Artist Tips: What’s Better? Quantity or Quality?

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We ask ourselves all the time: should I put out lots of new stuff, or just wait to make a great recording? What’s better? Quantity or quality?

I deal with new artists every day. It’s really a blessing for me, because I feel like I can help people at the ground floor of their career and hopefully steer them in the right direction before they make a heap of mistakes. Sometimes they’ve already made the mistakes, and I can help fix them. Sometimes the mistakes are unfixable. You never know. One of the common themes I notice among new artists is a yearning to put out lots of new material, and I wanted to discuss this in this blog to maybe help a few more people out, or at least give you some things to think about before you go into the studio to record again.

Now don’t get me wrong, you need to be putting out new music constantly (or as often as you can). It’s like a conversation with your fans. If you’re not saying anything, people aren’t going to listen. New music is your artistic offering to the conversation you’re having with them, and the more you put out the richer the conversation – but what’s more important? Putting out as much music as you can to keep that going (and maybe let the quality suffer a little), or should you wait a little longer and just put out one (or a few songs) that’s slamming?

In short – NEVER EVER EVER EVER SACRIFICE QUALITY.

Now you can stop reading there if you want, but let me explain why.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it had better be damn good. 

Why does it matter? In short, the interwebs. Once something is online, you might as well assume it’s out there forever. The second you put your music out into the world it can be heard by ANYONE, at any time. Now, that may sound great but what happens when they click to the next artist on Spotify they see that’s like you and it sounds WAY better? You sound local. You sound like you’re not any good. You sound…amateur. Ugh. You’re not going to make many new fans that way.

You might be a great artist and an amazing songwriter. But if your art is presented in a way that’s sub-par you lose potential fans every time your music is compared to the big artists. And you will be, every day, and every second your music is out there. You’re better off with ONE song that screams PRO than 10 songs that eek of “local band” quality.

“But I don’t have the money.”

Yes, you do!! Anyone can do anything they want to. Maybe you don’t have it now. But saving for a few months could mean the difference between you putting out a single that’s mind-blowing and the best thing you’ve ever done vs. releasing an EP or album that’s crappy quality. If you’re going to survive in TODAY’S music industry, you can’t have a defeatist attitude. You’ve got to be a hard-headed CAN DO person, who will stop at nothing to get their way. I know people who have found investors, saved for months, put their recordings on a credit card – WHATEVER. I played cover shows with my band, and every dollar we made went to recording for over a year. It worked. Once a month, we would record a new song or two, whatever we had enough money for. Do what it takes, and come up with a plan of action that works best for you, and get the BEST you can get. And furthermore…

You get what you pay for.

One of the favorite lessons I can remember my Dad teaching me was about “the cost of free.” Sure, your buddy may play drums, or own a studio. Maybe you’ve got friends that can cover all of those bases. But what does it REALLY cost? Most likely, it will mean that you’re not getting the best quality musicians, engineers, and producers on your record. And you can’t afford that.

Paying people demands a level of respect you’re not going to get with your buddies. Even if your buddy is a producer, he’s very likely going to prioritize his other clients over you. Every time. Money talks, people! So, you get put on the back burner. And you can’t afford that. Your music is IMPORTANT, and demands the same level of attention everyone else gets.

Besides that, “hiring” your friends makes it even harder to get what you want, musically speaking when you have to be the “bad guy.” What if you don’t like what they’re playing? It gets kinda weird, you know? You don’t want to tell your bud, ‘cause he did this for free, and you say to yourself…”it’ll be fine.” UGH. NO. It will NOT be fine. It will be worse. It won’t be as good as it can be. And you can’t afford to do that!!

Great producers, engineers, studios, and musicians are WORTH the money. They make sure that your precious record isn’t mis-handled. They ensure that it’s done right. They bring years of experience (of making plenty of mistakes already) and know the best course of action for your project. And you need that advice. Your music deserves it.

It’s now up to YOU, Dear Artist, to compete with the big boys and girls. It’s up to YOU to find producers and writers that will help you craft your sound and fine tune your recording until it sounds like it belongs on the radio – just like all the big names. So take your time, research all your favorite artists and find their producers, mixers, and musicians – and save your money. Be patient. It’s worth it, trust me. :)

 – J

Josh Goode is a Dallas music producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and Tex-mex is his muse.

