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Epic Studio Interview: a Conversation about Gear, Workflow, and Vibe with Andrew Masters
Episode 10324th January 2024 • Progressions: Success in the Music Industry • Travis Ference
00:00:00 00:45:57

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Andrew Masters is a recording engineer and musician who’s YouTube channel defined the “Epic Studio Tour” genre. His channel features some of the most amazing studio setups you’ll find on the internet as well as insights on music production and engineering. Prior to his YouTube success Andrew was on staff at East West Studios in Los Angeles where he worked with artists such as Weezer, John Legend, and Sum 41 and producers such as Billy Bush and Blake Mills.

In this episode, you'll learn about:

  • How to plan for setting up a new studio
  • How starting YouTube changed Andrew’s Life
  • What to prioritize when you build a studio
  • How to train an assistant to help grow your business
  • Can old school traditional studios survive in the home studio era
  • Why more music professionals should have a YouTube channel
  • How social media builds trust with potential clients
  • Using time blocking and goal setting to get more done

Watch this episode on YouTube here!

Connect with Andrew:

📺 Andrew Masters: https://www.youtube.com/@AndrewMasters

📺 Studio Time: https://www.youtube.com/@itsstudiotime

📸 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewmastersmusic

🎵TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@andrewmastersmusic

🌐 Website: https://www.andrewmastersmusic.com/

📺 WATCH THE SHOW ON YOUTUBE 📺

https://www.youtube.com/@progressionspod

Connect with Me:

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Credits:

Guest: Andrew Masters

Host: Travis Ference

Editor: Stephen Boyd

Theme Music: inter.ference

Transcripts

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And I never would have found any of those doors if I didn't open that

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first one. And a bunch of those doors have vastly changed my

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entire life by like a factor of ten. That's Andrew

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Masters, a Nashville based engineer, producer and musician whose YouTube has grown to over

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a 1300 subscribers after doing more than 100 of his

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epic studio tours, Andrew tells us what he thinks are the most important things

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to think about when setting up your own studio priority.

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And prioritize. We also talk about how YouTube has changed

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his life and created opportunities he never imagined. You know, I got

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to go to a house party with Bob

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Clearmountain. And where I got there and people already knew me, I'm like,

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what? What he thinks makes a great assistant and the challenges that come along with

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hiring people. I can train you on technical stuff,

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but it's hard to train someone to be able to hang

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in a room and be and why getting over the. Hurdle of starting a

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project is the most important thing you could do for your career. The first thing

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you're doing is just breaking down that wall of, no, I won't do

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it to yes, I will do it. And then you're like, okay, well, what is

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it that I need to do? How do I do it? This one's got it

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all from studio advice to productivity goals and YouTube. So stick around for my

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interview with Andrew Masters.

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I found your channel a couple years ago. I don't know exactly when you started,

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but the studio tours are amazing. How many studio tours have you done?

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Do you have any idea? I know it's over 110

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for sure. I know it's over that. Yeah, it's a lot. I started doing them

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in 2019, the very end of

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2019, I think in August. It was my wife's idea.

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She was like, you should do them every week. And I was like, you're

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insane. Do you know how much that is? Like, how many things

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that is to do and have it up every week? But

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she was right. People watched them, and it was a great way

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to just meet a ton of people who also have studios, who

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also are composers and musicians and

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really scale the network and also put it out there. Show like,

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hey, this is this person. This is what they're doing. This is how they're doing

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it. And I think it was kind of a really cool

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thing for everyone, the viewers, myself, the people

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who I was doing the videos on, and I still like doing them. I've been

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doing fewer of them lately. Is that because you ran out of studios? Did you

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see them all? No, it's

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a huge workload. I've done them every

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Monday for over two years. Wow. And

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I wanted to just adjust my workload

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a little bit and try to create a healthier

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work life, like family sort of balance. And it's

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hard. I've got an assistant now, and bringing

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on an assistant, whether it's an assistant engineer or just

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sort of an assistant who does a bunch of different things, it's an

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onboarding process. It is. It's almost like, oh, cool,

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I got an assistant that I now have to basically train

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and get up to speed with everything, and that's like at least a

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month of getting close, and then on top of that, you're also

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paying for it. So you're doing really twice as much work and

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paying to do twice as much work in hopes that after a couple of

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months, it'll balance out a little bit. So, yeah, it's

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super hard. Are you the type of personality that you

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micromanage? Because my experience with interns and assistants is I get too

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controlling and then it never pans out. And it's always my fault. For

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all my former assistants that are. Listening, I'm sorry, I am

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an idiot. I'm a drummer, basically. I'm basically just

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a drummer. And I got curious enough to try to figure

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out how to record myself and have been obsessed with that

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process ever since.

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That's really all I am. I didn't go to college, really.

