For artists who want a more organic, raw sound for their commercial releases it can be difficult to find the right producer.
Sometimes, that means self-producing is the right choice – though it all depends on the experience you have with self-recording and producing.
Many incredibly famous albums by artists like Billie Eilish, Bruce Springsteen, and more were recorded at home… But they all had one thing in common: professional mixing and mastering engineers.
Greg Lloyd joins us to discuss his work as a mastering engineer and how you can make great music while self-producing. Listen now to learn more!
What you’ll learn:
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#75: Why Recording Demos Makes Your Songs Better | With Vadim Kharaz of DIY Recording Guys
– “Upside Down and Inside Out”
– “Innocence” (listen to the first 18 seconds on good headphones and you’ll hear what sounds like whispering)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Welcome to episode 79 of the Bandhive podcast.
It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and I'm here with Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona. Matt it's great to have you back on the podcast.
How are you doing? I'm doing pretty awesome. James, how is everything for you? Over on the east side? That's great to hear. And I'm doing well this week we got a riding lawnmower for our giant lawn For the first time in like 16 years of living here where we did a push mower for like two acres. So I'm very excited to have a riding mower finally, and I'm totally that old guy who has like the giant hat and sunglasses and like hunched over on the mower trying not to tip over on the hills and all that.
So it's been fun but it's also been a true adventure. That's good man. What you have to do is go get a little high powered engine and put it in there and then you can start racing it, crank that thing all the way up and just rip around your yard. Then you'll take a corner and it'll just fling you straight off. But if you make a video, great content. True I'll finally be able to start a stick talk page. You just got to get a GoPro and mount it to your steering wheel and so it'll just be a close up of your face and then you just getting flung off in different directions.
Well actually real quick I'm going to sidetrack before we get down to business here and years ago to Friends and I went riding around on a T. V. And in a tv really is only meant to have two people on it at most. So as my friend was driving I was on the back left and the other friend was on the back right and we took this turn and I hear what and I see a puff because my friend flew off the side and landed in I don't know what they're called but it's those plants with the white fluffy stuff on top, they're kind of like 2-3ft tall.
Natural Corn dogs. Yeah, basically that. Yeah, exactly and there's just this puff of like all that stuff flying up and my friend who was driving grabbed onto me thinking I was the one that was falling like why are you grabbing me the other guys already in the bushes back there? So yeah, that, that was fun. That was had to be like a decade ago. But that was really fun. I wish we had a GoPro because that definitely would have gone viral, stuff like that's always fantastic. You think back, you're like man, one of us could have died doing that, but boy was it exhilarating?
Yeah, exactly. Well anyway, before we get sidetracked too long here, I want to introduce our special guest this week. Greg Lloyd is joining us and for the second episode in a row we have a guest from phoenix. Arizona, welcome to the show, Greg, Thanks for joining us and how are you doing today? Hey guys, I am doing fantastic, it is sunny and about 95° here in Phoenix. That sounds about on par for phoenix in the summer. Oh yeah, yeah man, I can't wait till it's like 80 here, I think 95 would be a little much for Vermont. Yeah.
Fun tidbit actually, uh phoenix is the only city in this country where I've ever walked out of the house before, six a.m. And it was over 95 degrees in the summer, you know, it's just like anywhere else. Like in Vermont it's cold for six months out of the year in phoenix, it's hot, you know, but it's definitely weird, I still haven't gotten used to Walking out of the house at like 10 pm and having it be triple digits in the middle of the summer, that's still weird, hotter than your in the interior of your house.
Everybody there just has really nice a see and pools are like all over the place. I never appreciated like the backyard pool until I moved here and I was like, now it's essential. Absolutely, my buddy thomas lives down there, I think we'll Scottsdale area and every time that we go there, it's like, oh, let's go to thomas's house and we get there and it's like, let's just sit in his pool, that's all we want to do, I want to get out of the pool and get hot again so I can jump back in the pool and feel refreshed, yep, It's like the opposite of Asana, dry heat and then jump in the pool versus dry cold and jump in the steam room.
I feel like, like most people that live here long term, like, I don't mind the heat as much as I minded the colds, like, I never miss scraping my car off or like walking through slush, like, I never miss those things. But the trade off is that, you know, a little bit hot, you kinda don't really leave the house for me two or three months in the middle of the summer and you crank the A. C. Yeah, and I don't leave the house for like six months in the middle of winter.
Uh San Diego is nice, I lived in San Diego for a while and uh that was like perfect. It was like 45 at the coldest and 85 at the warmest. Unless like there was a couple of days in summer, hit 95 100 and it was amazing. It's a good medium between the two anyway, as much as I'd love to talk about geography and weather all day, I'm terrible at bantering about weather for far too long and making everyone tune out before we even start the show. That was my bed. I could have picked any other topic.
Oh no, trust me. Every single episode, we start talking about the weather, we're like, it's snowing in colorado, It's snowing in Vermont, who knew that's been like the last 20 episodes, a couple of weeks from now on, like July four, I'm sure we'll be like, oh yeah, it's snowing in Colorado. Yeah, I saw my time hop today. It snowed a year ago. Today. One year ago today. Huh? Amazing. Uh anyway, I said I was gonna stop talking about weather, and here I am still talking about weather. So to introduce you, Greg, you are a mastering engineer and you also have a website for D. I. Y. Artists somewhat similar to Bandhive, but with your own unique twist on it.
And uh a lot of people might be thinking, wait, if it's similar to band, I've, why are you on the show? But the thing is, and I want to make this 0. 2 artists, there are enough people in the audience to go around. Like, I'm not threatened by other people who make content for artists because everyone has different styles, everyone has different preferences. Like, I've watched mixing tutorials and been like, well, the contents the exact same, but I like that guy, and I don't like that guy. So, I'm gonna watch Got a So, if somebody, for example, hates my voice, please go listen to Greg instead.
Like, and I'm not just saying that, but Greg also has really good content. And I myself read Greg's content, so I would encourage everyone to listen up, check this out, learn from a mastering engineer who works with D. I. Y. Artists. And um yeah, that that's my intro for you is artists shouldn't feel the competition. I'm not feeling the competition here. So, artists should also know like, hey, we are stronger together than we are, if we're working against each other. Absolutely, yeah. And that's like a big part of the whole D I. Y. Scene, right?
It's like supporting each other and building ideally, like, real community, and you can't do that if you're just looking over your shoulder for competition all the time, it's okay to have the same things happening. Yeah, absolutely. Last night I uh, made a little video on instagram about mastermind groups, because I was about to step into my mastermind, and one of my friends commented and said, yeah, you know, this would never happen around here. All the bands in this area are just looking out for themselves. They would never share what made them successful.