Groovin in Gruver!

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Man, oh man. Texas is huge. I mean, Dallas is big too, but Texas is a HUGE state. I got hired to DJ and play live at a private event in Gruver, TX with one of my songwriting buddies, Blake Burrow and on the road out to the event I am reminded of how large the state is by the length of time I have to drive…from Dallas it’s a 6 HOUR drive!! I’ve driven further, and at least I can hang with my bros Justin and Griz as they’re playing the gig as well. But for now, this little producer/songwriter will be crammed in the back seat blogging my face off, getting ready to make the crowd dance their asses off to the latest country and pop hits! Until then, friends…enjoy the fact that you can stretch your legs! Cause I. Can. Not. Move. Lol…

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Keys today for legendary drummer Charles Collins!

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Had a blast today working for Mr. Soul himself, Charles Collins! Charles is a legendary drummer from the 70’s, and he played on TONS of hit records including Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, The Temptations, and tons more of those old school pop and dance tunes. You can check out his credits here. It’s pretty insane. Thankfully for me, he moved to Dallas years ago, and now I’m his official “Pro Tools Bitch.” LOL…I help him realize his visions by bridging the gap between his old school techniques and flavors and the new school way of recording. And don’t get me wrong – Charles is a very hip musician who uses lots of new techniques to craft his records these days: it’s just easier with a guy like me to help him get it done faster. I’m very lucky to be working with him (thank you Bradley) and am thankful I can call him a friend and mentor in the business. We had the pleasure of working with Will Foraker today, who KILLED it on keys using his amazing Nord Stage2. I’m also producing Will’s first solo project, which should be done by the winter of this year.

Charles will be done with his upcoming EP when he’s damn good and ready. Hahahaha, but seriously when it’s done…watch out!!

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Had a blast at Mercy last night!!

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Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to Mercy Wine Bar for having me out tonight! It’s really a dream when you can play at a venue that will let you get artistic, and be yourself – but better yet – it’s even better to play and always know there’s going to be a crowd there that will truly *appreciate* it. I got to get really DEEP with my looping and created a number of very magical moments on the spot. That’s always SO satisfying to be able to do here in Dallas, as it’s not always so welcomed to be super experimental here. So thanks again – you guys make it worth it every time. Even better, tonight my good friend Don Brown came up and jammed some harp with me and then my favorite singer on the planet Sarah Sellers came up as well! So basically – it was UH-MAY-ZING. I love producing records, but it’s also so satisfying to play live, and just live in the moment.

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Vocals with Hannah Claire @ Audio Dallas!

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Well, we’re at it again!

Just finished a few more vocal sessions with the lovely and talented Hannah Claire! The vocals we recorded were at one of my favorite studios to work at (Audio Dallas) and it went very smoothly, as always. Thankfully I had Bradley Prakope at the helm of the starship Neve VR this time around, so it was very easy to sit back, produce, and just watch the magic happen. I got to hear the newly polished versions of a few songs I wrote with Hannah months ago, and that was really exciting too. I know everyone says that their latest work is their best – but this really is her best work as of yet. I love the songs, they fit her perfectly. The style is even more zeroed in to her own artistic angle, and I think that when people hear the “New Hannah” theyre going to absolutely love her work even more! It’s indie, it’s pop, it’s earthy, it’s tender. She’s gonna be an incredible songwriter (not that she isn’t already) but just you watch…you’ll see. until then, please enjoy some of the songs off her album I produced last year.

Have a great day!

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

New Track with #1 Billboard artist Vandell Andrew!!

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So very excited to announce I’ve just completed a fantastic new recording with #1 Billboard artist, Vandell Andrew!! He’s a transport from Louisiana to Dallas, and is a completely sick, disgusting (read: amazing, incredible) saxophonist who I’ve worked with and produced before. I really wanted to do something different this time around with him, though. Instead of sticking to the normal smooth jazz flavor he’s best known for, I pushed him to get a bit more outside of the box, and the result is this track – “Keep Going.” It’s like a lounge/house/chill vibe (very Café Del Mar vibe) mixed with a smooth jazz saxophone caramel on top. Slightly pop flavored, but still produced in a very lounge-y way. He did all of his recording the first day, and a lot of it is on the very first take! Please check it out now, and tell me what you think. It’s a great vibe, and something I’m proud to have done with him! Enjoy!

