RSR006 – Graham Cochrane – The Recording Revolution - Recording Studio Rockstars

RSR006 – Graham Cochrane – The Recording Revolution

Graham Cochrane
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RSR006 - Graham Cochrane -

Dueling mixes (check it out)

My guest on the show today is Graham Cochrane a musician, mix engineer, and audio blogger. Graham has built a very successful career recording and releasing both his own records and mixing for clients in many different genres.

He is also the creator of The Recording, a fantastic resource where you can go to learn tons about recording. You will find blog articles, youtube videos, and podcasts, all absolutely FREE.

And when you are truly ready to invest in yourself and your recordings you can also check out the in depth training courses that Graham offers. He has created complete video courses called the Rethink series to take you through different aspects of recording and mixing.

Or you can check out The Audio Income Project to help you get started building the business side of your recording career.

But the top gun training is a membership site Graham created with Joe Gilder called Dueling Mixes.

When you are ready to join an awesome community of peers to take your mixing to another level. You get access to monthly mixes from Graham and Joe, multitrack recordings, and a large support system of peers to practice your mixing and building your resume.

Dueling mixes (click the link to check it out)

Graham starts out his story on the podcast like so many of us do…

He was a musician first and had a band in high school. When they were finally ready to record they considered going the professional studio route, but instead decided to spend their budget on a home recording setup.

When Graham’s band bought a Korg Digital 8 Track they realized they were in way over their heads! So Graham took on the duty of reading through a very complicated manual to try to figure out exactly how to use the thing.

And so started his journey on the path becoming a Rockstar of the Recording Studio.

Graham humbly denies the title. (But if you want irrefutable proof CLICK HERE!)

Many records and blog posts later Graham shares with us some of the wisdom he has learned along the way…

He started with an inspirational quote that applies to all of us (from the host of This American Life.)

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Ira Glass

It is only by going through a volume of work that... your work will be as good as your ambitions 

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Then we got to talking about the process of getting better at recording and mixing.

“I’m an audio experimenter. I’m just pushing buttons until it sounds good. Just like with a guitar amp,  just turn the knob until it sounds good. And over time you get really smart about what sounds good and what doesn’t sound good.” 

“You’re just probably a solid year away from half decent recordings, and a few years away from the kind of recordings you really want to get good at. But you don’t need to buy anything new. You just need to do a lot of it.”

Graham Cochrane                 

“Experience is really valuable, even if it’s a failure. You can learn a lot from every experience, and so it’s [important to have] the courage to continue to apply what you are learning. To try new things, and not make sweeping generalizations about your entire life history or the course of your life after one experience.” - Graham Cochrane

"It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while" @recordingrev

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You only hear a mix for the first time once... and that moment is so valuable. - @recordingrev

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And if you want a great place to learn with the support of a community of peers. A place where you can develop you mixing skills with the support of Graham Cochrane and Joe Gilder as your experienced and patient guides then I highly recommend that you check out:

Dueling mixes (click through here)

  • Monthly mixes from Graham and Joe for your review
  • Downloadable Multi-tracks so that you can mix the same songs as Graham
  • An online community and Facebook peer group for reviews of your mixes
  • An unique community of support to help you take your mixes to the next level!

Recording Advice - Q&A:

  • Q - What is one failure that has taught you something throughout your career?

    • A - When I first tried being a full-time freelance engineer, I quit because of the uncertainty of a regular paycheck. I got a job as a sound designer for a while and then tried freelancing again after a while. I learned that even a failure in this industry still provides you with experience.

  • Q - What are the benefits to mixing fast?

    • A - You only hear a mix for the first time once... and that moment is so valuable.

  • Q - What are the most important things you can do to a mix?

    • A - The most important things are getting the tracks to a good level, then compression and equalization. Those three things will have the biggest impact on your mix.

The Jam Session Q&A:

  • Q - What was holding you back when you were getting started in recording

    • A - A fear that my recordings would not sound good.

  • Q - What was some of the best advice you ever received about recording

  • Just put the mic where it sounds good and don’t over think it. - Graham Cochrane @recordingrev

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  • Q - How about a tip hack or secret sauce that you would like to share from your experience?

    • A - Recording - Use cardioid microphones as much as possible when you’re recording in your home studio. Point the back of the mic towards things that sound bad to reject the noise. Mixing - Do a lot of mixing in mono. It forces you to get clarity and punch when mixing out of only one speaker.

  • Q - Do you have a favorite book you would like to share?

  • Q - Can you share a favorite hardware tool of the studio?

    • A - I have a custom Argosy desk that was built for my studio. It does nothing for the audio, but it makes me feel good about my space.

    • I also love these Kel Audio HM1, HM2D mics that are very cheap but sound great.”

  • Q - How about a favorite software tool?

  • Q - How about a great resource for the business part of the recording studio?

    • A - WordPress for your website. Paypal for collecting money. And Soundcloud for hosting your music.

    • A - It’s not the technical tools. Go meet people, make some records for free, and ask for referrals. Add value to people’s lives and serve them.

    • A - “Be your client’s trusted advisor” - Jay Abraham

  • Q - If you were dropped into a strange city and you 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 - The first thing I would do is get a job. All I would need is a laptop, a 2-channel usb interface, large-diaphragm condenser and a dynamic mic like an Shure SM57. I would be fine with the stock plugins on the DAW. Then I would just go to where music is happening and offer to record people for free. You need money to stay in this business, so a job is nothing to be ashamed of. Then you can pocket all the profits you make recording.

  • Q - How can our listeners follow you?

If you have any questions or suggestions for the show please email me:

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