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3 Tips for Success in the Recording Industry

Hi, it’s Warren Huart here. Hope you’re doing marvelously well. As ever, please go to and sign up for the email list, and you’ll get loads of free files, etcetera to download, you’ll get exclusive video content on how to record drums, and pianos, and all kinds of fun stuff. A lot of extended videos, and we’re always doing competitions and giveaways, so please subscribe.

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So obviously, I have a lot of assistants and interns that have worked with me over the years, and a lot of people ask me, you know, can they come and assist me? Can they come and intern with me? And I’ve had many, many assistants and interns over the years, and some have gone on to be incredibly successful. My assistant on the second Fray record is now a very well known engineer and producer. He assisted me on the album, he won a Grammy for Bon Iver’s second album.

My assistant and my full time engineer that worked with me for nearly nine years won a Grammy for recording Adele’s “Someone Like You,” and then there’s plenty of other people that have worked with me and gone on to be very successful, and have their own careers, and be producers, and engineers, and songwriters, etcetera.

The reason why I wanted to bring that up is because there’s sort of a common denominator in their success. They are both very musical. The — and the ones that are continuing, those two that won Grammy’s, but also the two that have gone on — the several others that have gone on to have careers are very musical, and have used their musical abilities mixed in with their ability to be technical as well, and engineer, and you know, mix and produce and everything.

Both as well also are very good “people” people. They are very good at communicating, and very expressive in what they want, and what they need from an artist, and they make the artist feel very, very comfortable. So I believe that now, doing what we’re doing, you know, as producers, engineers, mixers, songwriters, etcetera, we really have to pull all of our resources and use everything that we have got at our disposal to really be successful.

Just being good at one area is great, but the way that the industry has shrunk now, you’ve got a lot of these kind of really famous old producers that are hurting from work, because they may not have come up as engineers. They may not have come up as musicians. They may not be song writers. And so, the ones that still continues to flourish are really good at all of those things. They’re producers, they’re engineers, they’re song writers, they’re musicians, obviously they can mix the song, and frankly, they have their own studio and own — they’re not spending, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars a project on external studios.

So look at that and think to yourself, “Well, how am I going to be successful? How can I have a career doing music on the other side of the glass? Not on the performance side, but on this side?” And I think seeing the way that the industry is at the moment, find your niche, and find your differentiator. You know, think of the Malcolm Gladwell thing. The outliers thing. Think of what you can do that’s different from everybody else, and really kind of explore that.

I met with somebody just the other day who was Brazilian and speaks Portuguese, and I was talking to him, and he wanted to come in and work with me, and I thought to myself, being Portuguese, and understanding — I’m sorry, being Brazilian and understanding Portuguese, and understanding that style of music is a huge differentiator. If you’re living in Los Angeles, or New York, or Chicago, or Atlanta or whatever, and you are working with Brazilian bands, even if it’s just them sending you files online and you’re mixing it, and you’re building a catalog of material that you’ve worked on, which is different to what other people have here, that’s a huge deal, because you can license that music, you can — understanding a different a genre your own, and then introducing it into other people’s music is a big, big deal.

I think it’s about just being another person doing this is okay, and being the best possible is also okay, and will and should get you a long way. However, you need to make sure that you’re not just copying other people’s things. Do your own individual style. Bring your own flare to it. Being really good at Pro Tools — if you use Pro Tools — is kind of a bottom line. It’s like, if you can’t — if you’re not really, really good at your DAW, then you’re not really going to do well. That’s something you should do anyway. Make sure you’re really good at editing, because that should be second nature to you, and you should be concentrating on listening to the music.

So get your skill set together. Get really good at your DAW. Find your niche. Find out something that you do that you love, and that you’re passionate about. If you’re a guitar player and you like heavy rock, well you know what, maybe there’s not the biggest heavy rock bands in the world, but it doesn’t matter. There’s enough people that play heavy rock and love heavy rock that you could do and be the best at doing heavy rock.

If you do Hip Hop, be the best at Hip Hop, and know your genre. Whatever you choose to do, just really, really put your passion into it, and be really good at it, and be different to other people.

Work on your people skills. Understand the musicians. There’s lots of people out there that are really, really good at what they do, but they go to people that they can communicate with, and they feel like they’re able to express themselves with, because an artist wants — doesn’t just want to be railroaded and told how to record, even if we have a better understanding than they do. That doesn’t matter. They need to feel like they are bringing something to the project and you are allowing it to flourish.

So get really good at your people skills.

And I think thirdly, and probably most importantly, market yourself. Market yourself and let people know that you’re really, really good at what you do, and the way to do that is to work a lot. I work a lot, and sometimes, I get paid a lot of money by a major label to do something, and other times, I work with artists that I’ve really strongly believed in, and I put a lot of hours into it, and I don’t get paid as much.

Sometimes, my reward is that I write the songs with the artist. So if I’m a co-writer on stuff, it gives me ownership of the material, and I may not get paid as much. Sometimes, I do it on spec if it’s something I really believe in. So — and that is the way that I market myself. I’m continually working with artists, and putting them out there, and they are putting me out there, by them in turn using social media to market me, I market them, etcetera, etcetera.

So to recap on the three, be really, really good at Pro Tools, your DAW, you know, Cubase, Nuendo, whatever it is, Logic… Be so good at it, you know, that it’s about the music. Make sure that you have your niche that you are really good at something, and passionate about something, and that you focus on what you’re good at.

Make sure you have great people skills, and you let the artist flourish in the recording situation, and you don’t railroad them, and lastly, market yourself, so that people know you’re out there. It’s not about showing off, it’s just about making sure that people understand what you do. Building a website is easy. Having a great Facebook page is even easier. You know, there’s nothing really stopping us from marketing ourselves. You know, use Twitter regularly. Use Instagram.

Or use all of those things to get yourself out there so people know who you are, and if you’ve got the goods to back it up, and you’re good at what you do, then you will flourish.

Okay, so once again, please go to and sign up for the email list, and I’ll send you free stuff, you know, drum samples, behind the scenes videos on recordings, we’re going with Daniel Powter next week, so we’ll do something with Victor Indrizzo, who’s an incredible drummer. So we’ll do a little bit with him.

We also did Sean Hurley already, but we’ll do Victor this time. You’ll love him, he’s a fantastic drummer, and that will be something that will be available. There is also like I said, drum files, there’s also drum files that were recorded by Greg D’Angelo that you can edit. You can go to our Beat Detective video and learn how to edit drums, then actually edit the files that I was editing.

And of course, subscribe! And thank you ever so much for watching, I really appreciate it, and have a marvelous time recording.

Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at
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