2021 in Review

2021 in Review


27 DECEMBER 2021

written by Mike

2021 in Review

I have to admit; I haven’t been writing here much lately.

My goal for 2021 was to publish an original post at least once a month, and I failed to do that.

However, I don’t feel bad about it as other projects took priority over the blog – particularly the Youtube channel (over 500 subscribers!). But 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.

Tim Ferris says that he doesn’t make new year resolutions but a ‘year in review.’

I reckon it’s alright to do both – to look back and reflect but also to plan a little.

The year was unusual, to say the least, and quite enlightening – another good one in the bag!

It started with a lockdown here in the U.K. that lasted until April, if I remember correctly. We had building work done in the house during the lockdown, so we spent the first six weeks of the year locked upstairs, eating dinners out of a microwave!

The crew have done a great job, though, getting rid of a wall and opening up the space.

We did start our 6th year of Casefile with a bang. We had a lot of discussions and changed our approach to production, which I think resulted in our best year yet!

We’ve also got busy with the Casefile Presents shows. During the time spent upstairs, I was working on Pseudocide, fantastic work from Alice and Poppy; check it out if you haven’t.



Pseudocide was a challenging project. Add up lockdown, builders downstairs, winter weather and lots of work. I jumped head in onto the project and overdid it. I started suffering from migraines and head tensions. After a visit to the doctors, it turned out it was stress-related – yikes! I began to worry a bit but not enough – on that later.

We released Pseudocide on Spotify to a good reception.

The weather started to get warmer, and the lockdown restrictions were lifted, but then… 


A group of us caught Covid at the same time. It was unpleasant as I suffered from chills, confusion and overall illness. I don’t wish it on anyone so stay safe out there.

After that, we’ve released The Invisible Hand, a powerful podcast about rhino poaching in Africa. I haven’t done any production work on it; I just checked it before the release – fantastic work by Georgina Savage and her team.

We had a few trips with Paulina and Benji during summer in the U.K. as the international travel was somewhat restricted. However, it was amazing to go out in the country and explore beautiful spots around us.




Around that time, the Casefile team had to take an unexpected break because our Anonymous Host took a medical leave. It shocked everyone but gave us a needed prompt to start taking care of ourselves.

We also had another Casefile Presents release – The Labyrinth. I’ve done the production work on the series, and finally, we were able to release it. It was another success for the team.


As we released The Labyrinth, I prepared for another Casefile Presents show. We were also producing regular Casefile episodes, and of course, my Youtube was now a feature – so lots happening!

Paulina and I booked a weekend away for a kickboxing bootcamp.

As we were away, I noticed I felt strange, like having mini anxiety attacks every few hours. But, this time, and especially what happened with the Casefile break earlier, I knew I had to act.


I decided to find a therapist and get on the couch. I found someone nearby and started attending weekly sessions. I’m not going to lie – it was difficult initially – opening up and talking about what’s bottling down there.

But, after a few months, I can say that this is one of the top decisions I made this year and one of the best investments I have made lately (except my new PSI studio monitors!)

I noticed a difference in my approach to work and life; Paulina noticed a difference in my moods and overall well-being. 


As my work on Searching For Sarah was underway, something else was bothering me.

I write a lot of music on the keyboard, but I never sit down and practice. Suppose anyone would ask me to play a piece, but I can’t. I don’t know any numbers from start to finish.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working on podcasts and writing music for Casefile and Casefile Presents – it’s challenging and exciting. 

But I lost the need for the ‘fun’ play.

Therefore another decision I made this year was to find a piano teacher.  I checked out a couple and found a fantastic teacher who lives nearby. 

I have to say, it was another fantastic decision I made this year. Just the fact of having someone who will listen to me playing every week means that I find time to practice daily, even if it’s for 20 minutes.

I started to fall in love with music again, searching for new artists and pieces I could learn. It feels like I found that spark again, one I had when I was younger.


I’m into French artists now, so check out Sofiane Pamart and Grand Corps Malade.

Next year, we plan to do a little recital, so it will be the first time I play in public in years!



I also wanted to improve my overall musicianship. I take online courses from time to time, usually about audio production and engineering. This time I focused purely on music composition.

I found a youtube channel from composer Guy Michelmore and several online courses on his website ThinkSpaceEducation.

I took ones on theory, writing and harmony, and there are more than I plan to do next year! 

I also joined a Bristol book club, but that’s more for social interactions – it has been a lot of fun!


Our Youtube channel took off this year. We’ve tried various videos, tutorials, news and formats. I still feel like I’m trying to find my voice and style on the channel, but it has been a lot of fun.