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Neon Lights and Stardust!!

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What a blast it is to play with an artist I’ve produced! I get to watch the songs that were once just little programmed baby-demos become real live breathing entities that are shot out into the world through amplifiers, microphones and speakers and watch that energy affect people. I. Love. It. I was playing with Ellen Once Again tonight for the Dallas RAW Artists Festival, and it was incredible! We played on the main stage in front of TONS of people. My favorite moment was probably playing “Neon Lights and Stardust” one of the new singles off of Ellen’s new EP, titled “Another Chance To Live.” It’s a heavier dance vibe (which of course, I loved doing) than her last singles, and has her own perfect pop flair to it.

Ellen’s been seeing some great successes lately. Her song “I Do” has been featured on Glee, Dance Moms, PopSugar, and several other shows on NBC. It’s very cool to watch all this happen after just conceiving a little idea in our studio in Dallas. Her EP (available now on iTunes) also features Jeremy Lutito on Drums and Tony Lucido on Bass. They’ve both played on some amazing records from Ingrid Michaelson, Kelly Clarkson to The Doobie Brothers. Always incredible to make such amazing music and watch it grow and get “out there!!” SO go now and check out her stuff!! Here’s a link to my SoundCloud so you can preview it before you buy it. Because…um….you will BUY it, right?? :)

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Blues @ The Goat!!

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Oh man….I got it bad. I had the blues BAD tonight. But in the best of ways. Even though I spend a lot of my time producing pop and dance records, I also play a handful of live shows. I was invited by my good friend Jerry Smith (of Legendary Woo Brothers fame) to come play with him. Truth be told, Jerry’s been asking me for months and I have wanted to come play with him SO badly – but I was ALWAYS booked! So finally the timing was right, and we found a good date to play my favorite dive bar in Dallas, The Goat. Thankfully (and embarassingly) my Dad was there to catch it on video. I will say – I had had a few Shiner Bocks when this video was taken…but it’s still pretty fun to watch! Enjoy!!

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Panhandling in Heaven…

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Man, I’m in heaven. Or at least floating down from it. :) I got to produce some records at one of my absolute FAVORITE studios in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area this week, Panhandle House. This place is absolutely incredible. To maybe illustrate how incredible it is, The Eagles just recorded their last record there. But then again, so has Zane Williams, Bowling For Soup, The Eli Young Band, and many many other people. It’s sick. And gorgeous, and comfortable, and….sigh. Heaven. I love the room, I love the people that work there, and I LOOOOOVE the vibe. They have an immaculately kept vintage Neve 8058 that sounds like you just got slammed with a velvet pillow across your face that had been sitting outside in the sun for three days by the California coast in a constant 70 degree breeze. “Great” doesn’t even begin to cover it. It makes me do my happy dance. :) I got to produce there this week as I have several times in the last 5 years, and I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. This time around it was for budding new singer/songwriter Alexi Hill. She has a very unique tone, and some very very cool songs. I can’t play it for you yet – but it’s coming down the pipeline so stay tuned! Until then…go find a velvet pillow that’s been in Cali to slap yourself in the face with. :)

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Vandell Andrew Live

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So much fun tonight. So. Much. Fun. I got to play with Vandell Andrew, one of my favorite saxophonists here in Dallas. He and I are currently working on a brand new single you’ll hear soon. It a super stinky mix of my dance style production and his silky jazz playin style. Dope. 

As we were working on the production he asked if I was available to play some dates with him. I jumped at the chance to play with him as I love his music, and I don’t get to play enough soul jazz. I mean, really – can there ever be enough of that to play on? :)

His band is rock solid, and was a blast to play with. We tore it up and left nothing on the stage at the City Tavern in downtown Dallas. Thanks to all that came out – it was a packed show!! See you next time, friends! 

– J