Tag Archive for: Conversations with clients

The Problem With “Good” Music

Here’s the problem with good music – it’s subjective. One person’s idea of a “good” song is certainly different from someone else’s unless they come from a similar cultural background. And even with a shared cultural background, people still differ between what they think is good and what isn’t. This is similar to people calling music “interesting.” 

The term interesting is subjective as well. What is interesting to me might not be interesting to you. For instance, I could enjoy a technical aspect of a song that someone who doesn’t understand that technical aspect might not care about.

Art Is Often Philosophical

The foundation for this article all started with a client of mine who came to me and asked if I could make his song interesting, which perplexed me, since as I said before, what’s interesting to me might not be interesting to someone else. This led to a debate about if it’s really the mandate of the artist to be interesting. Is it the artist’s fault if the music isn’t “interesting” enough? After all, music is subjective.

For instance, some people absolutely hate the music that’s on the radio, but if you’ve ever run a club, you know that it’s your Top 40 nights that are going to make you the most money. It’s reasonable to assume, that to the patrons, there is something about the music that makes it “interesting,” or else they probably wouldn’t be there. Sure, it might not be the music itself, but it could be the purpose… the intention.

I got the sense that my client doesn’t appreciate philosophical debates as I do, so they may have just been annoyed. But that’s what had me thinking about this article, because when people come to me and ask for me to make their track “interesting,” or “good,” I would like to have a reference to show them to help them describe what they really mean. So that’s what this article is about – giving people the tools to objectify something that is inherently subjective.


“Interesting” Is Intentional

Instead of interesting, it’s best to describe a context and/or an emotion that goes with it. Maybe you want the song to be exciting, emotional, tense, or have a narrative flow. Perhaps you imagine it in a soundtrack to a movie, or you want it played in a club. These will have different technical and compositional elements, which segment into their own specific terms.

For instance, if you want a song played in a club, that’s going to require more compression, and often more density so that it can keep up with the loudness of all the tracks it’s mixed with. However, if you want it to be in a soundtrack, it will be more transparent, and use frequencies that don’t clash with whatever it’s being overlaid with, whether that’s dialog, or foley sounds in the film, etc.

Also, the length of the song will matter. If someone comes to me and say, “I want a radio-friendly song” and they give me an 8-minute song, we have to figure out how to isolate 5 minutes of it for a radio version. We may even have to add other compositional elements to so that there is a congruity to the song when we reduce it that significantly.

Nowadays, whether we like it or not, social media runs everything around us. There are tons of DJs who get gigs because they have a great social presence, rather than artistic output. That means, in order to compete, many artists who do have a sizable artistic output still have to do stuff for Instagram, or TikTok. And if it’s good for TikTok it might not be good for Spotify. I was reading an article about making music that grabs attention in the first 4 seconds, and if they don’t do that, then it will fail on places like Instagram Reels and Tiktok. Once again, these are things I need to know in order to make it “interesting” for those contexts. 


The Axis Of “Interesting” Music

The aforementioned thoughts are best explained by an axis, I think. This axis is pretty arbitrary, as it’s my own personal one, but I think it does a good job illustrating the intention of music in general.

The axis is a pie chart of purpose, emotion, and technicality. Then somewhere surrounding that pie chart is distribution. 

When all of the elements are congruent, then magic happens. If they are off-kilter, there is a good chance it won’t sound right.

Purpose is the context: is it meant for the club, is it meant for at-home listening, is it meant for a movie, etc? Emotion is the existential part of it; it’s the part that makes it feel human. If it’s too emotional, then it may not develop, or it may seem campy, or annoying. Technicality is the musicianship and the engineering on it. While you want it to be technically sound, if it’s too technical, like a Dream Theater album, then it might sound emotionless, or pretentious. However, if there is too little technicality, then it might sound sloppy. Having a balance of these to fit your goal is the key. 

Sometimes songs are “purposely” untechnical. These are the songs that might sound kind of jangly or have poor mixing, but you can tell, based on the style of music, that this may have been intentional. Take “lofi” music for instance – it’s purposely mixed weird.

Or sometimes, things are purposely overly emotional in order to illustrate a point. Maybe it’s part of a skit for a campy comedy/parody about romance or something of the sort. That is bound to need an overly emotional track. 

However, what all of these examples have is a purpose, which grounds them.

Distribution is the final part. Is it going to be on vinyl, or is it made for TikTok? If it’s on vinyl, then certain mastering will be required. Also, you will need to consider the length of the songs as it has to fit on the grooves. 

If it’s TikTok, as I mentioned earlier, you have to grab their attention in 4 seconds, or else it won’t carry on the algorithm properly.


Attention Matters

Right now, one of my projects is to create a 12-hour long ambient album. Do I expect it to be intently listened to? No, it’s background music that sets the mood. 

The idea came from these playlists, or stations, that I leave playing for an entire day because it’s a presence that isn’t actively listened to. It’s more an atmosphere rather than for attention. 

There are different levels of attention: passive (background), attentive (stopping what they do to listen with care), critical (either people who are trained with music theory/engineering listening for flaws). It’s up to the artist to set that intention.


What Is Your Intention?

A label once asked me for “good music” and I was like that doesn’t make any sense – I don’t go into the studio thinking I’m going to make “bad music.” I try to make something that is meaningful – that’s all

At the end of the day, the question is: what are you chasing? Are you chasing appreciation, artistic integrity, or attention? You can’t have all three, because you can’t please everyone. But does that really matter?

Electronic Music Coaching Lessons

There is this attitude in electronic music that if you share your secrets and techniques that somehow an essence of it will get lost, and some of the magic will dissipate. Additionally, people may take that advice, utilize it, and somehow outgrow and surpass the teacher. And nobody wants to feel like they dug their own grave. This philosophy about electronic music coaching took me some time to overcome, and I’m glad I did. 

Instead of the relationship between teacher and student becoming parasitic, instead I have found it to be purely symbiotic. Sure, some students have surpassed me in many aspects, but I find that they are reciprocal about their newfound knowledge. Now I have many people who are happy to help me with aspects of music making that I don’t enjoy doing as much as they do.

A photo of George Martin coaching the Beatles.

George Martin helping The Beatles. He would have been excellent at electronic music coaching.

Success Takes A Team

As I’ve harped on in previous posts, it makes sense to delegate some of the tasks of your music making, as this is what happens in every other genre of music, yet, for some reason, seems to be stigmatized in electronic music. Think about it, The Beatles had George Martin, Miles Davis had Herbie Hancock. Michael Jackson had Quincy Jones (as did Frank Sinatra). It doesn’t make you less of a musician to be the teacher and embolden your students; it empowers you and propels you to greatness.

That’s why, around Spring of 2016, I announced on my Facebook page that I’d do free electronic music coaching to anyone who would come to me. Back then, it was just a pure invitation to share my knowledge to people and using Mailchimp’s newsletter technology, I was hoping I could send emails to people and guide them in exercises. 

Initial Experiments In Electronic Music Coaching And The Lessons Learned

My initial attempt kinda failed pretty quickly as my lack of understanding of the email technology drove some of the participants mad and I had more damage control to do than coaching. So I closed that option and decided to open an electronic music collective / Facebook group with a precise goal – to provide a safe space for anyone who was unsure about their music before posting it publicly or sending it to a label. Of course, any question would be welcomed and we would have a hive mind to answer questions from various people.

As I’m approaching 5 years of free electronic music coaching, I’ve learned a lot from this. From giving feedback and to seeing mentees grow into solid musicians, these are the scenarios I saw play out.

Common scenarios In Electronic Music Coaching

Pretty much everyone who came to me to get some help had one thing that was blocking them from something. A minority would come to perfect their skills and some would come to have guidance in different situations but in the most part, people come to me because they’re blocked. In our electronic music collective, the more specific questions are usually searching for a specific effect used to replicate a sound or getting feedback on a song. These are quickly answered by the community that share a few ideas and hints. Often, it might not be exactly what the person needs but it often guides them down a path that may lead them to something more proactive.

However when doing one-on-one electronic music coaching, I often am presented with the same problems:

  • People who are experiencing a major writer’s block and are feeling helpless.
  • Aspiring artists that have worked really hard and are feeling stuck, not seeing improvements.
  • People who have the loopy syndrome, having countless loops but not being able to finish songs.
  • People who have deep love for what they create and are stubborn about any criticism, or conversely, they have intense hate towards what they create, and beat themselves up over it.

How Evolution Impacts Knowledge

If you look in hindsight at what happened in the world of electronic music production in the last 20 years, the software world paired with the internet has made it much simpler. 20 years ago, we were limited to a few resources and we’d always be in stasis waiting for our answers to come (if they ever did). We are now living in a world where we are constantly having our attention pulled in multiple directions, with each direction espousing that “this is the true way,” when there is rarely a “true way” for anything, especially in art.

It’s these conflicting statements that seeds a ton of doubt, or unnecessary confidence in their practitioners. This doubt, or this overconfidence that my one on one sessions seek to remedy. 

There is nothing wrong with being confident in your work, but overconfidence creates barriers to learning, and conflicts with progress. Sometimes I wonder why these people want electronic music coaching at all, but the fact that they get it, shows they at least have a conscious understanding of its importance, even if their subconscious confidence conflicts with it. 

Conversely, the doubt that many musicians have creates a similar problem. They may be in coaching to become more confident, but their lack of confidence results in that sort of barking little dog syndrome, where any bit of critique damages their already delicate creative ego, even if they consciously know it’s necessary. This can be likened to something like physical therapy; it’s going to hurt to walk again if you broke both your legs, and you’re going to hate it, but you know it’s necessary.