And I'm like, dude, that's not gonna work. Those are going to be the bands that Don't really go as far as they could if they were all working together. And I think a great example of that is um rusty pistachio of the band H20. He's an amazing jeweler and he has made limited run jewelry for pretty much every band in like the art rock scene. So f I my kim Weezer, I think he did fall out boy or panic at the disco. Like anyone who's everyone in essentially the warped tour scene, and they're not looking at like, oh we're not going to support you because you're in different band, they're just like, you make good stuff, we want to sell it to our fans, so can you do like 200 limited pieces for us?
Amazing. Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I love it. And they're working together. And if you think about all the bands on warped tour for the most part at least would work together. Like band a their bus breaks down. Guess what? Banbi comes and picks them up and says okay, we're gonna get you to the next show. That's just how it goes. You have to stick together and if you don't that's just not good, you're not going to make it. And if you have that, I hate to make this political, but I'm going to it's like Brexit if you say, and let me just say I'm not british.
So I don't know all the intricacies. But if you say we're going to do our own thing separate from the rest of you, it's going to cause problems like right now I know anybody ordering stuff in the UK from europe has to pay insanely high import taxes. So if you as a band, say, we're not going to share anything with any other band, you're just locking yourself out. You are the Brexit of the music world. Yeah, I mean, and it's okay to be like limited in your partnerships, but you're still coming at it from the attitude of wanting to partner, you know?
And that's the thing with D I Y is like, you know, obviously you want to do it yourself, doing it yourself, doesn't have to mean that you do everything yourself in complete isolation. Like, people can support each other. And it's not even really important that we all like the same music. Like, I'm sure all of us have slightly different musical taste on this call right now, but it doesn't mean we can't support each other and be helpful and that's that's actually super awful. I mean, being an artist is hard if artists aren't going to support each other, like nobody else is going to the perfect summation of that for anybody listening.
Here's a book for you to buy. It's called The Seven habits of highly effective People. Sure, James will plug that in a minute. I highly recommend reading this is by Stephen J. Covey. He has a lot of really awesome things in there where but the main thing that you guys are talking about right now is a win win situation. Too many times, people in every industry really feel as though situations have to be wind loose, you know, or one person has to maintain the status quo and that's going to be only beneficial for the other party.
I would highly recommend reading this book because he actually spends a great deal of time talking about a paradigm shift and basically saying like, if you feel like this isn't, you know, if you feel like one of the two parties is losing, then take a little bit more time refine what you're doing and create a better plan. And so it does become a win win. And sometimes like, you know, in terms of business, a lot of that stuff can really get muddied between contracts and and language barriers, distance barriers, talking over email, talking over phone, you know, things like that.
So he actually talks a lot about how to create win win situations and basically where it's just, it creates a community and network of people who a you you know, that you want to work with them because these are people that are willing to like not bend their rules, but they're willing to find the path of least obstruction in order to make things work. And then on top of that, when you walk away from those situations, like when you find people that are willing to work on a deal until it works like those are people you want to keep around long term.
And so the power of the win win situation is super, super awesome. I highly recommend everybody read the seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen J cubby. It's another life changing text. Yeah. So that'll be in the show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 79. That's band. I've got rocks slash the numbers seven and nine. Thanks for the plug Greg. It looks like you had something to add to that. A lot of the ways I like to frame those same concepts is that like your artistic life is not a zero sum game.
It's not a pie where like you get some and then somebody else gets less because you got more. It's if you work together, everybody gets a limited pie. Absolutely. No, that, I mean that's, that was the viking mentality is that there's only one pie. And so I have to take pi from other people in order to get mine. Then they traveled around and then all the Scottish and the irish were like, hey, we actually learned that if we just stay in one spot and collectively work together and we can create community and things that are better for everybody and we can't discover other resources that we've never used.
And that's really what it's all about, is, you know, building a network of people who discover resources who worked collectively. Ray Crock. Ray Crock is a name that's associated with Mcdonald's and he is neither one of the Mcdonald's brothers now. Ray Crock owns Mcdonald's. And how did he do it? Well, he did it by partnering with Mcdonald's. At first he started by coming in and seeing how they did things and he said, you guys have a perfect business model, so I'm not going to try and reinvent the world of the quick service burger.
Instead, he brought milkshakes into Mcdonald's by slowly building this partnership with the Mcdonald brothers. He ended up getting a larger stake in their company than even they had because he just chose to build something collectively with them rather than try to compete with them. And if you don't know the name, Ray Crock than google it, it's everywhere. Yeah, or watch the founder, yep, that's another one which will also be in the show notes. Advanced, I've got rocks slash 79. So before we jump into things and get to know you Greg, I just wanted to point out that one other thing that is in line with everything that you and matt have said so far is always add more value than the amount of value you take.
That is how you build a strong two way relationship and that's what artists can do, add value to people, add value to other artists lives and guess what they're going to remember that and when they have an opportunity that they can't do, they might just think of you and say, hey, you know what we're booked that night, but my friend's band X, Y, Z, they'd be great, why don't you go hit them up? Here's their email boom, that's adding value. And that is how a community gets built because everybody knows that band who are just total jerks don't ever work with them, like their music might be great, but they're terrible people, we're not going to work with them, so that all aside, I love this, start the conversation, but before we go further Greg, can you tell us a little bit about your background music?
Like what inspired you to make music your life? So for me it's actually been like a series of pretty fortuitous moments, like I had kind of like the initial moment when I was a kid Yeah, I think I was in first or second grade and we had a choir come to our school and I never heard like a live coral group before they happened to be really good and it was in a gym, so like it was a super like immersive experience, you know? And um at that point I was like this is great, like I kind of want to do something like this actually sang in a boy's choir for like five or six years, had a mean shenandoah, it was fantastic, and then eventually from there I started getting more into the instrumental side um I'm actually a trumpet player and I took that pretty far, I ended up going to music school and getting two degrees in classical trumpet um I was really into still I am um into the classical scene and playing in orchestras and and Kind of that whole thing and so I did that, I went through and got 2° and learned how to play and have had a pretty decent career playing classically played with a lot of orchestras, played with a lot of local groups, small groups, big groups from there, I started doing session work just as a classical player, I get calls to government playing recording sessions and kind of fell into the production and studio side and was like I, I like this, this is cool.
And then after another long series of different journeys, ended up focusing on the mastering specialty after that, which is actually really quite similar in skill set to classical music, like it's uh it's very highly detailed, it's um very subtle kind of little things. Um it's technical in nature, it's very focused on small details, which is a big part of what you do if you're a classical musician, so it's very similar, it sounds like a really cool natural progression not to make a music upon. And I wouldn't have, like really, ever expected to go in that direction, but I got extremely lucky, like in my classical music education is that I had a bunch of great teachers who are also great freelancers and they were basically the whole time, we're like, hey, you have to be open to going in different directions and if I had, you know, if I had kind of stayed super focused on the orchestral track, I don't know that I would actually be as happy.
