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#114: Identity Crisis and The End of AfroDJMac

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;" -Shakespeare I've decided to drop the name AfroDJMac and move forward using my actual name, Brian Funk. I've wrestled with artist names for a while and decided to just drop it. The result has been surprisingly liberating. In this episode, we talk about artist names, why we have, and if we even need them. I'll go over why I adopted one in the first place and why I've now let it go. I have some ideas about...


#113: Matty Harris - Mixing and Mastering Engineer

Matty Harris is a mixing and mastering engineer who has worked with Kelly Clarkson, Sammy Adams, Lil Yachty, A$AP Rocky, Cousin Stizz, Cam Meekins, and many more. He runs the online mixing and mastering site Matty and I had a great conversation about some best practices in mixing and mastering. Matty shared some of his favorite tools and offered some practical advice that can help producers of all levels. I enjoyed how open Matty was with sharing his knowledge and...


#112: Artist as Observer vs. Creator

Musicians and artists are often thought of as creatives. We build, construct, and create out of thin air. In this episode, I explore the benefits of changing our thinking as that of a creator to that of an observer. By becoming an observer, we are noticing and curating the art and music. It can take the pressure out of the creative process and teach us to be more openminded. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or Spotify; watch on YouTube Show Notes: Jason Timothy on the Music...


#111: 10 Things To Do When You Are Uninspired

It’s impossible to live in a constant state of inspiration. Truth is, inspiration is quite rare. And when it comes, it is hard to hold on to. So what can we do when we don’t feel like getting to work or we don’t have any ideas? This is a struggle I am currently feeling, so I made a list of things I can do to regain some inspiration and find new ideas. This episode of the podcast is really a pep talk to myself. I hope it can help you next time you are struggling to find ideas and...


#110: David Frangioni - Technologist, Engineer, Producer, Drummer, and Author of Crash!

David Frangioni is a drummer, music technologist, studio designer, and author of the book Crash, which is an illustrative chronicle of rock and roll's legendary drum kits. He has worked with a who's who of rock legends like Aerosmith, Sting, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr, and KISS. His company, Audio One, builds and installs the most high-end luxury studios. David just released the book Crash! The World's Greatest Drum Kits. In this episode of the podcast, David Frangioni shares his experience...


#109: Mark Cawley - Songwriter and Author of Song Journey

Mark Cawley is a hit songwriter, with credits to his name for artists like Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, and many more. His new book, Song Journey: A Hit Songwriter’s Guide Through the Process, the Perils, and the Payoff of Writing Songs for a Living, offers practical steps and advice for songwriters. It's currently the #1 new release in the Music Composition category on Amazon. Mark also offers one on one coaching to songwriters at his website It was great to talk with...


#108: Music Production Problems

If one thing is for sure, you will run into problems while producing music. Maybe it's a technical issue, a creative issue, or a personal issue, either way, you are sure to have them. So what do you do? In this episode, I offer some ways of rethinking problems from something bad to something good and productive. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or Spotify; watch on YouTube Show Notes: REEL SYNTHS V2: MOOG MG-1 Ableton Live Pack - the intro music was composed using this new...


#107: GARDNSOUND - Synthesizers, Pets, Ethics, and Making Music

GARDNSOUND is the work of Gardner Beson, a musician, producer, and YouTuber known for his helpful tutorials. Gardner generously shares his production techniques and skills with his audience. He runs Gardnsound Studios, which caters to artists that excel at breaking through the barriers that contain conventional EDM. I had an interesting and wide-ranging conversation with Gardner. The first five minutes center around his pet parrot Lyla, who was present for the conversation. Then we move on...


#106: Stay Productive with Lists

As I've been working on my live performance set, I've found two simple things helping quite a lot: to-do lists and done lists. In this episode, I share how I am using simple lists to help with my productivity and motivation. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or Spotify; watch on YouTube Show Notes: REEL SYNTHS V1: PROPHET 6 - Ableton Live Pack made with sounds of the Prophet 6 analog synthesizer, sampled to reel to reel tapes. Workflowy - Great tool for making to-do...


#105: Jason Timothy Ward 2 - The Mental Game of Music Production

Jason Timothy Ward runs the site, where he teaches you how to produce music by not just showing you the tools, but also addressing the mental side. What I love about Jason's work is his ability to deal with the philosophical side of his art. Jason has tremendous insight on how our mind often gets in the way of our work, and offers practical solutions we can all use. In our second conversation, Jason and I pick up where we left off, talking workflow, best practices,...


