171: Flo Reithofer On Producing Heavy Records, Staying True To The Artist’s Vision And Being A Life-Long Student (Case Study)

171: Flo Reithofer On Producing Heavy Records, Staying True To The Artist's Vision And Being A Life-Long Student (Case Study)

I sat down with Flo Reithofer, a producer, engineer and musician from Austria. He was one of the first people to join the Self-Recording Syndicate and I've been working with him for about a year and a half now, helping him refine his audio skills, as well as grow his studio business.


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

During that time Flo has not only worked on many projects with different bands and artists, but he also produced two songs completely from scratch.

He did everything himself: Writing, arranging, producing, engineering, performing (every instrument & vocal), editing, mixing, mastering.

And he also released a great music video for one of those songs.

Flo is a true multi-instrumentalist and still plays drums for different bands. So he knows both sides of the studio window very well and speaks the same language as the musicians he's working with.

When he joined the Self-Recording Syndicate it was clear that he was very talented and that he had already put a lot of work into his audio career. But he also had some blind spots and a lack of direction, systems and a reliable process to get truly amazing results consistently and with confidence.

He also wanted to grow his studio, find more bands to work with and take the business side of it more seriously. After all, he wanted to make sure that he can keep doing this for a long time. Because he loves it. Although he's a super calm and relaxed guy, the passion he has for music and audio comes through in everything he says and does.

And because Flo, just like myself, believes in being a life-long student, he immediately joined our coaching program after we had a conversation about it.

He's always for looking for new perspectives, insights, approaches and people to learn from.

Since joining the program, Flo has always been open for new ideas and new things to try, produced super exciting records for the artists he's working with and got more projects for his studio.

He has improved the acoustics in his live room, optimized his recording and mixing rigs, created a better workflow for himself and now produces and mixes with much more confidence, compared to just a few months ago. And his artists are loving the results he gets them!

His skillset and network lets him offer a perfect package to bands and artists that are looking for an energetic and raw production aesthetic that still sounds modern and punchy, but always in a very authentic way and true to the artist's vision.

Super stoked to share Flo's story with you!

Let's go!


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

Benedikt: Hello and welcome to the Self Recording Band podcast. I'm your host, Benedictine. If you're on mute to the show, welcome. Thank you for joining us. If you are already a listener, thank you for coming back. Glad to have you again. Today is another case study interview episode, and I'm doing this without Malcolm unfortunately, but. here with one of my self recording syndicate members. He's an an absolutely amazing engineer, producer and musician from Austria. His name is Flo Tuva, and he primarily works with punk rock, hardcore and heavy music artists. I would say, um, as I said, based in Austria. Um, we've been working together for a while and I'm super stoked to, uh, introduce him to this podcast, introduce him to you and, uh, yeah, share her story with you. So welcome Flo. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I'm super excited about this. Uh, how are you?

Flo: Hey Benny, thanks for having me. Uh, I'm doing great. I'm doing great. Thank you. And uh, I'm happy to be on your show.

Benedikt: Awesome. Yeah. So, so stoked to do this because, uh, we've been working for a while now. You were not the first, uh, people to join, uh, the Surf Queen syndicate our coaching program. And, um, it's a little, it, it was a little sort of a, a special case with you because you were already relatively far when you started and you were al you already had your, your studio and you, you were already working with bands and you've been doing this for quite a while. And actually, I think we already sort of knew each other at least like online a little bit, uh, when you started. And I was very excited to do this with you. So, um, maybe just introduce yourself to our audience and, and tell us, um, give us a, a bit of a, of a rundown of what things, uh, look like for you when we met and what things look like now, what you're up to, what you're doing currently.

Flo: Yeah, would love to. Thanks. My name is Flo. I'm 41, and, um, I would, I would call myself like a multi-instrumentalist. I started playing drums when I was like 11, 12 years old. Um, that's how my musical journey started, kind of, and you know, I, I grew up in a, in a very musical family. So there was always music playing around the house. When I grew up as a kid, I started playing in bands, um, as a drummer, mostly like indie rock. And later on, um, I started with the, like I grew up in the, in the punk rock scene around where I lived. And so I played in, in punk bands and later on I, I got into more aggressive music and like hardcore stuff when I, when I was 16, that was the first time when I started. Uh, recording actually. So, 16 was my first recording experience and I was hired as a session drummer for a commercial recording. I went in the studio and, uh, like I was super excited and we recorded to tape.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm.

Flo: straight from the, from the console into, into the tape machine. I guess it was like 16 track fex or something. And, uh, I was so excited by all like the possibilities you have and like all the, the creative environment in that studio. And, you know, I instantly fell in love with recording. So, and the funny story is when that. That particular studio went out of service like a few years later. Um, I had the opportunity to, to get my hands on that, on that console where I recorded when I was 16 years old. And, uh, I bought that console and it's now standing in my own studio. And to me that's, that's like a, a great reminder of, of the joy and the happiness I felt when I was first recording on this console. And it's kind of cool how to see that circle close, you know? And also it's like just a, a reminder to be grateful for what, for what I have achieved so far. And yeah, that's, uh, that's, that's, I think the story. Of how I got into recording. Yeah.

Benedikt: awesome. I don't know, have we ever talked about this? I don't. I don't remember that story about the console. I know the console and that you liked it, but I had no idea that, well, at least I don't remember that. It was like one that you've already used before and then bought from that studio. That's great.