You know, I had a big kind of crisis when I get out of music school and I was taking these crazy orchestral auditions, which if you don't know about those, they're, they're really intense, like you're playing up against like 200 people behind a screen like on the day and you have to beat out a lot of people In front of a committee of other musicians who have been playing for like 40 years. So it's, it's really intense and I don't know if I had kept going down that track, if I would've been happy, I would have just played the same music over and over and over again for 10 or 15 years to try and get a job, to keep on playing that same music over and over and over again.
So for me it wasn't really going to be the best fit. And so I had to go through another series of moments and progressions of figuring out well if I don't want to do this, what do I want to do? Yeah, and I think that's something that a lot of artists should pay attention to and learn. Like for me, it was a similar thing that where I am now. I did not see myself here five years ago, like I thought I was going to be on the road for the rest of my life, tour managing and all that and then my priorities shifted and I was like, you know what, I don't want to do this anymore.
And that was my dream for half a decade. And then it just changed. So I think artists need to be open to changing what they want to do, but also if opportunities come up and it's a good opportunity, just say yes, like don't hold yourself back by saying, oh well, I don't know, this isn't really what I do, just say yes, give it a shot. If you try it and you hate it, don't do it again, but give it a shot. Absolutely, no, that's super powerful, James, I think a lot of people are archaic in their way of thinking that it's like you get into this mindset where you have a certain thing that you have to do, I have to chase my dreams, I call it the hollywoodization of who we are as individuals.
I find that as I get older, the more it's like, oh, you know, the more you actually learn the way life works, you know? It's like you're saying Greg, you know, like if you as a musician, if you're not able to try different things, if you're not able to like, oh, maybe I want to dabble in orchestral music, maybe I want to be a session musician, maybe I want to have a podcast James when you contacted me years ago about doing this podcast and said, hey look, do you want to do this?
I could have been like, oh no, it sounds like work. I'm supposed to be a touring musician. I'm not supposed to be on a podcast. What do you mean? And honestly, all that would have done is short change me. I would have missed out on so many awesome conversations, so many awesome opportunities, meeting new people and there's too many things to count. Too many good memories to go back and even reminisce about in the end, archaic thought just limits. You know, I love the movie, Yes man because it just follows jim Carey as somebody who says no to everything all the time.
And then when he starts saying yes to things, suddenly all these opportunities arise and it's like, well yeah, that's wonderful because that's exactly how it is. Like say yes, try something if you don't like it, be honest with yourself and be honest with the people around you and try something new, Follow what you love, but you only find out what you love by trying. Well matt, first of all, thank you so much. I'm glad you feel that way. And it's been a pleasure to have you here.
I think I was almost two years ago. It's been a while. Yeah, it's been a blast having you on the show at first, every other episode now, pretty much every episode lately. So thank you for all the work you're putting in. It's definitely appreciated. You carry the team. Uh Well like I said a week or two ago, I was like, I could not do this podcast by myself unless I had a guest every single episode because I hate talking to myself. That's why I stopped doing videos and started doing a podcast because like, hey, I can have a co host, I can have guests.
So but yeah, as we go further into this a few weeks ago on episode 75 which if you haven't heard it, going to plug it band, I've got rocks slash 75 that's band, I've got rocks slash 75 We spoke with Vadim from D. I. Y. Recording guys about artists and how they can record home demos and for a lot of artists, that's the path they choose. You know, they recorded them at home and then go to the studio, but there are other artists who don't do that and they do their whole production at home and for some of them that works out really well and for many of them not so great.
It's something that I personally don't recommend unless one of the members is actually an engineer. Like I have several friends who are engineers and are in a band and they do really well with it, but I also see a lot of artists who think they're engineers and they're not and then it just ends up not so great. So Greg as a mastering engineer, when you get tracks sent to you for mastering, what are some of the common issues that you can identify with artists who probably shouldn't be engineering themselves?
Yeah. So it actually ends up falling into a lot of pretty common issues that I think are mostly technical. Probably the biggest one is uneven based response in the recording, whether it's a mix issue or a tracking issue caused by usually poor monitoring in the recording area. So like, you know, the typical thing would be if you're trying to mix like on a single set of earbuds or even a single set of headphones, even if you know those headphones, well, it's like using rose colored glasses to try and paint, like it's gonna color everything that you do and there's gonna be things that like you're not hearing that are getting missed.
And that's probably a big one is, you know, just because you plug a set of headphones into an interface does not mean that what you're hearing is actually what's taking place room acoustics and having nicer speakers and having like a variety of monitoring systems and being intentional in what you're using that variety for having a low frequency reference, having a high frequency reference. Having a good general purpose reference. Um, and going between all of those is a really simple and great way to get a better picture of what you're doing.
And the base area is really hard because it's just difficult to hear accurately on equipment. That's not expensive. You can mitigate that somewhat by again, variety in the monitoring system. But yeah, pay attention to your base. You don't need to boost the base to get a good bass sound a lot of times, it's the opposite. You're actually cutting the base to bring out focus in that area. Maybe that kind of ties into another technical thing. Like hopefully, I don't know if this is too technical, but I I'm a big fan of using cutting EQ often and boosting EQ sparingly and I usually see the opposite in home mixers is they'll, they'll be boosting stuff all over the place, but they're not really cleaning the tracks up with property chewing.
Yeah, I mean I'm not going to lie when I do mixing, I will boost stuff, but it's always like specific. It's like, oh, I want that like 11 K click in the kick, like really narrow Q and boost at 10 decibels. It's like that's a specific sound intentionally. And I think what you're talking about because I see a lot of people do this too is like, oh, I want more bass and you see like a very wide bandwidth boost at like 200 or 300 hertz. It's like all that mud. Yeah, totally.
Or like are they just leave stuff in that doesn't need to be there. Like most tracks on your mics that are not the bass guitar or the kick drum do not need really, most things in 20 to 40 hertz. I like to think of it kind of like if you go to a movie and you see like, you know something like a marvel movie, right? Like it's not shaking the entire time, like your chest is not moving the entire time during the marvel movie, they save those like sub moves for the really big moments where like the hulk is like pulling down a building or something and so be very sparing with your use of the sub region, you know, 20 to 40 hertz.
Most of what you need is above 40 hertz. And that's actually good news because you know, you don't necessarily need a sub to mix, but it can be helpful in certain situations to a few years ago when hardcore music specifically was really exploding, there was something that a lot of my audio engineering friends, a term that I heard them coin, which was the war on loud. And it's the curse of the musician, always saying, well, can we make this louder? You know, why is this not louder? You know?
And one of my buddies, I remember him just saying, well just just turn the volume up and it was this concept that people couldn't get that. They always, you know, the artist always wanted this base that was rattling their chest and they always wanted these noise, you know, just, just literally noise. So it was actually really interesting. You can go back and watch a bunch of studio sessions with people like Joey Sturgis that had learned how to be like, oh yeah, instead of playing your guitar, you're just gonna wring out one single chord at a time.