Successful Students

After coaching for over 15 years total, I had noticed that some people did better than others. At the beginning, I was working with a plan, and would teach all the people the same things but I quickly adapted that because it was not working well. Some were learning fast and would provide some interesting challenges or questions while others had some of the same questions but were always struggling on basic issues.

I understood one thing which is, you can’t really teach electronic music theory and music production training from a rigid approach because what makes it successful is to understand someone globally and then, as a team, find strategies to build a routine and work habits. More importantly, I tried to help the person find its own way of learning through the internet jungle.

Here are common points that people who succeeded had:

  • They had a clear direction: People that I see with a clear intention and direction, such as “wanting to sound like X”, are the easiest to guide. If you have a target and goal, you can always try to push what you do and technically study how it is done with music you have on hand.  With my help, we can reverse engineer some songs and try different things. Once that target is mostly reached, what’s interesting is how it leads them elsewhere. The fact that they know how something is done allows them to discover other artists or songs that are itching their curiosity. But working with targets, is always a clear indication of improvement.
  • They showed consistency: Anyone who works on a regular basis, over a constant time, has shown great improvement. More than people who started really strong but couldn’t keep up the pace. Working hard isn’t always smart. It’s more about knowing what you can do and try to consistently learn something new, practice it and then putting it into context of a song.
  • They asked a lot of questions: Often creative success and inquisitivity go hand in hand. Asking for advice and technical guidance is a must if you wish to go far. You can do everything yourself but you’re not giving yourself the chance to grow adequately. Even if someone thinks otherwise than you, there’s some part of his view that can be useful.
  • They stayed humble and always wanted to learn. If you come with the idea that you’ll learn something everyday, you won’t be stagnant in whatever you do and will always be looking forward.
  • They were not afraid of rejection and criticism. Because each song is an experiment in itself and anyone’s point of view is arbitrary.

electronic music coaching photo

Struggling points

These are individuals who have been facing a number of problems in the learning and while have learned a lot and improved much, they unfortunately haven’t rolled out as much as they wished. These are what commonly hinder them.

  • The student focuses on the success of a specific song.
  • They work in a linear fashion and won’t change.
  • Insisting on doing everything themselves.
  • The musician is often convinced they know more than they do.
  • Their expectations are set really high.
  • The belief that hard work brings success is deeply ingrained in them.
  • They see music in a hierarchical way.


What I’ve Learned In Electronic Music Coaching

The Latin proverb docendo discimus translates to “by teaching, we learn.” These are some of the lessons I’ve learned by teaching others.

Free isn’t always a good thing

If you give something for free, it doesn’t always have value. Free advice is cheap advice. Unless people pay for it, there is less of a chance that they will anchor said advice. Not saying that giving free advice is bad; that’s what these blog posts and the group flourishes on. It’s just that they can be easily dismissed. However, if you paid for advice, there is a greater chance that you implement it.

Consistency is key to development

Think of it like training for a sport. If you are training for a marathon, and decide to take a month off, you’re going to have to spend time ramping back up to that level. Additionally, the longer you put something off, the more chance you have to disregard it.  

Not be afraid of making mistakes

The comic strip artist Scott Adams has a really poignant quote about mistakes in the creative journey. He says, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” I find this statement to be very true. Many of my favorite parts of my works have come unintentionally, or are a result of seriously messing something up. 

Bob Ross would have been great at electronic music coaching.

Being part of the community

No man is an island. Civilization was built by teams, and communities, not individuals. Teaching has allowed me to be part of a vibrant community, and for that I am extremely grateful. It has taught me at least as much, and provided me as many resources, as I have provided others.

Other Benefits of Electronic Music Coaching

Since my music is pretty esoteric, I learned over decades of performing that the people who attended my shows were cut from a similar cloth. They were musicians, and sound designers, eager to absorb some of the essence of the performance in order to translate it into their own creations. 

This gave me the realization that in order to grow and keep my fan base engaged, I had to give the people what they wanted. Therefore, electronic coaching became not only empowering creatively, it became a solid marketing channel. 

If you’re interested in becoming part of our community and getting some free coaching, join our electronic music collective, Pheek’s Coaching Corner. We also have a bunch of tutorials on YouTube as well. If you want more personalized coaching, I offer that as well.

How To Communicate With Audio Engineer

how to communicate with audio engineer photoOne thing that I love doing is to work with unestablished artists. It’s why I have Pheek’s Coaching Corner, and it’s why I price my services at a reasonable price. Working with new artists is fulfilling as I often find artist’s earliest work to be their most creative, and raw. It’s in these musicians that you find stuff that can be truly seen as original, having the vestiges of being an entirely new genre. It’s this sweet spot that exists before they start to become either derivative of their own work, or pivot to fill more socially acceptable shoes. However, unestablished generally means inexperienced in the rest of the music industry. There are certain things that both artists and engineers should understand while working together, simplified by good communication. If you are able to put things in a language the engineer understands, your experience will be much smoother. In this guide, I will provide tips, tricks, and methods to make this process as seamless as possible. Therefore, here’s how to communicate with audio engineer.

First, it’s necessary to lay out what a mixing and mastering audio engineer does and does not do.


What An Audio Engineer Can Do

1. Their Job Is To Facilitate And Mediate

People come to someone like me to either get guidance, or have access to a set of tools that they would otherwise not invest in. At my disposal are a bunch of plugins, and hardware that are specific to making sure things sound great, and translate well across as many mediums as possible. Additionally, I have access to creative tools that artists may not even know exist, yet could be applicable to their sound.

Additionally, artists come to me to get advice on where to go with their sound. Do they need additional elements to fulfill its intended purpose? Are they having writer’s block, or their skills limit them in what they want to do next? It’s my job to find resources that will help them reach their goals. These resources are something that I will touch on later in this article.

2. Their Job Is To Understand The Genre They Are Working With

how to communicate with audio engineerNot all genres are the same, and they require different equipment. If you were to record a cowboy outlaw record, it’s probably not the best idea to go to a micro house producer. However, I have had rock bands come to me because they wanted their album to sound electronic in nature, despite it being a rock album.

If you were to come to me as a micro-house producer, I’ve been in this genre for a while, and have a lot of resources. Therefore, it’s easy for me to tap these, and find things like reference tracks, or communicate with other artists who have tricks to help your track get to the next level.

Additionally, this genre understanding allows me to reverse engineer aspects of the music, and apply it to your track. Having a problem with simulating a certain textural effect that you heard in a micro-house track? Chances are I know how we can get pretty close to that with the resources, and experience I have.

Additionally, we understand how to reign in things like low-end if you are creating a song that you expect to be spun in a club. Remember, you’re competing with common frequencies of another song, like the kick, or the hi-hat. It’s good to know how to moderate these things for a club environment, and that’s where engineers come in.

3. Audio Engineers Understand The Technical Aspects Of A Release

Do you know how many LUFS the loudness of a track bounced out of the limiter needs to be to normalize correctly on Spotify? How about SoundCloud, or Beatport? Each platform has different loudness variations in their codec, and often if your tracks aren’t uploaded with these standards in mind, then there can be translation issues. This is where audio engineers come in. We understand this boring, uncreative stuff, and how to achieve it in the mix and master, so you can concentrate on being creative. Then again, if you want to learn, we can also play the role of instructor.

4. We Help Accent The Best Parts

Let’s say that you have a killer bridge. We can recognize this, and help bring that out in the mix, or even add elements that will help it transition better into the next part of the song.


What An Audio Engineer Cannot Do

1. An Audio Engineer Cannot Please Everyone

Perception is reality, and some people have different perceptions on what things are supposed to be. Especially when dealing with their art. With audio, producers often get married to their sounds, thinking that they should be specifically in this spot in the mix, when, in reality, it probably won’t translate the way you want it to. This may come from hearing said sound over and over again in whatever room, or on whatever medium they were listening to while they were making it. However, in a well treated room, with calibrated equipment, or conversely, in a club with a good, or poor sound system, it may not translate exactly how you anticipate. Some people are more judicious about this, and accept the reality. However, some you just can’t please. So is the way of the artist.

Therefore, I take the approach that it’s best to do the least amount of damage possible to a track, while still allowing the frequencies to properly breathe, and translate to whatever medium the artist imagines it being listened to on.

This is why it’s important to know how to communicate with audio engineer, so we can both come to a mutual understanding through the techniques I will discuss in a bit.

2. Audio Engineers Can Never Say What Does And Does Not Sound Good, Artistically

Kind of expanding on the idea of doing as little damage to a track as possible, it needs to be noted that like all other art, music, and sound is subjective. Sure, there are best practices to get something to translate, and upload to platforms properly, but as far as the timbre, and aesthetics of a sound are concerned, that’s so subjective. There is a reason why techno fans can’t agree on all techno being good, despite it being the same genre. Where everything else is the same, it’s the sonic grade that ultimately defines a song.

Extremely, there is a reason why some prefer the frantic shouts and pounding SH101 basslines of Nitzer Ebb to the soft musings of John Prine. As a matter of fact, they might detest John Prine, and John Prine fans might detest Nitzer Ebb. Does this mean one is better than the other? No, because our realities are subjective.

It’s my job to help you get to the sound that you truly desire, using references to other tracks, or having clear, simple communication.