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I didn't get any sort of formal business training or

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management. And hiring people is management. Like,

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you have to manage somebody else, give them work every day when they show up,

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they need stuff to do all day, and you have to be smart about

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it. We could do a whole podcast just on that topic alone. But

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Scott, who's my current assistant, is

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really probably the 6th person

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or so that I've tried this with. And I've learned a

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lot from each person I've worked with. Everyone

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has had strengths and weaknesses, and I've had a lot. Everything

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that's gone wrong has basically been my fault as well, and I just have to

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sort of learn along the way. But with Scott, my process

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was like, I'm going to just assign you things and not stand over your

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shoulder, not manage you, and just see how

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bad it is and then try to correct it. But, yeah,

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I'm pretty micromanagey. I'll let it get to a certain point, and then I'll be

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like, I remember he was editing a podcast and

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he was going through, and just because he wasn't super familiar with final cut, he

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was like, whatever he was doing was making it take six times as

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long, at least because it was like a quick key multicam thing or something.

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Yeah, I jumped in. I was like, what are you doing? Stop doing

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that. Do this. This is going to save you.

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This is going to make you go literally ten times faster. And he was like,

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oh, man, thank you. Yeah, I probably should have jumped in

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first. You mentioned earlier you do have to get someone up to

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speed to actually be helpful for both parties to get something out of it.

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You have to put a lot of time into that. And I think a lot

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of people, especially musicians and producers, they want

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to bring somebody on maybe a little earlier than they should, and the

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dollar value becomes very important to them. And then when you look over somebody's shoulder

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and you're like, why is this so slow? You're costing me money. I could be

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done. It's hard to get over that hurdle for people. I think, yes,

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the I could do it ten times faster thing is hard to let go

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of, but, I mean, if you want to grow and scale, you really

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do. You got to just let them figure it

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out and suffer a little bit. I mean, I don't want to say suffer

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is the wrong word, but you just got to sort of put it on them

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and check know, check in, hold them accountable, be like, okay, it's

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been 4 hours where, you know. Yeah, that's a fun process.

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And Scott, my assistant's really great. He's been an assistant at other

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studios before, so I think that is

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a huge quality that I look for, because you've been

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an. Yeah. If you've assisted, you know how

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to be in a room with people. Right. Professionally. Yeah. And some

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people haven't had that, and that's a hard thing to

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train. I can train quick keys. I can train you

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on technical stuff, but it's hard to train

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someone to be able to hang in a room and

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be dependable, not just screw up the whole thing.

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Yeah, totally. I mean, it comes up all the time with people. So much of

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this industry is personality and hang. Nobody really

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needs to work with the greatest guitarist in the world. They want to work with

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the person that everybody likes, even if they're the 50th

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greatest guitarist. Yeah. So I wanted to talk because you

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and I have both worked in classic recording studios. I've built a couple of

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rooms. You built an amazing studio for yourself that you're sitting in, and

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you've seen 110 plus studios. I wanted to talk about

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some of the things that people should think about when they're

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thinking about doing a big upgrade or building their own studio. I'm not talking

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about the best interface and best microphone and shit like that,

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but the philosophies, how to plan it, how to

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think ahead. Do you have thoughts on where somebody should start if

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they're about to pull their credit card out? And before they do that, what do

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they do? I can give how I approach it. I

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think that's the best way for me to

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pontificate on this topic is I move a

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lot because I move a lot. I've set up a lot of rooms

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and sort of had to work with whatever I could work with, right.

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And sometimes it's like, okay, this is like a corner of the living room that

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doesn't have a back wall. All right, let's figure out how to make this

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work. I think if we're just talking about anyone,

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the questions I would ask myself

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would basically be, what are my goals?

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What are the things I aspire to do? And

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if I'm doing that, what am I going to be spending the

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majority of my time doing

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specifically? Right. Because I'm a drummer, I always want to be able to

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record drums. It's a big pain in the ass when setting up a studio because

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if I didn't have to do that, oh, man, my studio would be way cooler.

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But that's something I have to do. So it's like I have to

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compromise on my listening experience because there's a whole

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drum kit and a bunch of mics and a bunch of snares and symbols right

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next to me. Like right behind me. Yeah. Now, at the same

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time, how many hours out of the day am I sitting and

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playing those drums? Pretty small amount.

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And the rest of the time I'm sitting over here listening. So it's

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like, right. How do you strike that balance of the things that you want

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to be able to do really well with the other

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things you need to do? I need to film, I need to have lights. I

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need to be able to have access to everything in the room. I need it

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to kind of work because this is. Is. Out of all the rooms I've had,

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it's the biggest room, but it's still a little room above my garage. But I

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can film a bunch of different ways up here.

