My “Trust, but Verify” Lesson

One of my favorite books is written by Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby.

His book – ANYTHING YOU WANT, is one of the best sellers in its category on Amazon. It’s a quick read and has some great lessons that you can apply to anything – being a musician, starting and running a company, etc.


One section that I remember vividly is titled “Trust, but verify” In it, Derek shared how he had built a system to handle most of the process behind CD Baby’s service of uploading customers music to the different online distributors like iTunes, Amazon, etc. Continue reading My “Trust, but Verify” Lesson

How [And Why] To Slate

I’ve been working as an editor for a quasi-tv-show-training-series lately, which is a little out of the norm for me. However, while I don’t consider myself a professional editor, I try to do the things I know how to do as professionally as possible. I ran into a small issue today that I could’ve just accepted, and spent the extra time fixing. But the change required would be so small and easy to implement, and would save me so much time in future edits, that I felt it important to point out. Continue reading How [And Why] To Slate

The Difference: Good vs. Bad Sound

One of the most basic, yet fundamental questions I ever get asked as a sound engineer, whether talking about live or recorded sound, is:

What makes sound GOOD?

This will be a longer post, going deeper into the different aspects of live and recorded sound, and what makes it good or bad.



Whether you’re recording audio or amplifying sound for a live performance, the quality of the sound is one of the first things an audience will notice if it’s bad. If your intent is to grow an audience or a fan base, or have audience members come back again, you can’t have bad sound. It’s within this context that we’re covering these following topics, specifically, the qualities of good sound and how to overcome the problems that cause bad sound.

Continue reading The Difference: Good vs. Bad Sound

My Advice For College Students

So you want to be a recording engineer/live sound engineer/filmmaker/screenwriter, and you’re going to college to figure out what you want to do. The typical questions you ask someone like me are:

“How did you get started?” “What classes did you take?” “How much does a degree matter?” “What advice to you have for me?”

Well, I’ll answer the last two. At risk of starting a debate, my opinion is that a degree does not matter in these industries. What you DO matters infinitely more than a piece of paper. The degree only symbolizes that you got a 2.0 average or greater after 4+ years of attending some percentage of x number of classes, and I don’t know how many of those classes related to the industry you’re trying to start a career in and how many were social dance classes to meet girls. So, what you DO matters more. This is my answer to the last question. My advice can be summed up in one phrase:

Whatever you want to do when you graduate, do it now. Do it as soon and as frequently as possible.

If you want to be a screenwriter, you will benefit more by taking a month to write a short story than you will spending $800 and 3 months of your time on a college course. Why? Because you will fail. Miserably. If you want to be a filmmaker, you will benefit more by making a short film than taking 3 months to learn about film, again, because you will fail. Miserably. But you will also learn. Just as quickly as you make a mistake – your characters are boring, your film is overexposed, your recording is too quiet – you can learn how to fix it. Watch a video, ask a mentor, do it again. Do it better. Then repeat this process as much and as quickly as you possibly can. This, in my opinion, is the fastest way to learn and grow. School teaches you a lot – how to get along with other people, how to meet deadlines, how to budget your time. It won’t teach you how to DO what you want to DO in these fields as well as JUST DOING IT will teach you.