Solve Your D.I.Y. Music Challenges

When it comes to your music, there are many moving parts. Imagine your career like a big tree with big branches. Some of those branches are titled marketing, recording, sales, and touring. In order for those branches to flourish, they require certain expertise to make them grow. 


As artists, we’re creative individuals with other skills besides making music. We may know a little bit about marketing or sales. But how good are you? At first, you may want to give these branches more of your limited attention, but in doing so, you might be holding yourself back. Why? Because you may not have the knowledge or experience to do it right and you’ll end up spinning your wheels.


By having a team of talented individuals in your corner, it will make things a little more feasible. Not only will you have better results, but you’ll have more time to focus on the most important branch, music. You may not be at a point where you can pay people much, but be creative and find a ways build a team that’ll benefit everyone.


The Master Plan


One night, I stayed up late reading about how acoustic treatment can affect the outcome of a mix. I’ve always known that in order to mix well, you need a trained ear, some mixing chops, and a good room, to name a few. As I sat back and looked around my room, I realized my empty walls were partly the source of my poor mixes, among other things. If I wanted to improve, I needed to acoustically treat the room, which is something I could easily and immediately do. The question was how would I actually do that?


I began by Googling how to build acoustic panels. It’s no surprise that I found tons of information on YouTube and got some great ideas. After an hour of sifting through how-to’s, I made a list of materials, transferred the funds with my bank, and cleaned out my car to make room for the stuff. I was on a mission to make these panels and couldn’t wait to get started.


Building My Team


As soon as I returned to the studio, I laid every piece of wood, screw, and anchor in front of me to visualize the work I was about to do. I had everything to get started, except, there was one big problem. I had never done a project where I had to build something like this before. As I stared at these pieces on the studio floor, this project suddenly became unclear. I knew I needed help if I was going to do it right. Luckily, my fiancee is quite handy and helped me to get things started. Over the course of a weekend, we worked tirelessly to build my panels. By the time we got around to the last panel, I pretty much knew what I was doing. And, surely enough, by that Sunday evening, we built 4 solid 48” x 24” x 2” panels that are still up at AgruvStudios. 


Can’t Do It All On My Own


Yes, I could have bought them pre-made, but by making them there was no wait time for delivery, I learned how to build panels, and I saved money. If it wasn’t for my fiancee, my panels would probably not be as stable as they are now. And because she has a keen eye for design, she helped me find some prints that made the studio look even better. I’m not a great builder. I’m not a builder period. I can barely put together a shoe rack from Target. That’s my weakness (which I’m improving). Had I built those panels myself because I wanted 100% control of the process or I wanted them done “right”, they certainly wouldn’t have the stability they have now. My project would have failed.


DIY does not necessarily mean “do it alone”. However, it does mean that you need know your strengths and weaknesses to build a team. Success in music doesn’t happen in a vacuum. People are your biggest asset. The right people will help you solve specific challenges that are holding you back. Hiring video, picture or sound editors are great investments because with their knowledge, they will help you have a better chance at success in your career. 


Now go forth and build your team