Flo: Yeah, I think it, it's cool actually the, the owner of that studio is a friend of mine and uh, when they went out of service he asked me if I want to have it. So of course I want to have it cuz it's like a piece of recording history to me. And, uh, I just love working on that, on that thing. Yeah.

Benedikt: Awesome. So, um, I, I assume when you did that, and when you started it was more of like a, like a hobby or you were doing with friends in the beginning or for your own music, probably. And how did things, uh, develop from there? Like, did you, um, I mean, because now you're doing it sort of, you, you have a day job still, but it's, it's also you're doing it professionally for artists. So, so how did that, did that happen from that moment you bought the console to your first, um, bands that you're working with?

Flo: Yeah, right. Started as a hobby and, um, I started recording myself primarily first cuz I'm a drummer and I, you know, I started recording me on drums and kind of home Dr.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm.

Flo: To me learned a lot. And so, yeah. And as I grew up in, in that punk rock scene, I know a lot of bands and friends of mine wearing bands, and so they hit me up if I can record for them or if I can record drums for their songs and stuff like that. And, So it happens naturally to, uh, spread my network and get into this. Yeah, so nowadays I mostly work with local artists, as I said, out of the underground punk rock scene. And, but I also do remote mixing and mastering. And so that means if, if a band records themselves and let's say they're rehearsing space or whatever, they can send me their tracks and I'm gonna mix them.

Benedikt: Okay, so, so how would you describe your sort of, um, aesthetic and, and production or mixing philosophy? Like what are you looking for? What are you trying to get out of the material that an artist sends you? Or, and, and what is like, um, yeah, what's your overall approach there? Because some, some producers and mixers tend to be pretty, like, try to be as transparent as possible and, and, um, And, you know, the, it's, it's, they don't leave like a sonic sort of footprint on their, uh, on the productions they work on, and others have a clear aesthetic and a sort of a signature sound. Like how would you describe that in your, in your case?

Flo: To me, it's all about the, I guess, emotional connection. If you, for example, if you, if you hear a song and you don't feel anything about it, Chances are that you're not listening to that song or to that band for very long, right?

Benedikt: Yeah.

Flo: But when you work with a, with a band or an artist that you really like, and you like the songs or the story that's been told in the song, or the melody or the message or whatever it is that comes across, you got emotionally invested. And you pull your heart in as you work with the artist and you help them make their vision come true because you now understand what their vision is. And I think that's one of my strength, um, to be creative and work with the art and the artist and understand what the artist wants. So that's always my, my goal with, with any production I work on is to. Help the artist achieve the goals they want to achieve. Like if they have a certain vision for a song, it's my job to make that vision come true. So that's, that's my, I guess my, my approach or my production philosophy. And it's also about being authentic. You know, supporting the artist, but also be true to yourself or to the roots where the artist came from or where I came from. And, uh, yeah, and, and most, most recordings I do for artists are, it's not strictly just engineering. So most of the time they, they do request some input from my side as well.

Benedikt: Which you can do because you're a musician yourself. That's a very important part of that whole story, and that's, that's also what's relevant to, um, to the people listening right now. I think because most of our audience are musicians, of course, self recording artists, and you are that too. So you make your own music. You've always, um, Played in bands or, or you've always written your own stuff. Uh, and during the, our time working together, you also created a song from scratch. Actually two songs at least, I think, um, from scratch that you, um, that you've written, arranged, um, recorded, produced, mixed in all of that and played of course. And the cool thing is if you can play like multiple instruments and you're a musician yourself, I think you can communicate on a whole other level with other musicians because you know, you speak their language. Um, Which is kind of hard to do if you, if you, you're not a musician yourself. So that's, that's definitely a plus. And that's, I think, why people want your input too, because they, they know that you understand them and that you, um, you've been in their position as well. So, um, when it comes to your own sort of music that you make, how would you describe that in that aesthetic? Because there, it's all yours and your creative vision and, and what is that like in terms of, you know, Some, some people are more raw, others are like more, have a more polished, ecstatic, you know what, what's that? What, what's your personal preference if you could choose?

Flo: Um, yeah, as I said, it's, for me, it's all about, uh, being authentic and, uh, you know, I, it's hard, it's hard to describe your own music kind of, because it's often, it's all about how you feel, right? So if you're, like, if you're like angry and pissed off, you are not gonna write a ballot, right? So, Um, I would say, I would say, um, when I write songs, I can't write songs that don't sound like me. I'm, I mostly write authentic songs, I guess I would say. So, uh, it's, I think genre wise it would be like melodic hardcore stuff. So there's like screaming involved and like aggressive rhythm guitars and like heavy drums, and I like life drums.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Flo: So natural feeling drums. Yeah, I think, yeah, it's, it's hard to describe your own, your own, your own, uh, creative process kind of.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. And, and I understand that you don't, you know, you, you wanna, you are able to do various things with artists and so you don't wanna, um, you know, um, how do I say that? There's not really just one thing that you can do. I totally get that. I'll, I think though, after hearing your music, that it's, to me at least, it's definitely more on the. Raw, energetic sort of side of things while still sounding, you know, modern and, and, and big and, and punchy and everything. But I don't see it as the, the, like the, the super polished, um, you know, sort of aesthetic to me. It's like, as you said, it's sounds like a band. It sounds like drums, it sounds like a room. It's like, it's distorted. It's, it's, um, a little dirty. And I think, at least to me, that's what, what your stuff sounds like. So, uh, but I'm not saying you can't do other things, but that's personally what I, what I think. Um, Your stuff sounds

Flo: That's true. Yeah, that's true. Um, to, to me, when I hear a song, it should always feel like a band playing. That's right. I, I didn't know how to describe that, but

Benedikt: yeah, yeah, yeah.

