A letter to myself

Hey stiff,

It’s me, that means you, from the future. You’ve just moved to the great city of Lund and are just a kid. I know you think you’ve got things figured out right now (who doesn’t in his late teens?) but I’m writing you to give you some pointers for the future, things that we’ll learn along the way that will help you with your music.

Spend more time on getting the sound you want in the recording process. Instead of polishing a turd or covering up that turd with slightly less turdy tracks just move the fucking mic until it sounds right.

Spend some dough where it counts. The signal going in (sound source, microphone, preamp), acoustic treatment and monitors. It will make everything easier and better.

Less is indeed more. With so many things too! A good lesson to learn regarding tasteful processing (reverb, delay, distortion, FX) is to simply add it in and then back it off. You’ll use that more than you think to great effect.

Record yourself a lot. Just vocals and guitar, or piano if you take my advice below. It will help you find what’s wrong with your singing, your playing, your song structure and if the song in its most naked form is actually any good.

Practice your singing. For fuck sake, you didn’t learn to play guitar just by recording it every now and then. Singing is playing an instrument, and the most important instrument in many songs on top of that.

Always backup. Always. Make sure you’ve got backups of all your projects all the time. By the way, make sure you have more than one backup. And for the love of the gods, save that wicked guitar preset you create with Ohmicide! You’ll bang your head against the wall more than once for not being able to recreate it later.

You know all those recording rags you’re reading, stop wasting money on them. Most of the things in there are mediocre at best and they will never write a negative review. There are exceptions, it’s just that it’s too damn hard to find them.

Remember how you said you would be a journalist when you were fifteen? You will be, kind of, and you will at times be disgusted by it. Sell your news website that I’m using to write you this letter after 2-3 years of running it. After that you will be too emotionally invested to get rid of it and it will take up way more time than you make from it. But be sure to thank your readers every once in a while, they’re the reason that it’s valuable in the first place.

Start strength training. I know I said that this would be about music but it will seriously improve all aspects of your life. You will feel better, get laid more often, stop being such a drama queen and all those annoying things in life will echo at a much lower volume. The music will still be banging as loud though.

Pick up another instrument, something with keys. It will help you tremendously when composing, especially with VI’s. Piano, organ, whatever, just learn to play the damn thing.

I know you think your guitar playing is the shit when you’re drunk but seriously, it’s just shit.

Oh yeah, you will eventually get tired of the guitar and not practice it like a maniac anymore. That’s fine. Just remember that you’re still using guitars in a majority of your recordings so it probably makes sense to keep playing it daily, albeit not as much perhaps.

Learn from the best, not from internet warriors or recording rags. I realize the contradiction in telling you this because it’s not exactly like I’m… Eh… You’re Jack Joseph Puig yourself and people are probably listening way too much to you. Just remember that the best are the best for a reason. Pay attention to what they say.

Buy some stocks in Apple. Keep the fuck away from Avid.

If it’s important, do it everyday. Brush your teeth. Sleep well. Eat well. Play an instrument or work on some music.

I think that’s all. Either way I’m tired of writing you, you little cocky brat. I’m heading out for a beer. One last thing, always remember: Keep it simple, keep it Kalashnikov.

10 responses to A letter to myself

  1. JB says:

    Guido Reni, nice touch Stiff.

  2. harley says:

    Wow!!! The Acid must be grrrreat over there!! ;)

    h

  3. dominic says:

    ha. I bought a little chunk of avid stock a month back because its so damn low. they arent as bad as that number. I figure it will go up a bit. But yah. I don’t trust it enough to go long term.

    Look into Crossfit or something full body. you don’t need to do muscle isolation. you need a full body workout with a ton of cardio thats quick and to the point. 3 times a week and you will be in great shape.

  4. David says:

    Right on.

  5. Rolf Ebitsch says:

    Hello Stiff,

    many thanks for your frankness and honesty. That’s exactly what I estimate at your informative, instructive and wonderful Website.

    Lovely greetings,
    Rolf

  6. Slipperman says:

    Wow!

    This is proof that we all need to write “letters” to ourselves every once in while. It’s like free therapy, because you become totally honest with yourself ABOUT yourself.

    Thanks for today’s inspiration Stiff.

    Slipperman

  7. J~P says:

    Not sure how old you are but a good one would also be: Be sure to buy as many Neumann U47′s and U67′s as you can… You’ll probably get richer by buying some more apple stocks but trust me on this one!

  8. NE says:

    J~P, could you tell us some about it, or me? :)

  9. stiff says:

    Thanks everyone! Much appreciated.

    dominic: I train 4-9 sessions / week (depending on the cycle) and never miss a session. I would train more but my body wouldn’t recover properly so I spend a few hours everyday reading about it. Training is definitely my second big passion in life. This year is entirely dedicated to advanced bodyweight training.

    Slipperman: thanks for reading!

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