RSR012 – Mark Haffner – Emmy Award Winning Composer

Mark Haffner
RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR012 - Mark Haffner - Emmy Award Winning Composer

My guest on the show today is Mark Haffner, an Emmy Award-winning TV/film composer, with many film studio & TV network credits. Some of Mark’s clients include Disney, NBC, CBS, ABC, Orion Pictures, Atlantic Records, P. Diddy, Usher, Busta Rhymes, Notorious B.I.G., and many major-market USA TV stations.

Mark Haffner is a creative media production professional with over 25 years experience in the television, film, music, and advertising industries. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses shape their personal and business brand with well-crafted storytelling and focused messages.

He provides consulting and production services to clients combining his unique blend of experience in copywriting, voice coaching, music consulting and original production, video editing, show packaging, & promotional videos.

For you as a listener of Recording Studio Rockstars and for a limited time, Mark is offering a FREE 30 minute consultation on how you can better brand your business with video, music, & podcasting. 

Mark is also a business partner of mine and cohost of Podcast Professors were we teach you how to get started in podcasting. If you are interested in podcast yourself or even the audio side of podcasting you can check us out at;

Podcast Professors

And yes we do have a sense of ironic humor 🙂

“Having music in your heart and soul. There’s very few things that can’t be taught, but that’s hard to teach.” 

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Q: Can you share an inspirational quote for making music, recording, your business, or life in general?

A: Star Wars- “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” We in the music business have had to money move around a lot. It’s a very exciting time for musicians to branch out. You don’t wait for permission anymore. It’s a magnificently, democratically, freeing thing for the artistic spirit.

“Those passions that ignited your dreams] are important to remember.” @mhprod

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Q: What was an important failure or setback that became a learning lesson for you in the studio?

A: The excitement of composing in multiple genres, drove me into television and I got to work with a lot of big names doing a lot of different projects. After awhile I realized why I was getting paid so well, because I wasn’t putting out my own message, I was putting out the message of my client, the TV company that needed to raise ratings. I lost myself.

“I don’t think that music has to be a hobby, I think you can make money doing it and have a great time!” 

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Q: Tell us about a moment of success for you in recording?

A: When I was 15, I wrote a song about my band called ‘A Dream in the Making.’ It got on our first record, and others heard it and related to the message. It became a generic “dream” not just for a rock band.

Q: What are you excited about right now with your recording?

A: With podcasting and social media. I’m coming out of the box starting Mark Haffner show (podcast). I want help people make money; I want people to enjoy themselves. My area of doing that is television and film. It’s still music, still your rock band, and still song licenses but instead of licensing to Atlantic Records, you license it to Paramount and then earn royalties that can be substantial over the years if you get in a good show!

“Performance needs to be automated in your body, you can’t get it any other way than practice.” 

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The Jam Session

Q: What was holding you back at first from getting started in recording?

A: I had a fair amount of talent at a young age, and it was not hard for me to amaze people with music. But at the same time it made me very lazy. In high school I started to see people who practiced their asses off start smoking me, and I realized I needed to practice.

Q: What recording tip, hack, or secret sauce would you like to share from your experience?

A: Work backwards from the talent you have available. Record them first because then you’ll hear what they’re good at. Instead of structure and forcing everything,

Q: Can you recommend a favorite book or film about making records?

A: It’s a book about film. Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez. Book is basically a journal about how he made a movie with $7,000 while balancing a family. It sparked the revolution of people making their own movies.

Q: Can you share a favorite hardware tool for the studio?

A: Miktek ProCast SST. I have always used Neumann U-89. If you are a serious musician, save up your money to get an amazing mic!!

Q: Can you share a favorite software tool for recording?

A: CLA plugins. I think they are very quick and easy. They add all the elements you need, they tweak everything behind the scene. It gets everything in the zone quickly.

Q: If you were dropped in a strange city and could only take a simple setup for recording what would you choose? How would you find people to record, and how would you make ends meet right away to continue recording?

A: It’s all about the energy. Meet musicians wherever you can find them. I have a Zoom H6. I could walk in, meet a band, plug into their board and start recording a multitrack! I would also make videos because of social media to share a piece of the action. I’m old school and use Digital Performer to edit music. For videos I use Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, and After Effects those three programs are available through Adobe Creative Suite. You can also use Final Cut Pro, but I recommend the Adobe products!


Twitter @mhprod

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If you have any or questions about recording you would like me to answer on the show or suggestions for the show please email me:

If you dig the show and find it helpful I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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Credits: Thanks so much to Merissa Marx and Hunter Hansen for assisting with editing audio and show notes. You guys totally rock!






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