Flo: Right. So when I hear a song, I, I can, when I close my eyes, I can visually like see a band playing. That's, that's the goal. Yeah, totally. Right? Absolutely.

Benedikt: were the biggest challenges? Like when you were starting out, assume the first things you, you did was, uh, record your own music or play around with your own stuff, I guess, and then friends bands, as you said. Like what. What was the, the biggest, what were the biggest challenges for you in the beginning trying to record your own music? Do you remember that, like the, the biggest, uh, roadblocks and challenges and maybe also some breakthrough moments that you had where it, it clicked for you? Um, do you, do you remember these moments?

Flo: Yeah, um, totally. Um, I, I started. Recording drums and I was wondering how to get like a drum sound that's super full, like, and super punchy and like has all these beautiful ambient sounds around it and stuff like that. I couldn't make that happen when I started out. And there were a few issues, like, um, obviously when you're playing drums, your room matters a lot and if you have a crappy sounding room, your recordings. Won't sound great and, and stuff like that and how to deal with that. Like the recording environment itself is a, was a, a huge point for me to work on. And like with everything, doesn't matter if it's guitar or, or bass, um, or drums. The, the tuning how to probably set up your instrument and two new instrument.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm.

Flo: Is it to the song or like appropriate to the song in terms of guitars, use the right string ages and and stuff like that for the, for the tuning that's required for the song? Um, yeah, I think and recording wise actually, it's with everybody, I think. Um, when you start out recording, you don't really know what you're doing. Right.

Benedikt: of course not.

Flo: it's, you know, the technical stuff in minutia, it's like so overwhelming that, that you kind of lose focus. You don't know which, which, uh, topic to pick first, kind of, so, and that's, that's also, um, a great point. Um, when you're, when you think about networking, right? When you network with people that are, um, ahead of you. There's so much wisdom you can, you can gain. And, and that was like the cool thing with our, um, working relationship, right? So when, I remember, when I, um, when I messaged you, Um, I was, uh, I decided I wanted to attend one of your in-person workshops in your studio. You had a few years

Benedikt: Yeah.

Flo: but like, unfortunately, pandemic hits and those in-person workshops weren't a thing at that time. So we kind of decided to do that, that coaching thing, like the, the online mentoring thing and, uh, it was like such an eye-opener in, in terms of the things I just said, like, your recording space matters a lot. It's not, it's not. Especially your gear that that really matters. You know, microphone is a microphone, but if your room, it doesn't sound like it should sound for, like, doesn't sound appropriate for drum recording, um, doesn't matter what microphone you put in front of your, of your drum kit.

Benedikt: Totally. Um, but whether be before we, like we, we'll get to that, that whole part when, when we start working, working together, but be actually before that I'm interested in like. In the situation that most listeners are probably in right now, where you were trying to record your own stuff and you said like tuning and setup was a was an issue, and then obviously nobody really knows what they're doing in the beginning, but were there certain challenges that are. Typical for, for when you're recording your own music versus like working with others. Because I can remember when I recorded our own, um, my own bands and my own stuff, that was, it was always pretty challenging to, um, to sort of have the, the right perspective, the objectivity, and to, um, to do everything. Like as a, yeah, everything basically to fill every role. You know, when you're the, the writer, the performer, producer, engineer, mixer, and you do everything yourself. That was kind of tough sometimes. And sometimes I wish there, there would be, uh, someone who, who could do some of those things so I can focus on whatever I, I need to do right now. So did you ever feel that way? And in the beginning, was there ever a specific challenge as a self recording artist? And, and how did you overcome that?

Flo: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, as you said, you, you are wearing all those hats, like you're recording, you're the songwriter, you're the performer, and I think we all experienced that. Um, we have like started thousands of projects but haven't finished. Single one. Like, there's like, like an, a lot of projects on a hard drive that have never been like, um, finished. And I think that's, that's one, uh, that's a mental thing. I, I think, um, It, it does not have to be perfect. Just finish it and progress and learn from your own mistakes. Listen back to your old recordings. Listen to what you can achieve now, and like find out the differences. What have you done different and, and make that to your advantage when you're recording the next session or whatever it is.

Like learn from your own mistakes. I think that's, that's a huge. Don't give up.

Benedikt: Yeah, so I was about to

Flo: don't give up.

Benedikt: yeah, you basically just kept going and, and even though like the first things that we do are like, sound like shit, we just keep going and we know that eventually we're gonna get there if we put in the work. And, and that happened to you as well? I guess so. And, and was there like one breakthrough moment that you remember where that made you feel confident enough to then work with other people? Or was this just a slow sort of progression and then, um, so how was that?

Flo: Um, to me, a a, a big thing, a really big thing is preparation. Um, So I have templates and, and that's one, one big breakthrough for me. Just don't, don't start recording into like a blank recording session. Just prepare your session, uh, and save it as a template. And I think that's something that you. Preach all the time, have templates because it makes like the creative process much easier actually when you're working from a template than if you have to create everything from scratch, like, you know, effects or whatever it is. Um, so I, I would, um, make a template for a recording scenario or for like a songwriting scenario or for a mixing scenario. And as soon as I had that, things got really quick. Like if I'm writing a song, I put up this template and I have my favorite amp sims there and my favorite effects or drum library or whatever it is.