#104: Produce Like a Chef: Mise-En-Place

The kitchen of a restaurant can be one of the more hectic workplaces. In order to make delicious dinners in all of the chaos, chefs need to be extremely disciplined. As music producers, we can learn a lot about our craft by observing how chefs manage to complete their art in the "heat" of the moment (couldn't resist the pun :). Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or Spotify; watch on YouTube Show Notes: Micro Cassette Ableton Live Pack - all sounds in the intro music were...


#103: Eshan Khadaroo aka Push4Life 2: Challenging Yourself to Keep Growing

Eshan Khadaroo has performed with Grammy award winning artists such as Cirque Du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Imogen Heap, and many more. In recent years, Eshan has been releasing some of the finest tutorials and video courses for Ableton Push under the name Push4Life. Eshan just released a new video course called Getting to Know (and love) Chromatic Mode on Ableton Push 2. Eshan is offering listeners of this podcast access to the first set of tutorials in the new course for free at:...


#102: Nate Beaudry aka Chef Elf - Making Tracks Every Day for Over a Year

Nate Beaudry makes music as Chef Elf. He is an incredible example of discipline and hard work. Nate has released a new track every day since January 1, 2018; that's over 400 tracks! Nate and I had a great conversation about making music, staying productive, and finding ways to show up every day and get to work. Nate shares some tips he has discovered over the last year that has helped him keep working. The conversation covers lots of topics and even takes some unexpected turns to a long...


#101: Tom Frampton 2 - Revealing the Truth in Your Mixes

Tom Frampton is the creator of Mastering the Mix, a site dedicated to teaching producers how to get the best mixes of their music possible. He recently released a new service called Bounce Boss that simplifies and streamlines the collaboration process. Tom also has a host of plug-ins that can help you create the best mix possible. This is the second time I've had a chance to talk with Tom. We discussed his new project, Bounce Boss, and got into the truth of what is happening when you load...


#100: Go Now; Correct Course Later

It's episode 100! I felt a lot of pressure to make episode 100 something special. Soon the anticipation grew into anxiety and worry. It's very common for us to build things up so big in our minds that they seem insurmountable. In this episode, I retreat back to the same approach that got this podcast started in the first place and discuss how we can apply that to making music. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or Spotify; watch on YouTube Show Notes: Music Production Podcast...


#99: Mark Mosher - Synthesist, Live Performance, Track Deconstruction

Mark Mosher is a Synthesist, Composer, Performer, Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup, and hosts the Sonic Encounters Podcast. He has run his music production blog, Modulate This! (now merged with his website) for about 15 years. Mark plays in a number of ensembles and has produced music and visuals for the stage, planetariums, and picture. Mark and I had an excellent conversation about his work as a synthesist, composer, and live performer. We discussed his...


#98: Francis Preve - Sound Design, Synthesis, VanLife

Francis Preve is a sound designer, journalist, and educator. He teaches synthesis and sound design at Austin Community College. His writings on synthesis, sound design and gear can be found in top publications such as Keyboard magazine, Computer Music Magazine, and CDM. Francis has contributed synthesizer presets to just about every major manufacturer of hardware and software synths. It is quite likely you have some of his sounds in your collection. This is the second time Francis has taken...


#97: Fighting Off the NAMM Gear Lust

It's time for another NAMM show! This weekend, manufacturers from around the world will gather in Los Angeles to showcase their latest gear. It's one of the most exciting times of the year for music makers. Perhaps there will be the announcement of that magic piece of gear that will finally enable you to release all that music locked up inside you... The truth is, you probably already have everything you need to make that music. And further more, much of what you have likely sits in your...


#96: Zaak Kerstetter - Ableton Certified Trainer, Zenotope

Zaak Kerstetter is an Ableton Certified Trainer, producer and performer. He makes music as Zenotope, combining elements of glitch, ambient, downtempo, and bass with doses of classical and sci-fi. Zaak has worked at many different music production schools and is currently working and teaching at KMGLife. I met Zaak at Ableton Loop in November, and we hit it off immediately. We talked about making music, production tips, and education philosophy. So I was excited to pick up our conversation...


#95 : Sahil Lavingia - Gumroad CEO; Less is More

Sahil Lavingia is a designer, writer, painter, and creator of Gumroad. Gumroad is a platform designed for artists to sell and share their work; it’s what I use to distribute all of my own products. While still a teenager, Sahil was the first designer for Pinterest. Sahil and I had an awesome conversation about art, music, and the creative process. We discussed simplicity and productivity. I was immediately struck by the depth of his focus and his ability to see connections between so many...