Two Words That Will Transform Your Home Studio Results

| Rant, Tips

We as home studio owners all want one thing: great sounding songs. Tracks that are what I call “radio-ready”.

But we tend to go looking for that sound in all the wrong places. Like new gear, “secret” techniques, and copying what everyone else is doing.

The truth is, if you want to see your next project sound better than ever, you only need to focus on two words: start and finish.

Start – Just Do It

Have you ever said something like this to yourself?

“I’ll start recording that new album when I have a better preamp.” Or, “I’ll start mixing my EP once I learn the best way to use compression.” Or even, “I’ll release these new songs once my home studio is setup just the way I want it.”

I’ve thought something along those lines in the past. Always assuming that I’ll be in a position to make a better recording or mix once a few things are in place (new gear, location, skills acquired).

And while those things might certainly help you achieve your musical goals (I’m a huge fan of education myself) they can also be a crutch.

The real secret sauce to getting better sounding songs is to simply start. Start writing now. Start recording now. Start mixing now. Just get started.

There will never come a “perfect” time when you have all the gear, knowledge, and experience you want to make the “perfect” recording. So stop waiting for perfect and just start!

It’s by starting that you see progress, see growth, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and become motivated to keep going.

Just this year I was waiting around for the “perfect” time to write some new songs for a project – only to decide that unless I started the project, it would never happen. 90 days later I had a brand new EP in stores.

The biggest thing standing in the way of you creating your best music ever is you. So get out of the way and start!

Finish – Don’t Drag It Out

If starting is the first word to transforming your home studio songs, then finishing is the second.

Too many artists believe the lie that the more time you give yourself to complete a recording or mix, the better it will sound. It’s simply not true.

For one thing, Parkinson’s Law would seem to show us that the opposite is more likely true. The shorter the deadline, the more focused you become and the better the result. At worst, you’ll get similar results in a short timeframe as you would dragging it out.

So why drag it out?!

Secondly (and this might be a hard pill to swallow) but you are only but so good at this moment in time.

You are only but so good of a songwriter, recording/mix engineer, and producer. Dragging your EP or album out a few more months isn’t going to improve the sound of it simply because you aren’t going to be much better then.

In fact, the best way to improve is to finish a project and move on!

Your NEXT project will sound better because you’ll have more experience under your belt. But for now, this is the best you can do on your current project – and that’s OK!

I would much rather have two years of experience where I finished 3 little EP projects or singles rather than two years of one dragged out experience on 1 album.

Same amount of time – but 3x the experience.

The key here with finishing is simply to know when you’ve done all you can and have the guts to call it quits and release your music. Your music is a gift, don’t keep it to yourself. Finish it. Share it. And you’ll not only bless your fans, but you’ll be on your way to getting better!

How Are You Doing With These Two Concepts?

If you look back on the year so far, how have you fared with implementing these two concepts?

Have you made all the music you wanted to? Have you finished the projects you hoped to? If not, what has been holding you back from starting that much-anticipated album or finishing that long drawn out EP? Which of these two words do you struggle with the most?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

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76 Responses to “Two Words That Will Transform Your Home Studio Results”

  1. Mark Huss

    My enemy is time. What with job, family, side business, etc. finding time to write and record music is hard, but I do it. Finding additional time to watch videos about same is almost impossible. :-/

    Reply
  2. Ryan LaRocque

    I agree with this philosophy. A few years ago i posted myself to compete in FAWM.ORG. it is a challenge where you aim to complete an album and 1 month. This year I did my first 50 90 challenge which you write 50 songs and 90 days. My mixes weren’t very good but I did make a lot of them and I think that I improved from them

    Reply
    • Rolanda

      I struggle with accepting that I’m only so good at this point in time. It’s easy for me to believe that I’ll know “enough” if I wait a few more months, which turns into years. As you stated, it simply isn’t true.