He tweaked and did all these weird different things so that he could try to cut out a lot of his unneeded frequencies and he could still have this loud volume. And it was like such a huge, huge, huge issue in the audio engineering community because people would be like, no we need this louder. And it's like no, I literally just paid like $40,000 so that the sonics are perfect. Not so that everything is loud, you know the louder you get the money, your kids. So I always feel bad for audio engineers that have to work with artists who say like we need this louder well.
And like I always frame it were like, you know, I worked in restaurants for a long time so I could use a lot of cooking analogies. So be prepared for that, compression is like salt. Like you need salt in your cooking. If you don't use salt, everything is bland, but if you use too much salt it gets real gross real fast. So it's really just about finding the right amount for the right situation. The thing that makes it tricky is that that's a moving target. Like the compression that you use for hardcore is going to be way different than what you do use for like an indie track or an orchestral track or whatever.
And so following, only your intuition is it's really easy to get led astray. That's where like as a mastery injury where you stuff like volume matching and you can do that actually very easily. Now, you kind of have to know what that is. But volume matching is basically like don't make a compression choice until you've heard it at an equal volume and be because anything that sounds louder is automatically going to make you think, oh that's better, and then you're going to keep doing it and keep doing it and keep doing it, and then before you know it, you've used too much salt and everything just kind of gross.
I love it. Perfect analogy and there's no msg in the recording world, so you have to figure it out, you have to actually know how much salt to add. Msg is the best. I really wish there. If somebody can figure out like the msg of like a doll or you just click one button and it makes everything sound awesome. No more jobs for us. That would be wonderful. Uh Ai mastering give it 10 years and it might actually be worth it. Yeah, I mean, I've I've gone up, I always like, will go up against like um different ai mastering services, and if artists have questions about I'll be like yeah I'll just do a test where you can compare yourself and the human always wins.
But I have to say like surprisingly good. I don't know that it's going to ever replace human mastering because there's always a human component, there's a creative component that's pretty huge actually. And again presets don't work and that's all that that is is a giant automated preset but like it can be a legitimate introduction to what mastering can do to your music. And for a lot of D. I. Y. Artists, if you have 00 budget and you don't have the time or any kind of money to hire like a human to master the or if you're practicing mixing and you want to see how your mixes react to the mastering process.
Doing that with an algorithmic services way faster and easier than going back and forth with a human. So I usually will actually recommend algorithmic mastering service as like an educational tool if you're trying to learn how to mix and you want to see how it reacts to the mastering process. Yeah, I think that's a great use for it, and I've started using it as like a pre master test to see what will this sound like when it's mastered. And for me, I mean it sounds better than my master is a lot of the time because I'm not a mastering engineer, I'm a mixing engineer who if the band doesn't have a mastering budget, I'll say, yeah well master it, and at this point now I'm thinking like maybe I will just send them the ai master because if it's better than what I can do, who cares?
Yeah. And like also it's great to clarify the artist's intention as to what they want, They're mastering styles sound like, like, you know, as well as I do, if you send a mix 23 or four different mastering engineers and get three or four different colors. And so instead of having that be something where the artists having to decide that by testing a bunch of masters, if you just get like, a basic idea of the style that you like and what you're going for, then that can make the human that you choose to hire a more focused and quick decision.
Yeah, absolutely, and I can see that also being like, hey we really like this AI master, can you do something in this direction but tweak it to fit this song. I would love that. Like, like for me, one of the bigger things with if there's any kind of back and forth in the mastering process, it's usually a lot of times more of a communication problem where either the artist isn't like communicating what they want exactly or they don't maybe know what they want exactly because they haven't done it before or I don't know, they've used a different process.
So just the intentionality, like clarifying the intention of what you're looking for in the mastering is a, is a great way of using Lander and it's a great way of seeing what you can and can't do during the process. That's awesome. That was one of the things that actually the dean mentioned on episode 75 was that he loves getting an outside song. It's like of a different artists. Like what do you want your song to sound like? He wants your stems, he wants your ideal mixed version of it and mix it yourself and send it to him and then he wants a reference song of another artist external.
And I thought that that combination was really nice triad because it gave you all the pieces that you needed have given you the content to work, give me how they think that they wanted to sound and then a standard for which to kind of compare and contrast with which I love hearing that same concept reinforced only four episodes later, I love it. Oh totally, yeah, like if an artist was sending me stuff and it was a choice from my end of being like don't give me communication as to what you're looking for and like trust and I'm just gonna guess right or send me like algorithmic master that's like close and you're like okay I know I want this, I'm going to take the algorithmic master as a reference every single time because that just gives me the ability to do a better job and you get closer to what you actually want.
Fantastic, definitely. Well, going further into the detail of home recording, the bedroom produced album can be really effective for some artists, like I mentioned earlier for some artists, it's great, but ultimately it comes down to the skill level of whoever is doing the recording or the production at home. When do you think a home recording is appropriate for an artist that's probably like another big, maybe maybe the biggest issue I see working with a lot of D. I. Y. Artists is generally misunderstanding both the purpose and the execution of a successful bedroom recording a lot of bedroom recordings, there's a lot of myths and kind of wishful thinking behind them, because the story is super compelling, right?
Like if I say, hey, you can buy a bunch of cheap gear, record a bunch of songs very quickly in your bedroom and then blow up and be touring worldwide and like a month or two like that, everybody wants that to be a thing. But that's not really always the reality of how those records were made. So I've actually got a few different case studies that we can go through a different bedroom style recordings and we can kind of look for some patterns between them because there are some very clear patterns between bedroom records that have been successful and the bedroom records have just died on band camp and never got to listen to the first one.
And this is going back into the eighties Bruce Springsteen did an album called Nebraska, which the story of that album is, Bruce had done a lot of studio recordings. Up to that point, I wanted to kind of do something different. So we took an early cassette, multi track recorder, I think it was like a four track task cam, recorded a bunch of demo style tracks in a New Jersey bedroom. And then after they took those cassette tracks, took them into the studio, had a producer come in, had a couple engineers come in, touch them up and professionally mixed and mastered them.
And I would not say I'm like a massive Springsteen fan, but if I'm going to listen to Springsteen, it's going to be Nebraska. Like, it's a really great album. It's, it's super genuine and that's what you're getting from the bedroom is like, you're getting the, the genuine connection and the intimacy with the artist. Um and in this particular case, it really worked for Bruce because a lot of his earlier records had been very clean and very highly studio produced, particularly in the eighties. Like Lo Fi hi file wasn't really a thing.
So, if you were recording in a studio, it was going to be very clean. It was gonna be very polished. And there's a lot of intimacy in what Bruce Springsteen does, but nobody really had ever heard that before. He did the bedroom record. And so was this big, kind of different sound that worked out really well, and I still think it really holds up. I think it's the best Bruce Springsteen record. I really love it. That's a case study number one. This history lesson is fantastic. I think it's amazing that even back then the process was do it at home and then take it to the studio to have it polished up, which I think is probably where you're going with this next case study too.