However, it needs to be noted that we know what sounds good, technically. Like, for instance, if you’re making pop music, or if people are casually listening to your music (alternative or pop), they like mids, because mids translate the best on common speaker systems, and headphones. Chances are that if you submit your track to a blog, it’s not going to be listened to out of a soundsystem – it may be listened to out of a phone, laying in bed, which are mid intensive.

3. Provide Critique Without Having A Solution

Talent is subjective. So is if something sounds good. Therefore, if an engineer gives feedback, or says that something could be better, it’s their professional duty to have a way to fix it. That’s what we are hired for. However, if you aren’t looking for that sort of feedback, it’s good to have that role clearly defined beforehand.


Tips On How To Communicate With Audio Engineer

1. Keep Things Simple

how to communicate with audio engineerEngineers get that artists have a lot of things to say about their work, and may use poetic language in order to communicate it. And this prose sometimes leads to elaboration. However, there is a saying in sales, called K.I.S.S, which stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. This is because people understand things if they are simplified. No need to get technical, or elaborate. Just say what you mean. A good way of easily communicating is to provide examples of things that already exist. Let’s be real, nothing is new under the sun, so if we can pinpoint where that idea is coming from, then maybe it can be recreated, with a flourish that makes it your own.

No need to write out a full page of diction. Instead, just Keep It Simple, Stupid. Also, don’t use vague words like, “I want it to sound tight.” That doesn’t mean anything, and is subjective. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Provide References

Expanding on what I said earlier, we are all borrowing ideas. Even if your track borrows many different ideas, and creates something new, if you think hard, you can find tracks that provide the feeling you are going for, which can give clues to the frequencies, and mastering qualities you want to match.

The references also don’t have to be sonic, instead they can be cultural. Let’s say that you imagine your song being played in an after-hours spot. This means that the song will likely be played in a place with little treatment, or in a long, narrow venue that isn’t typically used for music. This requires specific mixing, and pre-mastering to properly express its full potential.

Also, there are moments where something is created that doesn’t exist. There is no way for me to know how to create something if there is no reference to it, so don’t ask for that, since it’s impossible to know without endless tweaking.

3. Contact Us Before You Buy

This is true especially if you have doubts. You wouldn’t hire someone without vetting them normally, so why should this be any different? If you have a song that you think might fit my aesthetic, but not quite, then let me have a listen to it, and I will let you know if I think it’s worth working on. Believe me, I don’t want to work on projects that are unnecessarily difficult, just like you don’t.

You’d be surprised at what projects I have worked on. For instance, even though I make “underground” music, I worked on an EDM project, because the producer liked that I didn’t sound EDM. 

4. Know Some Basic Terms

As producers, many have at least some basic knowledge of the audio engineering spectrum. Most know what equalizers, and compressors are, as well as reverb or delay. They also know what mono and stereo means. However, there may be more specific things that they don’t know – like for instance the difference between a transparent and colored master. A transparent one is where you have a mix you’re happy with, but you want everything to be properly balanced. A colored one is where you aren’t totally satisfied with the mix, and want some more textures, and other elements, such as compression, and saturation added to bring out new elements. In other words, you don’t mind things being changed.

Other common terms used in studios to describe frequencies are:

Muddy: Too much bass.

Boxy: Too many mids.

Tinny: Upper mids or lower highs need reduction.

Bright: Similar to tinny.

Airy: The high register frequencies. The ones that can break glass.

Warm: Reducing high end, or boosting the lower mids to give it a toasty feeling.

5. Don’t Micromanage

Do you hate being micromanaged at work? Well, so does everyone. By micromanaging, you’re distracting away from the work that could be getting done on your project by pointing out things that the engineer recognizes, but hasn’t got to, or may not even be necessary once another process is done. We’re professionals; let us be professional.



All said, if you learn how to communicate with audio engineer properly, you are making yourself better at what you do, because you are furthering your education by understanding the terms. Also, you’re making yourself easier to work with, and at professional levels, easy to work with can get you far.

This skillset will also help with other artistic undertakings, such as remote music collaboration, or doing collaborative DAW projects, or even online collaborative DAW ones.

Hopefully this proved to be a valuable guide to helping artists with how to communicate with audio engineers. Like in most things in life, solid communication, means a solid experience.


8 common mixing mistakes and audio production errors

Since starting my label, and after years of dealing with large numbers of demo submissions and artists, I’ve noticed that most of the time new producers and musicians make the same kinds of errors when they are early in their audio producing years. When I started my studio full-time I also noticed that I have – for the most part – been dealing with the same questions and frustrations about producing audio on a regular basis. This post outlines a list of some of the most common mixing mistakes and general mistakes musicians make when they are starting out.

the most common mistakes I see from Musicians with regards to audio mixing and producing:

Not investing in good monitoring (speakers, headphones).

This one is a huge deal. You’re dependent on what you hear to get quality results. This is always a bit puzzling to me, that some people hope to compete with artists who have invested so much into a professional studio with poor monitoring. If you can’t hear what you do, it’s pretty much like working blindly and the results on good sound systems will be catastrophic. So many people go test music in their car to see if it’s done properly which is sort of ok, but not productive.

What I’d suggest is to try to spend an afternoon listening to music you know on different speakers. Do not invest in cheap monitors because it’s all you can afford. It will fill your music with many problems down the road. Trust your ears.

A Lack of references

You can’t produce quality music if you haven’t been exposed to quality music. This means you need to have in your possession a large library of music for listening, but also to spend just as much time listening to music as producing it. The more you immerse yourself in music that sounds great, the more familiar your ears become with regards to how things should sound. This can mean listening to good quality vinyl or wav files.

What I’d suggest is to have regular sessions of listening music you like attentively and also in the background. Both are important. Make a playlist on Spotify or on your computer of music you know sounds right and train your ears to know that music inside out.

Making Comparisons to Professional musicians too often

This is the downside of referencing as it can play tricks on you. I know some people who have amazingly good tastes in music and want to start producing but when they start and see the work that is ahead, they become frustrated quickly. If you compare yourself to a guy who has been around for 20 years, chances are, you’re setting yourself for defeat.

What I suggest is to focus more on the experience of making music than the result, at first.

Thinking making music is easy

Can’t blame anyone besides the general culture that has been saying for years that “making electronic music” is all about “pushing a few buttons”. People see a DJ with fists in the air and they think “I could do that…”.This mindset will give you a rude awakening when you start working in a DAW and dive into sound design. Electronic music doesn’t require the same skills as playing piano, but will be demanding in terms of technical details. There are so many possibilities that you can go crazy trying to know where to start. Sadly, many people realize that and become depressed.

What I’d suggest before diving in music production is to try to befriend a producer and spend time in studio to see if you really enjoy it. Watch videos on music making to see if you can pick it up quickly too.

Investing too much, too fast

I’m thinking of the guy who decides one day to make music and then comes back home with 5000$ of equipment without knowing if he likes it or knowing what he needs. See what you like doing first, then invest around that. Music production has so many different dimensions that it’s important to know your cup of tea. Is it DJing? Playing synths? Sound design? Making loops? There are pieces of gear you need first as I explained in a previous post but you surely don’t need everything your friends will tell you to buy.

What I suggest was written in a past blog post about what you really need to get started. I often get asked what you need to start making music: a laptop and headphones is all you need at first. Build around that.

CHASING “success” before Building up skills

This is a classic. Knowing what you like is one thing, knowing what you do best is another. We all have certain skills that feel natural and sometimes you need to explore to discover all of them. Planning your DJ career without having done a few gigs and releases is getting a bit ahead of yourself. Take your time; enjoy the fun of making music and success might come down the road. Chasing success can be like pursuing a mirage.

What I suggest would be to really focus on loving making music before anything else. I often encourage people to start with things little such as making music for friends or to share with local DJs. If you build a network of 5-10 people, that’s enough to slowly build your self-trust and eventually emerge at the right time.

A Lack of patience

Making quality sounds and music is like brewing wine/beer: it demands time, patience and some sort of personal isolation for a while. It’s important to stop yourself from sharing your work to the whole world before it is really done. The name of the game in music production is patience and it is the same for anyone who want to go to another level.

Misguided Audio Production Techniques

If we’re talking tech, this list of issues are some things I always find in the work of new producers. Perhaps you can start changing your techniques if you recognize yourself in this list.

  • A lack of quality samples.
  • Not using EQs/compression. This one always surprise me.
  • Using too many instances of an effect instead of using the Sends/AUX.
  • Not using at least one, very good quality EQ or compressor. They really make a difference.
  • Not using channel strips in the DAW.
  • No mono for the bass or anything under 130hz.
  • Not using swing/grooves.
  • Missing the boat with saturation. Either it’s not done at all or with tools that aren’t doing the job. Get this free one to get yourself with a good starter kit.
  • Lack of post-production on sounds. Whenever you think you’re done with a song, you just realize there’s a number of details you overlooked. The road often feels endless… because it is.
  • Muting the kick too often in a track. This kills the energy, especially if you have long breaks with no kick.
  • Not letting things go. Sometimes, a simple idea can carry a track for a while but you’ll need to let sink in people’s mind so to do that, you need to trust what you do and let it go. Too often, newcomers are concerned that the listener will be bored and they keep adding or changing things.

You can also ask for help and I will update this list with pleasure!


SEE ALSO :  Sound design: create the sounds you imagine inside your head   

The creative burnout no one is talking about

Around 2008, as I was coming back from the doctor’s office, I felt completely lost. He told me that I had to change what I was doing because I was heading straight for creative burnout. At that time, in my career, I felt like it was in its peak: I was touring, releasing music, making remixes, was invited to great festivals, and had an occasional part time job as a teacher. I had nothing to complain about; I felt I was pretty much living my dream.

