt: Yeah. Malcolm, did you ever, with your band, when you found some success and when you, you know, you were pretty successful with your band and like, did you, did it ever get to the point where this turned being in a band and making music back then, like into something that wasn't as much fun anymore? Like I, I'm just asking because. I never had that with my band. We, we were, we, we were touring Europe, of course, and we had like, um, small record deal and all of that, and that was like very cool and definitely achievements, but it wasn't, it was far from being a job. It was always a, a fun thing on the side. And we had some opportunities where we could have turned it into something bigger, like, and, and monetized it more and turn it into some sort of career. And I always was afraid of that, to be honest. It sounds like the dream, but I actually, I preferred to focus on the studio side of things and I was afraid of doing that with my band because I loved doing it so much that I was afraid that if I turn this into a job, I might not enjoy it as much anymore. And then it becomes something I have to do, and that's something I want to do. And I could separate that with like the work that I'm doing for other people. I enjoy that too. But when I do it for other people, it's okay for me that it is kind of a job, but with my own music, my own art, I didn't want that to be a job. So my, my question again is like, did you ever feel like. It was not as much fun anymore doing your own music once it turned into a career.

Malcom: Yeah, I think so.

Benedikt: Okay.

Malcom: And, and I, it's, it's honestly, I think that falls on, on me personally, um, by not doing what we talked about in this episode enough. Um, just not finding ways to keep it fun. There were things that I always would enjoy. Um, for example, the thing keeping me going was the, the, the, the best shows, the, you know, the, the, the OneNote of 10 show where it's packed and, and just everything goes awesome, sounds great. All of these requirements. Um, and actually like it, I wasn't alone in this. I know that other people have had this, but, uh, I've talked with some other musicians about what I call post show blues. Um, Benny, have you ever had post show blues where something is so good and you have like, so many endorphins that after it's gone, you kind of get depressed?

Benedikt: Yes, for sure. That actually is the reason why you get depression, like after the same thing. It happens with drinking. When people get the post alcohol depression, you, you're so ecstatic while you're drunk that the next day is completely messed up because you, you have nothing left. Same thing can happen with a show. Yeah,

Malcom: Yeah. And, and when you're touring and you have a great show and you get that rush and then you get this like quite literally natural depression after it because your body's just like, I've used up all the happiness that was available, and then you have. Like eight hours of driving across the center of Canada to a show with a grumpy bar lady yelling that we're too loud and there's nobody there.

Like, it, like was just like shattering

Benedikt: Yes,

Malcom: and, and it, in reality, like it's imagined, it's not shattering. I'm, I'm getting to travel and play music with like, some of my best friends and we're playing our own songs and stuff like that. And we just played a, a sold out show. We should be happy.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: Um, but like, that got really, really tough and, and all of the other stuff like it there, we were trying to do it for real. So there's like, there's money on the line, there's, uh, you know, you're away from, from your, your loved ones for months and, and, uh, like there's so many things to it. Interband relationships can get really tense and stuff like that. It's, it's a lot of things that can make music not fun if you're not careful.

Benedikt: Yes, yes, absolutely. To totally. And, and some of these things aren't really a problem. There's reasons for that. And if you are aware of that, you can maybe, you know, breathe, control yourself a little bit, like, know that it's not actually terrible and there's a reason for why you feel like that, and then it's not as, as bad anymore.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. Um, yeah. Postal blues. I kind of forgot about that until you

Benedikt: me too. Like that brings up, that's, that brings back so many memories of like exactly. Those situations and Yeah, and in a different, like on a different day that same show where nobody's, there would've been great fun, you know? Or like there's some reason still to enjoy it, but on the, on the wrong day, it's like shattering, as you said,

Malcom: yep. Yep. Yep. And yeah. Um, just side tips on the post show blues thing. Uh, for, for people, if you're listening and experiencing that, obviously people often drink at concerts, including the musicians. That doesn't help things with the post show blues. It's just like an amplifier to how terrible you're gonna feel the next day and sad. So, uh, so if you are recurringly getting this stay sober, play the show, you'll play better anyways. Um, it just, yeah, it takes practice playing sober, um, if, if you're used to playing a little inebriated.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: So, yeah. Um, yeah, by the end, my entire band, like we, we stayed sober for all the shows cuz it just was like, I can't perform, uh, otherwise. And, and I think the feelings afterwards were too rough.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. I do the same too. When I play, um, this, like, I, I remember one, I have one show where I was really drunk and that was a disaster. Uh, it happened once and I played a lot of shows, uh, and that this wasn't the reason that I stopped it. I didn't do it before then. I just, I don't know why it happened once, but it happened and it was a disaster. And other than that, I really don't, I don't do it, um, because of many reasons. Also, I experienced the show better. That's another thing. I can be more present and if it, like, it's a different type of, a more intense experience to me.

