50 Things I Have Learned in 10 Years.

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the first recording session here.  To commemorate that achievement, here are 50 things I have learned along the way.

  1. No two recording sessions present the same opportunities / challenges / snack options / inside jokes.
  2. Everyone loves talking about food.
  3. Most people don’t give a shit about compression thresholds, etc – they just care how it affects them as a both creator and listener. (Probably the correct approach.)
  4. Having a listed telephone number is one of the more adventurous things you can do.
  5. People ask some strange questions over the phone.
  6. Brains are the most important piece of gear.
  7. Subway is never a viable food option.
  8. I genuinely care about your recordings- and your experience here making them.
  9. Game of Thrones effects so many people- and so many sessions. (Honorable Mention: Making A Murder, Breaking Bad.)
  10. I have seen the demise of the CD firsthand.
  11. DropBox changed everything.
  12. It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.
  13. 2016 Craft Beer = 2006 “Indie Rock”.  (“Have you ever drank…” is the new “Have you heard of…?”
  14. The term “indie rock” is the worst.
  15. Most people have an affinity for reverb.
  16. I hate click tracks, yet understand the necessity of them at times.
  17. I still feel an immense sense of pride turning the lock here everyday.
  18. Everyone has an opinion about Kanye West.
  19. I’m (We’re) never going to make the “perfect” record…
  20. …but thats kind of the point. Lets try again tomorrow.
  21. We will start as strangers but end as friends.  Its so cliche it makes me want to vomit but I’m done doubting it.
  22. Im still not concerned about genre or style of music. Good is good. Effective is effective.
  23. I still don’t care if your record sells 4 or 400,000 copies.
  24. Most guitar solos are masturbatory.
  25. The most important thing I can be for you is organized.
  26. The world is full of kind, talented people.
  27. Panning is more about separating overlapping frequency than creating amazing headphone mixes for stoners. Just kidding. Both are true.
  28. You learn so much about someone from their choice in guitar strap.
  29. Drummers that wear gloves scare me.
  30. I’m a handshake or a hug person.  Attempts at anything in between gives me anxiety.
  31. Im always pleased when audio trends run their course. (Additional floor tom played by non drummer, etc.)
  32. Giving out my cell phone number is always a crap shoot.
  33. I am always nervous before first sessions.
  34. I don’t like to reference other recordings when making yours.
  35. Cymbals bleed.
  36. The piano / cello combination is a tearjerker for me.
  37. I still don’t think you should give away your record.
  38. I loathe the “loudness war” conversation.
  39. Traditional song structure is overrated and outdated.
  40. I love working with kids.
  41. Recording software gives us too much control.
  42. But we would be idiots not to use it to our advantage when applicable.
  43. People have a really hard time just walking by a microphone that is at mouth level.
  44. I’m not nostalgic about the past, just excited about the future.
  45. You can never have too many external hard drives.
  46. The relationships I have with the creators is just as important as the resulting record.
  47. I can eat the entire lunch I brought in the time it takes you to track a vocal. (Equal parts pride / shame.)
  48. The “piano” setting on a keyboard is just too perfect for us to take seriously.
  49. Putting out a record into the world is still an amazing act.
  50. I could write a million of these.

When I look back over the last 10 years, I just feel incredibly grateful.  Grateful to be trusted with your noise, grateful to be in the constant company of such wonderful people, and grateful to call so many of you friends.

Thanks for reading this.

Looking forward to the next 10,

Rick.

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