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Everything's lit and it's out of the way. I can track live

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instruments, drums, guitars, synths,

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bass, vocals, percussion, whatever. It's all set up to basically

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just not have to change anything vocal.

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I've got a mic literally, right. You can't hear it, but I

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can. And then I got a bill

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thing here. So, yeah, it's basically like,

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I would say, try to figure out what you think you're going to spend

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the most time doing and then kind of like

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game plan, like a layout of the room. But also

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I think people get really tied up in the technical

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stuff. Definitely people overthink gear. People get

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really tied up in, like, do I need to do green

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glue? Do I need to use this kind of drywall? Do I need to float

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my floors and this kind of stuff? And for everyone

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who is like a full time,

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high priced, incredible mixing engineer

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and needs all that, kudos to the regular

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person, I would say, don't worry about that.

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Prioritize workflow and prioritize

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comfort. Yeah, call me crazy. When you come into the

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studio and it's uncomfortable, how much work are you going to get

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done? What's the quality of that work and how long are you going to want

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to be in there? No, you want to get out. Yeah, it's going to suck.

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Everything's going to suck. It's going to be miserable. The room needs to be

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comfortable and it needs to work. Like everything outside of that

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is like, whatever. Totally. Yeah. It's not a vocal booth, but

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whatever. It's fine. It's fine. Well, the thing that I think is interesting, and

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I think a lot of people that have been coming up in the last few

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years that haven't been in studios like we have, I think they get really

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shocked when they walk into an east west or whatever

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and they have to wait for something to get set up because they're used to

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being in producers rooms where I'm sure that that sub

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37 just shows up somewhere right now if you were to turn around and hit

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it. And that's the difference between, like, you're talking about dialing a workspace in that

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you can create in quickly and going into a professional studio that can

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do everything, you just have to tell them what you're doing before you get

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there. And they're two very different mentalities. And I really

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enjoy having a space that is just set up and it

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works. And I think that's the way the world is kind of going these days.

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Yeah, I think they definitely both have value

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and I think it's kind of something

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that really boils down to what you're doing

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because, yeah, this is great for a bunch of things, but it's not

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great for track and strings. You know what I'm saying?

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It's true. I was just going to say, since you've seen so many home studios.

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You've seen some big studios. We're talking about this. Do you think

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the purpose built brick and mortar huge room

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that you would record strings in how many more decades do you think studios like

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that have? Do you think they get replaced or is there

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always going to be one good one in town? I would say

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the question is more complicated when it comes to

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regionally. But as far as a macro

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topic, like our commercial studios going away, I don't think

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so. I think those

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businesses will evolve. I think they will

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find new and creative ways to keep business coming

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in. Hopefully there'll be better business models and

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they will compete and it'll be like, oh, well, yeah, remember when we used to

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pay like all this and all you could do is that, well, now you can

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go in there and do all these other things that are way more relevant,

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plus what you used to be able to do. Yeah, I'm optimistic about

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it. I'm a sort of unapologetic capitalist, if

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you will. I really like when companies

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don't get stagnant and sort of like,

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stuck in this. Well, we've done it this way, so we'll always do it this

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way. Those are the studios that are going to die. Yeah. The other studios

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that are like, hey, you know what? What if we started a

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podcast? Or, hey, what if we did this

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or we offered this or we hired some people who did these things? Those

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are the ones that are probably going to grow and expand,

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but that's going to come down to the,

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let's call it, leadership at the company, the management.

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And some studios have poor management. I'm going to

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use those words. They have poor management. That's true. Some

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studios have killer management. Also true. And it's very clear when

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you walk into a studio which one they have. Oh, yeah, dude, the poor

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management. Those studios have no vibe. And everyone in there

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is just. It's like a corporate office as far as

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how the employees carry themselves,

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behave, like, how the demeanor just feels when you walk

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in versus someplace like, we should start a drinking game

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for every time I say east west for you walk into

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east west. I mean, it's just completely different. 100%.

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Oh, yeah. It's a great studio that I haven't got to spend enough time in.

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I'll offer another little thing here. I've been seeing legacy studios,

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or at least, I'll just say at least one. And then I

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saw a couple others that I wasn't familiar with. The studio start YouTube

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channels, and I think that is

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an interesting development. And I think that is extremely

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smart for said studios. I think

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so, too. Which one did you see open at first, would you say

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that? I found Sunset Sounds YouTube channel

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and they've been doing it for like, at least three. They must have started around

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the pandemic. That's the one that I've found because. They'Ve got a few years of

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stuff on there and good stuff.

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I've been trying to listen to this interview with Paul Wolf

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on their podcast over the last three days.

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Everything about it is so good, so I'm trying to not miss any of it.