Just make it easy on yourself and, and, um,

Benedikt: Now I get what you, now I get what, where you're going at with this. So, so the time at, so the moment you, you started doing that, it allowed you to make faster progress because all the setup time was like, now it was, was not that much anymore. And you could actually. You had more output, you could actually focus more on the things that matter and, you know, write more songs, capture more demos, uh, produce more music, uh, focus on the artist more than the technical side of things. And that's what, what eventually accelerated your, your progress a lot, I guess, right? That that's where you, where you're going with this.

Flo: Yep. Thanks. Exactly.

Benedikt: Okay, cool. Yeah, that, that totally makes sense. At first I was like, what? Well, how can a template be like a breakthrough thing? But totally, you, you're totally right. If you, uh, eliminate as much of the tedious stuff that you do over and over and over again, you have more time to focus on practicing, you know, um, I don't know. Uh, Cue techniques or how to position a microphone or just you, you're more present in the room with the people you're working, you know, because you're not, um, busy with, with all the, the, yeah. The busy work that you have to do over and over again. That's not really creative. So. Absolutely. That I, I agree with you there. That's cool. Now. Okay. Let's, uh, jump to the, the, the time when, right before you joined the coaching, because you were at a, at a spot where your stuff already sounded decent. You worked with like bands in your area and like with, um, you, your, you know, you, you obviously weren't a total beginner anymore. And, um, but what was it that you felt like was still sort of missing? So, um, what, what did things look like for you at that moment and what made you take the plunge to join a program like that?

Flo: Mm-hmm. I had, um, I think recording techniques that I used and used and used but didn't, didn't really think about where they. Are those the best techniques to use for certain situation, stuff like that. So I was aware of, of your work in, in your studio, and I, uh, I thought it, it was awesome. I, I still think it's awesome

Benedikt: Thank you.

Flo: and, uh, um, yeah.

And so I just. Thought, um, I wanna connect with you and, and like see what your approach is to, to, uh, recording scenarios and mixing and mastering what is, what is your approach. And, and I feel like if you're, if you're an open-minded person, you can always, when you connect with someone, you can always find something to learn. Um, you can always like, dig out those gold nuggets, you know, and, and make it your own, implement it in your own workflow. And, and I think that's basically the, the reason why I joined your coaching. I just wanted to see different perspective and, and learn. Learn from from, from you basically. Yeah. And get feedback on my work, you know.

Benedikt: That's, that's so cool you say that because I'm asking that question because I, to this day, and I think many, many, um, professional engineers do that to this day. I still, um, buy online courses. I'm, I'm in coaching programs myself. I, I learn and, and try to connect with people who are ahead of me all the time.

And because I think that you should be a lifelong learner and the learning never stops. You can always, um, you know, get new perspectives, new, new approaches, never hurts to learn that stuff and. I'm saying this because a lot of people are not as good as you were when you started the coaching, but they, they still think that they don't need this anymore. They think they, they, they've learned everything. They saw everything. They watched a bunch of YouTube videos and they, they feel like they know a lot about recording and don't need something like that. And then, and then there's people like you who actually already know what they're doing pretty much and still do something like that and invest in themselves and wanna learn more and connect with other people because, Um, a you are aware of the fact that you never, there's always something you don't know yet. And then that it's like there's value in connecting with other, um, people in the, in the industry with other, um, artists and producers and, and, uh, yeah. Learn new approaches and things. And I think that's remarkable because a lot of people would be pretty happy to be in the spot that you were in like one and a half years ago, and yet you decided you want, you want more. Right. And that's so that, I find that that interesting. And, uh, And then pretty cool.

Flo: Thank you.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Flo: Thanks. I, I think, and you said that already, like it's, it's also like a, a point of, of networking, kind of make contact with people in the industry and, and have those at hand if you are like, run into issues or need a mastering engineer or whatever it is, it's, it's always good to, to know, to know people in your network that do things like that.

Benedikt: Cool. Yeah, totally. And now, like roughly, what is it, one and a half years later or so, um, what do things look like now for you? Like how do you feel about your skill level now and the quality of your recordings and, and mixes? Are there any wins worth talking about that you took from the coaching, maybe from that time period?

Flo: Well, um, during, during our coaching, um, I mixed an album for, for this punk rock band. Uh, they're called Soapbox Radio, and they're friends of mine and, uh, they get quite some attention lately and I'm super happy for them. So they're like, they're playing festivals and stuff and, and playing with bigger bands. And so I'm, I'm really happy for those guys and, uh, I had the pleasure to, to mix their latest ep and I think, I think the, the thing is I re remixed like the songs like three times, four times. And that was during our coaching cuz I constantly got feedback from you and said, Hey, maybe try to this and that, you know, and, but in the end it was all worth. Like doing those changes or remix that song from scratch and stuff like that. Because now the band is super happy and they got lots of attention and playing with bigger bands. And so to me, that goal is achieved.

Benedikt: Awesome. Awesome. Perfectly. Is there, is there anything in particular about what you did during the time that made a big difference to you? Anything you remember?

