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Relaunching My Blog

OK, everyone, I’d like to start by apologizing for it being a long time since my last blog post. I could make excuses about being super busy, but the truth is, I’m just a very slow writer. So, although I’ve had some pretty cool ideas for articles, each time I start writing one, by the time I manage to finish writing a coherent paragraph, I either lose track of where the article was headed, or I get an idea for a new article.

So I started thinking, what if I could figure out a way to write shorter articles, but still make them interesting and useful? I mulled over this question and let some time pass deliberately without writing any articles. During that time I worked hundreds of hours in my studio on a wide variety of projects. One thing I do while I work is keep a journal, in which I jot down things that I learn. A day rarely goes by that I don’t learn something, so the journal has grown to considerable length. Journal entries cover quite a breadth of topics, ranging from Pro Tools tips (“wow, I didn’t know that if you hold down Control Option Command and press 5 on the numeric keypad, but only on Mondays…”) to music arranging tips, music production tips (mic placement, reverb settings, etc.), and even advice on dealing with client personalities. That’s when it occurred to me that right here on my desktop there was a rich source of material for blogging. It wouldn’t require much additional effort to write the articles, because the journal entries were already written. And the articles would be short, because each one would focus on just one lesson learned that day.

At this point, if you’re like me, you’re probably saying “another blog of Pro Tools tips… just what the world needs… yawn.” But I want to emphasize that I’m not interested in that. Pro Tools is just a tool, a pretty insanely powerful tool, but a blog about how to use Pro Tools is potentially as exciting as a blog about how to use a power drill. Likewise with music production tips. I do subscribe to some music production blogs, and they can be interesting, but that also isn’t what I want to write. Because, for one thing, I’m not an expert in music production. But also because I think it’s extremely difficult to offer music production advice that reaches a universal audience. I read articles like “optimum mic placement for recording bagpipers outdoors,” and I think, hey, that’s really neat, but then I think, wait, am I ever going to do that?

OK, so I don’t plan for this blog to be a bunch of Pro Tools tips, and I don’t plan for it to be music production advice. Well, then, what is it? Here’s where I pitch my idea, and hopefully some of you will think this is worth exploring. The idea is to go on a journey together. I have no way of knowing what I’ll learn tomorrow. But I do know that I will learn something. Think of it as an open journal. No filtering. Don’t be surprised if you read a rant about how I wasted X hours trying to install some stupid software and eventually gave up. Or maybe I’ll write that I was too depressed by the news headlines, so I didn’t do any work that day, but I did learn more about this human race that I’m a part of. Or maybe I’ll write a detailed 15-step process for preparing to record the Spanish language version of an English instructional DVD.

Let’s give it a try. I guess the worst that could happen is that it turns out to be boring. And, as always, I’d love for this to be a two-way conversation: I’ll tell you what I’m learning, and you tell me what you’re learning.

Blogging About Blogging

This is not just my first entry on this blog; this is in fact my first blog entry anywhere. I’ll start off by saying that I don’t really like writing. You might wonder then why does this guy have a blog? Well, sometimes I do things that I don’t like (and I don’t do some things that I do like), because I thereby occasionally discover that I like things that I didn’t think I’d like. (One recent example, brussel sprouts, comes to mind.) If we stayed forever in our safety zones, then we’d all still be eating baby food and listening to “Wheels on the Bus.”

Lest you fear that you’re only participating in someone’s experiment to discover whether he likes to write, I also think that along the way I might write something that makes you smile or makes you curious, or who knows, maybe even annoys you. I have no pretense that you’ll like everything I write, but I’ll end with this: Someone once told me that, on the average, it’s almost impossible to say anything that more than 70% of your audience likes. This applies to all forms of self-expression, including of course music. So if it ever seems like 100% of your audience likes what you just said, then chances are you didn’t actually say anything.

So, I hope I just said something.