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But they've probably gotten four views just from me coming back to

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it in the last couple of days from one person,

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and that's just one of the videos I found. I'm sure I'm going to binge

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a bunch of them and learn all sorts of stuff and be inspired to

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someday go record at Sunset Sound. Yeah, well, that's kind of

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the way the world. I was talking about this with somebody else. The way that

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people build trust now is very different from, like, 15 years

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ago when I came to LA, but back in the day, it's like

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you walk in from studio C at Capital into Studio B and you're like, hey,

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I haven't seen you in a while. How's it going? Blah, blah, blah. Six months

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later, you have a gig. That world doesn't happen the same way. And

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I feel like artists these days, they're looking to understand

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a person. Like, you've made a lot of content. People understand who you

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are. If they resonate with you, they're going to call and say, hey, man, can

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you play drums on this? I like your vibe. They know who you are already.

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You've built trust. So I think studios doing

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that to build trust with this new generation of people and

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just new way the world works, I think is kind of a no brainer. And

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if they're not doing that, then they need to start. I

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agree. Yeah.

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The least interesting answer I could say is, I agree. But ever

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since I started doing YouTube videos, I've just been like an evangelist trying to convert

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people. I'm like, what, dude, get out there, post some

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videos. That's a segue to a question I had, which you basically just

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answered. Do you think more musicians and music

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educators, music production people, should more people have a foot in

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YouTube? I think it's kind of a similar

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question as the studio and the management. It's going to come down to the

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individual because some people are going to be open

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to it and some people are not going to be open to it no matter

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what. Yeah, I do think that

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you should leave the door open to the idea because

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there's like, I don't know if it's an analogy that I've used to

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sort of describe my experience with it, but I used to be completely opposed

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to posting anything on social media that had anything to do with my

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work. I was like, it's tacky. It takes

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time. It's like name

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dropping. No one wants to see that. And that was the

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stupidest thing in the entire world ever for me to have told myself

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because I missed out on sharing, and not

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just the sharing part, but the documenting

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of what the hell I was doing, because I don't remember

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95% of the stuff I've done unless I

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see someone, I'm like, oh, yeah, I forgot about that. That

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was a huge band. And it's like, if you

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share it, whatever your sort of ego, you

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got to just ignore that, get that out of there and just share it. Because

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there are people who are genuinely curious and don't

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understand how the world that you live

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in works, and they really want to.

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And if you just get out of your own way, not

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only do you get to document everything you're doing and be able to look back

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and then share that in the future and go, oh, my God, check out when

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I did this. But you're also putting that information out there

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for other people to get inspired by, learn

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from, gives them a target to shoot for, or maybe they see it and they

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go, oh, yeah, that's not what I want to do either way, it's

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value. And the analogy I said

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is like, if I wouldn't have ever opened that door to

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YouTube, I opened that door, started walking and

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found a hallway of 100 more doors that I didn't

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know would be there. And I never would have found any of those

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doors if I didn't open that first one. And a bunch of those

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doors have vastly changed my entire life by like a

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factor of ten. It's crazy. I think it's going to come down to

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how you want to spend your time. For me, prioritizing family,

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prioritizing a healthier

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schedule. I wanted to have a house. I wanted to have a

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yard. We have pets and stuff. It's like, I want to see them. I

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want to go home. I don't want to be at pro tools

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in the dark control room all day,

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every single day, or at somebody's beck and call, some work

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for some producer, and they're like, hey, session

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tonight at 01:00 a.m. And you're like, what?

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No, thanks. Been there. Yeah, I mean, I've been there too,

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but it's like, that's sort of like, I think,

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important to do for an amount of time, but

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I don't want that to be a permanent thing. Yeah. So after I had

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done a bunch of those sort of scenarios, I was like,

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dude, I'm over this. It's great. I'm grateful for what I've

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learned. I feel like I've learned a lot, but I need to move on to

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whatever's next and build on what I've learned from.

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And eventually YouTube, I came around to

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that with no expectations, by the way. I had no idea

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of any of the opportunities that were going to come from it. It was just

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sort of like, I'll make videos because I figured out how to use microphones, I

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could probably figure out how to use a camera and we'll see what happens. I

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agree with everything you just said. I don't know, that just really resonated with me

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because there's so many things in there that I myself have felt the whole, like,

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I don't want to be locked in the studio forever, but I'm going to keep

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doing this. The doors that open, like, this is a small

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podcast, but the people that I've met, it's crazy if

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you just go outside that one way mentality

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that so many people in the industry have of. I'm not going

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to make content because it's lame, I'm not going to

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sell a course because it's dumb or like, there's so many things

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that open doors and you never know. You know what? So, yeah, man,

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I really resonate with all of that. All that, yeah. So

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a question about YouTube. I know the secret to YouTube is

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to take it super seriously. Are you like an analytics

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obsessive? Like a title?