Yeah, that's, it's gonna be like that for all of them spoiler, but like what is important to notice is that the balance of professional treatment versus home treatment is going to be slightly different for all these case studies and it should be different for your music and by individual project, like, not every project has to be the same and every project can have a different mix of professional treatment and home treatment, but it's always a balancing act and that's always contextual to the individual project of the individual artist.
So we'll come forward in time a little bit and a lot of these are going to be a little bit more on the indie side, the very famous, very famous mythological album, sorry, mythological album from Bonnie there for Emma forever ago, the classic, like early two thousands what now is like a blueprint for neo folk hadn't really been done before. So the story of this album for those that don't know is um Justin vernon, the lead singer and and musician and Bonnie bear had gone through a bunch of really intense personal things and needed to get away.
So we went up to his dad's or his parents hunting cabin in Northern Wisconsin, kind of like an off grid property brought like a small recording setup. I think it was a laptop in like a small interface, recorded a whole bunch of songs in the cabin and then the record blew up right. Like that's the story that you hear, what you don't hear is like the stuff that happened after the cabin took place, which is, he brought those tracks that were on his laptop back down to north Carolina, took them into a professional studio, did some more touch up work, I think he did a couple overdubs in the studio this time, as well as some like editing and cleaning.
The mixing was hired out on for Emma forever ago and the mastering was hired out on for Emma forever ago. So again, it's a combination of two processes. We've got the raw, intimate cabin recordings, but we still have, you know, quite a bit of professional production in this case. And the thing I like to mention about Bonnie bear because he's, it's pretty popular indie band and a lot of people kind of hold Justin vernon up is like a great example of like the Indy style is Justin vernon is kind of like a unicorn.
Like I would say he's probably one of the few musicians out there that actually can, does like legitimately have the skill set to write music, record, music, mix, music, master music produced music, do all of the things and do them at a professional level. That's, that's extremely rare. But what you'll notice if you start reading his liner notes is he never chooses to wear all the hats on a given project. There's always something that he's not doing, even if it's just like professional mastering at the end or some different combination.
He's never choosing to do every single hat on the project himself. There's always something that he's hiring out and the reason he does that is because he's very smart and he knows just because I can do something doesn't mean I should necessarily do it in this case. So yeah, that's a case study number two. Um, the cabin record for Emma forever ago, that reminds me I'm going to jump in here real quick probably 15 years ago now. Wilco wanted to record in a barn and so they hired can't remember Nafta's Mark Rebel or john Pines, but they hired one of them to just take a bunch of eight ATS, which for people who don't know.
And as an old digital recording technology, which was basically like a digital tape and record them in this barn live and that became one of the records. I don't remember which one, but it was so interesting and I apologize to Mark Rebel and john Pines, I can't remember which one of them did this, but I got to see them talk about it and the reason I can't remember which one did it is, they both were like co hosting the talk and one of them was like, oh yeah, here's how we did this album.
So anyway, it was a really interesting thing to hear. Like, hey, this wasn't at home recording technically like it was in their barn on a farm somewhere that one of the guys owned or was renting or whatever, but they still hired a professional to bring the gear and the skills to record. And that's a pretty common thread in a lot of successful bedroom albums is, it's, it's a combination of two different processes. Like the writing process in the bedroom is super valuable. You have unlimited time to write, you have unlimited time to experiment.
That doesn't necessarily mean it's always the best choice to take that into the production space as well. Sometimes it can be, but sometimes, sometimes not. So again, just being open to different things and let's just kind of keep going down these case studies real quick. Another really famous indie album from the last few years. Uh Sufjan stevens, Carrie and Lowell, another great story on this album. A lot of the main tracks for this album was recorded on tour. So when Sufjan was on tour, he would get done with the show, go back to the hotel room, do some, like recording on his laptop, write some songs and then he again, he ended up taking those recordings into a pro studio, getting them touched up, I believe, doing a couple over dopes.
The mixing again was hired out and the mastering again was hired out there. So, same basic concept. We're combining a bedroom style writing process with a professional production process on some level. That's great album too, by the way, another really intimate album. And let's just keep rolling because the theme is kind of the same on all of these. Let's actually talk about the Billie Eilish album. Right? So that's probably the biggest, most topical one right now, Vinny is, it's impressive What they did is I literally have a quote from him pulled up on my phone right now that I was going to mention after you finished up all your case studies.
Yeah, it's, it's amazing and it is super impressive what they did and it's a great album and it was done really well and it should be having all the accolades. It's having, it's really just the mythology versus the reality. If you actually look into how that album was made, it was quote unquote produced in a bedroom. But what does that actually mean in this case, what it actually means is that it was written and recorded in a bedroom. And it's interesting to note that they used minimal gear, but it was still professional quality gear.
I don't know how crazy we're getting on the technical stuff here, but they used a very common home recording setup which is a Yamaha Hs eight rig. Very good. Like kind of low mid level monitors with a subwoofer. So that's not like your built in computer speakers. That's not like one set of headphones that's like a, that's a calibrated system that's like a decent set up. So they recorded using that set up, got the basic tracks done. But the people that took it from there are pretty much the opposite of D. I. Y. Bedroom bedroom.
People like the mixer on the billie Eilish album was rob Carnell ski. He's like a 30 year industry that who's done huge albums like Toni Braxton. I picked like the oldest example. But there's like a bunch of, there's a bunch of like very modern, very mainstream pop songs that he has mixed. He is known as a like mainstream pop mixer. You, you send your stuff to rob. Can I ask if you wanted to sound like extremely radio ready? Which is again the opposite of the aesthetic of a lot of bedroom artists, right?
But yet that worked in this case, because it's a combination of those two things. The mastering guy, same thing, the mastering guy on that record was john Green, um who's again like an amazing mastering engineer on industry vet. He's done stuff by like the Maria's, which is a pretty well known indie band, but again, it's all mainstream stuff. These are all major label mixers and production people. Um so it was not Phineas and billy sitting in their bedroom alone together for two months doing the entire album start to finish.
It was a combination of different processes that works and that's why the album works. It's lo fi hi Fi. It's not low fi, lo fi, you know what I mean? It had that polishing that last 10% that I hear so often missing in home productions. Like I'll hear a homemaker and I'm like, it's not a bad mix, but it's not great. Like it doesn't belong on the radio. You know, it's like the top end just sounds dark, there's no clarity, there's no crisp breath, nothing like that. And I will say, you know, feel free to get technical, the HS series by Yamaha.
I love him. I have the HS seven which are technically 6. 5 inch speakers, but I love them. Like they work really well. I've had them for half a decade now and If you get them for a good deal, it's absolutely worth it. I might not pay full price for them, but get a good deal in HS series. I'd stay away from the HS five, but the sevens and eights are great. Yeah, it's amazing what you can do with not a lot of money and knowing how the process works, but knowing how the process works is what lets you extend The reasonable amounts of money you're paying on the gear.
