The 30 Minute Rule For Awesomness

2013 Apr 29, 2013

We all want to be awesome at something in this world. Likely many things. I’m going out on limb here, but I assume that most of you want to be awesome at recording and mixing music. Wow, I’m some kind of genius!

The problem is that we think there is a shortcut to awesome. There isn’t. No plugin, mic preamp, or any other piece of gear for that matter will get you to awesome recordings in less time (at least not the kind of speed jump you and I are hoping for.) But the good news is, you don’t need to wait 30 years to be good at this stuff (or anything else for that matter).


Via Sam Howzit

All You Need Is 30 Minutes

You don’t have time to quit all of your commitments and spend 10 hours a day everyday working in your studio. I get that. But, guess what?! You don’t need it. In fact all I’m asking you give up if you really want to be good at recording or mixing is 30 minutes a day. Half an hour. 6 random YouTube videos.
If you think about it, 30 minutes a day adds up quickly. That’s 3.5 hours a week, 14 hours a month, or roughly 160+ hours of studio time each year. That’s the equivalent of you taking a month off of work/school to hole up in your studio for 40 hours a week, every week for a month.

Imagine how much work you could accomplish and how much experience you would have from recording and mixing for practically a month straight!

Where To Find An Extra 30 Minutes

That all sounds well and good, until we think of having to find (or give up) 30 more minutes every day. There are three options as far as I see it: early morning, lunch time, or late at night. If you have crazy unpredictable days, then your best bet is to get up before the crack of dawn and get to music making for 30 minutes.

If you have a flexible lunch schedule, whip out your laptop and Mbox and mix a little during your break. Or maybe just wait until the night is winding down and you can slip away to your studio cave for half an hour before you crawl into bed.

Or perhaps you actually have plenty of time during your day, you simply spend it frivolously. This happens to me a lot. I used to check email every hour. It didn’t seem that much, but if I’m being honest I likely checked that inbox every 60 minutes instinctually. At some point I had to put my foot down and resolve to only check my email once a day. Guess what happened? I freed up way more time to get music made in the studio.

How To Spend Those 30 Minutes

If you really are passionate about making great music in your studio then you’ll have no problem committing 30 minutes a day to it. It’s just the truth of the matter. You’ll find a way and make the time. We all spend our most valuable currency – time – on the things (and people) we most care about.

But we also have to be intentional with that time. We need a plan. Now, I’m not all for some crazy complex plan that has 13 check boxes and a venn diagram. That doesn’t work in the real world. Here’s what I like to do.

Make a simple 3 point list of what you want to work on that week. On Sunday night, write down three things you want to hit on during your week of 30 minute blocks. For example, your week list could like this: 1) Songwriting 2) Editing Drums 3) Recording vocals. That’s it. Your list (we’re talking the size of a Post-It Note here people) informs you to simply make sure you do a bit of songwriting this week, edit some drums on a track you’ve been working on, and track vocals for that new song. Done.

You Can’t Fail At This

Your lists will be unique, and will likely change from week to week. But they will be created by you. You are in charge. You get to write down the 3 things you really want to be chipping away at that week. Then when you sit down to work in your studio, you can simply consult the list and maximize your time.

If you don’t get it all done, no sweat. You didn’t fail. Your goal is to simply spend 30 minutes a day working on what you care about. Nothing more, nothing less.

How Awesome Do You Want To Be?

I know you want to be awesome recording and mixing music. That’s why you are here. Not that I have all the answers, but I have some. And hopefully some of those answers are helping you get to awesome, faster. But I can’t make you put these tips, tricks, and techniques into practice. You have to put in the work.

How awesome do you want be at this? If the thought of putting in 30 minutes a day sounds daunting to you, that might be a clue you’re OK with being average at your craft. Average isn’t bad, it’s just that, average. Maybe recording is only a hobby for you. That’s totally fine.

But if you want to be crazy good at this, whether you do it full time one day or not, you owe it to yourself to put in 30 minutes a day. It’s not much to give up, considering the reward. Trust me.

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