      Reply
  3. Frederic baiocco

    I fully agree. Start, practice ans finish. Looking back, then You can feel improvements. The music sounds better…

    Reply
  4. Guy

    Your emails are that nice little push to help with these issues.
    The “finish” part is where I have a crutch. I’m too much of a perfectionist and want my songs to be just right. If I change ideas and implement new ones along the way, it usually turns out that my original ideas were the best choice…its called first instinct. I just need to be happy with stuff and move on!

    Reply
  5. Dee Lanee

    The word I struggle with the most is “finish”.
    For years, I have started numerous songs only to stall them because I don’t feel they are good enough. I usually have no problem starting new things, it’s finishing that is the toughest. This year, I have been dreaming of building my very first studio, in order to make “proper” music. I am not there yet at all, but I have decided to persevere in at least trying things the “lo-fi” way. That’s my new challenge.

    Reply
  6. Mariano

    In 2010 I started to learn about home recording. I pre produced my album at least 6 times.
    Inspired by you and guided by me on june 5 I took myself, my guitar and a tascam dr40 over a hill and I started the album. I Recorded only trough the dr40 sometimes adding and external mic (rhode nt2) in hills, parks, bars, living rooms, bedrooms… I took mic placement very seriously and the just let me and sometimes other musicians friends loose and enjoy, to give the best of us in one or maybe two takes. I mixed on my laptop it with simplicity, some eq and comp. I mastered. On september 9 I release it. It could sound better, but it sounds fresh and unique. I finally made it and I´m very proud of it. It can be heard and dowloaded from http://www.leopardovolador.com.ar Thanks from my heart Graham, big hug, keep going please. Love to your familiy and beloved ones

    Reply
  7. Pat Autrey

    Analysis Paralysis! Procrastination! Laziness! I love to think about it…here in Texas I’m “fixin’ to” record, meaning almost ready but not quite yet! With so many options and possibilities of how to make a song, and so many tools to choose from, it’s amazing that anything ever gets done at all. Songs are living breathing things, but that first step is so difficult – at least for me. But man, once I do get started, all of the sudden the ideas start to come, the fog begins to clear, and before long I’m staring at a brand new song. Great article – thanks for the pep talk

    Reply
  8. Ed Cullen

    Very true!
    I finished my first project this summer, and sharing with friends and strangers has been a blast! Also my songwriting skills, such as they are, have developed. If I had not been committed to finishing it would not have mattered very much, and the quality of the material would have suffered. Thanks for all your help.

    Reply
  9. Davor

    As if you read my mind, exactly what I’m going through right now. Decided to start recording my songs after more than 5 years of musical inactivity, buuuut I just need this mic and then I’ll start 🙂
    I’m starting tonite, without the microphone! Thanks Graham!

    Reply
  10. Seymour

    I’ve actually been unemployed for 2 months I’ve had 24 hours in the day to do anything with my music I’ve written half of a song like usual song like usual then moved on to a new song got that semi wrote so I am someone who has absolutely no excuse to come up with something I have above-average recording gear all the software you need instruments yet I just can’t get anything done in the only one holding me back is myself when I can’t self-motivate I presently struggle with that

    Reply
  11. Roger George

    Hey Graham thank you for these daily emails. I am just starting up really Im from the Bahamas and I have been putting off taking music seriously for a while but now I feel I am ready to start, I just got up and applied for the Recording Connection course and I will be in Toronto learning first hand about audio engineering starting week after next. I decided that I have put this off for wayyy too long and its either now or never.

    Reply
  12. Michael James Wachner

    This was a fantastic article Graham. Thank you. I have two albums out with a host of songs ready to record and have just been paralyzed with analysis with a desire to “up” the quality on my 3rd go around…. I still need a new set up, but this has really inspired me to just get moving on it and get it done. Thanks!! (P.S. Know anyone who can do a website for reasonable fee ? 🙂

    Reply
  13. Cal

    Two things I have taught myself – 1) Mistakes are HOW WE LEARN. Our options range from “Wow! I really suk! (on the lower end) to “OK: What can I learn from this? (my opinion of an intelligent reaction.”) The sad fact is we learn so much better from our OWN mistakes than we do from other’s. …could have something to do with a perceived reward… and, 2) {as you point out} study the project, form a tactical plan and take the first step.