So the knowledge is just really as important as the gear. Yeah, so on that note, talking about the knowledge, what would you say to the artist? Who thinks because they have $5,000 in gear, they have the same gear that billion Phineas had? Obviously we've talked about why that was successful, but why shouldn't an artist say, well, I have the gear to let me go ahead and mix this because it's possible that somebody else other than you could do a better job. It's not necessarily going to happen every time.
Like, there are definitely times where it's very appropriate for an artist to mix themselves, but it's dependent on the project. Like, we don't need to have any kind of dogmatic thinking. You don't need to always hire a mixing engineer, you don't always need to hire a mastering engineer, you don't always really need to do anything, but what you do need to be thinking as often as possible as what does the project need. So, like, I can think of a lot of bedroom records that are, may be recorded by artists who do have engineering experience, that they actually wouldn't need to send it out for professional mixed because they can kind of get close enough, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't hire nothing out ever.
It just means you need to be considerate about what's valuable to hire out and what you don't need to hire out, and that's going to be a project dependent. There are certain records that they really should be complete studio productions, where you're going into a recording studio, you're doing the whole thing, there are other records that don't, but that's contextual to the artist, so, you know, going back to the Bruce Springsteen example, the reason that bedroom album worked was as much from the context of the other things that he had released, up to that point, as much as it was the fact that it was a bedroom record.
If Bruce Springsteen had only ever released lo fi bad sounding bedroom records in his career, I don't know that we would be talking about Bruce Springsteen is being Bruce Springsteen, but it's the combination of those things that really, really makes it work. So it's really just asking the question, what does this project need, and is there something I can do to improve the quality past the point of my own abilities, man? That's so good. And continuing down that path, because I think it's a very important lesson for artists to learn, and even though pretty much everyone in every online forum ever says, don't master your own work if you recorded and mixed it, you know, I think people who do mixing and mastering, that's one thing, but if you did the recording as well, that really should be a third party, or if you're not confident in your mastering, That should be a 3rd party, even if you just did the mix for self recording artists who aren't having that professional recording mixed on, what advantages does hiring a mastering engineer?
A human mastering engineer, not an ai mastering engineer? What does that bring to the table? A lot of times it's a level of professional polish that you couldn't get otherwise. And a lot of times that can take like a Lo Fi recording and make it sound lo Fi hi Fi on its own. So like a mastering engineer could be the Hi Fi component of Low fi Hi Fi, if nothing else has been done, and I'll give you an example right now, I'm working on a project which started off as a set of like, home recordings done with like a task cam, digital multi tracker, and there's all of like the kind of dirt and grunge, that's a part of that, right?
Like the mix or muddy, and like there's noise and like, I can hear amp buzz and stuff and and all these things that like, you know, if you're in a studio, they're going to try and clean some of that up. In this particular case, for this particular artist, it makes perfect sense to have, like, minimal mixing done, and just put some polish over the top. I like to kind of think of it like icing on the cake mastering, or I get back to the food analogies. Like if you're looking at two slices of cake and one of those slices looks like somebody picked like a fistful of icing and just smashed it on top, and then you have another piece of cake that like, has like at least like a modicum of like, spreading of the frosting, or like maybe like a nice cherry on top.
Which one do you think you're gonna be more excited to eat, and which one do you think you're gonna go to first? It's not that both can't be delicious cakes, it's that you're gonna definitely go for the one that looks more appetizing, right? And that's a lot of what mastering brings to the tables. It brings a level of kind of professional polish and standardization to your work. Which lets it compete at the same level with other more highly produced things. And that's so great. I want to unpack that a little bit because my fiance whenever if one of us messes up a meal and it just looks not great, she says well it's all going to the same place anyway so it doesn't matter cause it's gonna taste the same and she's right.
But at the same time if I were running a restaurant, which one of those what I never served to customer, The one that's all messed up because that's just not appealing to people. Beauty is important. Exactly. And so if an artist puts out music that looks like a mushy messed up meal, they are not putting out the best product for their customers, a. K. A. Their fans and that's why they need the cake with the icing perfectly spread on top plus the cherry. And like a lot of artists, especially D. I. Y. Artists can get a little bit intimidated by the use of like kind of business, see terms like referring to their music as a product.
Like a lot of the artists I know like don't like to think of their music that way, no matter how true or not true it may be for them. So when we say product, we're talking about your artwork, like it's really about doing the best quality artwork and that's really the common thread through all of this is you have the ability to change the balance of professional versus you know, home production, That's a balance that kenan should change all the time. You're always considering the balance. And you're always asking the question, how do I make the best quality artwork?
And you have to be willing to say, well, maybe I'm not the best at X, Y or Z for this particular project. Maybe there's somebody else around who could take my work further than I could take it myself. Maybe not. But it's worth it to ask the question. It's really important to uh, look at other people's art as well. You know, I think it's one thing that often gets neglected in the music industry is everybody feels like art is a form of their own expression and they don't realize that there is a certain standard that things just naturally should be held to.
You can circumnavigate some of the weirder ones. Like Brand New is a band that did a wonderful job of having, for lack of a better term, crappy recordings. They have crappy recordings, but that is their branding and it fit 100% in with their band name being called Brand new while simultaneously being like the last popular band of that style of music in that decade. You know, their first album, Deja and Tandy, which literally means already been done. They Faceted every single part of their business all into that brand and so like that worked really, really well for them.
For those of you that are trying to compete at a level where like professionalism and like crisp clean videos, images, audio, all of that is required. Go watch an okay go music video. Go watch any one of them. There's actually one video, I can't think of the name of the song right now. I'm sure James will look it up in a second where they filmed the entire music video in less than I think it's less than three seconds and they slowed everything down. Or maybe it's less than five seconds.
I can't remember remember that one basically they shot it with like a red or whatever, 4000 frames per second or whatever and then the video plays in accordance with the music. But you get to see it before and after and that level of competition in the world of art is like, I mean if you're trying to be crisp clean and compete at the top level, there are things that people are doing are light years ahead of other people. So it's really, really important for you to like dive into other people's art.
There's a great mantra. Good artists copy great artists steal, you know, that's a that's an age old mantra in the music industry. And a lot of classical musicians have heard that plenty of times because there's a whole lot of theories about classical composers that stole work from other classical composers as well and that some classical composers shouldn't be considered as great because of that fact. Now, I really think everybody should go watch all of OK goes music videos. They have one where they actually take a The vomit comet or a parabolic flight which is zero gravity and they did it with like paint and things like that.