Flo: Oh, absolutely. Um, I, what, what was a big, a big thing to me was, um, like the boosting confidence in my own work. Like as like I, I said the, the big picture, picture thing. Even when I'm recording, I'm now always aware of like, where are my frequencies? Like my, my spectrum on the whole song. Am I like too much on the low side or is it too high, Andy? And stuff like that, you know? So I'm constantly checking those. Those things, um, but with intention, like, I'm not just recording because it sounds great, but does it fit into my like frequency, spectrum and stuff like that? That's, that's what I learned from working with you and, and like being aware of those stuff is really important, I think, to the outcome cuz it makes your work as a mixing engineer much easier. So when you work under source sound as well. Yeah.

Benedikt: Totally. I remember one thing right in the beginning. And we started that, that I was actually pre blown away by, which was there were. I listened to some overhead tracks that you sent, like some drum recordings and the drum recording. I mean, you, you knew what, what you were doing. Those didn't sound bad, but there was something at the top end that I noticed where, um, the symbols and the stereo image of the drum kit weren't as clear as I, as I thought they could be. And then we dove in and tried to figure out what the, what the problem was. And then you actually, cha and you, you kind of touched on that before you changed. Um, you were recording room a little bit and you put a cloud above the drum kit, I think, and you put some absorbers around the kit and changed that and, and changed the, the, the micing approach a little bit, and then your overhead sounded so much. I remember that when I, when I heard that they sounded so much clearer. It was like a clear separation, a clear left and right. There was no like phy top end anymore, and so this was probably a thing that. Once you heard it, the AB was crystal clear to you. But I think it's one of those things where if you're used to a room and you work, you've, you've been working in that for a while, and you just know what it sounds like and it's always the same. You kinda get used to it and you get these blind spots that you don't even notice, and then someone else comes in, here's those overheads and then. Discovers a problem that you were not even aware of, and then you fix it at the source and all of a sudden everything's better. And I assume that, I think that everybody has something like that in their setup, in their room somewhere, and we just don't realize it anymore because we're so used to it. And I think those were what was one of those things. And, and I was so, I was actually surprised by, I did. I knew that it worked, but like how well it worked was pretty mind blowing to me. Do you rem Remember that?

Flo: Yeah, I remember that that was like, as you said, I, I didn't, I didn't realize that. Like I was recording in this room for years and, and uh, suddenly you were like, Hmm, have you checked those overheads? They sound phy to me. You have like all this like early reflect, uh, reflections from, from the drum kit and so, and no, didn't realize that. So what, what can we do? And that's, that's like one of the big benefits of, of having someone who works close with you. Um, Just, it's just a different pair of ear, you know? And, uh, that's, that's, that's cool. Really cool. I remember that. Yeah.

Benedikt: Awesome, awesome. Great. Now, and what are some current projects you're working on and what are your plans for the next sort of weeks month? Is there anything in the pipeline that you, that you're excited about?

Flo: Yeah. Um, I'm working with a local band at the moment, um, two singles. They're coming back later for another single, I guess, and the band I mentioned before, soapbox Radio, talked about recording an album maybe next year.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm.

Flo: Something like that. Yeah, that's my plans. Um, I'm also working on, on my own stuff, so I kind of, we kind of, uh, rearranged our band situation in the last weeks and thought of like founding a new band, writing new songs, stuff like that. So I'm involved in that as well. And, um, yeah, looking forward to that.

Benedikt: Awesome. And, uh, about your own stuff. Um, is it the silence I please that project that you were, uh, writing songs for when we worked together?

Flo: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that was kind of a necessary for me. Like I wasn't in a band anymore, kind of. And, uh, so I founded like that solo project, like the Silence I Please and, uh, because I needed an output, you know, create creative output to write music and like stuff like

Benedikt: I, and because I made you do an exercise where you had to record, you had to write record, fully, produce something from scratch, and that's where you, you, you needed something to do that. Right.

Flo: Yeah. But when I say I need an output, that sounds way better.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Flo: Then you forced me into writing a song for the, for our coaching,

Benedikt: Absolutely. No, no abs. Absolutely. Uh, and, and the fact that you were able to do it that quickly and that well just means there was something there anyways that you wanted to get out because this was like, And then you did it again. So there is something in you that needs, needs an outlet, you know, that you need to put into, into music and words. And then you found, you founded that, uh, project and used it for the coaching then, and you apparently continue to do it

Flo: yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. Because I love writing music. I, I love it. It's, it's just creative. And as, as, as you said, it's, it's an outlet.

Benedikt: Cool. If you wanna check that out. People, um, if you go to YouTube and you search, um, the Silence, I Please, the song is called, could Be This Illusion. That's a pretty cool video. Where you see that flow is like playing and singing and doing everything on the song, like the drums, the guitar, bass, vocals, everything. He recorded it. He produced and arranged it. He mixed it. That's on the YouTube channel. I don't know if, is it, is it your mix or is it My mix on that video? I don't even remember.

Flo: Uh, it's mine.

Benedikt: That's yours. What

Flo: my mix. Yeah.

Benedikt: song that I mixed. I don't, I don't even remember if it was

Flo: Yeah. You mixed the second one, uh, which is called Dead Eyes.

Benedikt: Yeah, that was the one, you're right, you're right. Yeah. There's another exercise in the coaching chest if, for people, if you, if you're wondering where I mix a song for people and then they can mix their own version and then we can compare and do a mixed walkthrough and, and so we did that too. But that song could be disillusioned by the silence. I Please, it's on YouTube and floated everything on that one. And the video is pretty, pretty rare too. So you get an idea of what the studio looks like and. And, uh, the whole vibe. So I think that that came out really, really great. So please, please check that out. And, and also that, I think that gives you a good idea if you're in a band now, wondering if Phil would be a good person to work with. Maybe that gives you a good idea of that. I think you get an idea of, as I said, the studio, the aesthetic, the, the and his abilities as on like, in like all those different roles because he did it all in this, in this thing. So I really love that and I want people to check that out. And I'm super proud of those things always when I see those, because this is a result from, from the coaching where I'm like, That's just amazing, uh, what came out of there. And of course you did everything, but I'm always super happy to be, to, to just be a part of that journey at least a little bit.

