Recording Revolution Review: How Good are the Courses from Graham?
Recording Revolution is an online school developed by Graham Cochrane that is meant to help music creators to get their songs to sound as good as major artists and bands.
The hacks and tips that are provided in the Recording Revolution aim to help users to create radio-worthy songs from their bedroom or home studio using budget equipment.👉 Click here to Learn More about the Best Courses of the Recording Revolution!
Who is Graham Cochrane?
Graham Cochrane is recording and mixing engineer who has been in the business for over 16 years. Primarily, he has a blog and a YouTube channel where he makes most of his content. He makes money through selling online courses that guide interested visitors on how to record and mix music so that it sounds similar to what can be heard on the radio.
He also has a membership site where he does a lot of coaching and training. Graham had a thriving business with 45,000 email subscribers that generated $250,000 in the span of a year, and with time, he managed to grow his email list to 120,000 engaged subscribers, making over $600,000 a year.
Graham Cochrane’s Story
Graham discovered his passion for recording music in high school. On realizing that he could go to school to study music, he decided to get a degree doing just that. In college, he amassed a lot of music-based knowledge, made some records and attempted to get signed as an artist through the connections that he had with little success.
At the time, he was primarily a vocalist, and he also played guitar. He played a lot of gigs in college, playing in a band and solo later on but this did not work out as well. Around this time, he was also developing his skill set of mixing and producing music and trying to sell stuff and creative services and products at the same time. He was freelancing, learning to produce records and enhancing his sound.
By the time he was 22, Graham was engaged and making music wasn’t quite working out as a career, and he felt the need to get a job. He tried to sell advertising a radio station, but he wasn’t particularly good at it. He also worked at a jewelry store for a period of time before eventually finding a job as an audio engineer for a software company known as Rosetta Stone which makes language learning software.
Although it wasn’t music, Graham got to use his skills in the studio to record the voice-over talent that they would put into the software, and on nights and weekends, he would host bands and singer/songwriters in his home studio who came over to record albums. He viewed this as a freelance side gig which allowed him to earn an extra income and live his dream for about three to four years.
Even though his audio engineering job at Rosetta Stone was a nine to five, the salary was not enough to sustain Graham and his family. He was in a department that was considered to be necessary but expendable at the same time, making him feel stuck. He spent almost three years working for the company.
Graham made the decision to move his family from Virginia to Florida for a new start. He started helping out one of his friends who was a pastor by leading the band with him. This was in 2009 when there was a recession, but he was lucky to get a job at another company, although it went under in three to four months living him jobless once again.
At the time, he had just bought a house for the first time and he and his wife had a baby, yet he had no solid job to support them. It was during this anxiety-inducing period that he decided to ramp up the freelance gigs to a fulltime job.
As a freelance sound mixer, Graham took tracks that had already been recorded and put them together in a compelling manner remotely. He had his clients, including his contacts in Virginia, send him files which he would edit from home for a fee.
Seeing that Graham continued to channel more of his time and effort into sound mixing, his wife encouraged him to start blogging in order to get the word about what he did with his clients to potentially generate interest and get people to send him files to work on. He also had a lot of friends that were musicians who wanted his advice on everything from the exact equipment they should use in making music to tips on how to improve their sound. These factors led him to venture into blogging as a resource.
When he got started in blogging, he was hardly web savvy, choosing to rely on WordPress because it was easy and free to use. Since he had web hosting, he could easily pick his own template and theme to make a simple blog. The first version of Recording Revolution had no logo, and he just started writing about what he knew to do and sharing the content with whoever was interested.
Even though he was bogging and freelancing, Graham did not make enough money for his family to live off. His wife was a freelance photographer at the time, and he had no idea how to turn the blog into a business. He didn’t know that people would just get ads and sponsorships or affiliate products.
Graham’s strategy was to get more readers and offer them free videos and articles before offering a paid video. To gain more information on how to run his new venture, he bought “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss which turned out to be very resourceful.