So what was going on exactly?

Before I explain, I want say that this post is about sharing what I’ve learned the hard way. I’m talking about an important thing no one will tell you:

It’s not because you do what you love that you’re shielded from your limitations. It’s mostly because by doing what you love, you may overlook that it remains a form of work.

When you do what you love, you feel invincible. This might be related to the feeling of flow, explained by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, which is a state you get into when you create or become really focused. The thing about music is, it’s about inspiration, and inspiration doesn’t come about “when you need it”, it just happens.

How do you recognize the signs that could announce you’re on the verge of crashing?

  • Negative output in discussions. Do you observe yourself talking negatively to your friends or on social medias? It’s interesting to look at a week of posting on Facebook and see if you’ve been more positive or negative.
  • Lost of interest for music or anything you used to love.
  • Desire to announce you’re “retiring” (from DJing or anything), selling all your gear, deleting projects, quitting.
  • Cynicism towards the music world, what you do, others who make music.
  • Jealousy, envy, feeling discouraged when being around other artists who are doing OK.

Keep track if any of these are persistent.

These obstacles may lead to burnout:


Going from a “normal” full time job to transforming a hobby you love into a job involves a pretty steep learning curve. There are multiple things to take in consideration . Money in the artist’s life is the source of a huge amount of stress. Not only can you not predict when things will work, but when they do, you don’t know how long the ride will last Since there’s no obvious relationship between the creative work you do and what you harvest, it becomes very easy to overwork. Pair that with the pleasure of making music, and at first you’ll feel you have too much time on your hands to know what to do with. As I described in a previous post about how spending a long time in the studio is counter-productive; you can easily ruin a lot of your own music. During the early years when I was making music full time, I felt I didn’t create music that was as meaningful as when I was working and doing music on the side; this realization has changed my way of making music for the better.

In my case, with my label (Archipel), mastering, touring, and everything else, I really was working up to 60 hours per week. I forgot to take care of my health. No wonder I couldn’t keep up the pace after a few years went by. When you do what you love, it never feels like work, but it is.


Managing your expectations is extremely tricky in the arts domain. The ultimate goal is to get recognition, because many things unfold after that. Or do do they?

It’s very difficult to tell, and it messes up your zen. For instance, if you believe that this release on a specific label will give you certain opportunities, or you think that playing in a gig will lead you to get better gigs, or working with an agent will give you more visibility, etc, all these things – in theory – could be true. You admire specific role models who’ve made it to a level you want to reach, but you might never seem to get there even by doing the same things.

Why isn’t there a recipe that you can follow that will guarantee results?

The arts are a big gamble; a lottery where the turn out is not determined by anything rational other than – most probably – timing and networking. And even if you have those right, it might not lead to anything at all.

The only thing you can control is your patience and resilience. That’s about it.

Some people will tell you that hustling hard might make a difference, but you might get to the opposite of what you want; people don’t like artist who are constantly “pushing their brand”. Knowing when and when not to have expectations is certainly incredibly healthy, especially if you can reduce them to be realistic.

In conclusion, what I’d recommend based on my experiences with creative burnout:

  • If you can live a healthy life of work/music making, try to keep doing it as long as possible. It’s not only good for you, but you will have money to invest in your craft. Balance is everything.
  • If you are brave enough to try to live off music making, treat it as a job. Give yourself time to not work – that’s equally valuable.
  • Find a new hobby. Since music used to be yours and now it fills your whole time, try doing other things.
  • Sleep long nights and nap. Avoid partying on a regular basis.
  • Collaborate, delegate, ask for help. Connecting with other humans is always amazing for recovery!


SEE ALSO : Mindfulness for Creatives

Goals You Set For Yourself

As many of you already know, I’ve been offering personal coaching services since 2016, and seen some amazing breakthroughs with my clients. In every case, it’s best to get a conversation going to learn about what goals you set for yourself. In many cases, I help them to see the bigger picture and then find ways achieve those goals in a way that is very personal, and unique to each of them.

There are many myths about making music that floats around, which aren’t helpful for producers. I feel it’s important to debunk misinformation and share the most common goals I hear from my clients to help do that.

The two most common goals I hear from my clients are:
I want to become a known producer and get signed to multiple labels.
I want to become respected enough so I can tour.

The whole point of offering my coaching service is to help people get from where they are now to where they want to be in the future.

Having someone there to push you creatively can make a world of difference, so we might as well think big right? Big goals will often require big change, and I want to share my strategy to achieving the goals my clients wanted, but couldn’t imagine achieving themselves.

After you’ve set a goal, you need to imagine working backward to determining all the small, and many steps you’ll need to make to arrive there. The thing is, hard work will keep you focused on achieving your goals, but occasionally forces out of your control will make a big difference, one being known as luck.

There are many things you can’t control in your quest to become a known producer, mainly because getting known implies that you’ve been at the right place, at the right moment. Even an attempt to duplicate the step by step actions of another artist who achieved some level of success doesn’t mean those actions will work for you.

It’s very common for artists to try and replicate what others before him/her have done, which can work of course, but, the more likely result will be to be known as someone without originality if you follow someone’s steps to closely.

Now, thinking wide, long term is all fine and good and will test your vision, but often thinking too far ahead will distract you from what must be set in motion in the short term.

The truth is, wherever you want to go in music, you first need to produce a ton of tracks and find your path in that process. Bonus (check out a fool-proof way to know if your tracks sound good)

Now, one of the most common goals I bring people to set is to begin completing one track per week. Their main enemy in this process is getting attached to where the track will end up. It’s safe to say we all hope our music will get attention, will be played, will get signed, but these points are often uncontrollable. Bonus – easy ways to create tracks, and multiple tracks from just one idea.

Being signed, heard, or played out at clubs should not your final destination, this is simply one stage in the every growing process of your life as a musician. The proof is, low-quality music can often get a lot of attention while some fantastic tunes are ignored and get no play time. Why?

This leads me to the second most important goal I generally work towards, (which has been written about often on my blog) developing your network. In my opinion and in one way or another, everything comes down to that. SO much more than your gear, or the number of remixes under your belt, the support you can really count on is the people around you in the long run. Your network can help push you towards making bold work and great things, to outdo yourself, to grow via collaboration and inspiration.

In a very digital age many people have become less social, which can make going out and meeting new people harder. I get that. Yet, not being part of a strong network doesn’t mean you won’t create great music, it simply means without having that support you may not be pushed to create your best music.

Lastly, finding your path is a matter of what path you actually want. This can come to you in two ways: knowing what you love, what you love doing and what you do magnificently well. Whether you believe it or not, everyone has a talent, and through work and practice, that talent can be recognized world wide. So what’s yours? Some people are amazing at creating dynamic arrangements, others at running a label. When you can connect what you do naturally well with what you love doing, you’ll enter a zone of flow where you can achieve truly great things.

My destination as a coach is that zone ~ This is where I want to be leading people to. I find a lot of comfort in seeing my clients reach that point as it truly creates a fullness and purpose to the work they’re creating, as well as my role in the partnership.

In the end, am I trying to divert them from their initial goal of getting signed to labels and touring? No, not at all. What is true is that I’m preparing them to get there by focusing on the only thing they can control themselves: their own personal growth. To tour and be signed, implies to be in control of your art, part of a healthy and strong network, and finding a flow and confidence in yourself as an artist.


SEE ALSO :  Make Your Music Bucket List Happen

Deleting all yours tracks and selling your gear.

Since the very beginning, I can remember many times I’ve questioned my abilities as a music producer. Feeling stuck on a project or coping with negative feedback from a track I was proud of left me wondering if I was starring down the path of a musical dead end. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to consider unplugging, and putting it all away for good. Several colleagues of mine have similar stories, and more than once I’ve seen someone debate deleting all their tracks and selling all their gear.

High highs and low lows. There is a wealth of research which supports the fact that making music can produce a massive dose of satisfaction, a high similar to the effect of drugs or the rush of an intense workout. The thrill after completing a track is huge, yet on the flip side when things aren’t working out the low can often be depressing. At times it can feel like you’re living in a constant state of low-grade misery. Our perspective often governs our moods, and with just a twist our outlook can turn from sour to super very quickly.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading comments within Facebook groups from people flirting with the idea of selling their gear and calling it quits. On the digital side, I hear people talk about deleting entire hard drives filled with a rough version of tracks, and I think about the hard work and time they’ve invested in projects that will never be completed. They feel the work is simply not worth the effort. So often the feeling of excitement and energy from listening back to our next best track can be replaced by frustration and self-doubt when seeing it stored away in the unfinished bin. Another great idea that stays just that, and idea – incomplete, unheard. Back to the drawing board. Again.

A personal rule of mine is never to delete any project or sample. I just won’t do it. 0% chance.

I believe the main enemies that alter our judgment are overexposure and adverse reaction. If I am working on a project that just isn’t happening, I remind myself to simply store it away and come back to it after a time has passed. Once re-opened and listened to with a new perspective, you’ll likely find something that inspires you, or at the very least – something you can work off of right away. As artists, we are always changing. The artist you’ll be a year from now might like or dislike what you’re producing right now. By keeping your unfinished projects somewhere safe, you are investing in your time and talent for tomorrow rather than throw away what you’re frustrated with today.

Tip: This might feel silly but if you don’t feel good about music, try simply saying:”For the moment, I don’t feel like making music.” Insist on “for the moment“, because it takes away the idea that your mindset is permanent.

