2021 in Review
As we are coming to the end of 2021, I wanted to look back and go through the good and bad decisions I made in the last 12 months.
Also, sketch some new year’s plans.
Producer’s SkilL: Moving On
Most people who work in creative industries ask the question – is this version good enough to release?
Or should I spend a little more time on it?
Social Media & Podcasts
Do you need social media channels for your podcast, and if yes, which ones?
Podcast Ads Explained
Let’s talk about the monetisation of your show.
First of all, if you are starting a podcast with a goal that will make you loads of money, you may be heading for disappointment.
News (Forever?) Vacation
In January, I published a blog post about my ‘vacation’ from social media. In short, last summer, I decided to delete all of my social media apps from my phone and only use them on my desktop to post podcasting news.
How to grow a podcast
Exact success is never replicable because there are too many variables to copy.
However, there are a few general rules that I think can help in achieving long term success. At least they worked for us.
FetHead Gain Booster for SM7B
I knew I needed a gain booster.
What’s a gain booster?
It’s a device that boosts your microphone gain with a clean signal, making it much louder at the source.
Small Podcast Studio & Sonarworks Reference 4
Small rooms are notorious for bad acoustics. Sound waves (especially low frequencies) don’t have space to develop. They are bouncing around the walls; we get phase cancellations and that sort of thing.
Social Media (Forever?) Vacation
Anyone with an internet connection (or TV) must be aware that a few last months were crazier than usual.
A global pandemic, economic downturn, protests made sure that 24/7 news was hectic to bring us the latest updates on what is going on in the world.
Icon M+ Platform Control Surface for Podcast Production
Are you looking for a control surface for your DAW but you are not sure which one to choose?
There are plenty to choose from; however, in this post, I wanted to talk about Icon M+ platform and Pro Tools.
New iMac 2020 for Podcast Production
For the last five years, I worked on a 27inch late 2015 iMac system with 3TB Fusion drive and 32GB of RAM.
The system has served me very well, but it was time to update.
How to Record a Podcast Remotely And Get It Right The First Time
Remote interviews are a fact of life for every podcaster, and in today’s era of social distancing, more so than ever.
iZotope RX8 & Podcast Production (First Impressions)
For people who aren’t familiar with iZotope, then make a highly respectable, top of the shelf tools for producers and audio engineers—everything from mixing, mastering to of course audio restoration.
I’m a creature of habit, I like the routine. However, I also want to set these routines for myself.
Updating My Podcasting System
New system updates, new plugins, new software.
Updating your workstation always seems like a good idea, but how is it really?
RETHINKING YOUR POSITION
It would be quite obvious to say that we are now in the middle of an extraordinary episode.
The global pandemic caught everyone by surprise, and also it was a catalyst for an overdue market correction.
My Plans for 2020 (and beyond)
Long time, no see.
I haven’t been uploading anything for a while. It would be easy to blame it on work, business or life, however looking back I have to admit that it just wasn’t my priority.
Pros and Cons of Working From Home
One of the recent changes in how people work is the focus on flexibility as well as comfort and working from home seems to tick these two boxes.
Habits and Routines
I’ve always believed that people are creatures of habits. We do have the power to innovate, improvise and disrupt; however, most of the time we quickly fall into routines, leading some parts of our lives on autopilot.
Discipline equals Freedom
When I first heard the phrase ‘discipline equals freedom’ said by Jocko Willink – ex-SEALS commander, author, businessman and podcast creator it immediately spoke to me.
Is Solopreneurship Worth It?
You may have noticed that being an entrepreneur, running a business, even freelancing became quite trendy in recent years.
When Do You Quit?
Running a business is hard, running a startup is even more difficult.
But, you know what is even harder – running a failing business.
Two Cents on Teamwork
Everything is all about teamwork these days. Synergy, team get-togethers, motivational speeches and management courses are all about running a proficient and a happy team.
Make Money Freelancing Online
People were doing business around the world for hundreds and hundreds of years, but the idea that you can sit in your bedroom with a laptop and run a company is new.
Intro to Effective Communication
Effective communication is a bedrock of all relationships – inside and outside of business.
An idea isn’t worth much if it’s not communicated with others, making the skill highly valuable.
Managers and Leaders
Working a job, running a business, freelancing – it doesn’t matter what is your strategy for making money, more than likely you will be working with other people.
Education and Learning
Lifelong learning is something that I advocate all the time.
Start small, start with hobbies that can make your life better, then start adding more complicated ideas.
My Current Recording Setup
Most of my audio work is done at the post-production stage. I edit, mix, master, and even with scoring I solely use synths and virtual instruments.
Vision and Goals
I am a big believer in setting clear goals, writing a vision down on a piece of paper and following it.
The vision can apply to anything – your career, your business, your health, your relationships. However what I noticed is that without it is so easy to fall back into procrastination and old habits.
