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.
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!