The channel fulfils a few roles. First, I can share what I know by writing, researching and then recording the subjects – the knowledge is solidified in my brain better. Also, I get better in front of cameras.

Shout out to my brothers Matt and Piotr, helping me out with the channel!

2022 PLANS

There are a few things in motion.

Work-wise, I am working on a couple of new Casefile Presents shows; Casefile is coming back beginning of February 2022. This time, however, we will take four weeks off during summer so everyone can have a breather.

My brother Matt, with whom we started my Youtube channel, is moving out in early January, and I will be taking over his room and moving my studio there.

I’ve upgraded a few bits and pieces – you can watch the videos on the channel, so having a bit more room will be exciting. I am also waiting for a proper production desk which should come in a few weeks. 

I shall continue with the piano lessons and therapy sessions; on top of that, I am thinking of buying myself a big gift – a PRS guitar which I have wanted since I was a kid.

It’s a big purchase as these are expensive. However, I plan to take my musicianship further and start to practice the guitar again. I’m also thinking of purchasing a condenser microphone and incorporating more live music into my scores.

(Maybe even teaching Paulina how to play the piano could make it easier to sit down and practice.)

Youtube-wise, we shall continue posting videos. Unfortunately, Matt is moving out, so I will need to set up the camera to operate it myself. Then forward the raw videos for him to edit. My younger brother Piotr is also helping out with the edits, and we have lots of ideas for the channel so stay tuned!

We’ve released a new online course, How to Launch a Podcast, and I have another one in the works (plus plans for a couple of extra ones); we shall see how we go, though, as these take a lot of effort to produce.

It also means that I won’t be writing on the blog as much. So no commitments on this front.

I want to focus on Youtube and videos, and if I like a particular one, I will then turn it into a blog post.  


At least for me, the most important lessons were that it is crucial to enjoy simple things – walks, breaks, and stillness.

Physical health is important but mental health is even more, and proper routines can’t help if we don’t take care of ourselves. Sometimes we can do it alone; sometimes, we need someone to talk to.

I understand how obsessive I can get about the project, and that’s ok as long as I have it under control and don’t overdo it – it still happens sometimes.

Work, accolades and recognition are fine but finding something we like doing – without the need to think about how much money or prestige it will bring – can make a huge difference.

For me, it was reconnecting with my love for playing music – just for myself. Not for work, other people or anyone else.

If you can rediscover what you enjoyed doing when you were a kid – something just for you, for fun – then go for it.

Everyone around you will benefit when they sense that joy and happiness.

I think that’s what I got for now. It’s been a strange but wondrous year, and I’m looking forward to 2022!

See you later.


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Producer’s SkilL: Moving On

Producer’s SkilL: Moving On


14 NOVEMBER 2021

written by Mike



Draft 1, draft 2, draft 3, 4, 5, 6, 7! Does it ring a bell?

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?

Podcasting is no different. Even with the simplest podcasts, there is always something to adjust.

A little cut there, edit here, a bit of noise to clean up.

And while you do that, it feels like working, like you are doing something.

However, I would argue that after a certain point, the extra work is often counterproductive.

The question is, where is that point?

The answer is – it depends if you are an amateur or professional.

And let me make a distinction between the two. I’m not talking about skill, experience or knowledge.

When I say amateur, I mean a person creating the work for themselves, for free, or trying to start and work on a portfolio.

They can even make money from it, but it’s a side hustle, a little extra cash.

A Professional is someone who is working a job, and the work pays the bills. It is the primary source of income. So when someones ask – what do you do for a living? It is mainly that.

Before my first proper audio job – and I did small jobs here and there – I was an amateur.

I had no deadlines, pressures or incentives to finish the project. I could work on them till the end of the day.

Of course, the fear of being judged by others also played a part in that.

However, it was my job at the movie studio that opened my eyes to how professionals work.

And it was nothing like I ever expected!

Various documentaries, movies, and social media make us believe that we can sit in front of our piano, drawing board, or whatever, then wait until creative inspiration comes.

The magic happens, everyone comes in with incredible ideas, and the final product will bring us fame and fortune.

Maybe that was the case in the past when there were like two bands – Beatles, Rollings Stones – and everyone listened to them.

Today, content is king. And that means quality and quantity!


Don’t get me wrong, and I still believe that quality wins over quantity. However, the overall winner will be someone who can do quality content with and release often.

That’s not easy.

Back to my job at the studio.

We worked on big projects, big blockbusting movies.

