Category Archives for "Mindset & Psychology"

#29: “How Do You Develop A Unique Drum Sound?” (We Got This Interesting Question – So We Answered)

We got a well thought-out, long email from Rollo, one of our email subscribers, asking a great question: "How Do You Develop A Unique Drum Sound?"

This one got us thinking, because it's such an important question to ask. Not just "how do you record drums" or "how do you make drums sound good" but "how do make them UNIQUE".

We don't want to sound like everyone else and the records we love most have exactly that: Unique sounds.

So we did our best to answer this question and took a deep dive into what makes a unique drum sound, how to define a vision in your head and finally all the different ways to make that vision a reality.

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#28: Track Your Progress – The Mindset, Strategy, Tactics and Tools You Need To Stay On Top Of Your Project

Podcast #28: Track Your Progress - The Mindset, Strategy, Tactics And Tools You Need To Stay On Top Of Your Project

In order to stay motivated and keep pushing your project forward, you need to track your progress. 

You need know where you are, what you've already accomplished, what's ahead and what to do next.

Every second spent thinking about those things before you can be creative again and move on with the project is a minute wasted. And, more importantly, mental energy wasted that you could have used to work on your music.

Add to that, that we are incredibly forgetful creatures who get distracted easily and you'll quickly realize that there's no way around tracking your progress properly, if you want a completed project, well thought-out songs, an inspiring, detailed production and happy bandmates.

Join us as we discuss the mindset, strategy, tactics and tools we use to manage our studio projects and let us give you some ideas and practical advice on how to implement a seamless system for your band.

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#27: The Pitfalls Of Being Overly Obsessive While Tracking – How Being Too Hard On Yourself And Your Bandmates Can Negatively Affect Performances And Relationships

The Pitfalls Of Being Overly Obsessive While Tracking

Taking it seriously and putting in a lot of effort is good - Being overly obsessive is not.

Are you the type of person who loves the technical aspect of recording? Are you fascinated by gear and all the cool things you can do with it? Do you have high standards and a clear vision of what the performances should be like? Are you willing to spend hours to get the perfect take or refine a tone? Are your bandmates joking about how obsessive you are while tracking? Or, even worse, are they annoyed by your approach and your obsessive ways?

"I mean, it's clearly their fault, right? They just don't understand how important this all is."

Well, think twice. 

Recording music and making records should be fun and lead to an exciting result, not a perfect one. You can hear it if it was a pain to create and that is not good. Yes, there are technical details to take care of and non-creative steps in the process. And yes, you need to take it seriously and put in a lot of effort. But while working with countless artists over the years we found ourselves in many situations where we needed to help the band get back on track, prevent damage to the relationships within the band and make sure they still had the goal and big picture in mind.

We've seen relationships being destroyed, bands breaking up and records turning out uninspired or never getting finished at all, because of one or multiple bandmembers being  overly obsessive while tracking, being too hard on themselves and their bandmates and, while having great intentions, ultimately putting the whole project at risk. 

That's why we felt the need to make this episode to help you finish your projects, get exciting results, strengthen your relationships within the band and, most importantly, have fun while you're doing it. 

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#24: The Process Of Making A Record – Breaking It Down From Idea To Finished Release

#24: The Process Of Making A Record – Breaking It Down From Idea To Finished Release

This Podcast (and whole website) is about making records. 

And this is the master episode. The episode of all episodes, if you will.

Because we're walking you through the entire process of how records are made, explain every step along the way and talk about how to best approach each step, depending on what you're going for and what situation you're in.

There's so much that goes into making a record that the actual process of recording it is just a small piece of the puzzle. Join us as we're breaking it down step by step, so you can create your own master plan for your next release!

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#23: 10x Your Productivity And Creativity By Using Checklists And Templates

#23: 10x Your Productivity And Creativity By Using Checklists And Templates

When you hear "checklists and templates", creativity is not the first thing that comes to mind, right?

It sounds like the exact opposite and we as typically right-brained artists tend to avoid those things like the plague. 

But the truth is:

Checklists and Templates enable you to be truly creative, because if you use them to your advantage, your brain doesn't need to waste energy on the non-creative, repetitive tasks anymore and is free to focus on what really matters: The art.

In this episode we talk about three main benefits of checklists and templates in music production:

We explain why and how they help you...

  1. time
  2. more creative and have more fun producing
  3. ...avoid mistakes

And finally, we give you specific examples of checklists and templates that you can implement right now to 10x your productivity and creativity.

Book Recommendation:

The Checklist Manifesto

Malcom's Studio Preparation Guide:

Click here and scroll down to find the download

Free Productivity Software Recommendation:


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#21: Spice Up Your Recordings With Creative Reamping And Unique FX

Creative Reamping Techniques

"Everyone uses the same samples and amp sims", "everything's quantized and edited to perfection", "modern productions have no soul", "So many bands sound basically the same", ...