My Current DAW Setup
I’m always on the lookout for the improvement and I update my system as often as I can.
In my opinion, it’s important to shake it up every few months. Otherwise, there is no progress.
My Lessons of 2017
As another year is coming to an end, I look back at the last 12 months and try to reflect.
The first question that most people ask is usually – why did it go so fast?
Scoring Podcasts – My Tools
With podcasts, you don’t have that many tools behind your belt – it’s all about the sound so, in reality, you have three elements to play.
Dialogues, Sound Effects, Music.
Audio Restoration and Podcasting
When something is poorly recorded – noisy, distorted, has a lot of hiss or background noise – you can clean it all up with audio restoration plugins.
Before You Quit Your Job
It’s safe to say to many people fantasise about quitting their jobs, being their boss, having the freedom to do whatever they want.
Economy and Jobs of the Future
Automation, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and robots. If you read any technological blogs or futuristic predictions, then I would be surprised if you didn’t recognise any of these terms.
Podcasting and Audio Gadgets
The most beautiful aspect of podcasting is how little you actually need to get started. Thanks to the internet, the distribution is free but even with the equipment – you don’t need to spend a fortune to get working.
Importance of Templating
Working with a large team, multiple departments and international deliverables we had to streamline the process and put strong systems in place.
Are you working IN or ON the business?
Who doesn’t want to be their boss?
To make the hours, take holidays when you want, not answering to anyone when you make a decision.
What Are Your Strengths?
It is easy to get excited about new trends, latest tech, attractive and innovative opportunities.
Even by looking at podcasting, everyone seems to be excited about the medium.
Creating Globally Appealing Stories
When starting a business, a blog or an internet show, the usual advice is to find a niche, explore it, become an expert in it and then go wide.
Starting Your Home Studio
Most of us musicians would love to have their home recording studio and luckily for us, as the technology advanced, it is now way easier and cheaper to make your home studio than it used to be.
Prioritise your Business Goals
Let’s talk about prioritisation.
When you start or re-brand a business, more than likely, you will need a strategy session to align everyone on the team.
Let’s talk about my favourite aspect of podcast production – music.
When it comes to podcasting, you only have audio to convey the message, to tell the story.
Start your Business with Why
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
A well-known phrase from Simon Sinek’s book “Start with why.”
Strategy and Podcasting
Starting any venture, be it a business, a podcast or a website is a lot of work. Some time ago I read that it takes around 18 months for a business to be profitable, and that’s assuming everything goes well.
Should You Give a Free Advice?
We are entering the biggest revolution humanity had since industrial time – age of information.
Thanks to the internet, all knowledge is here, and it’s free.
Differentiation factor or much simpler expression – the X-Factor.
One question that I try to answer during strategy business workshop is
“What makes you different from your competitors?”
21st Century Work
21st-century work is all about being adaptable, being able to make changes in people’s lives.
It can be podcasting, production, audio work, anything else.
Mixing on Headphones
During my studies, one rule that was always passed onto us by the teachers was – never mix on the headphones!
A Word on Ownership
As I’m packing up for my 10th house move in the decade, I’ve noticed a few things. How much I hate packing, how much I love moving to a new place and how little material things matter.
Simple Audio Techniques for Podcasts
Most of the creative projects have three stages: pre-production, production, post-production.
The same principle applies to podcasting.
How to Spot a Trend in Podcasting?
The popularity of a podcast depends on various factors. Today I want to focus on the last one – the topic.
It’s one thing to be passionate about a subject, and another to have other people like it too.
What is your Podcast Idea?
Everything starts with an idea – podcasting is not an exemption from the rule.
It’s important to understand the basics of recording and audio editing.
Podcasting and Marketing
Should I start a podcast?
The question that every marketer asks, at least in the present times.
Why is that?
Well, if you google future of podcasting it’s easy to see that everyone seems to be bullish on the medium.
“How to Start a Podcast” Book Launch
So here it is.
After few months of writing, editing and designing I finally published my first book called “How to Start a Podcast: From 0 to 10 million downloads per month. One year with Casefile True Crime Podcast.”
We are afraid to give constructive feedback, and we are afraid to receive it.
“Afraid” may be a wrong word.
We just don’t like it.
Intro to Microphones
In this article, I want to share with you an overview of a recording microphone.
Microphones or mics are the basic instruments of capturing sounds. You have one inside your laptop, your phone and your camera.
Even in a smart watch.
What is Sound Wave
A sound wave is a disturbance of particles within a medium. A medium can be anything like air, water or steel. It is a mechanical wave and to better understand it, imagine a slinky. Now, a movement of a sound wave is kind of like a coil movement of a slinky. It either compresses or spreads apart.
Sound Recording Basics
Sound recording is an art of capturing the sound.