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Did you get into all of that when you were starting or did you just

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make videos and they started to work? I would say

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every step of the way that changed

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in the beginning. You're very attentive to the

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analytics because it's all you have, right. And you don't

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know. You just upload and you're like

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20 views today. Yes.

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Sick. I watched it eleven times, so that's nine people at

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least who watched it.

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And it's like, getting a little bit of momentum. I still have

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screenshots on my phone of a few years ago where it was

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like, YouTube will rank your video's performance

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over time. Like, the first hour of performance compared to your last ten

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videos in the first hour and then it continues

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that 5 hours, 6 hours, or whatever. And it's kind of

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a super unhealthy thing, but it is a thing. So you

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look at it, and the way it's ranked, by the way, is your latest

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video, if it's doing as well as it could, it would be a

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one out of ten. One out of ten is the best. Ten out of ten

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is you're a failure and you should give up. And so

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it's like you upload and you're just looking for that one out of ten.

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The one out of ten means every time you upload, it's doing better than what

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you've done, which is obviously, like in any field,

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business, art, movies. You don't just perpetually

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always beat everything you've ever done forever unless you're Mr.

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Beast. So that's like a big

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subscribers. A lot of metrics are

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all you have to go off of for feedback of like,

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how is this doing? Did I do a good job?

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Well, it looks like 30 more people

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watched this in the first 2 hours, so that's good,

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I guess. Why is that? I don't know.

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But basically I would say just like making

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music, just like making art, creating products for a

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business, whatever it is, for the most part, you're not going to be able to

Speaker:

just make one thing and then be good. It's true. The way you

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grow and continue to get business is to make

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more of it. Like, if you want to be an engineer and then you record

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a record, you got to keep make more records.

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Yeah. You can't just make one and be like, yeah,

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that was good. So I'm probably set now.

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If you kind of think about it like other industries,

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then kind of treat it like that. And when I

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started, I didn't have any time to do it. That's the first thing most people

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will say once they get past the, I think it's lame, and I don't want

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to do it. They'll go through, well, I just don't have time. And it's like,

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you have time for whatever you make time for. And I had an eight

Speaker:

month old when I started, and I

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was doing random, very low paying gigs, but

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gigs. And I was driving for Uber on the side, so I was

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doing whatever I could to bring cash in, but I was working

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a lot, a lot of hours out of the day, and I had a

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little kid at home, and so after

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he went to sleep, whatever, it was like 07:00 p.m.

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Or something. That's when I would get on my computer and I

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would say, okay, for 1 hour, seven to 08:00 p.m.

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Every day I'm going to figure out how to get the footage from my phone

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on my computer and then figure out what to do with it. What do

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I need to use this premiere, final cut?

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What's the difference? Okay, I got to learn about this. It's

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just 1 hour at a time. And it's like, okay, we'll start there. Then you

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make a video and you go, this is a great video.

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And then you upload it. And then it's like, upload thumbnail. I'm like, oh

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shit, how do I make a thumbnail?

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And what do you put in there? And there's so many things that

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you learn along the way, again, just like every other

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business or job or creative endeavor. And you have to

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just sort of take it on as a challenge. And

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one thing to keep in mind is as you are learning these

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new skills, these are not

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skills that will be useless in the

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future. Okay, so learning how to edit video, learning how to

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shoot video, learning how to use lighting, learning how to talk

Speaker:

because making content, the first thing you have to do is

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learn how to talk because you will watch yourself in your first video and

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you go, oh no, is this what everyone

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else sees every time I talk to them? This is

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so bad. I have to figure out why I talk like this. I

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have to stop saying and like, and you know, so many

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times in a sentence, I have to learn to stop pausing so much

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because it also makes the editing way longer.

Speaker:

So then you start to just like, you know what, maybe I should plan a

Speaker:

little bit of this video. Maybe I should write down some points and just kind

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of go through them. Or maybe I shouldn't just feel like I need to say

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everything that I could possibly say about this

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quick key, you know what I mean? Or whatever the thing is, it's like,

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just say the thing. Move on. It's important to learn those

Speaker:

qualities and they translate to so many other fields. So it's not like

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you're taking on a bunch of time to learn stuff that's going to be

Speaker:

useless in your life. It's very important. Yeah. And

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I've grown and I love learning new stuff. I love

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figuring out faster and better ways of doing things.

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And because of that, now I know how to do photography and

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video. It's like, what? I would have never, ever chose to learn that stuff.

Speaker:

But yeah, now whenever my mom or family wants to

Speaker:

do pictures, I'm like, just grab my 50 mil. Let's do that.