Well, here's the cure: 

Make your records sound special and exciting by using and creating sounds that are unique to your production and fit your vibe perfectly.

There are things that you can do during the actual recording, of course, but usually you need to focus on the performance, capture great takes and you don't want to paint yourself into a corner too early in the process.

That's where "creative reamping" comes in. It's the process of taking an already recorded signal, running it out of the computer into a pedal, an amp, a PA system, some weird sounding box, etc. and then capturing it again.

This can be done after the recording, without destroying the original file. And experimenting with it is almost a must, when you are self-recording. Because you have all the time to do this without having to pay for an expensive studio, you can go absolutely bananas here, if you want!

Run your vocals through guitar pedals, send your drums through a PA system into some crazy sounding room, use a boombox or kids toy as a guitar amp, use headphones as microphones, there are endless options to try.

In this episode we'll talk about some ideas and about how to actually do this. Stop making boring records and let's get wild!

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#17: Vocal Tuning Isn’t Just For T-Pain

Vocal Tuning Isn't Just For T-Pain

What comes to mind when you think of Auto-Tune?

​Probably not organic sounding, "real" rock music, right? The word screams "FAKE!" The truth is, though, that on most modern, professional records, even the very natural sounding ones, you'll hear some sort of pitch correction or tuning that happened in post-production or even in real-time during recording.

It's not at all about creating funny, robotic sounding effects (although you can do that if you want) and it's also not about making bad singers appear as if they could actually sing (although you can definitely do that to an extent).

It's mostly about taking an already great performance, that has the perfect feel and energy and getting the intonation just right, so that the vocal sits beautifully in the mix and connects with the listener.

Sometimes that means it needs to be just a little off, sometimes it means it needs to be 100% accurate. And sometimes nothing at all is needed. It totally depends, but if it could really help the song and make a greater impact on the listener, would you still refuse to do it? Let's discuss!

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#16: Is There A Correct Order To Record In?

Whiteboard with Recording Order

What order should you record your tracks in? And why? Does it even matter?

We think it does matter! Unfortunately, it's not as simple as a list that you could follow every time you record.

Listen to this episode and learn what really matters when it comes to the order of recording things, the philosophy behind it, how to find out your perfect order and how to get the most out of your recording sessions by approaching them the right way.

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#15: If You’re Not Doing Pre-Production, You’re Missing Out!

Pre Production

Pre-production is critical to the success of your record. It's an essential part of preparing yourself, your songs and your setup for the actual recording process.

Only after pre-production will you really know if your arrangements work, if the songs are ready, if your music connects and has the desired emotional impact, if everyone can play their parts well and if the individual tones you're dialing in work together well.

​If you skip this part you miss out on the biggest opportunity to get your record to that pro level, the recording process will be more tedious and less fun and the final result will likely be less than ideal.

In this episode we talk about the importance of pre-production in much more detail and give you actionable advice on how to do it properly, so you get the most out of it.

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#14: Why You Need A “Producer” (even if you’re producing yourself)

You need a "producer" (that can be yourself) because getting a decent sounding recording is not enough.

It's not enough to record clean signals, avoid hum and noise and make it technically flawless. Not at all. The last thing the world needs are more perfect but boring records. Making something really impactful requires bold moves, committing to stuff early on in the process and - a producer. Because the most important hing is:

A clear vision of the thing you want to create.

And this is especially hard to do if you record your own music. Because you have to be aware of the fact that you are the artist, the engineer AND the producer in one person (or as a group of people, your band).

The differences between a producer and engineer are the following:

The producer is the one who has the creative vision, who guides everyone involved through the project. He/she never loses sight of the goal and he/she's always looking at the bigger picture, the 10000 foot view on the project. Think of this role as the role a movie director has. He/she doesn't operate the camera, but is in charge of the creative decisions and knows exactly how everything will work together in the end. In a traditional recording studio situation there was this producer and then there was one or more engineers. The engineers are the people who actually turn the knobs and set up the microphones. They know exactly how to bring this vision to life, how to capture the sound that the producer and artist are going for. 

If you have to combine all of this in one person, it's VERY difficult to stay objective and to not get lost in the details, but instead focus on the big picture.

That's why you need a "producer", someone in your band who can take on that role and who is responsible for the big picture, the songs and the vision (creatively and sonically). Ideally, that person or group of people is also responsible for the project management, timeline and making sure everyone is working towards that common goal. So that the engineer can focus on the details and making sure that everything is captured perfectly. And so that the musicians can perform freely and can completely be in the zone while doing so.

Listen to the episode and learn more about why this is so important, how to go about it and how to actually avoid the common mistakes we've seen so many self-recording bands make.

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