And, uh, yeah.

Flo: Thanks. Thanks.

Benedikt: Yeah. So, um, how would you summarize the benefits you experienced from the program? Like the, the community, the academy, like the facts, like what, what's in there and how would you, how would you describe that? You know, we have the, the courses, the community, our calls. Anything else that comes to mind that you found beneficial?

Flo: Yeah. Um, what I like about it really is that it's so focused. It's, it's focused on the things that matter. And like cut out all the crap, you know, you don't need like fancy gear and stuff like that. I think you, you have like a gear guide on you on that, on that side.

Benedikt: Yep. Um, it's a, yeah, it's a little dated now. I need to update it at some point, but I, I have it. Yeah.

Flo: And that's awesome because as you said, um, the video on, on my YouTube, uh, channel. And the song, I mean, that's all diy, that's all like a friend of mine recorded that video and. All the songs is just recorded in my, in my little project studio, you know? Um, so you don't need like, fancy gear, just know what you're doing. And I think your coaching helps a lot with this. Just focus on the things that matter and crap and cut out all the crap, you know, that just, uh, kind of distracts you from creating art and the vision you have in your head.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, to Totally, totally. So, yeah, I love this. I love that. And a lot of people keep kept saying that. Like last week's episode was with Clinton and Robin, where like as of now, when we are, at the time we're recording this, it comes out today. But when this comes out, it's like last week's episode where, um, they were talking about the same thing. That the, the whole focused and the whole focus thing and the accountability and just having someone to sort of guide you a little bit when you get off track. That, that that's what they, what they said about, um, One of the, that, that they call that one of the biggest benefits from, from the coaching. And I actually love that because you know, all the information you could ever want or need is on the internet in theory.

Like nobody needs a course or a coaching or anything like that. In theory, you could learn everything ba, not just music. Basically everything you could learn on your own on the internet. But the problem is, um, Nobody tells you what you actually need right now, if it's actually applicable in your situation. Um, where like, what, what is true, what is wrong? And you get distracted. You do all kinds of things. You're going in all kinds of directions at the directions at the same time. And so I think one of the biggest benefits of, uh, of doing something like that, any sort of mentoring is that. You have sort of guidelines, you have sort of a, a clear path, a next step that you can work on, um, you know, focus and, and accountability, as I said. And that makes a huge difference. And I hope that, I mean, that, that the content itself is, is good as well, but even if it's just that, that someone curates the information for you, I think that that alone is worth it.

Flo: Absolutely. I had, I think it was like, One of the first weeks I joined and I had this, like, this aha moment, um, I think you were talking about, uh, drum recording or whatever it is. And uh, cuz I'm totally into drum recording obviously.

Benedikt: yeah,

Flo: uh, like do I really need like 25 mics on my drum kit?

Benedikt: yeah.

Flo: It's, or you know, it's all the, the important stuff.

Keep the important stuff that really matters to your song and get rid of the rest, cuz that will cause more issues than benefits and stuff like that. So what I like is, and that's something you preach all the time. Um, remember in the end we are making music, we're making art, and it should be fun and fulfilling. And I think that's one of the. Of the big things that comes out of your coaching, right.

Benedikt: Cool. Cool. Uh, speaking about fun, what, what's one of the most fun parts to me is when, is when we get together in these group calls with, with like Wayne and there's a couple of people who always show up or show up. Most of the time not everybody does it. It's not a must, but, um, I enjoy these a lot. And I think you were one of those people who were at those calls quite a lot. Like you were one of those people who kept showing up. And I think it's so cool to see the relationships that come from that. Like some people started, you know, collaborating on songs together or, um, you know, meeting outside of the coaching and just exchanging ideas. We started sort of a, a, a business mastermind group where a couple of, of like people in the syndicate who were also doing it for others and like semi or professional or professional who meet where we meet once a week and just, uh, exchange ideas on how to start or grow a studio business. So, All those things came out of that whole syndicate coaching program, and I personally enjoy that part a lot. And, and like, how, how do you feel about that? It's a small community, but I think it's a very cool one.

Flo: Yeah, it is a cool one. Indeed. Yeah. I love those calls. Um, I try to be on every call I can and, uh, it's just, for me it's, it's, it's so cool to see where everybody is at. Like, we have, we, we have guys there, like, remember, uh, Greg who's playing like the upright base and he's like, That's so amazing. Like he's, he tells his stories with his songs and the songs are like so minimalistic approach and that's so cool. And on the other side we have like metal dudes in there and it's just, it's so cool that to see that diversity and, and in, in this community, it's, it's really cool. I, I really enjoy that

Benedikt: Yeah. And this, this is something I would recommend to people actually, when, and this is something I learned from doing those calls, it's super valuable sometimes if someone who's from a completely different genre who's, who's working on completely different music, listens to your stuff because they hear it with a completely different perspective, different ears. And so when, as you said, when someone like Ryan, who's in the program and who's making, uh, like death metal, technical, death metal, sort of, um, When, when Ryan gives feedback on a bluegrass song, for example, that's super interesting because that's not something he usually listens to and he hears it differently and he might spot things that, um, other people don't even, don't even hear. And it's just an interesting perspective. And, and I, I really took that away from those calls. And, and that's something I wanna tell you. Uh, listening right now. I, I wanna tell that to you. That maybe show your music to someone outside of your genre or maybe like non-musicians, even someone who has a completely different exper, uh, like perspective compared to yourself, because that can be super valuable and you never know. We even have people in there where I think I thought. They definitely wouldn't like, like heavy guitar music, but then they heard a song and they actually started to enjoy that type of music. So they, and I was kind of surprised by that. And it's, you know, you never know. And it, I think that that whole mix of genres and backgrounds is super exciting and everybody can benefit from that.