Speaker:

They'll look great. That's amazing. Did you find along the

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way, because I found this, that while you're learning all these new

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skills and just kind of, like, going outside the music

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space, did you find it actually made you a little bit more

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creative musically or when you were, like, recording? That's what I found. I

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found, like, I was just a little bit more stimulated by learning other

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stuff. Yeah. I think when you work in

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the studio, that's a job, and you're in there all the time, generally, when you

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get out of the studio, you don't want to listen to any music. Yeah, right.

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Because you're like, oh, God, give me a podcast. Give me anything

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else. Let's watch a movie. Yeah. I think learning the

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new stuff, like, taking on a challenge for me, it was YouTube

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of learning how to use a camera, lighting. First off, I was extremely

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naive. And you got to kind of be naive because the first thing you're doing

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is just breaking down that wall of, no, I won't do it to,

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yes, I will do it. And then you're like, okay, well, what is it that

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I need to do? How do I do it? And then there's just, like,

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after that, there's all these dominoes of things. I still have my

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first video up where I did a vlog. I use my phone in, like, a

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spare bedroom, and I had the courage to start, and I was like,

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I'm not going to prep. I'm just going to turn my camera on, and I'm

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going to say it. And I put that footage in, and I was like,

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God, you can't see me at all. Why can't you see me? It's like,

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oh, you got to get a light. How does this work?

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Lights. Why are these so expensive? It's just

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like audio. It's like, I need an interface. What does that do?

Speaker:

Yeah, a rabbit hole to immediately dig down, especially if you're already

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techie. You're like, lenses, let's look at all the lenses. Lights, let's look at

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all the lights. Yeah, but because it's not

Speaker:

pro tools and audio, like, the same thing you're always

Speaker:

doing, it is nice to learn

Speaker:

a different skill. It's nice to like, oh, you know what?

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I am going to learn what 2.8 and 1.4

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means with lenses. What's depth of field?

Speaker:

Oh, okay, now I understand those words. Like, okay, this is pretty

Speaker:

cool. And they're so analogous between video

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and making records. I could compare each step of the process,

Speaker:

like hand in hand. They're so similar. How do

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you get great drum sounds? Whatever. It's like every step of

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that process is important to make a video. Like, the battery's got

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to be charged, your camera's got to be level,

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the lens has to be set to the right frame.

Speaker:

There's so many things that add up. The audio has got to be great.

Speaker:

It's very similar. And if you're already that kind

Speaker:

of personality where you like the process, you

Speaker:

like the engineering side of it,

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figuring out processes, figuring out solutions,

Speaker:

you're going to be into it. You got to be careful.

Speaker:

I've been enjoying it. I'm not even really, like, taking it. I'm trying to do

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this podcast on YouTube, but I've made a couple of videos that are not

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podcast videos. And it takes a long time to set up because I don't

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know anything. I'm not dialed in like you're dialed in, but I love it. And

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then I watch it and I'm like, oh, I need a light. Just like, you

Speaker:

found the first video I did. It was like, what? Shit.

Speaker:

I just can't believe I did this for 8 hours. This is garbage. But

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I don't know. It's fun. I enjoy trying to pull things from

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other fields or business or entrepreneurship into music because

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having a music career, it's being an entrepreneur and just figuring out how to

Speaker:

do it. Because very few people can just play guitar and make a living

Speaker:

or hit record and make a living. You have to really have

Speaker:

a well balanced, diverse thing going on.

Speaker:

I think especially now more than ever, if this was 30

Speaker:

years ago and people were buying cds and

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recording to tape and big budget labels and

Speaker:

just money was everywhere, then you just know the right people.

Speaker:

You get in the club and you're good, but

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now there's a lot of different clubs

Speaker:

and they're much bigger, and there's really just like, the way to

Speaker:

get into it is actually much more merit based. So

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you want to get in there. What are you going to do to get in?

Speaker:

Yeah, it's not like, oh, I got to find a way to meet this person.

Speaker:

It's like, no, you just got to start doing it. You literally have to just

Speaker:

start doing it. And then whatever comes from it will be because

Speaker:

you did know. So that's pretty cool. Also,

Speaker:

if you don't like to do work, then you're going to hate

Speaker:

it.

Speaker:

Before we go, I want to do a quick, hard subject change. I was

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listening to your podcast with Colt Caparoon. And you mentioned that

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you time block your calendar in, like, ten minute blocks

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from, like, 445 in the morning on. When did you start and

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what made you want to do that? Because I get up at 445 in the

Speaker:

morning, but I'm not, like, as militant with the blocks. Yeah.

Speaker:

So the ten minute thing, I think I was

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doing 30 minutes, which was a little more

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realistic, and that's just to keep you from getting

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too lost in something and

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starting to flip into being unproductive.

Speaker:

So for me, I love changing

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everything about my life all the time. I am a running

Speaker:

experiment, and it is so cool because I love to

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figure out new ways of doing stuff. And I hate being comfortable.