In past posts I’ve talked at length about the benefit of planting seeds, creating a master project where all your ideas can be grabbed from and used as a springboard to something great with minimal effort. The benefits of having a library of sounds and tools custom-made, ready at a moments notice, is huge because momentum is critical to completing your tracks.

One thing that’s common is the search for old gear to achieve a particular sound. At some point, it’s natural to feel like you’ve outgrown your equipment and you’re sure that buying new (old) gear will solve the problem. We are constantly being tempted with new products and tools that promise to solve our problems and make everything that much easier. Even after buying new gear we sometimes don’t take time to truly audition them. How often do we ask ourselves what it is we truly need to fix? Can gear solve this? The hype and marketing work for sure, yet without fail the next time we turn around there is yet another must-have tool we’re after, because this one…. man this one, is going to make the difference.

Tip: Some gear can be rented. If you can test drive what you want, that can be really useful.

Take a minute to reflect what your goals are before making another investment.

To truly move on as a producer the best personal investment I can think of is to simply finish something, anything. I believe deleting your tracks reinforces your inability to finish what you started, and doesn’t bring anything good. You certainly aren’t farther ahead as a producer, and you’ll never have anything to show without completing your projects.

Take a moment to look at your progress or lack thereof. Where do you get stuck? Where does it come to and end? Is your sound design weak, do you break apart while arranging it? Find your weakness and draw a circle around it with a big, red, pen. That is your problem area. This is the tough part for you. This is where you give up and call it quits. Nothing you can buy is going to fix this for you. The good part is that now you know where you break down you can learn ways to improve on it.

Youtube. Thank the Lord. Whatever you are looking for I promise there will be a video to help you overcome your sticking point. Just don’t get stuck endlessly watching videos that hours later morph into a totally different topic (it’s easy to do). Also, to wrap things up, here’s a production tip I love doing: At the end of a session, bounce whatever you have, then store this in the folder of the production. Always do “collect all and save” It can be a 30-second loop ,the arrangements you have ongoing, or even export all your session stems.  Doing this is extremely useful when going through older projects but also, you can open a blank project and then import several bounces and play with them straight away. This tip has been so useful for my past albums!


SEE ALSO :  Finishing Your Projects

An Interview with Techno Producer Stan Soul

This post is a Q&A with Dj, Producer, and label owner Stan Soul. Stan is based out of Tel Aviv, Israel, and has just put out an impressive 7th vinyl release as of late.

In this Q&A we find out where the energy to record 4-5 songs a week comes from, why vinyl is still important, how one contact he made opened the door to starting his own label, and what’s his favourite club to play at right now.

Hello Stan ~ I’m really excited to be speaking with you here, and I know many people will be looking forward to reading and learning more about you.

You’ve had a lot of success getting records signed, congrats!
Q. As an artist, where does your drive to produce music come from? Where is your choice of sounds and textures coming from?
A. I think that all music is going through people from the universe. So, in fact, we are just instruments in the hands of our world, and we are not in control during this process. Just a small part of it. All that I can say that I feel the music, since my childhood I hear new ideas in my head. Once I realized that all my life I can hear music in my head and I have to share it with people. To make music, you have to accumulate energy so nowadays my life is firmly oriented to save mental energy during the day and express it in a music session.

Q. Is there something within your tracks that is very personal, or unique within music right now?
A. Every track consists of things very personal because it’s totally based on my feelings in that current moment. I’m producing around 3-5 tracks per week and it’s always different because the universe is changing every minute with me.
Q. When you were a less experienced producer, (still dreaming of having releases signed), did you experience an ‘a-ha’ moment in your music making? If so can you describe that breakthrough?
A. Sure. It was very hard to understand what people were thinking about my stuff. I was very excited when I signed my first release and understood that some people did like it. I still enjoy the process more than the results. After some releases, I would like to play live sessions on my gigs.

I understand you’ve been really busy with Tevol, your vinyl label. I’d like to talk about that –
Q. Can you tell me what motivated you to get started with Tevol?
A. I’m always trying to make something that I want to play. So after experience with my digital label TEOL I realized that I want to create a vinyl label with dubby music oriented more towards dancefloors. After some research, my friend put me in touch with a contact from Memoria distribution. Since that time I’m very happy to be a part of Memoria’s family :).

Q. As a label what are you looking for in a track to sign/release, and what do you get excited about hearing?
A. I can’t explain what am I looking for because I never know. I just feel the music.

Q. How do you find artists & music you’d like to sign?
A. I just look around. Some music has come from my friend, some from my label mailbox. One track set for release I found within a forum related to techno music in a topic where people are releasing unfinished tracks. I just found a snippet, contacted guy and told him that I would like to release it on my label once he finishes it. It’s just fate, be in the right place at the right moment.

Q. How would you describe the feeling and vibe of a typical Tevol release?
A. I’m always trying to make release different. From the very deep hypnotic dub techno vibes to the full of energy minimalistic techno tracks. You can find something that you’d play on warm up and something that will exasperate people in the prime time of the party.

Q. Is the development and production for a record going to vinyl different than for digital? (aside from the actual pressing)
A. In fact there no differences. But sometimes I’m trying to make a track for vinyl a little bit longer because in that format I like “slow mixing” (when two tracks you are mixing are playing for 2-3 minutes). It means that the introduction part of the song should be longer because you can’t make a loop like in case with digital decks. I’m not releasing my music in digital anymore, so every track I’m producing is for vinyl 🙂

Q. Why is vinyl still important?
A. Vinyl is important because you can feel it. I can go deep into the process of mixing only with vinyl, and it sounds awesome as well 🙂

Moving along to the final set of questions, I believe that as an individual I am very influenced by my surroundings. Given this idea,
Q. How has being based in Israel shaped your musical tastes?
A. This is complicated. I repatriated to Israel from Ukraine two years ago and I’m still not feeling that I’m a perceptible part of the local scene. But it takes time, and now I’m fully concentrated on my label, production and always opened for any booking requests

Q. Is there anything great or unique about the Israel scene many might not know about?
A. The most valuable thing that has an effect on my production is the fantastic weather during the whole year and beautiful sea which I can see every day from my window.

Q. What is your favourite club to play out in?
A. In Israel, my favorite club is The Block. And Closer (Kyiv) If we are talking about worldwide it would be Closer.

Q. In general, do you experience music differently at home than playing out?
A. It alway different. Every gig for me is something new.

Q. Where do you see your music making in 5 years?
A. I can’t predict anything but I hope to continue producing music to be heard all over the world.

Q. Any final thoughts?

A. I just want to add that Pheek is a fantastic mixing and mastering engineer, and he’s been providing amazing service to make my music way more enjoyable and productive.

Thank you x10 for taking the time today Stan ~

Feel free to keep up to date with Stan by jumping over to the Tevol Facebook & Soundcloud page for more info and music.




Guide to shameless self-promotion

Let’s face it, self-promotion is certainly one of the most loved & hated topics musicians face on a daily basis. I mean, you make music, it’s hard to repress that inner compulsion of wanting to share your work to the world right? Finishing music and releasing your hard work to the world feels amazing. Receiving constructive feedback from people you respect will also help unlock obstacles that make us reach the level of production we aim for. But we have to get it out for others to hear right? This post will help you be being your guide to shameless self-promotion.

Many people see self-promotion as something they need to do, which can make it feel like a painful obligation.

Music is a very strong, and personal form of expression. As artists we want to know if our message is understood and appreciated by others. In a way it’s self validating. Proper self-promotion is always about how to do it in a way that is truly authentic, and not make us look like something we are not. Now that we understand this – there are a few facts we need to check in order to make our self promotion efforts work for us. I’m not talking about going viral on social media, but specifically your daily efforts on social media as a way to leverage our network, and create something useful.

The minute you understand that it’s not an obligation but more of a catalyst to get things done, the dynamic will automatically change. This is a process called reframing your train of thoughts.

If you share your music with the intent and idea that you’re trying to unite, bond and communicate something personal, a huge chunk of guilt be removed from the idea of self promotion.  Giving up on hustling sales and popularity will create a positive pivot in your career. We need to stop seeing the act of sharing music as a way to be seen, heard, known. 

I’ve been reading a really helpful book named “Designing your life” which approaches what you want out of life through the mind of a designer. The point of the book is – to become who you want, to have the life you want, you first need to self reflect, and ask yourself what is going on to pinpoint what issue you’d like to fix. In our case, our target here is to build a healthy and strong network.

Over the past weeks, I’ve come across a few articles that state the importance of your surroundings and contacts to achieve the level of success you want. One of the main reason I am where I am right now was that I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing people helping me along the way. Behind every success story, there’s often a dedicated team working in the shadows of that success. One of the ways to keep riding high is to constantly share your wins with your tribe, and go out of your way to make sure everyone in your tribe is appreciated and part of your success.

How to build and design your music life comes with at least 4 important teamsters:

  • The feedback. That guy has the culture of the music you’re making and loves the music you also love. Therefore, his input means something as long as he’s being honest, of course.
  • The knowledge. This member is someone who has technical knowledge you don’t have and can be answering critical questions in time you need it.
  • The creative. This person feels the trends, surfs the ideas better than no one. He can propose ideas that are unusual but that can be leading you to something. See this person as a muse.
  • The propaganda. If you are shaky with social medias, let this person rave about your music while you can post about other things. This person becomes the validator and that is useful for your success.

Finding your team takes years and can also be shifting over time. But you need to connect with others and build your network to find the gems.

Ok, so how can we apply that in practice? How do we get started from scratch?