    It’s all so intimidating until you take that first step. Almost magically, the second step is revealed.

    “I’ll quit procrastinating……..tomorrow.” (my motto)

    Reply
  14. Bill

    I finally did it. Actually, my wife forced me to make it happen. (She insisted I just finish it and I went kicking and screaming all the way.) We made the actual physical CD’s and scheduled a CD release party and invited all of our friends, family and people that have helped us with our band. I should mention that my wife is my lead singer and my son is my drummer so that put even more pressure on me: both to get it right and to get it done!

    I’m such a perfectionist and I worked way too long on it. I actually had the EP done a year ago but then I learned some new tricks so I re-mixed and re-mastered it again. It might not be the best thing ever but, hey, when you have that big CD release party coming, the room is booked, deposit paid to the caterers….well…. that is a real brick wall deadline. It really gave me some closure. Our next EP will be even better.

    Reply
  15. Rune Brynsholmen

    This sure is true. I’m now just one song away from finishing the 12 month challange and I believe it has helped me become better at making music, arranging music and mixing music. And best of all, it is fun do have finished songs to show up, even if they’re not the best songs in the world 🙂
    Merry christmas to all…it is 1th of december today after all!

    Reply
  16. Thilak John (TJ)

    I have a Full Time job and at the same time passion to record, I can honestly say sometimes I sacrifice my sleep and do music .. I don’t have an issue with finishing but starting .. Anyway, I am going to make up my mind and work on starting all my projects that I am yet to start, Thanks for the article 🙂

    To all my fellow artists across the globe, Have fun recording and making music.

    Sending “LOVE” all the way from Bangalore – India

    Reply
  17. Organik b

    Damn. This was directed straight to me, at this ryt moment i was going online to check “mastering technics” for radio ready quality. And I’ve been dragging my EP for almost a year now because i wanted it to be perfect, but now i see I’m holding my slef back instead of releasing it and grow more music will come. Thank you for this it really woke me up.

    Reply
  18. Wayne

    Graham, you are absolutely right. I fail in just about every area. ( ex. Producing, mixing, etc. ) I have what would seem like a countless amount of obstacles in my path. On top of that, the purpose behind my music is the fact that it is not just a hobby. I was called to develop a ministry and deliver a message to the world. The message of Jesus Christ. We all know the opposition that stands in front of one carrying out those orders. Tons and tons of relentless, unceasing oppression, each and every day. I have written quite a few songs. ( Lyrics and Music ). I have yet to fully record any of them. I still have a plethora of knowledge to gain on the software/hardware I will be using in my music, including the DAW itself. I have found myself in a state of depression many times and looking back, that was just another obstacle. We have to become adamant about doing what we truly want to do. We have to let nothing stand in our way. Even if we have no clue how to achieve these goals. I am starting to realize that more every day. Time may have passed us by, and we may have failed but there is yet time still in front of us where we can make a change in our decisions and make a difference in this purpose for our lives. Thank you for all that you do Graham. You are making that difference in many lives and it’s appreciated beyond measure. My prayers are with you and what you are doing. May you continue to prevail in your success.

    God bless you, your family and your ministry.

    Reply
  19. Francois Levert

    You’re 150% right!!

    Let’s start!

    You made my day

    Cheers

    Francois
    Montreal, Canada

    Reply
  20. Dave Anstey

    Really appreciate the encouragements from your perspective and experience. I got into home recording as a complete novice 2 years ago, wrote my first song within the first 3 months, but have since recorded, ‘mixed’ and scrapped the project at least 20-25 times since then! I still haven’t released it and have about 10 other half-projects just waiting in suspense. Especially as a first project, it’s my ‘baby’ and I want to be proud of it in 5 years time when I listen back to it, hence my being stuck. It’s a hobby for me (not for commercial release), I’ve watched just about every Youtube video out there on music production, and bought way too many plugins, in the hope that I would get that sound… :o\

    Reply
  21. Rodrigo

    I’ve already started to record my first EP in a looooong. Deadline is at January 31st…I’m so excited to see how it goes.