So you're talking about like the amount of production that went into making a video where everything is supposed to be one single take and you're doing it in zero gravity. I mean, they've got they've got bloopers and tidbits of them like puking on themselves and these guys have put themselves through like hell, they're doing freefalling choreography with paint that doesn't wash off. You know, they've thought about so many levels of their art and they've perfected each and every one of those and that was okay. Go branded themselves as always having incredible music videos and they have delivered 100% of the time they put a fantastic product that went viral and they've never cut corners on their quality ever since.
That is very, very, very important for art period. Doesn't matter what kind of art it is. You never ever compromise on the quality of what you're doing now. No, not ever. Absolutely. And I'm now noticing that their song titles are quite relevant. The video that was three seconds long and slow down was the one moment And the vomit comment, one is upside down and inside out appropriate, and they're fantastic. They're good songs and the videos are literally phenomenal. Like when I saw them for the first time, I felt bad about myself, I felt embarrassed to release certain pieces of art because you look at music videos nowadays and it's like, okay, it's a band playing and maybe there's like a couple other ominous shots of them in different places.
People like all this music video is so cool and I'm like, man, where is like, you're an honest mistake. That was such a good video. You know, where is your, where your rube Goldberg machines and where is your, you know, your fat lips by some 41? Where all these videos that have this high production quality or like even even blink 1 82 to circle all the way back around at the pop punk. I can't remember what video it is, but where they get, you know, they get a check from their record label and then they just spend the whole video with a shitty camera, giving money to people paying for homeless people to have suits and nice haircuts and paying old women tons of money to shave their head and just being ridiculous.
But the art was fresh and it fit with everything who they were, they were, you know, they're branding was that they were kids that didn't care about anything. I'm a brand person. So I always like to stay, you know, stay consistent with your brand, but most importantly, keep creating that phenomenal art. Like find find the art that literally people want to watch 750 times a video of you playing like the worst music video in my opinion ever made is it was made by taking back sunday and it's literally a video that just they're playing music in the middle of the street.
They're literally just playing with four cross guards like around them and the video just circles around them for like three minutes. And it's awful. It is literally terrible. I saw half of the video and I will never watch it again, but I'll still go back and watch an honest mistake. I haven't listened to the bravery and probably you know five plus years. But that video I'll be like, oh you want to watch a good video? Boom, here you go. Good art always comes from this origin spot of like creativity and like relation and like find what works for you don't settle, Don't cut your heart down, don't dilute it, take pride, put out what's best, put your best foot forward.
And a lot of like D. I. Y. People that I can think of will sometimes be worried about like over sterilization of their recordings through using like a professional. And just for the record, if that's what's happening when you're recording with the professional, you've just chosen the wrong professional to work with. Like any good producer or any good engineer is always going to be contextual to your style. So like in a lot of the indie stuff I do, I actually leave a lot of mistakes in and I don't like necessarily put everything through Rx because having crazy clean recordings is not necessarily the goal of the artist.
We just want to maintain the personality of the artists while putting a little bit of professional polish on top and any good engineer is going to know how to draw those lines. So don't be afraid that if you work with a pro, it's gonna over sterilize your recordings. You just got to find the right people to work with and that's where portfolios come in. And that can also change on depending on project, you know, like work with different people and if you've only ever done a bunch of like low fi recordings with more indie style producers, maybe it's actually worth it to hire a mainstream super mainstream down the middle production professional like billy others.
Did you know the reason that album works? Because it's a combination of both. You get the lo fi grit from the home recordings when you get that really tight polish from the production side. Can I do one more case study that I'm just excited to talk about. Is that okay? Yeah please do. This is more of like an indie artist whose local to the Arizona seen um Her name is Karima walker. She does a lot of like cassette tape based music. There's a lot of ambience. They're beautiful singing voice since field recordings, that kind of thing.
And she has a new album out called waking the dreaming body and the story of this is kind of in line with the other case studies. And I actually talked to her before doing this podcast. This is um coming hopefully at least a little bit directly from the artist. Uh in this particular case, Crema had gone to new york city to try and work with a certain producer. Um and they had kind of done like some initial meetings, but she got sick, I got the flu and that kind of threw a wrench in all of those plants.
So she ended up flying back to Tucson. And then just after that happened, Covid hit shut everything down. Um and so she was kind of in a situation, she was forced to complete the album herself with, you know, not a ton of experience being hands on in the production. She had done a bunch of other albums that have been a mix of like a producer she had worked with and then her own stuff, but she did this one on her own using able to kind of teaching herself.
And then at the end she still hired out professional mastering. So that's an example of like the Extreme Other Side were like through no really intention to do a bedroom album, it kind of turned into a bedroom album out of necessity. But again, the smart artists know when to hire stuff out and when not to and how to shift that balance by project. So in this case Cramer had a mastering engineer that she was had trust with, that she knew would do a great job on her music and that was the one component that she hired out while doing everything else herself.
I think that's an extreme example, but it's also a very great record and it totally fits with the theme. It's a mix of professional production and D I Y. It's not one or the other. Yeah, that's great. And I just want to add one more example to when you mentioned a few minutes ago, finding the right producer who won't make it totally sterile, they'll go in and let it have its grit and its roots, the airborne toxic event, their first album. First of all you hear and buzz and stuff in there all the time.
I love it. It's great because it's kind of it's an indie record with a more old school sound while still having that modern edge. Like it doesn't sound old and you're listening to it, but you can be like this could have been inspired by something from the 70s and that's where the roots are, but it sounds current and this is now. And aside from the AmFA's there was one part where I can't remember the name of the song. If I find it I'll put it in the show notes but I'll put the album in there no matter what.
On one song you can hear voices in the background. And I remember tweeting to one of the band members saying hey did you guys record this on tape and then you were using tape from A previous session? Because it was from 2006 or 2007. It was like okay that borderline of it might have been taped, it might have been digital. I don't know. And they replied saying no that was actually um the microphones were picking up AM radio signals from Asia. It was either Korea or Japan. And so there's this phenomenon where at night AM signals travel much further and they can travel literally halfway around the globe.
So they were picking up those radio signals and instead of saying well we're just gonna record during the daytime, they said no this is cool, we're going to leave it in. Like I don't know if they expected people to notice it but either way, if you listen closely to that song, I really hope I can put in the show notes, you will hear voices faintly in the background and it's I don't want to say it's haunting but it's amazing the first time you hear it was just like wow like this recording is real production quality, its character.
Yeah you gotta leave the mistakes in but you gotta know what mistakes to leave in. So and that's genre dependent and its style dependent on its project dependent. And you mean like frank Ocean is another great example of like Lo Fi hi Fi, like very mainstream, very well known artist. You listen to like blonde, he's got recordings on that record that are obviously taken on an iphone like when they're in a car somewhere, but it's not every track on the record and it was again, it was still professionally mixed, mixing all that stuff in.
