It came so quickly I nearly missed it but this website is now just over a year old. The official ‘birthday’ would have been the 25th of April, last week. So it’s only right that we should have a little nostalgic retrospective of DIY Music’s first year of existence. It will involve lots of numbers…
Why am I Even Doing This?
I started the DIY Music website as I had the urge to document my progress as I learned, developed and travelled along my own home studio journey. I had, a year or so previously, challenged myself to produce a track a week in something I called my Adjective Animal Project, and as part of this I set up a Facebook page to make it a public thing, rather than something I kept to myself. I found that this really forced me to stick to my plans and try to do the best I could.
I think there’s a similar reasoning behind this website where, not only am I sharing what I learn to help others, but I’m also forcing myself to be very public with my own progress, rather than hiding away from the world in my little studio. This means it kinda has to be good or I’ll get shot down and ridiculed! Fortunately, so far, it’s been going pretty much ok. Here’s the numbers after 365 days of existence, if you’re interested.
My first post, on the 25th of April 2015, was the first part of a series about My Home Studio Journey, which was intended as a bit of background on me for anyone reading. Not long after this I began recording tutorials for FL Studio and posting them on my YouTube channel. This was a completely new thing to me and I definitely made a few mistakes at the beginning, but it was all part of the learning curve.
So where are we a year later?
There are now 54 posts on the site, which is near enough one a week. They include blog posts, guides, home studio gear reviews, interviews and mixing/mastering related articles. There are currently 32 videos on my YouTube channel, 12 full tutorials and 13 FL Studio quick tips plus some plugin demos and track tours of my own music.
In the first year, according to Google Analytics (with bots and referral spam filtered out), we have had 24,982 new users visit the site. The most popular post was my 10 Most Significant Mixing lessons with 17,801 hits since being published on the 22nd of August 2015. This was given quite a boost when it was picked up and shared by Tape Op Magazine on their Facebook page, which I’m very grateful for. I also think this is one of the best articles I’ve written for my audience and it continues to get shared and have lots of hits daily.
My YouTube channel has gained a total of 564 subscribers and 24,603 views so far, adding up to 1,318 hours of viewing time. Pleasingly the ratio of likes to dislikes is pretty good with 485 likes across all videos but only 11 dislikes, and those are on the earlier videos which I would be inclined to dislike too. The most popular video is FL Studio – Mastering with Maximus, which has had 3,696 views and 81 likes since being uploaded on August the 30th 2015 (no dislikes).
On social media and other platforms I have set up a Facebook page for sharing my new posts, a Twitter account which is linked to the page, and a Soundcloud account for posting my work in progress. On Facebook we have 766 likes, the Twitter account has 740 followers and the Soundcloud account has 109 followers. I’m not in this for popularity but I’m still grateful to everyone who’s shown support by liking or following these accounts. If that’s you then THANKS!!!
A Sense of Community
Another great part (probably the greatest part) of this whole DIY Music thing has been the many awesome and talented people I’ve got to know and the community that has grown. A number of these people can be found in the Facebook groups I’ve set up. Feel free to join up too if you’re not already part of these groups.
For general DIY Music stuff there’s the DIY Music Group which currently has 300 members sharing great articles, guides and videos from around the web as well as their own work.
If you want to get valuable constructive feedback on your work in progress or finished tracks we have the Feedback for Musicians and Producers group, which has 610 members right now, many of whom are very knowledgable and willing to give useful tips on how to improve your music.
If you are an FL Studio user then there’s plenty of groups that you can join but for purely getting answers to any questions you have about using the software (or helping others with their questions) there’s the FL studio Questions and Answers group. This group has over 2.5k members right now.
With the help of the website and the community that has grown I’ve been able to progress further and further with my own music. I have two areas of interest when it comes to making music, rock/metal type stuff and electronic music.
Over the last year I’ve vastly improved my recording skills and have built up a decent enough studio to produce some good quality ‘band’ type music. Though I’ve yet to really get focussed and finish some original tracks, I’m very close. My current Home Studio Challenge, which involves recording a series of covers, if bringing me nearer to the place I want to be before starting my own stuff. This will eventually see the light of day under the name Frank Insomnia. So keep an eye out for that.
I’ve made most progress over the last year on the electronic music side. I’ve been steadily putting out music as HUMJUNKIE and have been getting great feedback. I’ve recently put some effort into the branding and hope to release an EP of the best tracks so far by the end of the year. I’ve also started making videos, the first of which you can watch here.
Aside from my own music I’m also still helping out local bands and friends with mixing for demos as well as writing music for the odd video and advert. This is something I hope to develop into a potential source of income, though I still much prefer making music for myself that to a brief. Luckily I have the day job to pay the bills!
Onwards and Upwards
That really covers the year in the details. Overall I personally feel the whole DIY Music thing has gone far better than I’d ever expected, having thought I would just be another obscure blog with an audience consisting of my family and one or two kind friends. The numbers above may be small on the grand scale of things but to me they’re very promising to me.
I shall continue putting my own time and resources into this and hope to see even more growth over the next year as my content expands and improves and more and more people tune in. There will also be some EPs and other projects coming.
Finally I’d just like to thank everyone who’s supported me by reading and sharing the stuff on my site, following my various online accounts and being part of the wonderful DIY Music community that has flourished over the last twelve months. I look forward to the next year and many years after that and I’m very excited to see where this all leads.