    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    Reply
  22. PIA COMMERCE

    Hi Graham, I now follow you about one year, your words and thought always can encourage a lot, particular me as a absolut beginner. Thanks for saying and sharing and helping. I’m a huge fan of education myself aswell. But without guys like you, this would be drastic more difficult.

    Reply
  23. Ronald T. Robinson

    I have never enjoyed being kicked in the arse, Graham.
    But, at least, coming from you, it is with a padded, furry boot.
    Voicing I can do.
    It’s the music that is the most challenging.
    For these projects, I can tolerate the hoofing.
    and I thank you.
    Best wishes… Ron

    Reply
  24. Dan

    I’ve been working on a web series where we record and video bands playing live and do a little interview at the end. The format, and a very “persuasive” director have forced me to take this advice. He will book these bands that have horn sections, multiple keys etc. , and I’ll say I’m not ready to take on a project that size with the experience/gear I have. He then tells me in his own way to “get good enough”. The crazy thing is, is working¡. Diving head first into projects that intimidate me had made me better at recording/mixing/mastering in the past six months than the previous years combined. It’s okay to be scared. Do it anyways.

    Reply
  25. Mike Teague

    Thank you for the encouraging words today. There is always something that can keep me from getting my songs recorded if I don’t focus and get started. Family is very important to me and I deal with feeling selfish when doing MY music for MYself instead of hanging out with them. The good thing is, they are supportive and want me to get it done! As you stated- Music is a gift- so I need to share it. Blessings to you and your family and thank you for providing this service to those that aspire to be better at sharing our gifts!

    Reply
  26. David

    Hi Graham,
    My first time writing. Just wanted to say your talk about Parkinson’s Law really hit home! My objectives were to record covers of other peoples’ songs to publish as videos on You Tube, but I’ve been dragging my heels for months. I’ve always sung pretty well. I’m recently learning (acoustic) guitar to accompany myself, but I’ve been constantly putting off recording, because I’m never good enough on guitar. Finally, I’ve recorded guitar tracks in my DAW for 4 songs. It took me a while to tweak things right, but then I’ve dragged my heels on adding the vocal tracks. Well, because of your inspiration, I made up my mind to record the vocals for all 4 songs in 1 day, and I did it!! Took me a while to mix the songs to where I wanted them, but I’ve now accomplished doing the video for the first song, in 1 day! Again, because you’ve helped to awaken me from procrastination, I’ve made up my mind to finish the other 3 videos in 1 day. Thanks so much for the much needed “push” to get my objectives accomplished!
    Sincerely,
    David

    Reply
  27. Christopher Elam

    Wise words! I’ve been recording 8 songs for a year, and most of that time was spent trying to make midi instruments sound more real – ugh!

    So, thanks for writing this. Very encouraging, and something we ‘indies’ need to be reminded of from time to time.

    Reply
  28. Put

    Hello Graham,

    What’s holding me up right now is other artists. I mean, vocalist. I’ve been in music for a long time and things have changed so much. Everyone seems to already be a superstar. They will say, how much they love music and how it is their passion. But, when called upon, they don’t live up to these claims. I have songs I’ve written specially for a female vocalist but can’t get any even when offered to be paid. One came and when they couldn’t get it in the first 20-30 minutes or so they just quit.

    I’ve told some the honest truth of the studio not being plush and all (because I built it 30 years ago) but it get the job done they become offended. I guess they are looking for a video they can post of being in a studio that looks more like the times. Also, I could sing some of the male songs myself, but I am more of a musician than a singer plus, I want someone other than me, myself and I. The older musicians and singers are not a problem except, they don’t or can’t do today’s music, btw, I find that a lot of younger one can’t either. They don’t at least the ones I’ve come in contact with, are not as talented as we were. In fact, when I was asked if I have auto tune and replied yes but I only use it sparingly, they were turned off and refused my offer. especially when I told them in the spot where they maybe a little off, we’re just re-record or work on it. I’ve even told them if they do not want to be associated with the song or project no problem. For I understand that what may sound good to me may sound awful to them.