Malcom: it is, yeah, I feel like the, it's, you know, people drink before playing calm nerves, but then that can actually kind of inhibit you in entering the flow state. Um, so it, it's like kind of, again, embrace the suck and, and the obstacle is the way, if you're nervous, it's cuz you're excited. So lean into that and you'll just explode on stage.

Benedikt: totally. You know, the thing with those types of, with that type of advice is though I just know that we probably won't convert a single person, because what happens is the, the ones who enjoy drinking and playing are like, fuck you. Like I, I

Malcom: totally.

Benedikt: it's part of it. And the others are like, yeah, I already know that.

So that, that's why I don't drink. But I don't think that any of those people who drink will now be like, Hmm, I now I will not drink anymore because they said it, but maybe, maybe, maybe we, maybe there's a chance.

Malcom: I'm not trying to convert anybody. I'm just, uh, yeah. Offering my experience and, and I mean, I, like, I would often have a beer or whatever, you know, like, it just, just, uh, I wouldn't lean into the alcohol. It was kind of the change that happened as I played more and more.

Benedikt: Yeah. Side effect. And that is real. Also a big one that affected, um, bands that I was in actually also. W like we all, when we're like, everyone's different, but to a degree we all don't, you know, we all change a little bit when we drink and we don't behave as well, or we say things we don't wanna say. And side effect, even if you're not turning into complete dick, um, what still happens is that when you're talking to promoters and other bands and like people there, you, you wanna be in control of like, the impression that you leave.

It's so important for your band. Um, it can be, you know, the, the, the difference between getting another call or being, you know, getting on to tour with another band, you know, being booked for another show or not. Because if you, even if you don't, you know, become a complete asshole, it's just if you're just annoying and, and don't, you know, you know what I mean? It's like, it can really affect your band in ways you don't want to, and you are gonna feel bad about it and you're gonna, um, you might even lose, you know, opportunities that you would've had had you been sober.

Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah. I, I, if you are a series band, like you're doing this for series aspirations, um, you've got goals. Being drunk at a concert is like insane to me. There, there's almost no circumstance that excuses that, um, both from the point of view of the audience you're interacting with, the other bands on the bill and the venue and show promoters as well.

Nobody wants to deal with a drunk person. Um,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: yeah, can't, can't really make sense of it. Um, been there, of course,

Benedikt: Yeah, for Of course, of

Malcom: but, uh, it's, uh, yeah, we, we had rules about that for sure. There's like, there, and don't get me wrong, there's, you know, parties happen, so, you know, you'll, every once in a while there'll be the promoter that wants to crack a bottle of vodka after the, the show is done and like, stay up until six in the morning with the bar closed down with you. And that's a different situation, you know? Um, but when you're on the clock still, that's not the, that that's not the case.

Benedikt: That's a total difference. However, the whole post show blues problem stays the same.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. You will feel terrible if you stay up all night drinking with the bar owner.

Benedikt: Yeah. But that can totally happen. And if that's a kind, your kind of thing, and everybody's on the same board there and they got the same page there, then it's all, it's all good. Um, so cool. All right. How did we get there?

Malcom: I don't know. I feel like we went on a couple tangents. I, I digged into the Canadian school system. We talked about running, we talked about drinking at shows. We went all over. Big

Benedikt: I, I think, I feel like it's a good one though. I think it's a really good episode though. And at the end of the day, it is about having fun and so we have, we also get to get to do this podcast and we have fun doing

Malcom: Yeah, we do. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. There's another tip. Start a podcast.

Benedikt: Yeah. All right, so let's wrap this up. Um, if you got any value out of this, as always, please make a screenshot, post it on your socials, uh, tag at Malcolm own Flood at Benedictine, at the surf recording band. Tag us on Instagram, reach out to us. Um, share stories. We love to see those. We, we've applied to those. We share your posts. If you tag us, let us know. If this episode did, did help you, uh, we'd love to hear like success stories wins and if, if that helped you overcome sort of a, a block or, um, find like fun again making music, that would be awesome, um, to hear.

And yeah, uh, we appreciate you. Thank you for listening to the show.

Malcom: Yeah. Thank you so much everyone. We'll see you

Benedikt: you next week. Bye.

Malcom: Bye.

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