Before joining the team, I always thought that this kind of high profile work would be very organised, creative and magical.

When I look back at that time, there was magic to it, no doubt about it.

However, it was far from what I expected.

Chaos, stress, strict deadlines and last-minute changes were our everyday bread.

You couldn’t stop and spend hours on one tiny thing when you had a thousand other things to do – and the deadline? Yesterday morning!

I remember when I was unsure about something, I asked my boss – highly respected head of the sound mix department and one of the most brilliant people I knew. 

He said to me

‘If it sounds good, then it is good!’

Because it wasn’t just him working on the project. It was hundreds of people, and what it counted was to get the results before the deadline. 

As good as possible, of course, but still, it was a job to finish.

I took that advice and applied it to many things in my life – podcasts, of course, being the one.

When you produce podcasts as a job, it is not just you and your standards that matter. There is a team of people as well as listeners who expect the job to finish. The fact you would like to spend more time on the project doesn’t matter. The intention does not matter.

What matters is the final result.

If you’d ask me to listen to my old work – be it older episodes or projects I have done. I would cringe thinking, ‘how on Earth could I release it. I could make it so much better now!’

Yes, now. With more knowledge and experience.

But at that time, I did the best job I could do and moved on.

That’s the point. 

It is a point when you have done the best you could and know it is time to move on.


I worked on an episode and finished it 2 or 3 weeks ahead of time, and it is just sitting there.

Do I go back and tinker? Adjust more? Perfect the mix?


I know I’ve done the best job I could according to my schedule and deadlines, and I have to move on and get on to the next thing. Otherwise, I will never finish.

Or there was a different situation some time ago when I worked on a project with a deadline in mind.

It was stressful, I was doing all the production and music, and there were many fixes, drafts and re-does on the way. In addition, I was working morning to evening every day.

Then finally, we finished it! The last draft was ticked off.

However, then the deadline was moved by three weeks! This meant that suddenly, with my time to spare, I had extra four weeks!

Did I go back and start re-doing stuff, remixing or re-working my music?


I’ve done the best I could at that moment, and even though I knew I could spend more time on it and tinker and adjust and improve, I didn’t go back.

It was time to move on,

I think you understand what I’m trying to say. 

When you work in the creative industry, your thinking and approach change.

It’s not about being a perfectionist and working on the project forever. It’s about doing the best you can, given the expectations, deadlines, budgets, limitations and thousands of other things you must consider.

It is the only way to stay sane and healthy. 

And don’t get me wrong. I want to go back; I want to improve these projects and make them better.

In my heart, I am still a perfectionist, but I counter it with realism and what is expected.

I do try to go above the expectations whenever I can, but I know where to stop.

The art of moving on is counterintuitive and extremely difficult, but in my opinion, it is the way to long and healthy success.

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Social Media & Podcasts

Social Media & Podcasts


24 JULY 2021

written by Mike



I’m going to skip explaining what social media is and what platforms are available for podcasters.

It is safe to say that you are aware of what is happening out there, plus these platforms tend to change every few years.

What I’d like to do instead is to ask a couple of questions.

Do you need social media channels for your podcast, and if yes, which ones?

You may (or may not) be a podcast listener, and if you are, then no doubt you have a few favourite shows. 

When you want to find out more about a podcast, you either visit their website or a social media channel.

Here is how things get tricky.

Some shows have friendly websites and several social media channels (with a substantial following); other shows don’t have either!

No website, no Facebook, No Insta!

What is the deal here?

Before we move forward with the answers, remember that I’m speculating. I didn’t actually do any in-depth research, and I write these blogs for fun (and out of boredom, I guess).

Now that we got that out of the way let’s proceed.

For some podcasters, it makes sense to have an active social media channel; for others, it doesn’t. So there it is, the secret answer.

Podcasting is difficult – it takes time to write, record and produce a podcast episode. On top of that, you have to think about audio production, gear, podcast hosting and uploading the content.

With all of that, taking on social media may be detrimental to your show, as it will take time from the actual work on the podcast!

Of course, it all depends on the type of show that you want to do. If it’s something like Casefile, a continuous show, then social media makes sense.

You want to stay in touch with listeners and promote new (weekly) episodes.

However, suppose your show is a limited series with 8 or ten episodes. In that case, social media won’t be as critical – it can still be but in a different way.

Let’s say you are planning a second season. Then, keeping your social media presence alive makes sense.

However, if you are done after one series, then think about it. Will you keep posting content a year from now? Two years?

Unless, you as a producer, have your own social media account where you promote the show.

