Updated: Jul 18
After I took a long listen to the songs Stu put together for me, I realized two things. His mixing was better than mine, and his singing was better than mine. But here's the rub, the songs were actually well written. And he liked them. So, what I'm saying is Stu enhanced them and made them stronger because he knew what he was doing on the mixing board.
Click HERE if you want to know more about Stu. Here's his photo, below. So, not only did I go back to train my vocals better, I also learned how to mix better. I tried to take those "learn how to be a music producer" classes and found them extremely snotty.
What I mean is every course featured some music producer with a half a million dollar studio. They had 7 different kinds of reference monitors with special acoustic panels and carpeting. Then, they hit you with the console, or some computer program you've got to learn. And none of it had anything to do with making music work. It's more about how awesome their studios were. Hated it.
All I had were two reference monitors I got from Guitar Center, and a free computer program called "Garage Band". Every one of the instructors I spoke with told me Logic, or Cubase, or ProTools was the industry standard. I'm no music producer, so why should I care about standards? I wanted results, not standards.
The truth is all of these snotty music producer "teachers" told me what I was doing wasn't good enough for today's music. And you know what? Maybe that's true. But GarageBand is free, and is pretty powerful if you take the time to look through it. The other thing is this: because GarageBand is a pretty simple music production software, it forces you to be a better musician, and singer. You can't go in there and lay down a bad vocal, and try to fix it in the mix. No. You just have to do the vocals right.
This meant one thing. In order to make Bait & Switch the best I could make it, I didn't need fancy tools. I needed advice. And that's the number one reason I got a hold of Phil.
To learn more about Phil Thomas Katt, click HERE.
For a quick summary, let's just say Phil is an icon in Northwest Florida, has a ton of experience as a singer/songwriter, and still holds the record for the most listened to radio program in the area. Phil walks the walk. He still runs "Late Nite" at Radio Free Pensacola, while cutting new tracks. So, it makes sense, right?
Well, Phil Thomas Katt agreed to help me with Bait & Switch. And we went in together. While I learned how to use GarageBand to mix and master songs. Phil would advise me on vocals, doubling tracks, guitar parts and adding interest to the song. Every single song on Bait & Switch he reviewed before we agreed it was finished. The last time we visited, he said I did a good job on production, and even if I was home schooled, I did well.
And that, my friend, is how great music is made. Team work. It's as true now, as it was when Elvis and The Beatles were around.
There are many aspects to the music business. And Phil will tell you the artist is the last person to get paid. So, the more of it you can do yourself, the lower the costs. It cost $6000 to hire Stu Epps to mix, master and provide vocals on "Surfando Pensacola Beach" It cost $1000 to get Phil's help on "Bait & Switch", which I would say is a great bargain just to learn from him and get a couple videos made.
What I'm saying is this. In the music business, there are two types of people: Those with money, and those with experience. The ones with experience get the money, and the ones with money get the experience.
So, when you get your copy of Bait & Switch (there are only a few copies left) just know we did everything ourselves. It would normally cost about $85K to produce an album at a Nashville studio. So every dollar you send, goes directly to the artist (me).
I wrote this blog to preserve the history of this record, as best as I can remember it. And I want to thank Phil Thomas Katt for making it possible. Without his help, nothing would've been worth listening to.