DIY Music Blog #8 – Everybody Gotta Start Somewhere

Hello! Yes, it’s time for a brand new DIY Music blog. This is the part of the site where I write about what I’ve come across recently in my musical journey and maybe talk about about my thoughts.

As I’m still working out the best way to do this I’m going to try a new format. I’ll start with ‘thought of the day’ style section, followed by an update on what I’ve been up to and I’ll finish with news from the rest of the world. So today I’ll have a little ramble about our beginnings and where-we-are-goings, update you on my own progress, including Slate Digital plugs, new articles and new tunes, and have a look at what’s new in the audio world. So here goes.

Mighty Oaks…


…from tiny acorns grow.

All great things, people, achievements, whatever you or I might aspire to do or become, they all start as the tiniest thing. An idea. Something that only exists in our heads. But without that acorn of an idea there’s no chance of there ever being a ‘mighty oak’.

I actually wrote a bit of a lengthy rant about this but I’ve just decided to cut out all of that and get straight to the point. If you’re involved in any creative endeavour, there will be times when you feel like you just aren’t ‘good enough’, especially compared to others who seem to be effortlessly doing great work. And there will be times when people put you down because they don’t think you are ‘good enough’ to be doing what you are doing. To help you get past these moments, here are some things that I think are important to think about.

Firstly, you may not be as good as you want to be now, but don’t get too frustrated. As long as you keep working at learning and improving you will be better than you were yesterday, and you will be even better tomorrow. As per the second of my most significant mixing lessons, it can take a long, long time to get good at something and you can’t rush it. Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself last month, last year, ten years ago… See how far you’ve come. You will certainly find this more encouraging. And remember; no one that gave up ever made it.

I personally think I’m getting good at what I’m doing, but I don’t think I’m that great, I know there are thousands of better musicians and producers out there, and I know I have a lot of improving to do. But I also know that I’m good enough to help others who are just starting out or just a bit below my level. Which is why I’m confident enough to have a website like this, which offers advice to people on the same journey as myself.

Secondly, don’t discourage others who are still developing themselves. Everybody gotta start somewhere. Today’s greats were yesterday’s noobs and everyone goes though the learning phase before they become experts. So I suggest we don’t judge but instead support and advise each other so we can all learn and grow together. Those who we support may well be able to support us further down the line. Those we discourage will not be so willing.

This is one reason why I’ve set up a Feedback for Musicians and Producers group on Facebook. So people with all levels of ability can share and listen and give each other valuable advice on their music so we can continue to improve. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in then please do join us.

DIY Music Update

So that’s the rant section over with. Was that interesting? Please do let me know what you think so I can continue to improve my posts.

Now to talk a bit about what I’ve been up to since last time. Well, I was very pleased to have the chance to chat to Ethan Winer of RealTraps about acoustic treatment and some other things, click here to read that interview. I wrote a new article to tell you about five more great websites for DIY Musicians, which people have been finding pretty useful along with the original article listing my essential home studio websites.

And I’ve been working on new music, as always. Interestingly I was given the opportunity to produce some music as part of my day job (DIY Music is still just an all consuming hobby for now, after all). This was to go along with a short video advertisement aimed at vets and was great fun to work on. This is great for me as it’s something I can add to a professional music portfolio. If I’m allowed, I’ll be sure to share it when it’s all finished.

Apart from that I’ve been falling more and more in love with the Slate Digital mixing plugins and at this very moment I’m even going back to some old mixes and running them through the new plugs, just to practice. The difference is very clear. These analogue emulation plugins really do add some professional sheen to all kinds of tracks and I’m still not regretting signing up the the monthly subscription. With the possibility of some new additions to the plugin family on the way I’m quite excited.

And the rest…

I’m going to use this section to share a few things that are going on with other people, companies and websites that you might be interested in. If you have anything you’d like me to include in my next post, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.

There’s a new company just launched called Trackspark. These guys offer a low cost membership service which gets you a monthly ‘goody bag’ for producers and composers. They are currently running an introductory competition to win a set of studio monitors, among other things, and every entrant gets a free goody bag just for entering. I’ve signed up and will be interested to see what cool stuff each month brings.

I’ve been made aware of a songwriting competition that is offering some distribution as a prize for the monthly winners. I admit I’ve not looked to deeply into it as I’m unlikely to enter but it might be something you’d like to check out. There’s also a Facebook page for more info.

Finally, I’ve been chatting to the guys at a London based company called MixButton, who offer high-end mixing services. One thing we’re discussing is the possibility of them contributing to the DIY Music website in the form of some mixing tips, and maybe more… This is still in discussion so I’ll have more on that next time.

I think this blog post has gone on long enough. I’ll leave you for now but please do get in touch or comment below if you have any questions or anything to say on what I’ve written here. I’m always very keen to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!


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