Flo: Yeah, totally agree. Yeah. I, I remember when, when Ryan uh, listened to my song and said, I don't even know what genre that is. And, and it was like, as you said, it's like super eye-opening cuz someone has totally different opinion on, on, on, on your own stuff and than yourself have

Benedikt: yeah. And, and.

Flo: that's so amazing.

Benedikt: Totally. And I think most people in the program had no idea what genre Ryan is doing. Like that's, I think for most people that's a complete mystery, what that is. You know, the whole technical, uh, death metal thing with like these technical riffs and fast double bass and all of that. There's some people in the program who maybe never listened to anything like that before. And, uh, so yeah, it's, it's just cool and interesting. So, um, What exactly is it back to your studio and your, what you're doing right now, what exactly is it that you are offering right now and who do you offer it to? We touched on that in the beginning, but is there sort of an a, you know, a niche, a thing you do very, very well or like a type of band or artist that you love working with the most or, or the service that you enjoy most

Flo: Yeah. I mean, I enjoy, I enjoy creating art. That's, that's my, that's my approach to it, I guess. Um, I love mixing, um, and, uh, You know, even, even if the band recorded themselves, things got so unique sometimes and like I know my tracks when I record stuff, but when I hear different tracks and different approaches to song, this is really cool and I really enjoy that. So remote mixing is something that I really love doing and, uh, I lately got into mastering. Um, thanks to your coaching as well. So that was something I always, uh, kind of avoided doing. Like when I'm mixing a song, I would not master it kind of, cuz you know, when you lose perspec perspective or something like that

Benedikt: sure.

Flo: wouldn't help anyone.

I think so, but I started doing that and I really enjoyed Yeah.

Benedikt: Cool. Cool to hear.

Flo: um, as I said before, the the, when I connect emotionally with a, with an artist or a song or a band or the message or whatever it is, um, I pour my heart in. That's, uh, that's how I can describe it the best I think.

Benedikt: Great. What would you tell someone who's on the fence about hiring someone like you to help them make a really cool record? Because I know that a lot of people are like, I could probably do it myself, but then they're not really confident. They don't really know what they're doing. They've never worked on anything but their own music, and they're inexperienced, but they're not sure if hiring someone. Is actually worth it. And what would you tell a person like that? Like what, what can they gain from, um, you know, messaging you and, and collaborating with you? Even if, if it's just a mix for whatever they, they want, but like, what would you tell someone? Like, because I, I know that most people are not sure what the benefits actually are or if it's, if it's worth it, and so they keep doing it themselves. And I, I personally, personally, think they're sabotaging themselves. But what, what would you tell those people?

Flo: I would say like bands, if they say we can do it ourselves, it's, it's always like when you're working on your songs, on your own songs for too long, you lose perspective. So you cannot judge anymore if your songs are great or not. So if you have someone from outside, you're, you're like, rehearsing space. It's a different opinion, different ears. And uh, like if someone really digs your songs, likes your song, it's, it's, uh, it's a teamwork, it's a team effort, you know? That, that's how I see it. Um, and. If, if someone is, someone's skills are way ahead of yours, why not hire someone who does it better than you probably can do it? So, I, I don't, I don't see the point in doing it everything yourself, when there's other people who can do it better.

Benedikt: Yeah, I mean, I, we are caught the surf recording band for a reason, and I believe that people can do it themselves, but I'm a big believer in you shouldn't go it alone, uh, in the beginning until you are confident enough to really do it yourself. Because I remember that for me, I always wanted to do it myself, and I did, but my breakthrough moment personally was when I worked with. When I worked, uh, with, um, a professional engineer for the first time when I collaborated with an external engineer for the first time and sort of got my first mentoring from that person, and that was so eye-opening and such a big jump in my like abilities, my skills, and like the confidence I had that I realized okay. Until I'm at the point where I can really make exciting sounding professional music, I need to learn from other people. And part of learning is just hiring someone to do a part of the process and then comparing that to your own work and, um, you know, asking questions if they, if they let you, you should be annoying. But like you, you would be surprised how open people are and, and how willing they are to answer your questions. And collaborating with a pro can teach you so much so that then afterwards you can. Actually do it yourself. And I think there's no better shortcut to that, no better way of doing that. You basically have only have two options. You can, um, hire someone like you have three options. You can try and just. With trial and error, figure it out yourself, which will take decades probably. It's like a long, long, slow grind. Or you can hire someone, um, compare their work to yours, ask questions, and accelerate your progress that way, which is a great way to do it. And as a nice side effect, you can also get great productions along the way that you can then use for your band or for yourself. And the third option is you can get, um, a mentor and you can do a coaching program like that where you do it yourself, but with guidance from. Someone external and, and I think, yeah, and you have to decide what you wanna do, but I think doing it comp completely on your own, just with YouTube, um, is probably the hardest way to do it. Takes the longest amount of time and maybe never even leads to anything, honestly, because it's like, it's so hard to just figure it out on your own. And most people give up before they get anywhere. That's the truth.

