We’re Struggling With The Wrong Things

Buzz Words Are Slowing You Down.

Marketing is the art of selling something. Marketing is not the art of honesty, it’s not the art of the integrity, it’s the art of making someone want to buy something. How many preamps have you seen on the market that are discrete Class A? A lot. And that sounds pretty cool – we don’t know what “discrete” means but “Class A” sounds like it’s pretty high quality. Except none of that means anything useful. “Class A” is just the circuit topology, not a measure of quality. And “discrete” just means the amplifier is made of multiple components. WOW – Fancy! Sometimes advertisers will even through the word “all” in front of the whole thing.

In reality when someone is selling you a “all discrete Class A”, that’s the audio equivalent of going to the dealer and saying, “I’ve got a great deal on a new car, super high end, it’s Engine Powered, and the tires are separate from the doors!”  It means nearly nothing.

Guess What?!

This happens in the world of audio education too. Buzz words, are everywhere. People are looking for simple solutions to complex problems, and the audio education business capitalizes off of this. This secret of the industry insider pros that no one will tell you – we will sell you! We’re learning the wrong things.

  • Gain Staging
  • Sample Rates
  • Parallel Compression
  • Mastering

None of these things are magic secrets. They’re click bait.

Wait, mastering is clickbait?? No, mastering is a legitimate art that’s extremely important. However, it’s not secret, and it’s also not “the solution” to why your records don’t sound the way you want. And by focusing on something like mastering, you are drawing your focus away from things that are much more important.

  1. Musicality.
  2. Vision.
  3. Fundamentals.
What matters is our sense of musicality, our vision for how a record should sound, and our understanding of the fundamental techniques we can use.

Everything else is just bits of information we pick up along the way. Is Gain Staging important? Sure. Is Parallel Compression a useful and sometimes even powerful technique? Absolutely. Is there magic in the Mastering process? There sure is!


They’re just parts of the equation – some more significant than others. But no amount of Gain Staging in the world is going give you an improved sense of musicality.

What I Don’t See Being Taught

  • Tone
  • Timing
  • Intention
  • Emotion, Personality, Attitude

And, I never see any to these things even remotely being related to the Artist’s brand.

These are the ideas I teach here. Solid fundamentals, put into the context of artistic vision.


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