Speaker:

I've got, like, this little journal thing, and for my

Speaker:

personality, it's so useful. I'll come up here. I've got a little

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seating area over here that's, like, actually comfortable sort of

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couch, kind of chairs. It's not at a computer. And

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I just sit down with this and I sit down with a blank legal

Speaker:

pad. And I'm a little bit of a hippie. So I'll

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write down things I'm grateful for in my

Speaker:

life because I think if you start your day just

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bringing yourself to earth and reminding yourself, like, dude, I

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have all my fingers. Like, how sick is it that I

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have all my fingers and my hands work, my feet

Speaker:

work? Like, man, I couldn't even write if I didn't have

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hands. Just

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sort of start your day there. Yeah. Okay. I'm

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grateful for everything that's going well, and I'm grateful

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for hopefully the things that will continue to go well. And then I kind of

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prioritize, like, okay. I'll usually think in sort of,

Speaker:

like, month blocks and goals. I'll sort of write down some

Speaker:

priorities, and then it gets down to the today, the to

Speaker:

do today list of, like, from those goals and

Speaker:

this month, here's the things that I have to do today and that I'm going

Speaker:

to make sure that I do. And literally, just by writing them out, I

Speaker:

can keep this right next to me and I can go through each

Speaker:

single one and check them off. And then as you check them off,

Speaker:

it feels so good. You're like, oh, cool, I did that. I'm done with that.

Speaker:

Moving on to this. And then once you get all those done, and it's like,

Speaker:

because I'm a psycho and it sounds like you're a psycho. And we get up

Speaker:

very early, you get all that stuff done by, like, nine or

:

00 a.m. And it's like, oh, yeah,

:

now I'm going to start another thing. I'm going to get ahead of where I

:

needed to be, and being productive is

:

the most fulfilling thing for me.

:

I have a lot of things I have to do, and then I have things

:

that I want to do, and then there's like this unknown thing

:

that sometimes when I'm avoiding something else, I'll start an

:

unknown thing, which is real dangerous and often makes for good

:

content. When I start making comparison videos, it's because I'm avoiding

:

something. Yeah, that's

:

funny. That's awesome. I was like, man, I really need to get this second

:

course filmed. And I'm like, yeah, but you know what? I

:

bet I could make a sick preamp comparison video where I could.

:

That's amazing. I'd really like to know what the difference between these four

:

preamps is. Well, everybody wins,

:

though. Some people get a video, you get a little procrastination that you can

:

rationalize. It's fine. Yeah. So that sort of practice of getting up,

:

sitting down, committing time, I'm not super

:

dogmatic about the 30 minutes thing anymore. When I was doing it, it

:

was really good, but when I was doing that, I was working on my course.

:

And I think when you're working on a really big project, it's

:

helpful to do that kind of stuff because I had never made a course before.

:

And just like starting YouTube, there was a bunch of new things I needed to

:

learn. So I needed to make sure I'm like, I'm still

:

putting out six videos a month. I've got an assistant who needs a bunch of

:

stuff to do. I'm working on these other projects. I've got

:

to be done so I can take my kid to baseball, art, piano

:

and guitar and see my wife at some point today. Yeah.

:

So it's like, okay, like 30 minutes of working

:

on this edit, 30 minutes of getting a couple of thumbnails done so I

:

don't have to think about it later. And then while I do that, I'm going

:

to listen to a podcast that will help me understand email

:

marketing. Hopefully I'm going to put it on and it's about email marketing,

:

and hopefully I'll absorb some of that while I'm. Something gets stuck in there while

:

I'm making a thumbnail. And then by breaking it up,

:

it kind of makes it feel a little less daunting. Like, okay, I'm only going

:

to do this for 30 minutes, so I'll make some progress. I won't get done,

:

but I'll come back to this tomorrow. I'll put another 30 minutes in. I don't

:

think the number really matters there. I think it's just sort of like how many

:

things you have to do and then what makes sense for your attention

:

that's going to be productive. So, yeah, that's a daily habit that

:

I really try to follow religiously if I can.

:

Some days I just come over here and I start learning a cover.

:

It is amazing because I have an 18 month old daughter and when you have

:

a kid, you start to realize how much work you can get done on like

:

an hour long nap and you're like, wow, I got a lot of shit done

:

in an hour. And when you start thinking about your life like that and you

:

give yourself an end time, you get pretty close to where you want to be

:

if not done when that timer clicks off. But I know you have a session.

:

I got two questions I asked everybody at the end, so we'll just jump into

:

those and I will let you get back to your day. The first question

:

is, which we've kind of touched on a little bit, as we always do in

:

the show, is was there a time in your career that you chose to redefine

:

what success meant to you? Yeah, I guess so.

