Recording a Single - Talking Local Music Podcast Interview 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ben Janzow is an amazing local guitar instructor and musician! He was kind enough to interview me on his podcast "Talking Local Music" on the topic of recording a single. Check it out here:

Sing It With a Smile 

Did you ever start recording a new song and when you hit playback things just didn't sound the way you wanted?  I've been working on a new song called "Avery" that I was really excited about recording.  I've been trying for several weeks to cut the vocal for the track and every time I played back my take, it just didn't sound right, kind of flat, boring and lifeless. 

Have you been there?  Like me, you might have tried to switch mics, route to other preamps, add compression or different reverbs, hoping…

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Go LIVE to warm up for the studio 

I've spent the last few months of my musical life on a solo mission recording and writing in the studio.  A month ago, my old band called me up to do a fill in gig in Chicago.  I only sang one song and did some back up vocals at the show.  The next day, I was expecting a rough vocal session when I returned to my studio in Milwaukee.  To my delight, my vocals came out warm, full and at my best for pitch.  This reminded me that sometimes, not always, pushing yourself through a PA to the energy of a live…

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Recording in a Cave 

Have you ever recorded in a Cave?  While I've scrolled through some interesting reverb pre-sets likely created by audio engineers with a fondness for spelunking, I've never done so myself.  In any case, our subject today is not a literal cave, but Cave Studios in the Milwaukee area.  Long time Milwaukee musician and business-man Tony Goff opened the facility in the back of an old candy factory now owned by his family business.  As far as studios with a "cool-factor" in the Milwaukee area, this one stands…

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Want to improve your musical skills this year? 

Happy New Year!  Hopefully you feel that you grew as a musician in 2014.  I know I grew in ways I can't even begin to explain, and I attribute it to all of the opportunities that I had to collaborate with other musicians, songwriters, engineers and producers this year.  Lessons can teach you a lot, but there's nothing like getting in a room with a group of people with different musical experiences and letting the energy and excitement of a group of people meld with a diverse pallet of diverging musical…

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Great song, Great performance, Great instruments = Great Recording 

Compare any sleek 21st Century recording to a song recorded in the 1950's or earlier and you will notice a distinct difference in the production quality when you pay attention.  However, that song from the 50's that you've been singing along to since you first heard it on your grandpa's radio was, and still is, a classic hit for a reason; it was a great song in the first place, performed by great players, using likely some of the better instruments available at the time.  In my humble opinion, the last…

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Less is more in the studio 

When it comes to recording, my philosophy is typically "less is more".  Especially when it comes to choosing how many songs to record in the time your budget allows.

I had the opportunity to record in a "real" studio for the first time in my life in the 1990's, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  A local studio ran an add in one of the music rags offering a "Four Hour Demo DEAL!!" for $150.  My band spent two hours trying to decide which songs to record, because of course, they were all potential…

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TAXI Road Rally 2013 

The TAXI organization, billed as the largest, independent, online A&R company in the world, offers its members free admission to their annual Road Rally held in Los Angeles each November. The Road Rally taught in one weekend, most of the lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 years from my alma mater, the U of HK (the University of Hard Knocks) and then some. Michael Laskow, TAXI CEO, promised “A life changing experience in the marketing for the event, and he delivered a paradigm shift like no other. Below…

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