    And lastly, this one seems to be the killer. Even though, I’m by no means a big boy, if you’re coming just to make a quick buck, don’t waste your or my time because if I’m paying, I expect them to work on and do their best which may require putting some time and effort into the project. Don’t hear from them anymore. I may not be the best but I’m not a sucker.

    All and all though, you are right, I must move on. Perhaps it’s the best thing. and I did learn from my last effort. I have purchased some new gear and software and took the advice of others (not you) and decided not to go for the loudness curse that everyone else is doing and it doesn’t match up (loudness wise) with the other recordings out there. Why? Because the levels are not as hot or loud as all the others. Like it or not, sometimes you just have to go with the latest fad or trend.

    Thanks for allowing me to comment.

    Reply
  29. Felix

    What a shame, Graham. Guilty here. I don’t have to repeat your words – and thanks for putting back our thoughts into our big mouths, it may help our brains and hearts to START and FINISH this long… very long overdue projects.

    Reply
  30. jose

    I struggle with all of it i record and mix artist tracks but feel like its lacking something and hold off great advice here will take it

    Reply
  31. Brandon

    Couldn’t agree more with your advice Graham. Thanks for doing what you do and sharing with others.

    Mixing for me is not a technical challenge, because I’m synesthetic. I find it easy. My biggest hurdle is using the damn software/DAW to create drum sequences and other backing tracks. This paralyzes me from starting, and I get discouraged quickly. I can sequence my own tracks, but I’m not sure how to use the software to do it efficiently. For example, It might take me 20 hours per song to extract just the drums that I see in my head onto the DAW…using the piano roll. But this is the only way I know how to do it.

    I let it stop me from going after business with vocalists. I’m great at recording other people, but I feel like it’s not worth my time to create all the tracks for the artist. If a full band comes in, then it’s no problem. I’m very comfortable with this, and results are always great. But me personally, transcribing my own scores into the DAW (virtual instruments) is really painfully tough. Any suggestions how to advance this deficiency?

    Reply
  32. steven john

    Recorded one song for five years and its still not finished play all the music my self . have four more the same I Know the song have good lyrics and sound good but the recording was not up to scratch only just missing the mark I know it sounds daft because I want to be a song writer for a living as well as putting songs out my self need to be more disciplined and set a time scale I know what to do because of you teaching Just need to do it. had logic first and then went on a short course for pro tools so I got pro tool should have stuck with logic but I like pro tools editing so Ive been learning the two together then I saw your video on sticking with one Daw it was too late .thank steve w

    Reply
  33. Wayne Morrison

    You are so right Graham. I like to start a song and finish it as soon as possible.
    The more time it takes , the more I start over analyizing it. The more confused it becomes.
    I love your vids etc.

    Wayne Morrison

    Reply
  34. Brad

    Thank you so much Graham for all you’re doing! You’ve been a huge help! Always looking forward to your newsletters in my inbox. Thanks again!!

    Reply
  35. Christina Marie

    I’m struggling with finishing the lyrics to 2 of my 1st singles. I can’t just sit down and write just anything. I have to have the mind-set, energy and something inspiring in front of me or in my ears. Also, struggling to get to a studio. Still saving up. But, It’s always in the back of my mind so I will accomplish.

    Reply
  36. Ko Ito

    great words! i always wanted to make a Christmas EP and then 4 years went by…
    recently i had a pinched nerve from my low back to foot and could’t walk. i missed work for 2 weeks. :/
    the bad thing was i could ‘t walk but i still could play and record 🙂
    so just like you are saying – i thought this is good time to work on my christmas EP project and finish it this year! so i finished my project within 3 weeks! (well two songs were recorded last year – but i did 6 additional songs this time) those sounds and mix are not perfect but i completed this year and i am very happy with the result!!

    thank you Graham for all you do to encorage us!