And that's yeah, again, it's lo Fi hi Fi, it's not low fi Lo Fi. You know, anybody that wants to hear a good compare and contrast. Go listen to a maroon five current song and then go listen to an under oath song. Now listen you you listen for things like guitar scratches and breath. Like that's such a popular noise in the unplugged underground music scene. You know, things like fingers sliding across the fretboard, little tiny subtle nuances like that. Where it's like, You get into this really, like you're saying this hi fi super polished, nice and crisp clean, a pop record, they're gonna edit like 99 of those things out.
But you get more into like really your music where it's like, oh no, like maybe a little bit of that guitar feedback, maybe that's good. The more of those things that you can incorporate and really it's not the more of them. It's the more correct ones. You know, you don't want a breath before every single line, but if you've got some really powerful lines that you're really trying to convey like this emotional like grievous emotion or just really put yourself out there, like maybe like having a nice breath before that line is going to be really good.
So in my mind, I kind of view those things as, as like a rapper saying yeah or oh you know because it's like it's this perfect little like oh here's a one syllable word that I can throw in. So that way I don't have to like I can still say exactly what I want to say and then I can add a random number of syllables in order to make it fit exactly how I need it. So those are just like little tips tricks tools of the industry that people you know they love to use and they're when used correctly.
They can be very, very powerful. Yeah, absolutely. It's all about finding that context and knowing when a sound is appropriate and when it isn't and I think that's one of the main things that a producer can do. So Greg, thank you so much for joining us of course, thanks for having me. Oh our pleasure. First of all I want to shout out. Obviously if people want to get mastering from you, they can go find you, where should they find you? And are there certain genres that you prefer to work with?
So I mean I'll definitely um I'll definitely have a conversation with anybody whether or not it's a good fit. Well just get to in that conversation, my website has my portfolio, it's www dot Greg Lloyd dot com. That's G R E G horizontal dash L L O Y D dot com. I'm sure it'll be in the show notes and I've got a portfolio like right up front on that and it's a before and after. Which is another thing I'd recommend for anybody who wants to learn more about mastering or who doesn't like understand what mastering adds to the table.
The best way is just to listen to her before and after. And a lot of mastering engineers myself included, we'll have that as part of their portfolio, so like on mine, for example, it's just a set of audio files, you can play through in different styles and I shift between the mix that got delivered and the finished master throughout. You can in real time kind of hear what the differences are and a lot of mastering engineers will have those and I would suggest definitely just like anybody you're going to hire listen to their portfolio and make sure that their style matches what you want to do.
And also one thing with mastering in particular, you want to hire somebody who can be transparent to the vision of the mix that you've already set. So yes, I'm going to be doing stuff and yes, I'm going to be adding things and making it sound X, Y and Z, but you're not trying to remix the tune when you're mastering and especially, you know, some of perhaps like the lower tier master engineers are people that maybe you're just getting some experience. They tend to be a little bit more heavy handed.
So the main value from getting somebody that can work with a lot of different styles and that has a little bit more experiences that they tend to be a little bit more transparent to the mix. So it's just gonna sound like how it should sound but better rather than super different necessarily though the changes are very noticeable. It's one of those things it's kind of hard to talk about but as soon as you hear it you're gonna be like ok yeah, I get it. Yeah, so Greg Lloyd dot com, you can check my portfolio out, feel free to contact me there and we can work something out if you want.
I I do free test masters, which is definitely something I love to do and I'm happy to do. So if you have any questions or if you want to see what it would sound like if your music was mastered, just shoot me a single and I'll shoot you at a test and you can hear for yourself and kinda see what's going on. Awesome. Yeah, thanks for sharing that information. I definitely encourage artists to go check that out, listen to the songs. And then you also do the D. I. Y. Music Guide.
Can you tell us a little bit more about that and where people could find that? Yeah, so um D I. Y. Music guide is uh it's an instagram channel and a website and actually a book, a lot of this stuff was inspired by like my experiences as a mastering engineer, seeing such a wide variety of different mixes and recording qualities coming into the studio. I work with a wide range of artists from like very small Indies to like bigger people that are maybe doing more highly produced stuff later on in their careers.
And so the variation and that was really striking. And so I wrote a book to kind of try and even some of that out and to get some of the good technical knowledge into the hands of the D. I. Y. People that we're making such great creative records to try and kind of bring the creative and the technical side together. So the website is, is kind of a blog format where I have different posts that are usually a mix of like technical delivery bols and like some music business stuff.
There's also an instagram channel which is not exactly the same, but it's kind of more of a short form of that. And then the long form is the actual um book, it's 100 and 50 page guide to home recording. It's called D I. Y. Music a practical field guide. And it basically goes through the entire creative process that you would need to know if you were coming at this as somebody without any kind of formal recording education or experience, it will tell you all the gear that you need.
I'll tell you what to think about it. It will be an overview of how the mixing process works, how the entire creative process works. So it's meant to kind of be a field guide format that would take you through the entire process of both writing and recording and releasing a tune. So yeah, check all those those out and hopefully it's good, valuable information. Yeah, awesome. Thank you. So those will all be in the show notes. Just shot you follow on instagram as well. Didn't know about that until now, so I'm glad you mentioned it.
But yeah, all those links will be in the show notes and then last but not least. I think you also had something for our listeners, is that correct? Yes. Um, so for Bandhive listeners, I've got a free studio planner that you can download. Uh, if you go to my website, Greg Lloyd dot com slash band, I've, there's a, just a fun free little worksheet, which has an area where you can kind of sketch your space out a list of gear. You might need some kind of goals and thoughts of what you're going to use the space for.
It's a great kind of initial planning tool. If you're trying to start a home studio and you don't know where to start, it's a great way to kind of visualize your space, think about what you're trying to achieve with the home studio and then kind of list some of the the technical things you would need to make those things happen. That sounds so useful. Well, Greg, thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you want to put out there? Anything else you want to add or share?
Just keep making music in your bedroom? Like it's awesome and it's gonna be great. And you know, I think Lo Fi hi Fi and bedroom records are here to stay because they they really do work. It's just a question of finding the correct balance between Low Fi and Hi Fi that's relevant to your work and where you want to take your career. Alright, perfect. Well, thank you again for joining us. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you and I hope you have an awesome rest of your day.
Thank you very much. Thank you guys. Yeah. Mhm mm. That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thanks so much to Greg Lloyd for coming on the show and talking about not just D I. Y. Mastering and the philosophy behind home recording, but also his advice for D. I. Y artists. Such a pleasure to have great guests like Greg on the show. And if you know anyone who's in the music world, either a musician or somebody who works with musicians who would have something to share on the business side of running a business, you know, a band or a solo project or whatever it may be, please let us know, just send an email to James at band.
I've got rocks with who you think we should talk to and we will look into it aside from that. If you're listening in Apple podcasts or Itunes, please go leave us a review and rating. It helps us so much to get the show in front of more people and help more artists. Thanks again for listening. We'll be back with another episode next Tuesday at six a.m. In your favorite podcasting up until then, have a great week. Stay safe. And of course, as always, keep rocking.
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