Or you have the whole network, with multiple projects going.


As you can see, this is a bit more complicated than everybody thinks.

You also have to think about the actual content. What do you want to produce, and which platform is the most suitable for your ideas?

Looking at Casefile again, our host is anonymous, so Insta or Snapchat stories don’t make much sense. Not in a ‘classic’ mind anyway.

But if I was to start a Mike Migas podcast, then posting stories and vlogging would be much more suitable.

Then, think about what kind of content you want to post.

It would be a good idea that the social channels match the podcast. For example, if you run a financial podcast and then on social channels post videos of your dog, it doesn’t make sense for the listeners to follow you there unless there is an established connection.

A piece of content can either help or hurt your brand. Think about that!

The messaging should be consistent over all of the active channels.

It is a good idea that the feel of the social media content matches the actual feel of the podcast. So, for example, a serious show about murders posting funny images will be a mismatch.

Also, every platform is slightly different and will require a different look and content – some are all about videos, Twitter all about short messages, Insta about pictures, etc.

As you can see, at first, we may think that social media should be a no-brainer when starting a podcast. However, only after you realise how much work goes into that, you may want to stop and think if it is really worth it.

With Casefile, we didn’t really have a social media presence initially. It took us months to slowly get into the groove of things, and it is only recently that we have a cohesive strategy for that.

Your priority should be your podcast, so don’t spread yourself too thin with other channels, especially if it’s just you or two people.

Start with one or two and stick to it, and as you grow, you and when you start are getting ahead, then think of adding extra channels of communication.


The good thing about social media is that you get direct and instant feedback, and this can be extremely useful at the beginning.

However, and this is only my opinion, the longer you do it and develop your podcasting style, social media can become a distraction.

Especially when you get a bit of traction – you start attracting trolls and negative, borderline abusive comments.

Personally, I’m not a fan of social media. I keep the apps off my phone, and I don’t use the networks for my own profile. However, I keep them for professional use.

When it comes to social media comments, we are fortunate enough to have people that moderate them. So I tend to check the initial feedback after releasing an episode – maybe for a day or two.

But then I stop and never look at them again.

One negative comment out of 100 can still affect me, even after a few years of dealing with that. Therefore I would rather not see them at all!

So bear that in mind as well when starting to post and engage on social channels!

It feels like it’s necessary to be everywhere at all times; the FOMO is real. 

However, I’d argue that we should stick to things that feel authentic and not bother what other people think or say.

The important thing is to have fun and enjoy the creative process. If you can manage that, I think that’s already a success.

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News (Forever?) Vacation

News (Forever?) Vacation


19 MAY 2021

written by Mike




In January, I published a blog post about my ‘vacation’ from social media. You can read it here. 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. That’s it.

No scrolling the feed, no sharing the personal stuff.

After nearly a year, I have to say that this was one of the best decisions I made in recent memory.

It took a while to get rid of scrolling addiction. Still, I completely deleted my Instagram account and only posted on my Facebook page and Twitter things to do with podcasts.

Job done. I was now a free, non-addicted person!

Or was I?

Any addiction is complex, can be behavioural or biological, or both.

Usually, what happens is that when I get rid of one addiction, I replace it with something else. The trick is to be aware of it and, if necessary, replace it with something good.

Back to the social media experiment.

Even though I stopped scrolling the feeds, I still had Reddit that I used frequently. I told myself that I only subscribed to positive topics, ones that bring some value to me.

That wasn’t true at all, and after a few months, I stopped going on Reddit altogether.


Social media is out, Reddit is out, we are free!

But I replaced it with something else. And thinking about what to replace it with, I decided to do it with funny memes and news.

I like scrolling through memes, they make me laugh. The news is something that I constantly scan every morning and throughout the day. Just to be informed. To be ‘with it’.

I had work, and in between tasks, I had my memes and news. All was right.

Then, two things happened.

I noticed that even though the memes were funny, many were designed to trigger people.

Politics, world events, social justice – whatever was in the news was quickly turned into memes.

Of course, you scroll, and when you see one, you go to the comments – and that’s when the triggering happens!

Something that was supposed to make me laugh was making me annoyed and reactive. 

The second thing was more important, though.

A few weeks ago, my sister and her boyfriend visited. Once we got chatting, we started laughing about the ship that got stuck in the Suez canal and all the memes that went with it.

My sister looked at us, asking, ‘What was that about? I don’t know what happened.’

Honestly, she had no idea.

My first thought and the somewhat abrasive question was, of course, ‘How could you not know that? It was everywhere!’