    Reply
  37. Christopher Burke

    My enemy is lack of knowledge and nobody around to show me how to do stuff. If anyone could tell me technically how to make strings sit behind piano like here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uubp_Jji4pM
    I’d have an album out in no time. I’ve written 30 and many more piano and strings pieces but cannot find out where to get strings that sound like this, and how to make string sounds sit BEHIND piano sounds in a mix without over-EQing them so much they sound too weak. I’m ulrichburke@hotmail.com if anyone knows how to do it (even if they just want tlaugh at the idiot – me – who doesn’t know HOW to do it) – I’d dearly, dearly love to know. If they can tell me the sort of package that has these strings on them I’d love to know THAT too!!

    Reply
  38. sunil rb

    Thank you for those words, you have no idea how much you are shaping peoples perspective and encouraging them to really creative what they truly desire ….I will always be in your debt to whatever i create after having learnt and incorporated your techniques and tips/tricks

    Reply
  39. Michael Mitchell

    The best advice I’ve ever heard Graham!!! From your lessons & advising I now have projects on YOU TUBE, REVERB NATION & SOUNDCLOUD! Type MUZICIAN in the search box & listen to what can be done when you stop second guessing yourself! May you all make wonderful music 4 the world 2 hear! DON’T GIVE UP!!!

    Reply
  40. Eric

    I am going to say something out loud to the world here.
    This applies to me.
    Believe it or not, I built a computer specifically for recording. Had a tech load pro tools 8 in to it and tweak it all. Got a used but mint Digi 002 controller, the nice one with the 8 motorized faders on it for automation, a full 88 key midi controller keyboard, EZ drummer, a Bass V-Amp Pro outboard bass pre-amp and dual monitors.
    That was 8 years ago, yes, I said 8 years, and the sum total of the work I’ve used it for is three one verse snippits of ideas.
    Isn’t that pathetic. And a total waste of some great equipment that any starter eager to do something would love to have. There are a ton of younger people who’d give their eye teeth for what I have but can’t afford it. It’s a waste and I am somewhat ashamed.
    Always plagued by fear of success or failure. Always saying if I could create theses or that circumstance I could get down to making a start and learning as I go and in the process getting a demo to the publishers.
    I’ve almost lost the desire at all to do anything.
    I’ve watched all Grahams stuff, (I’m on the mailing list so I get all the stuff he puts out), almost like I am waiting to see or here something that will give me the motivation to finally do something.
    There is no secret.
    I know now that you start and do something or you don’t.
    I am perplexed by this human condition that thwarts our deepest desires and chokes our most precious of dreams.
    There.
    I said it.

    Reply
    • Graham

      Thanks for your honesty Eric. Proud of you. Now you can choose to change all that and START some new music!

      Reply
  41. greg

    well said graham. I’ve just written, recorded and released a new song yesterday. a small remix adjustment here and there, and job done.

    Reply
  42. Luca

    Hi Graham!

    First of all… you’re a legend, you know that?! 😉 It’s the first time ever that I decide to reply to one of your great e-mails, always so full of advices and tips, but trust me when I say that you’ve been such an inspiration and a rock to hold on to in the darkest moments of my (not even worth to be name so…) career!

    I’ll make it short: even if I’m among those lucky enough to work in a recording studio (as assistant engineer) and I’ve been working on countless albums within the studio projects… my album is still there, waiting to be completed… since 2008. Yeah, your heard ti right…. 8 years on a bunch of songs!! 🙁

    It’s just like you said… I alwasy find something wrong with the recordings, or the mixing, or the performance… I wrote the title track in 2004 and last night I gave myself another to change its mix!!! Can you beleive it?? I’m so annoyed and desperated with myself… the worst thing is that I’m loosing the grip on it, the passion is fadign away… and I never wated it to end this way.

    Any last advice to take me out of my misery, before I delete all my PT sessions and kill myself? :-‘P

    THANKS FOR ALWAYS HELPING US SO MUCH!!!

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Pete M

      Hi Luca,
      For your information, I’m someone like you and not affiliated in whatsoever way with or to TRR or Graham. I’m just a follower of this amazing site.