:

Probably a few times. In the beginning it was like success

:

is me leaving my hometown and pursuing

:

this dream of working in a studio. And I

:

moved to LA and started at a trade

:

school musicians institute and I did a six month program,

:

so it was very short. I did an internship during that program,

:

so I had my internship hours done by the time I

:

graduated. And I had interviewed at East West. East west and

:

a post production house were the only two studios that got back to me.

:

I sent my emails and resumes to like, I don't know, 40 studios

:

in LA. Fucking east west was like the

:

one that the post house was like an old guy who just wanted

:

to hang out with someone while he had lunch, I think. And then East

:

west was Candace and she was basically like, you have a car?

:

I was like, no, and I've got a bike. She's like, get a

:

car. If you get a car, then I'll hire you. And I was like,

:

dang, I got. To get a.

:

You know, I got that. But the point of that story is

:

six months before that I was living in Illinois and I didn't know what my

:

future was. And then six months later I had this job at a studio.

:

And yeah, I was a runner and I was getting coffee and cleaning toilets and

:

stocking the fridges. And stuff. But I work at this huge, awesome

:

studio I was now. Yep. And unfortunately, I met

:

this really unlikable person there, will onspock. I don't know

:

if anyone knows who that is, but he and I actually stayed there

:

the longest. Really? And still, it's like a

:

begrudging brothership, brotherhood,

:

friendship. And he's coming out here

:

soon, actually, he's going to spend two weeks out here and we're going to cause

:

some chaos. But nice. You guys will have a good time. Yeah,

:

I've changed the goals because I'll set a goal that I think is

:

unattainable, and then I attain it, and I'm like, well, now what? Yeah, like, oh,

:

man, am I not shooting high enough? Or whatever? And

:

so, yeah, later it was YouTube. It was like, I'm going to do

:

YouTube, and hopefully that'll get me some extra cash to pay

:

my cell phone bill so I don't have to do Uber and I can just

:

do my gigs and maybe I'll get more clients. When people type my name into

:

the Internet and can find me and see like, oh, he's an engineer.

:

And then all of those other things came from it. Like the

:

deals with companies where as a freelance

:

engineer, there's almost no circumstance

:

where universal audio Sweetwater

:

could pick a company reaches out to you and goes, hey, could we give you

:

our gear for your.

:

I never, never, ever saw that. That was

:

one of the ones where I was like, I can't believe it. A company saw

:

my video, and then the YouTube thing opened a bunch of doors,

:

which allowed me to travel. It allowed me to meet a bunch of people. My

:

network is so much bigger than it ever would have

:

been just as an assistant, like, doing gigs or doing some

:

freelance know, I got to go to a house party

:

with Bob Clearmountain. And where I got there and people already knew me,

:

I'm like, what? This is so crazy. That's awesome.

:

It's really good. So getting

:

autonomy of my time and being able to balance my family

:

and stuff, that became a big part of it. And

:

now I am craving a little more session work.

:

So I'm adjusting and doing more session stuff, and it's really fulfilling to

:

be able to do both and have the YouTube on in the background.

:

That's amazing. Yeah, I love the idea of

:

setting a goal that you think is unattainable and then hitting it, and that's

:

super energizing when that happens to you. Hopefully that happens to

:

everybody a few times in their life. So the last question, and you basically just

:

kind of answered it, but I'm going to ask it because those are the rules.

:

What is your current biggest goal and what's the next smallest step you're going to

:

take to go towards it?

:

Usually what I try to do is bundle up my goals into like a

:

package where I'm like, oh, I can do this, but I

:

can also do this, this and this altogether. So I'm

:

doing more session work, but I'm also like, I don't want to give too much

:

away, but I'm trying to do some content that involves the session

:

work that also involves some legacy

:

studios that hopefully will be

:

an interesting development of just opportunities I get

:

to do, people I get to bring together, places we get to go, and

:

then hopefully we will make much more interesting content for the channel

:

and get to make some tunes and learn a

:

bit and grow a bit.

:

I want to almost flip it a little bit and put a little more attention

:

on some of those legacy studios and showing like,

:

hey, you've been watching me play my drums in my

:

attic. Check it out over at these studios.

:

But I'll bring in some real players. That's cool. That's awesome. So, yeah,

:

that's it. Putting out some courses@andrewmasterscourses.com.

:

And then,

:

yeah, I've got a pod, too. You should come on my pocket so I can

:

ask you questions. I feel very vain sitting here in. Pontificate, very

:

attacked right now. Well, no, just

:

talking about myself for an hour. Yeah, man, I'd love to. I know you got

:

to go. I think is your session. Here? They are. Here they are here. All

:

right. You have told people where they can find you. I'll put links in the

:

description, descriptions and you're easy to find. I really appreciate your time,

:

dude. We'll definitely have to keep in touch. Appreciate it. Thank you so much, Travis.