Flo: Totally agree. Yeah. And if you work on your own songs, The chances are you will never finish those cuz you're not sure if they're good. And if you never finish a song, no one will hear it. So if you hire a, a professional, a mixing engineer, mastering engineer, um, they will put out your songs

Benedikt: yeah,

Flo: and, uh, you have, instead of like, no songs a year, you can have like five, six songs a year and, and everybody can hear it and otherwise no one will listen to your band. And

Benedikt: Yeah.

Flo: so,

Benedikt: Are, are you guiding the people who work with you during their recording process? So let's say I'm in a band, I'm recording myself, but I wanna hire you to mix my song. Um, if I'm insecure about the recording or if I send you demo and you, you spot like problems, are you gonna gonna help me with that and, and guide me through the recording process a little bit so that the end result can be better?

Flo: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Um, usually I, I hear demos and, or sometimes I'm even involved with like songwriting or stuff. And, uh, uh, pre-production is, is one thing that's, to me, essential to do. Cause, um, just record it, like rough recordings or whatever it is, and you will hear the song as a whole and you can fix problems there before you go into the recording studio and, and make the final tracks. Um, I will always. Guide a, a band or like a musician, an artist, whatever it is, because I want them to have the, the best result. Like they can possibly have the, the best version of, of who they are, you know? So, but in the studio it's, it's kind of, it's, it's different. I, I keep like all the technical stuff away from the artist and make them like, feel comfortable. As, as it can be. So they can focus on like performance and creating the art. And like all the technical thing is on my side. So I would provide them with like, uh, guitar strings, uh, drumsticks, whatever it is, just to keep them focused on the performance and creating the art. Um, so, but yeah, as I said, it's a, it's a team effort. Like it's a, it's a team thing. Yeah.

Benedikt: Really cool. Uh, awesome. Thank you. So, and finally, like if, if someone's on the fence about joining the program, like the self recording syndicate, what would you tell them? Was it worth it to you? Did, do you feel like more confident now after you've done, you've done it? Like what would you tell someone on, on the fence of like getting, getting mentoring? I.

Flo: Absolutely, um, absolutely worth it. Um, I've gained more confidence. Um, I have, I had some weak spots that I, uh, that I found and I worked on them, and I think after all, like, um, it's over a year now and, uh, it's, I think my production sounds, they did sound good. In the beginning, but they sound much better right now. And, and, uh, I know why they sound better, and I think that's, that's the most important thing to me, to know why things sound better. So, yeah, it's kind of an eye-opening thing, like, and, uh, if you're an an open-minded person, I think a coaching, like a personal coaching, um, is the best thing you can do with, with, uh, when you're creating arto, when you're like a recording artist or something.

Benedikt: Awesome. Love to hear that. Thank you so much. Um, anything else we need to, uh, tell people? Like where, where can they find you? How can they hire you? Uh, is there a website? Is there any projects you wanna, uh, talk about or, or tell people about? Like, anything you wanna put out there?

Flo: Yeah. Um, you can find me on the internet.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Flo: It's, uh, it's uh, my website is fr minus audio.com. Uh, and also there is, uh, like, uh, A contact form on it or just write me an email. It's flow fr minus audio.com and uh, we can work things out and make it make it great.

Benedikt: Cool. Awesome. Very, very cool. And uh, yeah, hit 'em up. You find those links in the show notes of this episode. Of course. And in the YouTube description, if you're watching, like if you're listening on a podcast app, this is also on YouTube. So you can go there if you prefer that. It's gonna be in the description there, it's gonna be on the website, in the show notes and in your podcast app as well. And so just click on those links and, uh, send flow a message. And I'm sure he's, I'm sure you're willing just to, to talk to people about their music and about what they trying to achieve. And then if it's a good match, um, you can collaborate. And if not, as Flo said, even just reaching out to others, expanding your network, um, you know, and, and like that's, that alone is worth it. So Hit him. Hit him up. Flow's cool.

Flo: Absolutely. Thanks. Uh, I would love to hear from you guys. Hey.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. All right. So thank you. Thank you so much for doing this. And I have to say though, if in case you're wondering the, this and the last episode, these are. Uh, it's always a little weird to do those when you have, when both of us actually speak German and we do this in English, so it's a little harder than the usual episodes sometimes for us. But I still want everyone to, of course, to, um, take something away from these episodes. So I keep doing them, them in English. But, uh, yeah, it was kind of a weird two weeks doing these, these interviews with Ger all German or Austrian people and still, still everything's in English, so please excuse us. Uh, please. Um, I apologize for not having the. The typical flow that we usually have sometimes, but I hope we get the point. We get the point across. And, uh, yeah. I'm so excited to do more of these, of these conversations now because I really wanna promote those people that I've been working with because they're great and in, in the case of flow, uh, I can absolutely vouch for him.

So again, go to the website and, uh, and yeah, and, uh, thank you for, for taking the time again. Flo was a

Flo: Thanks dude. Uh, it was a pleasure having me and, uh, thanks so much and love it being here.

Benedikt: Awesome. Cool. Bye.

Flo: Bye bye.

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