      In 2012 I started recording an album. Every year I promised myself to finish it. You’ve guessed it, still working on it. This year I put aside the album project and decided to write some new songs, record and release them. Six weeks later I released four new song, way from perfect, but I finished the project… and I am proud of it (although I know about the mixing failures in it). Nevertheless, IT’S OUT THERE!

      In 2017 I might finish the album or postpone it another year and release other (new?) material. To be honest, I’m planning already. This years’ project motivated and inspired me to work on new projects, when time is due.

      Maybe this is a solution for your release-block.

      Wish you luck and many great songs,
      Pete

      Reply
  43. Mike Ward

    Graham, you ROCK. Ive been listening and learning your methods and you’re a blessing to the songwriting world! Thisbe one hit home… I still haven’t got a handle on compression and it’s slowing my “finish” down! Time to pull up my britches and dig in… Thank you!

    Reply
  44. Chris

    Hey Graham,
    It is definitely finishing. I am a bit of a perfectionist. I will be almost done with a song, learn something new, and start all over again. With the limited time I have in the studio ( I have a very active 2 year old), I have been working on one song for months!
    I definitely need to move on.

    Reply
  45. James Channon

    Hi,
    Yes I completely agree with this. Reading this has made me want to approach my ep in a different way. I’m always saying to myself, this next song I write will be the one. When In fact all it is is just different from the last. Sometimes better but sometimes not. I think my trouble is that I’m always trying to be/write like somebody I’m not. Confidence is the biggest killer in my book. Playing somebody a song I’ve written is absolutely terrifying to me as I’m always comparing myself to the likes of others that have sold millions of records. Have you noticed that a bands song gets better as the band grows in popularity? A great example in my opinion is the oasis song little James. It’s awful! But if it comes on at a friends house party we all end up singing it in flying voice! I think the point I’m trying to make is that every song can be great so long as it’s captured in the right way. I wrote this song years ago that we recorded on our French teachers class tape machine!! It’s my favourite version of it! You are right. That new plugin won’t help me make a better album. But the creativity will.

    All the best Graham. Thanks for the inspiration

    Reply
  46. Pete M

    This year started with your ‘One song a month’-competition. So I wrote, recorded and released a song within thirty days. I thought it was great, perfectly mixed etc…. which it wasn’t. BUT it was out there!

    Studying audio-engineering in my spare time, alongside job, family, etc. then got the better of me. Recorded a few external artists (for free) and planned to release a new song in summer. Being aware of the fact, that it wouldn’t be perfected, I decided to write, record, mix and release an EP within four weeks.

    Six weeks later I released four songs, my mini EP: 4Me, 2U.
    The title being a little word game, since I simulated a kind of ‘live’-situation: drums (programmed by me) together with one rhythm and one lead guitar and bass, all played by me. I did sing as well. Playing live I do both, guitar and singing, so there are four ‘me’s’ recording. This project would also be my trial and error on recording a project and not just one song. So, I did it for me…and for everyone else, who would listen to it.

    After one week, I started to hear mistakes in the mix…and I let it be.

    To finish this project, changed my mindset from ‘As soon as it’s perfect, I will release it’ into ‘Hey, I finished a project. Who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s outthere, now and the next one will be better.’
    It brought me peace of mind.

    Working on several projects now (recording and producing CD with a duo, new Website, improving my studio on a shoestring budget, my audio-engineering study and ways to find customers), I ‘ve been very productive. My next own music project is scheduled for summer 2017 and the great thing is, it’s comforting to know, I achieved my goal of my first solo project.

    Write, record, mix and get your stuff outthere, people. It’s a great feeling.

    Thanks to you, Graham, who supports us along the way.

    Bless you.