He started to build an email list and also focused on building his first product although he had no idea how to price it, if anyone would buy it, or how to sell it. The product was a Pro Tools course, and he put the content in videos. He had about three to four hours of content which he would compress into a zip file and send out to his email list of about 200 people.
Graham was able to generate traffic through Google, with many of his clients finding his blog posts through Google searches. He would do three pieces of content a week, writing two articles in his blog and one YouTube video which would also be a part of his blog. This was his rhythm for the first four and a half years of his business, figuring that if he could control the consistency of his content creation and come up with as many topics in his niche as possible, his content would rank and more people would find him.
Around the same time, Graham wrote an e-book called “The #1 Rule of Home Recording” which he made available to download for free. The e-book served as a lead magnet, with people downloading it and joining his email list.
Another strategy that Graham used to his advantage was spending time in forums and communities about music mixing. In addition to answering questions, he also posed questions of his own and generally increased his activity and visibility. He also included the link to his product so that interested parties could click on it if they wanted to.
He also used social media platforms to promote brands that he liked that weren’t particularly popular, which brought audiences of these brands to his site and also gave him the opportunity to write content that promoted them.
In 2011, Graham decided to mix things up by releasing videos on a daily basis for a month instead of just three times a week. He did five-minute videos for 31 days, and that just blew up, with his traffic doubling at the end of the month. Later that year, he launched two products that turned out to be what people really wanted to learn in his niche and they sold much better than expected and helped him expand his email list.
By the end of 2011, traffic really picked up and he made $60,000, which allowed him and his family to stop depending on food stamps. Currently, he has a list of over 120,000 subscribers and he earns an income of $600,000 a year. A lot of people also discovered him on YouTube because of his niche videos, and he currently has over 500,000 subscribers and over 30 million views.
The products you will find on the Recording Revolution website include:
You can sign up for the Mixing University for free to receive:
- Guidelines on mixing rock vocal and effects
This allows you a peek from Module 4 which covers the Mixing Walkthroughs module.
- How to achieve “Green Day Guitars” in your mixes using stock plugins.
This is a sneak peek from module 5where you will be shown a variety of mixing tricks that you can use to add new sounds and excitement into your mixes.
- Mixing checklist
To get started, you can download the Mixing Checklist as well as the multitrack stems to a given song. The main aim of the Mixing University is to encourage users to import the tracks into their DAW and follow the provided tutorials as well as the checklist so as to get a feel of how Graham mixes his songs. The checklist is as follows:
Step 1 – Organize your session
Before mixing, ensure that you clean up the visual session in your software. Arrange your tracks with percussion and drums on the left, followed by bass instruments, guitars, synths, keys, and vocals respectively. If you don’t have a master fader, ensure that you add one to the far right of the tracks you have. It might be a good idea to color code your tracks based on instrument type so that you will be able to see the difference more easily. You can rename the tracks you may receive from a client so that they make more sense.
Step 2 – Gain staging
By using clip gain, you can bring down the waveform level of any tracks that may be too “hot”. If possible, aim for a track to peak at a maximum of 75% up the meter. Keep an eye on the master fader to ensure that it is not clipping (it should peak at -6db or less). If you feel like the master fader is still too hot, pull down the clip gain of all the tracks to another 3-6db. Keep doing this until your peak doesn’t peak higher than -6db on the master fader.
Step 3 – The static mix
Start by looping the song and listening to it a couple of times as you adjust the pan pots and volume faders of each track manually as you try to find a balance. Assuming that effects and plugins don’t exist, try to make adjustments to the song by only using level and pan. You can pull everything down and then bring up tracks one after the other so as to create a balance.
Opt to start with the kick-drum, followed by the bass, snare drum, then lead vocal, and then you can fill in the mix afterwards. In case you get stuck between two pan positions or two volume levels, you can go for the one that goes well with the track for 85% of the song. If you want to, you could automate it later on.
