RSR011 – Kern Ramsdell – Home Recording Weekly

Kern Ramsdell
RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR011 - Kern Ramsdell - Home Recording Weekly

My guest today is Kern Ramsdell a music lover and creator of the recording blog Home Recording Weekly. His goal is to share everything that he learns about writing, playing, recording, mixing, and mastering music in home recording studios.

“I simply must get the music that I hear in my head, out. I love it when a song begins to come to life.”

Kern publishes videos, product demos, and reviews to help you out as well as hosting the Home Recording Weekly Podcast.

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​Kern also created the FREE Home Studio eBundle to help you get more realistic MIDI instruments in their productions, better sounding bass and guitars using Virtual Instruments, and better mixes as a whole. You can find out more at his site

“It’s about recording correctly, not mixing as you go. There are steps, and each step of the process you have to get right. It is an art, and it is fun, but there are some rules you have to follow.”

Kern Ramsdell

Q: What were some of the first failures you experienced that probably someone with a home studio is experiencing right now?

A: I knew I had to EQ my tracks, but I thought there was a right way and a wrong way. I was putting the same “happy face” EQ’s on all my tracks and they weren’t sounding right. I didn’t understand how to make each track have its own frequency space. It’s something you learn over time.

“I simply must get the music that I hear in my head out; I love when a song begins to come to life.” @HomeRecordingW

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Q: What were some of the things you started to see that felt like you were succeeding?

A: When people started asking me questions and I was able to help. It made me feel like they trusted me because I’ve been in their shoes.

“This music thing is so life enriching, I want everyone to experience it!” @HomeRecordingW

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Q: How do you manage time with your studio and your family?

A: It’s tough, I wasn’t good at it. I was absent when I started my podcast. It takes great amounts of time to be an online presence. You have to wake up early and stay up late, do what you have to do to make the time you need. To balance time, you have to schedule and plan ahead. Realize what time you have available and how to use it the best you can.

“Commit. Don’t save all of your options for later on in the mixing and mastering, make up your mind and commit!” 

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The “Jam Session” Q&A:

Q: What was holding you back from getting started in recording music and running your home studio?

A: I didn’t think I had anything to offer. I didn’t believe in myself. Once I got over those hurdles, I put my head down and said I want to share what I’m learning. I got so frustrated and I know there are others out there going through the same things, I don’t want them to stop.

Q: What was some of the best advice you received when you were getting started?

A: Definitely “get it right at the source.” The song production pyramid is set up so you spend most of your time in the pre-production songwriting portion. The higher you climb the pyramid the less time you spend on the task, recording, mixing, and mastering at the top. Get that instrument sounding the way you want at the beginning, you don’t want to take away from the sound with the computer.

Song Production Pyramid Podcast

Q: What is a great recording tip, hack, or secret sauce that our listeners could use for their records?

A: Put your microphone up, record a piece, listen to it, then move it. Do it a few times until you find the best spot. You can even use the light on your phone to look in the speaker cabinet to get a better idea of what the speaker actually looks like to place your mic in a better place.

Q: What’s a favorite hardware tool you love having with you in the studio?

A: Due to my injury, I just got a standing work station. You push a button and my desk goes up or down. It’s amazing, I can work longer and feel better at the end of the day. Another one is my Heil PR-30. I didn’t get it due to G.A.S. but to fix a problem in my band, but man it’s a great mic.

Q: Can you explain G.A.S?

A: Product manufactures hype up their products to make it seem we can’t get good recordings unless we buy their equipment or plugins. G.A.S is that Gear Acquisition Syndrome we all fall into where we think we need more gear to sound better. We don’t, we just need to learn to use what we do have.

Q: What is a favorite software tool you use?

A: Definitely StudioOne. Their mastering part of it just sold me on it. Also the T-RackS collection. I think their stuff is great, I use it all the time. You can do mid-side processing with most of their stuff. In mid-side mode, you can treat the extreme left and right stereo field separate then the mono center channel.

Q: What’s a good resource for the business side of recording your music?

A: Any business person you know, if they’re successful, emulate what they do. That being said, I recently reviewed a product called The Voiceover Playbook written by voiceover expert, Bill Dewees. He talks about branding, how to get clients, how to conduct yourself. I learned a lot from that.

Q: Imagine you were dropped in a strange, new city and you could only take a simple set up to record AND you had to make ends meet somehow. What would you do?

A: It’s all about word of mouth. You have to be out there meeting people. Go where the musicians are, be a friend first and eventually your name will get passed around.

Q: Can you share with us the single most important thing a listener could do to become a rock star of the recording studio?

A: Slow down and get it right. Experience with your microphones and do the heavy lifting before you hit the record button. Also commit. Don’t save all of your options for later on in the mixing and mastering, make up your mind and commit! Don’t be scared there are no mistakes, it’s art.


Website/ Blog -

Youtube –

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Twitter - @SKernR

Email – Kern@homerecordingweekly

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