    Reply
  47. Oli

    I have absolutely no problem starting a new project. In fact, the opposite is true: It is the reason why I have a hard time finishing my projects! My projects pile up half done and as soon as I sit down to work on one, I start digressing, add sounds, harmonies and elements that don’t quite fit with the rest of the song. Soon, my project evolved into something completely different, which I then split from the original into two separate projects. Repeat this process a few times and you have a backlog of some dozens of dumped ideas and half-finished work, which you try to to get back to all the time, but this still always spawns more new ideas than you can’t finish in a lifetime.
    I still haven’t found a suitable strategy to cope with this, though I see the quality of my work getting better with every new project that I start.

    Reply
  48. Doug

    Graham,
    Many months ago you challenged us to just start and finish a project. I did that and I can say that I don’t find this a challenge any longer. It is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me musically. I stopped being overly critical of myself and because of that I was able to simply finish what I started.
    I set out create an album of my favorite Christmas songs for family, friends, and most importantly my grandchildren. I am happy to say that the project is in the mastering phase with a company that will print about 100 copies for me.
    I am very excited about this! I am very proud of my accomplishment! I only had to push myself just a little to realize that finishing projects like this has always been my ultimate goal. If I want people to hear what I have done I have to put it out there.
    I am grateful to you, your emails, and your words of encouragement because you are the one that provided the spark I needed to move forward. My next project will be an album of songs I have written
    Thanks again!
    Doug

    Reply
  49. Spencer

    Thank you Graham.
    My Problem has really been Fear…
    Am a very decent songwriter and have been a sound engineer for 3 years now, bur i have never recorded one song of my own or mixed it and its all i wanted to do in my life. Bur i blamed my voice, blamed myself and feeling am not good enough. Thanks for your encouragement. I ll just do it

    Reply
  50. Robert

    My experience was indeed that everytime I got back to the project I’m currently on, the results were better because with I frsh ears I noticed things I hadn’t noticed before. The band set me a deadline, so I had to get done eventually, but dragging it out a little was definitely beneficial to the mix.

    Reply
  51. Glenn Mathisen

    So true.
    I have been playing guitar for aout 10 years now, and i have written a lot of short pieces of music (like 4-6 bars) but I never finished a single song!! Now I could make a lot of excuses for why I never got that far but the truth is… I was arfaid. Afraid to be mediocre.
    When I discovered the recordingrevolution it made evrything easier. Not only have you (Graham) taught me how to record mix and even somewhat master my own music, but more importantly to embrace the fact that noone starts out amazing at this stuff. wether it’s songwriting recording or mixing. I just needed to start doing it.

    Since then (for about a year) I have written recorded and released my first record! and I just finished writing 22 new songs that I am about to start recording!
    Shure, I know I’m not an excellent songwriter, and my recording and mixing skills are even worse. But for the fist time ever I’m doing it, and I can already see improvement.
    Thank you Graham

    Reply
  52. Bob Pavkovic

    Unreal, everything ditto for me from y’all .
    This feels like a book i read years ago in school, The Chrysalids .
    All these people that are ‘deviants’ to the rest of society (ok, that is not exactly the same ) find each other and communicate silently (that is kinda similar, yes? )
    anyhow, glad to be part of the communication with all of you, Graham, you r an angel !
    btw, i read a book recently that talked about 2 groups of people, asked to make something, in our case, lets say a song.
    The first group was told to make the song as best as possible.
    The second group was told to make as many as possible.
    Guess which group had the best finished product !!?
    Enjoy every moment out there, it dont last forever ! ( hey, that could be a good song !?)

    Bob from Canada, eh?

    Reply
  53. David

    This article came as an answer to prayer at a very crucial time for me. I was “finished” with 8 instrumental songs after 2&1/2 years of joy, tears, frustration, and a myriad of other emotions and was debating whether I should continue making just a few more or calling the CD completed. After I read your blog, I went ahead and had them mastered, and am now preparing to release them. They are not “perfect” but it’s time to move on (I’m already thinking ahead to the next CD Thank you Graham for the much needed advice.

    Reply
  54. Corey Jones

    This is a blessing keep up the good work. This is a true encouragement to all who have procrastinated on songs and even full projects. I am deeply encouraged by your words and your compassion for home studio recording. Finding your website has been awesome for me. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    Reply

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