  1. Don’t ask without giving first. I’ve made this #1 because this is often misunderstood. For instance, I often get emails from people giving me lot’s of compliments about my music, and quickly send me a follow up  email asking me to listen to their music and provide feedback. There’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback, but it doing so out of nowhere makes me question the integrity of their compliments in the first place. It takes a lot of time to gain someone’s attention and trust. Involving yourself with someone is an investment, and building a genuine relationship takes time and often cannot be made overnight.
    1. For networking, try: approaching and following people at your skill or experience level. You can and will grow with them. Leave feedback and appreciation on their music whenever there’s something you enjoy. Do not ask for anything in return.
    2. For social media, especially Twitter or Facebook – share the music you are really into right now, especially from artists that aren’t well known. People love discovering new artists, and if YOU are that artist and find someone spreading praise for you the feeling will be an amazing one.
  2. Be a supporter. You probably saw that video of the guy dancing in a festival in a super weird way, someone with a huge crowd following him comes to join the dancer, and just like that the party goes off.  The second guy joining is crucial, he is the social influencer, the supporter. In the same vein as the previous point, you can be that guy by being the first one who leaves comments on Soundcloud and proposes to play people’s music in a podcast (if you’re a DJ).
    1. For networking, try: Going to shows to meet people. The in-person contact never fails. If your contacts are abroad, try engaging conversation through messaging.
    2. For social medias, try: Offering your help to labels, in any way possible. This is an important way to be part of something. You have no idea how difficult it is to run a small label, so any help can be useful and appreciated. Look at what you are good at and see if you can help. Perhaps you can help with the blog, graphic design, website, PR, etc… If it’s a small organization at least one part of the label might need a hand. Then on your social medias, you can support and champion the label, which will bring many unsuspected contacts.
  3. Curiosity pays off. People think that approaching and forging relationships with fellow music producers involves talking about music. I’ve known artists that refused to forge any kind of contacts with people who initially approached them for music related reasons. They wanted to spend time with the person first to see if there was true chemistry. I believe many artists (to some degree) are social weirdos who often lack a variety of social skills. Being patient and curious will be essential in the way you engage with him/her, to make sure that person feels comfortable talking with you.
    1. For networking, try: reading articles, start conversations, think of how someone approached you in a way that made you feel great. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just music-related. Apply this to others.
    2. For social medias, try: Share information about your own interests. People in general hate self-promotion if it’s constant but if it’s something that is either useful or occasional, it will be seen positively. So, if your feed is self-centred it’s going to be annoying for your contacts. I’ve seen some artists spend a lot of their time sharing their passion for traveling, food, clothing, cars or memes… We all know you like other things than music and if you can share what it is you’ll attract minds alike which can become supporters of your music, later on.
  4. Consistency is crucial. Not only for yourself but in others. Successful people have no tolerance for others who are inconsistent, unreliable. If you’re going to connect with someone, be there and always come back. I’ve built some solid contacts with some people who have been always sending me messages and be there for me. They won me over and now I love working with them.

In closing – within the book I was relating to, there is talk about creating a prototype to know which method of promotion feels and works best for you. To get comfortable communicating, sharing, showing your personal side,  you need a lot of practise to get into a groove. Building your network takes time. But once you found your way to work, you know you have a formula you can repeat and always feel good about.

SEE ALSO :  Find a track tester for your productions

Conversations with Clients: Kike Mayor

In Conversations with Clients, we bring you an honest and unfiltered look at Pheek’s services, straight from the mouths of those who know — and want you to know too! For this third piece in our series, I spoke with Kike Mayor, a Peruvian techno producer based in New York. 

◊      ◊      ◊

Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself and your experience as a producer?

Well I started DJing back in the year 2000. I started collecting my first records at the end of the 90s, it was during my last years in high school. And then right after, I started playing records, and playing local parties in my hometown in Peru. Shortly after that I found myself playing at these big parties, and I was the warm-up DJ for every single act that came out of the country. Then I started making music around the year 2005, and from then I just kept doing it and made a lifestyle out of it.

You’ve been producing for a long time now then, just over 10 years.

Yes, 10 to 12 years. My first record came out in 2007, so 10 years in the market anyway.

And throughout this time, have you mostly mixed your own music? What’s your experience with sound engineering in particular?

It’s not much. I’ve pretty much been doing my own mixdowns based on my ear training, and it took me a while to realize how important [the mixdown] is. Last year I found Pheek, and he explained to me how a mixdown can really make a difference on the final product. It’s just amazing. And it’s not that he… like, he does nothing to a track that is already produced, he just, how to say it… he puts every single part of a track in its own space. Do you know what I mean? And from that, the tracks sound clean. And like, I never had any complaints about it [before], but I just feel that he improves the final product. Pheek is an amazing sound engineer. He’s my sound engineer!

Until now then, you’ve basically just been doing your best on your own?

Yeah, I was trying to do my best, but I think that having sound engineer knowledge is very important, you know? And I don’t have that. I was always making music and loving my tracks. I don’t think there was ever a problem. But I also think it’s a matter of my own practice as an artist, as a producer, that I always want my stuff to sound better and better and better.

So what inspired you to seek his help, did you just discover his services through his Facebook page?

So I got signed to a vinyl release with a label from Detroit.

Detroit Vinyl Room?

Yes, Detroit Vinyl Room. The owner got in touch with me and said that Pheek was going to take care of the mastering and mixdown.

Isaac Prieto you mean [another client of Pheek’s]?

Yeah, Isaac, yeah [haha]. And so it was really good for me, because – I’m going to be honest – I was trying to get in touch with Pheek before that. I started seeing him offering all these services, but I was always wondering, I mean, would that be alright, would that be good? I didn’t know. Because there’s also the fact that then you have to spend money, you know what I mean? When it comes to spending money on your music, it always has to be a really well thought-out decision. And then Isaac offered to do this for me, and I was like okay, I want to try it for free for the first time, it doesn’t hurt.

Then he introduced us and I sent the project to Pheek, and I loved the final result. I have the test pressing of the record here. It sounds amazing. So from then on, we started talking and talking and talking, and I’m really happy that we started working together, and now we’re friends.

You sound very satisfied with having spent the money! So what was the difference exactly?

The difference was that everything sounded in its place. Like when I see the spectrum of the track, I feel that the spectrum has layers, you know? There are some sounds that go in the back, and some sounds that come in the front, and in the middle. So the tracks stop sounding flat. I don’t know if that’s something for advanced ears, but I got to a point in my life when I realized that that’s what I want. I really found that with Pheek, and I’m very very happy about it. I love making music so much, and I love my music so much, and I want to spend the money to do that. It’s a great service.

Just to hear how my track sounds after Pheek does the mixdown is inspiration for me. I love how every time I send him projects now, he takes less time every time. And that means to me that the previous mixdown I made is improving. It’s just some specific things that maybe a regular ear wouldn’t feel, but I feel it, and sometimes it bothers me.

Would you say then that having Pheek do your mixdowns is helping you develop your own ear and skills at mixing too?

Exactly. 100 percent. I think that Pheek's mixdown services changed how techno producer Kike Mayor views musicas an artist you have to have the inspiration of working with somebody that is a big name – and as I told Pheek, I’ve been following his music way, way before I knew him. Something that I was always highlighting was that thing I told you about with the layers in the music — I was like, how does this guy make his music sound like this?

So when you get the mixdown back, is the track finished, or do you work on it more?

I listen to it, and I pretty much just copy/paste the link and send it to the label. I trust it 100 percent. It sounds awesome. There’s no difference when I mix my tracks with tracks from other artists, with the volume or anything – and I definitely mix my music with music that is awesome, amaaazing – and when I’m playing live, I feel no difference, which is great. That makes me really happy.

How beneficial was it to have a second set of ears on your music? Because usually, when you mix your own music, you’re listening to your own track a million times, right?

Oh, well, I would say there’s a difference with having someone else, and then having Pheek, you know? Just the fact that I respected him so much from before. I mean him being the one now that listens to my music… It’s great, man.

Have you taken anything from the experience that has impacted your production in a more lasting way?

Umm… well basically, the music that I’m making now… I mean I just listen to it and I really love it. I find myself very, very focused right now on producing music that will be, like, timeless.

So it’s really inspired more confidence in your own abilities.

Yeah, exactly, yeah, 100 percent. Because, I mean, it’s been 10 years that I’ve been producing. I started producing progressive house, and then I produced tribal house, and then I produced tech house, and then I produced deep house. And now it’s all about the evolution. I feel like it’s different for every artist, but for me it really took me a while to get to the point where I am now.

Do you know why it took you so long to find someone to do your mixdowns?

Well, I think it depended on my environment, you know? When I was in South America, everything was different. Music was different, the crowds were different, my needs as an artist were way different. Since I moved to New York everything changed, and I started trying to develop a new sound like 3 years ago, in 2013. I’ve been constantly trying to improve and improve since then, and I have changed too. I’m producing music now that is way different from the music I was producing back in 2013, like quality-wise. And now with Pheek, everything is going great.

I’m assuming you have a lot of other friends who produce music too?

Yeah, yeah.

And do they usually do their own mixing too?

Yeah, I guess it’s normal for people that… maybe they don’t want to, maybe they don’t trust. They might think that a sound engineer that does a mixdown for them, if it’s not in person, in the studio, that maybe they would change the song, that they’d regret it. For me it was really easy to trust, because it’s Pheek. 100 percent. I’m planning a trip in February to Montreal, so I want to get down to the studio.