We perceive vibrations in the air as different sounds. We record these sounds with various equipment so we can play it back as many times as we want.
What is Stress Part IV – What Can You Do
I want to share with you a few things that helped me with stress.
Nothing too extraordinary, just a few new habits that I picked up along the way.
Some replaced the old ones.
What is Stress Part III – What NOT To Do
I want to move onto practical side on things, how do you fight stress?
I’m going into two directions here. What to do and what not to do.
What is Stress Part II – Symptoms
Let’s now discuss some of the symptoms.
You need to understand that everyone is different, some people will react to stress by sleeping all day long, others (like me) have insomnia.
What is Stress Part I – Causes
Stress. The term used every day by millions of people to describe their feelings and anxieties. I would argue that some small dose of stress can be good.
Frequency of Sound
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the waves?
How it travels?
What are the lowest pressure level humans can hear?
What is Mixing?
Sound mixing is an art of combining many sounds into one.
There is a simple metaphor to describe mixing that may explain it better.
Sound Advice On Mix Stems
Final mixes and elements are called deliverables. In the past people worked with physical film or tapes, today we have digital files.
Sound Advice On Mix Formats
When we think about the sound, we tend to see it as music in your headphones and movies on your laptop. Maybe a surround sound set up at home if you are a grown up.
It’s only when you start to dig more into the world of sound engineering you will discover there is a lot more to standard format and mixes.
Big Project Survival – Phase III “The Last Rally”
It feels like the end is near. Only a few more days and it will be over.
The project life cycle is completing.
A word of advice. Do not lower your guard.
Big Project Survival – Phase II “The Grind”
Ok, you planned every detail. The troops are ready to go.
The battle begins slowly; everything goes according to The Plan.
And suddenly, things are starting to go south; morale is falling.
Big Project Survival – Phase I “The Plan”
Not so long ago I was a part of a team working on a big project.
It was a high-profile job, and it lasted for several weeks.
And it started at the back of another task.
I’m not going to lie; it was tough. The project’s life was about three weeks.
Get Creative With Your Internship
We all know the circle. You can’t get experience without work; you can’t get work without the experience. A modern day paradox.
How To Use Your Ears
I know that we, sound engineers, are proud of our listening devices (ears), and we are keen to offer listening advice to other people. I guess it comes with the job.
What is Sound Design?
Sound design is an art of creating a soundscape for a movie, game or any other creative production. This short definition may resemble the art of Foley, but the sound design is a bit different.
What is DAW?
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation.
DAW is a computer and software that we use when working with audio.
But which one is the best?
Tips for a Great Resume
Having a good resume is important. You read that statement everywhere, you hear it from your career advisor, it seems like a no-brainer. But what does CV stand for today?
And is it still that important?
What is Foley?
Foley is an art of creating a soundscape in the movie, game or TV production.
We can describe Foley as hidden sounds. Foley is footsteps and cutlery in a busy restaurant scene.
The sound of a hand touching a table or a simple door creak.
How to Find No Experience Jobs
Work experience. Everyone talks about it, but no one saw one.
How can you find no experience jobs?
I want to mention modern paradox – work experience loop.
Can’t work without experience, can’t get experience without work.
Intro to Sound Recording
I want to introduce some basic concepts of capturing audio and some easy tips on sound engineering. For some of you, this will be boring and easy. Remember, everything is built on fundamentals.
What is Sound Editing?
We describe sound editing as an art of producing great quality sounds for mixing, implementation and processing.
In simpler words, sound editing is a laborious task of making noisy and lousy recordings sound good.
Pros and Cons of Full Time Employment
Some people prefer steady job and paycheck; others can’t imagine sitting in the same room every day. I would advise you to try both. Freelance for a bit but also work for someone too.
Freelancing and Independent Life
Independent life or stable employment.
What do you prefer?
Both choices have their merits and faults. First, let’s clarify the differences between the two.
How To Choose Studio Monitors
Monitoring is used to describe judgment on sound. For that, you will need your ears and something that will transform electric energy into acoustic sound waves.
What is ADR?
ADR is a less known area of sound engineering.
But first things first. What does ADR stand for? ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement.
Acoustics – How To Soundproof a Room
Acoustics is an art of measuring space and treating it with appropriate materials. Acoustic panels or acoustic foam are an easy example.
7 Tips for a Production Assistant
Studio runner, production assistant, a gofer. A fancy name for getting people coffee? Perhaps. But it can be so much more.
What is Dubbing?
Dubbing is an art of replacing original dialogue in a movie with localized recordings. To put it into even simpler words, can you remember the latest big animation?
What is Sound?
The sound is a part of life. It is around you when you wake up; it is there when you go to sleep. Most of the animals communicate with sound. Humans use it to express their emotions, artistic creativity, and ideas.