She shrugged her shoulders.

This short interaction stayed on my mind that evening and the following days. My first reaction was judgmental, and of course, I thought to myself – how oblivious! Not knowing about the important events of the day!

Then I thought about why I felt that. Why did I react? And the most important – was I right or was she?


The fact was that she didn’t know because she was focused on something else – her life, her work, her passions.

That piece of information wouldn’t add any value to her life, and of course, it didn’t add any value to mine.

It was trivia, gossip, a piece of news that had no impact on my life whatsoever. And yet, it made me think that I was the informed one, the enlightened one.

The problem is, I like to know things. I want to discuss things, and I like to learn things.

However, was this news worth knowing about?

How often a piece of news added value to my life? Changed something in my life?

I can’t think of anything.

Especially now, where most news websites have to compete with social media for clicks and ads, and the content is not deep, not journalistic.

It’s clickbaity, triggering and divisive. And, of course, primarily negative because we are drawn to that kind of information.

I felt foolish for having that reaction and thinking that I was somehow informed, yet I was reading what the news media wanted me to read and see. Not objective investigative journalism.

I decided to do something that I’ve never done before. Block all the news media from my computer and not read anything for a month (at least).

I downloaded a piece of software called Cold Turkey, which blocked the meme sites and Google News, the BBC, and others I frequented.

I also made a rule that when I’m in the studio, I’m here to work. 

In the past, I would sit and browse, read news, forums, or memes.

That was about to change.

Sitting at the computer was work time, and that’s it. I don’t want to sit there and waste time on things I don’t value.

When I’m done, I can read books, watch youtube (on T.V.), go for a walk, work out, etc.

But I’m not staying in the studio if it’s not for work.

And, of course, the biggest one is staying off the news entirely for a month.

Then we’ll see what happens.


I thought about paying for credible news sources like Financial Times or The Economist to satisfy the need for ‘knowing stuff’ and stay away from clickbait articles.

However, it would only replace what and how I consume news media with other sources.

Instead, I thought about what does matter in my daily life and decided that staying off all news media is still the best option. However, I have one exception, and that is podcasting news.

I will be reading the newsletters and various websites that report on the latest developments in the podcast industry.

It still counts as work rather than consumerism.

Let’s see how it goes.

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Puppy Adjustment

Puppy Adjustment


27 JUNE 2020

written by Mike

puppy adjustment

I’m all about personal freedom. 

It’s not about politics or governments (to a degree), but I’m talking about having control over my day and being the boss of my time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, and my goal is to command each one freely.

Yes, I’m a creature of habit, I like the routine. However, I also want to set these routines for myself. Hence why, even though I always wanted a dog, I hesitated because I understood what it means. 

Something out of my control.

My wife Paulina also wanted a pup, and over the years we talked and talked about it. We made pros and cons lists, discussed it and had logical arguments. However, I could always come up with a reason why now it wasn’t the best moment, that it would limit us too much.

Then the pandemic and lockdown happened, and we started to talk about it again.

Ok,’ I said ‘If you can find the one you’d like, let’s do it‘.

She did, and a couple of weeks ago we brought home a little pup named Benji.

So what can I say after these few days?

Well, I was right. My days are fragmented; it’s challenging to stick to my daily routine as the little guy requires constant attention when he is awake. Nights are interrupted for crate and house training, and we have to manage to do work and run a business on top of it all.

He is a smart puppy and no doubt he will be an intelligent dog, but I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts about the whole situation. I worked hard to get my schedule in order, so a sudden change to that didn’t make me as happy.

However, a couple of days ago, there was a moment.

In the evening hours, I went outside with him and looked over as he was slowly exploring the garden. He sat on the ground, listening to nearby sounds of birds chirping, neighbours and distant traffic.

So I sat next to him without a phone, without a Kindle or any other distractions and I looked at clouds turning red, how the leaves are moving in the wind. I focused on my breath and observed the surroundings as we sat there for around 45 minutes.

Meditation and mindfulness helped me a lot in the past. Even though I usually put a guided meditation before sleep and try to find moments of peace throughout a day, I can’t remember last time when I consciously sat down to meditate on my own.

That moment reminded me how important it is to simplify, to pause, to be still.

It’s a difficult task as I like to work, I enjoy being busy and like most people, have a lot to do!

So yes, thank you Benji puppy for reminding me that maybe what I do is not that important, not that serious and how much I enjoy being still. 

I look forward to sitting with you in the years to come.

I reckon we’ll be fine.



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