And before Isaac had spoken to you about Pheek’s services, did you have some of these same fears?

Yeah, with my own music, you know… like, I would never give my music or a project to anybody. But I knew Pheek, I’d heard all of his music, and I knew who I was dealing with.

I am very, very happy with his services man.

That shines through!

Awesome [haha]. And also I like the fact that Pheek is helping me. He is always pushing me, and giving me advice.

So you get more than just his mixdown services you mean.

Yeah, I would say that he’s my friend. He really supports me a lot. A lot. Like he always tells me that he loves to work on my projects because they’re fun, and he loves the music I make, which means a lot to me. I’m always like, “Aw, dude, stop!”

– Check out Kike Mayor on Soundcloud.


2016: Studio Trends and My Clients

It’s been a crazy first year for the audio services I founded in November 2015. Things really got started with the website in January, and it fired up right away. I thought this would be a good time to look back at 2016, and to share some of the year’s highlights: of the plugins I used the most, the projects I worked on, and the producers I had the great pleasure to work with.

Where to start?

Let’s begin with some numbers. With online sales alone, I completed over 300 projects by early December, though the number for all sales combined is closer to 350 projects for the entire year. This includes sound design, mixing, mastering, and training services, both online and in person. This was indeed my biggest year since 2004.

Add to that my online coaching service that reached 450 people in 6 months. It’s been a bit overwhelming to be sure, but being able to help so many people fuels me as well.

Overall, the breakdown of services offered by my studio in 2016 looks like this:

Mastering: 43%

Mixdown: 24%

Arrangements: 15%

Coaching: 15%

Other: 3%

And in terms of musical styles, it broke down like this:

Tech house/house: 24%

Techno: 33%

Deep/dub techno: 14%

Hard techno: 4%

Experimental/Ambient/Chill out/IDM: 15%

Pop: 3%

Hip hop: 7%

The most frequent requests were:

  • Rounded lows.
  • Warm bass.
  • Punchy.

I’m really happy that people have generally stopped asking for the music to be “LOUD,” as this was a common request years back. In 10 years, I’ve seen that people’s tastes have slowly evolved, and that they’re more and more into the warmer sound that analog provides.


In terms of plugins, these are some of the ones I used the most this year. In general, I try to create a different chain of compressors and EQ depending on the label or client, to create a unique aesthetic. One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that the combination of various effects adds grain to the sound. It’s like combining ingredients when you cook: you can try 2 different brands of a same spice, and the results will differ subtly.

Universal Audio Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In

This is certainly a very creative tool, as well as a nice mixing plugin. It adds saturation and will beef up flimsy parts. Anything that goes through it seems to come out in perfect shape.


Sonalksys CQ1

This is certainly the best multiband tool out there — and trust me, I’ve tried them all. You will need multiband for mixing, but you can get very interesting results if you use drastic measures for sound design. This one never fails.


Harrison 32C

This is definitely an underestimated player in the EQ world, as I rarely hear people talk about it. This year was when I started using it almost every day though. It has this little thing that makes lows so warm.



A simple compressor, but it works like a charm. Brainworx never fails to create quality products that use simple and intuitive controls. A huge help on percussions.


Space Strip

A fun little tool for sound design, it creates really cool spaces, as the name suggests. Throw it on the master and watch it craft lovely atmospheres out of so little.


Reason 9

The DAW of the year without a doubt. If you’re one of those people that has been overlooking Reason, run now to get yourself the trial and be ready to have your jaw drop in awe. Rewired with Ableton, it is the most powerful tool to get over any creative block. It also does crazy (I mean it) sound design.



This reverb didn’t get the attention it deserved. If you’re not familiar with Zynaptiq, they really make state-of-the-art products. These guys are machines. Adaptiverb is hard to explain, so I’ll leave the descriptions to them, but suffice to say that it is not your typical reverb. It’s certainly a nice add-on to your plugin collection, as it can form creamy textures out of simple pads.



One of the things that really got me motivated this year was having clients who were interested in pursuing a long-term association with me. They’d come to me for all of their mixing needs so that they could focus their energies on recording new ideas. Some wanted their studio sessions arranged around songs. It’s great to have multiple contracts with someone, because you start by working with a reference artist, until eventually that shifts and the producer starts referencing themself.

It would be impossible to list all the clients I had in 2016 whose work I loved, but here are a few of the highlights that come to mind:


From Argentina, Franco worked with my buddies at 31337 Records, producing a superb palette of ambient sounds, intricately organized into a beautiful microcosm.


Kike Mayor

Kike has been one of my most loyal clients this year, as we worked together to define his sound as something “fun and sexy,” as we both liked to call it. Kike’s style is hypnotic and catchy, and he always comes to me with projects I love.


Debbie Doe

Debbie had a breakthrough this year, as she managed to pull her very first project together and nail down a growing number of important gigs. This Lebanese-Montreal artist is not afraid of reaching into her Arabic influences to craft some exotic moods.



Another very serious producer from Italy/France who booked me regularly to handle mixes and mastering for his music. He’s a nerd collector with a massive modular set-up, and he prefers focusing on designing quirky house instead of spending time on his computer.


Andrey Djackonda

From Moldova, Djackonda was a nice discovery for me this year. The guy makes really organic techno with dub influences. It’s been a headnodder for my mastering sessions. You know you have some groovy music when you start spending time shaping the track into these groove monsters.





From Montreal, Stereo_IMG is a serious sound designer who builds weird devices to extract found sounds that are both beautiful and intriguing. Working with him in the studio turned some of his tunes into Audion-sounding gems.



A programmer and kind soul, Wiklow came to me for mentoring, and we spent the next 2 months discussing music philosophy and the mysteries of human behaviour. This fantastic trip of anything-but-music-related talks led him to create a beautiful EP that would make Jan Jelinek blush.



Ruslan runs a label in New York named Minim, and he has been one of the most supportive people for me this year. We worked together closely, talking almost daily, and it was wonderful to see him at MUTEK to dance to Barac’s set.


Dom Varela

A young producer from Laval who I’ve seen grow slowly, finally releasing his first track this year. It’s been a pleasure to coach him and work closely with him on his development.



This was my most demanding mixdown this year, but man did it turn out well. Bmind is an artist I adore. His free-jazz perspective makes his music feel like a spiritual journey through an LSD trip. Nothing easy, but never flaky.



Not to forget also 2 other clients who were super busy with me, Isaac and Luis.

These guys make albums in a matter of months, and each time, it’s spot on. Not only are they dedicated, but there’s a real depth to every song they make.

There are so many others I could mention, and I have to apologize if you’re disappointed that your name isn’t featured here. But the truth is that working with ALL of my clients has been amazing! 2016 has been an incredible year, and 2017 will be too, without a doubt.



Conversations with Clients: Luis Rivera

In Conversations with Clients, we bring you an honest and unfiltered look at Pheek’s services, straight from the mouths of those who know — and want you to know too! For this second piece in our series, I spoke with Luis Rivera (artist name LRb), a minimal techno producer based in Puebla, Mexico. 

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Hi Luis, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! To start off, why don’t you tell us how long you’ve been producing music for?

Well electronic music I’ve been producing in Ableton for 5 years now, but I started making songs with my sister when I was very young. I played the guitar and my sister sang and we used to record it on an old tape recorder my dad has. So I’ve been making songs and music all my life, but producing electronic music for 5 years.

Now tell me a bit about your projects. Do you have any releases yet or are you working on that?

No, actually I’m working with Pheek because we want to release an EP. That’s the idea behind me using his services, the song finalization and analog mastering services. There’s an app, a KORG app, and I started making songs with it, and I won a contest they had 4 years ago, which led to a release on a compilation of tracks. But I’m working right now on my first EP.

When did you realize that you wanted help with your EP?

Well the thing is, if you start making one kind of music, in my case it’s techno minimal, you tend to repeat the same things. Like in your workflow, you always start, in my case, with drum groove, and even with the drum groove, you always start with a perfect kick, then some hi-hats, then some claps, and you start doing things methodically. You can hear your tracks, and you think they’re all different, but if you leave them for 2 or 3 days and you hear them again, you’re like, “This sounds exactly the same as the track I made a month ago.” So to try to do things differently, you need help, somebody from the outside, an educated ear. I realized that I had 10 tracks that were pretty good for me, I had stuff that I really liked, but – I didn’t know if it needed polishing or what – but I didn’t want to leave the songs as they were. I thought I could improve them. So that was the point where I knew I needed help, but you need help that is very specialized in this type of music.

How long have you been working on the tracks that you’ll be releasing?

There are tracks that I’ve made in the past 2 to 3 years. When I started talking with Pheek, he suggested one thing. He told me, “You know, you should get those tracks out of the closet and listen to them again, with all the knowledge you have right now, with everything you’ve learned through the years, you’re gonna listen to them differently. Maybe you can combine your current drums or groove with a bass you really like from a song you did 3 years ago.” So I did exactly that, I spent 2 to 3 weeks listening to tracks I remember I liked – you don’t remember anything though, you don’t even remember making the track!

We’re looking right now at 8 tracks – the idea is to release 4 – but 80% of these are tracks that I did 3 years ago, and we’re reinventing and smashing things up, et cetera.

Luis Rivera (LRb) is using Pheek's song finalization and analog mastering services to prepare his first EP

How did you find out about Pheek’s services?

