Top 3 Reasons You're NOT Recording

Posted March 23rd, 2014

If you’re here, chances are you are looking to get started with the hobby of digital home recording.

Maybe you're a DJ looking to get noticed.

Maybe you're making the transition from analog recording.

Or maybe you are just curious what the fuss is all about.

There are many strategies to get you from here (your starting point) to there (your ultimate goal).

Most people I’ve talked to have a clear and detailed understanding of just what it takes to achieve their goals and get their desired results...

::record scratch scrrrrtttttch::

Wait WHAT?!?

No no no - what I meant to say was that most people are frustrated, frazzled, and paralyzed when taking the first steps on a completely foreign challenge.  

I know that’s how I felt when I first started my crazy recording journey 6 years ago!

So when I hear stories and get comments about someone struggling with getting started with their own home studio - I know what that's like.

There’s many reasons to struggle as you try to get your arms around this hobby - but I feel like there are 3 common themes that hold people back.

I present to you...  the Top 3 Reasons you are NOT Recording!

We begin with the first theme in my list...

#1 Own It

Here's an example of a note I've gotten many, many times:

"Hi there Dave!  I'm new to home recording.  Here's a list of 27 things I already bought (including my full computer specs).

Can you tell me everything else I'll need to make professional-ish recordings at home?

Also I don't have much money so I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible - also I still want it totally 100% professional sounding.

And finally, you have a wonderfully fresh writing style and sense of humor.  I'm sure you are a total Hottie McHotterson in real life.  Thanks again!"

Well... not all of that was in the notes, but you get the point!

And here's what I say to myself every time:

"Why do people think they can record professionally at home for nothing?  What do you think they do in expensive, professional studios... play Hungry-Hungry Hippos?!?

How could I POSSIBLY know what YOU want to record in YOUR Studio!!!"  

And with that I kick my 24" inflatable unicorn across the room in anger (it was a gift... his name is Mr Sparkles).

Then one day it hit me.  There's a very important question everyone should ask themselves.

Do You Really Want To Do This???

I mean really... do you want to do this?!?

I can't want it for you - your Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Spouse, Landlord, Boss, Plumber, or Tinder Match, can't want it for you.  

You have to want it... YOU!

And that means taking responsibility.  That means OWNING IT!

You have to want to learn, to dig, and research the science of it.  You have to decide what it is YOU want to record and what steps YOU need to take to do it.

And while we can all intellectually understand this idea, people don't do it.

People don't do this with exercise, they don't do it with their careers, and they don't do it in their other interests.


I believe it's because they don't want to take responsibility for their own success or failure.  

The twist is that the easy way... is the wrong way.

Nothing is easy at first - and nothing worthwhile is easy.

So if it's a struggle, and it's a challenge, and you're not sure if you can do it - you just might be onto something worth doing!

Once you decide that YOU are the only one holding YOU back - then you're ready for the next step which is ...

#2 Take Action

If you take only 1 thing from this article I hope it's this:

Do Something TODAY!  That last word is so important.

It must be today - you've already waited this long.

It's time.  You're on a home recording website.

You are ready.  If you weren't you...WOULD...NOT...BE...READING...THIS!

What are some of the ways that we delay this fundamental step?  They include, but are not limited to:

  1. "I'm saving up to afford a new (mic / audio interface / DAW software)".
  2. "I'm looking for someone to show me what to do".
  3. "I'm researching which piece of recording gear has the best ratings / is the BEST!".

There are countless others - and my response is the same for all of them. 

Stop This Madness!

You need to get started right away.

You need to spend the LEAST amount of money you can until you LEARN what you really need.

Then you need to spend the MOST you can afford without making yourself miserable.

You want someone to show you??  Waste of time.  No one else is going to care about your studio, or make it do exactly what you want.  Do it yourself instead.

Still researching gear??  How's that going for you?!?

Here's the secret that I will tell you because you visited my site, and I like you.

Come a little closer.


I'm serious.  When you are starting it DOES...NOT...MATTER what you get.  

Check out message boards, forums, and product reviews and you'll hear strong opinions on audio interfaces... you know how many of them have used more than 1?

Not many I bet - but they make it seem like if you get the wrong one it'll transform into a robot, run around your house, and jam your pet cat into the freezer.

Don't be fooled by these yahoos!  And don't be intimidated by them either. 

You must do something today - no matter how small.  Small things you could do today include the following:

  • Learn some studio terminology
  • Consider what type of music you'd like to record
  • Think of a badass DJ name (mine is Optimus MAYHEM... stay tuned for my new LP "We Like Haus Musik")
  • Learn about MIDI
  • Check out the library for recording books (or Amazon.com if you were born in 1990 or sooner)
  • Read every single page of my site!  (Counting this one you're even closer to being done!)

#3 Be Patient

Patience is King.

Some days you will be up, some days you will be down.  The key is to keep a balanced approach and try to keep it fun.

There's no point in driving yourself insane and hating your hobby.

After all this should be a way to enjoy yourself and unwind from the stresses of the rest of your life.

Take it easy on yourself.  You're not going to sound great on day 1.

Or even day 2 or 3... or 366!  So If you need a break.  Take a break!

Some of this stuff takes a long time to really wrap your brain around.  But also try to push forward and keep the momentum you've gained.

You're like a Home Recording Pharaoh - no wait I wanna be a Pharaoh too.

WE... are like Pharaohs... and we have to see the Big Picture.

Pyramids are awesome, but they take time to build.

And the bigger the pyramid, the more important the foundation - the stronger the base needs to be.

You have to give yourself sufficient time to truly achieve something worthwhile.

So if you only remember 2 things from this article - let the 2nd be that we are now Pharaohs!!!

Someday is Today!

Take responsibility for your own growth, get started today, and simply enjoy the learning process.

That's it.  You could have avoided all that other silliness and gotten right down to it here at the end.  

But thanks for reading and visiting the site... because helping people like you is my Big Picture, and this website is my Pyramid.

Set your expectations appropriately and one day I promise you'll look up from your computer (if you are at a computer) and say:

"Hot damn!  That crazy, snarky, hilarious, devastatingly handsome, internet jockey was RIGHT!

I CAN do this!!!"

And it'll be a wonderful affirmation of all the time you've invested in your craft.  And there shall be much high-five-ing...

Whatever you do, do it today.

We can't afford to let another moment pass us by!

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