I am really a fan of his music. I had an album that was released by Minus and I really liked the tracks. Actually, they were very inspiring for me at the beginning of my work in electronic music, because I was more oriented towards dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, and then eventually I started listening to house and techno music – I mean, I loved techno from when I was very little – but there was a track from Pheek on the record, and I started following him on Soundcloud and Facebook. I saw that he posted about his services, so I checked them out on his website, and I just sent him an email. It was super fast and easy. So it was very easy for me to establish contact with him.

Had you ever heard of song finalization services before or was this something new to you?

No, it was something completely new for me. And it was very attractive, but also very scary for me at the beginning. It was very attractive, because I thought I have an opportunity to have an artist, a real artist, whose music I really like, in the same genre I produce – and he has so many years of experience, et cetera, et cetera – so I thought it would be very, very productive for me to have someone like him hear my songs. But at the same time I was very scared, because I still want the songs to be my songs. I don’t want them to be completely changed or anything like that.

And what led you to decide in the end to book him?

Well you know, I simply said “okay, let’s try it.” I talked to Pheek two times before I sent him tracks. We were very clear on the idea I had for the EP, we talked about the general idea, the theme behind the EP. And then I just sent him the track, and he works very fast. Two or three days after he sent me his version, his arrangements, and I immediately loved them.

So it has been a very productive and very easy working relationship. I like to say to him – he laughs, but I like to tell him, “I’m not your client, I’m your friend, and let’s do this like we’re friends.” And it has been flow, flow, flow from there.

What was the thing that struck you the most about working with Pheek, was there anything that surprised you?

Well first of all, he’s always available. You would imagine that a person with his record label, with his mastering work – he does a lot of mastering for a lot of producers – you’re gonna think, “well he has a very busy agenda.” But he’s always available. That was the first thing that really connected with me, that I know I can ask him for advice on many other subjects, not just, “Okay, what arrangement did you do on this or that track?” I can ask him, “What are you listening to right now?” and stuff like that.

And second, definitely the arrangements, the things he sends back to me, they’re things you can only do with experience, with all those years you have working in the studio, mastering, hearing music. All those little things, in the end, they make a huge difference on your tracks. Like for example, I had a song that was driven with very dark synths, it has a very heavy bass, but I didn’t know where to put the percussions. I sent it to him, and 3 days later he sent me a song with just a ride on the percussion, just a cymbal, and it was amazing. He did 2 or 3 things there that were amazing, that completely changed the vibe of the song, and I really liked it. You know, those kinds of things, only a person with experience can really give you.

So in the longer term, what do you think you’ve gained from this experience of working with Pheek? What has it brought to your music production in a lasting way?

Oh a lot of stuff, it’s definitely a lot. Well actually, first, I hope I can continue working with him. He’s very active in other things too. Like right now we’re preparing the EP – we have some labels in mind – but the idea is to make this kind of big. He offers you help in that aspect too. So first of all I don’t wan’t this to be a one-time experience, I am definitely going to continue working with him. The mastering he does – his studio is filled with analog stuff, I produce mainly with analog instruments, and the sound is amazing when he sends back the songs.

But you know, those little pieces of advice, the way he sees things musically speaking, you learn a lot, you learn very very much, in very short conversations, and you can soak up all the knowledge he gives you. It’s like a graduate course!

Check out Luis Rivera (LRb) on Soundcloud here.

This interview has been edited.

Conversations with Clients: Isaac Prieto

Isaac Prieto is a Detroit-based DJ and producer and the co-founder of vinyl label Detroit Vinyl Room. He was also a client of Pheek’s, who helped Isaac with song finalizationmixdown and mastering. I spoke with Isaac to gain some insights into his journey as a DJ and producer and his experience working with Pheek.

Note: this interview has been edited for length and readability.

Shawn: To start off, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your relationship with electronic music, how and when you got into it.

Isaac: Well it was basically when I moved to Detroit, with the first time I went to the Movement Festival, in 2012. I remember the experience, and not understanding why I had never heard this kind of music before, because I immediately fell in love with it. After the festival I sought out events in the city that played this type of music.

So you didn’t have any education or formal training in music, right? You just got into it as a fan?

Yeah, I was just a fan of the sound. I would always be using Shazam to find the tracks I liked, and I started listening to so many sets on Soundcloud and just building a music library like that. As my library grew, I got the urge to edit a lot of the tracks (slow them down/filter) to fit my style more, and that was my initial motivation. To make a set with my library, that I would enjoy.

So did you pretty much teach yourself how to DJ then?

Yeah, I started out with just one turntable and a Pioneer Traktor mixer. My friend told me to just watch a bunch of tutorials on YouTube, so that’s what I did. Something that helped me develop too was to try and find a set I really enjoyed [and] which I could find the tracks for, and try to replicate it.

Okay, so let’s talk a bit about your production work. In your Resident Advisor bio, it says you’ll be releasing music this summer on the Detroit Vinyl Room label that you co-founded. Can you tell me more about this project?

Yeah, so a few months ago a new venue opened up [in downtown Detroit], 1315 Broadway. I was asked by a friend of mine, Ali Unifier, to help put together the lineup for some events. To me the sets that always influenced me the most were vinyl-only sets, so we called it Detroit Vinyl Room. The parties went well, but after starting the podcast series I eventually decided to take a break from hosting events to focus on building up the label. I had some tracks I had been working on for some time, and that’s when I reached out to Pheek to help with the mixdown and mastering.

Isaac Prieto talks about co-founding Detroit Vinyl Room

So it was a series of parties and podcasts that then became a label, is that right?

Yeah, correct.

And was it easy to start up a label?

Oh god no, it’s a lot more work than I had anticipated to be honest, but I’m glad I’m doing it. For a while, I had been contemplating whether I wanted to build a package of tracks to send out to labels, but decided against that. I made my main goal in releasing music to make something I would personally enjoy to have, and in turn it made the production process a lot more enjoyable. I showed the tracks to a few of my friends, and they liked it and wanted to be involved in the release. So on this first release, I’ll be providing 2 original tracks with remixes from MGUN as well as Moreon & Baffa.

And you say you needed help with the mixdown and mastering. Tell me more about this. Had you tried to learn how to do it yourself?

Yeah, I had looked into how that process works, but it was beyond the scope of what I could dedicate time to at this point. It really is a job for a sound engineer.

And aside from questions of sound engineering, how did you find the transition from DJing to production? Did you face challenges at first, either technical or in terms of the creative process?

It was a little more frustrating because production took more time to get the hang of. I started off with just getting to know Ableton with a MIDI controller and making loops that I liked, and then moved gradually to aquiring more analog gear. But that took time and money. Before asking Pheek for help, it had been over a year of working on stuff on my own until finally I had 3 or 4 tracks that I was pretty happy with. With one in particular I felt like, “Okay, this track for sure I want on vinyl,” and with the others I felt I had really good ideas, but they just didn’t flow the way I wanted them to, you know? And so I went and asked him for help, and he made them sound a lot better and gave me ideas about how to change them up.

Yeah, he helped with song finalization too, no?

Yeah, so in his tutorials, he talks about these ideas and sub-ideas. And for one of these tracks, I had it down, but it was just the transition points between these ideas that I was having difficulties with. And so I sent him the project, and he changed it up a lot. He sent me a few versions and I would tell him, “Okay, more of this, less of that.” He sent me a few versions, and then afterwards he sent me the different parts of the finalized version that I liked the most. And from there I could easily tell, “Okay, these are the changes that I liked or didn’t like,” which allowed me to make the the final arrangements for the track into something different that fit my own style better. But I wouldn’t have been able to reach that last version had he not changed some other aspects first himself.

Detroit-based DJ and producer Isaac Prieto came to Pheek for help with song finalization, mixing and mastering

Right, so he sort of unblocked you, you could say?

Yeah, he took this block out. Like he would say, “Okay, that transition is really nice right there, but I want it to be more this way.” And now that the song is finished, it’s something that I felt was definitely, was organically, all my idea. He’s just been working with music for so long that these things come so easy to him. So the more we work together, the easier the process gets I guess.

So what brought you to Pheek originally though?

I had been a fan of his music, and so I just followed him on Facebook, and I saw that he posted stuff about production. I found that pretty helpful. I have an agent here in Detroit, my friend Maggie, from Auxetic, and I was telling her about the idea of the label and what I wanted to do, and how I saw what Pheek had been posting on Facebook. And she’s like, “Oh actually, he’s a good friend of mine, he’s a great person, you should totally get in contact with him.” So she made that connection. I mean I already had a bunch of his records, and I like the sound that he makes, so I thought he would be good as someone who can understand what I wanted to do with my sounds.

So it sounds like it’s been a very fruitful creative collaboration for you.

Yeah, yeah. I had chances where I could have put stuff out earlier, and some digital releases and stuff, but nothing really got me that excited about doing that. And it wasn’t until I thought, “Okay, now this is something I’d want to have as mine.” And even if it sells out or it doesn’t sell out or whatever, I’m just gonna print out a few copies on vinyl, and I think it’ll fall into the right hands.

And do you think that the collaboration has brought something to your own production more durably?

Yeah, definitely. I saw how he was able to change what I had, and it gives me new ideas as to how I can do that for future productions. He also posts a lot of good ideas [on his Facebook page and blog] that I wouldn’t have thought of, like “Do a loop a day.” Or, even just how he’s honest. Like when I first sent him the songs, one of them, it just wasn’t ready. And he said, “You can make it sound better.” So before I sent them back, it was a few more weeks of changing it up, before I thought, “Okay, I’ve reached a point where I think this is the most I can do with this track, and I think, with your help, it can be better.”

Follow Isaac Prieto and Detroit Vinyl Room on Soundcloud.