Step 4 – Mix buss processing
Add an EQ to your mix bus (master fader) and spot one or two places where you can slightly make adjustments so as to enhance the mix. Ensure that you don’t make more than 1-2db adjustments. A compressor would also be a good idea- set to a slowed down attack time and sped up release. Gentle radio (2:1) and make adjustments to the threshold to achieve about 1-3db of gain reduction on even the loudest peaks. Don’t forget to level match the output of all the plugins so that you are not making your mix quieter or louder with these adjustments. If you have console emulation or tape saturation plugins, consider using them to add a warm vibe to your mix.
Step 5 – EQ
Use EQs to get rid of the unwanted elements in your tracks and enhance what you like. You can free up space for low instruments such as bass and kick drum using HPF (High Pass Filters) on your tracks. Execute an extreme boost and sweep around so as to find the most undesirable frequency on a track and reduce it to -3db or-6db. For a more natural sound, consider wider boosts and narrow cuts.
Step 6 – Compression
If there are any tracks that are too loud at one point and too quiet at another, you might want to use a compressor to even out the volume. A compressor can also come in handy when you want to create more punch on drums or create more excitement on a vocal or an acoustic guitar. Try applying slower and faster attack and release times to get an idea of what the compressor is doing to the audio.
Step 7 – Reverb & Delay
You can attempt to set up one delay and one reverb in your mix by utilizing an aux or buss track, rather than putting reverb and delay plugins directly on your tracks. You can then use sends to add reverb to a track of your choice.
Step 8 – Automation & Sweetening
Once you have achieved a mix that sounds good with compression, EQ, and ambient effects, you can now confirm if the mix sounds balanced and interesting over time, from the beginning to the end. Ensure that the lead vocal remains distinct and upfront on each word by using volume automation. Pan automation comes in handy when you want to mix things up and move particular tracks wide or narrow throughout the song.
Mute automation is useful in removing a track and then bringing it back later on to create more contrast. If you want to make the chorus slightly louder than the verse, you can do volume automation on the whole mix.👉 Click here to Learn More about Mixing University!
Total home recording
With Total Home Recording, Graham shows you how to go from rough ideas to final produced tracks all from a home studio perspective. It is a step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how he records bands.
Some of the areas covered include session setup, getting your instruments to sound their best, mic placement, and harnessing the power of your plugins to get better sounding recordings. Here is a sample of what you can expect to find inside Total Home Recording.
- The building blocks for a bullet-proof home studio
- Why cardioid microphones are a home studio’s best friend
- The “Infinite Studio Rack” concept and how it can change how you record forever.
- Why recording in the digital domain is completely different than analog.
- My simple 2-5 mic ultra-minimal drum mic setup
- How to get punchy, phase free drums with less effort
- A simple technique to get punchier sounding drums every time.
- The two tools you can use (that you already own) to enhance your bass tracks.
- The 10 commandments of killer guitar tone
- How you don’t need acoustic treatment or a vocal booth to get great-sounding vocal tracks.
- How to pass “the radio-ready’ test with your recordings.
The basic product comprises of the Total Home Recording course, and it will cost you $197. In addition to the Total Home Recording Course, the pro version of the product also consists of the Rethink your Room Course, “In the pocket drums” training, and custom mix critique, costing $297. The VIP version has two times the custom mix critiques you will find in the pro version, costing you $447.👉 Click here to Learn More about Total Home Recording!
Audio income project
When you sign up for the Audio Income Project, you will receive the Audio Income Guide in PDF form. In summary, the guide covers the four steps to follow so as to make an income through recording, mixing, or producing, which are as follows:
- Start by doing a lot of quality free work so as to build your portfolio
- Reach out to potential clients with your results, and build a website that accurately advertises your services.
- Increase your rates
- Keep delivering high-quality work and update your portfolio
The product also includes an online workshop that covers the following topics:
- The three biggest myths hindering you from mixing and producing music and why you don’t need to be the best to start getting paid to do what you love.
- How to figure out who your ideal client is, where to find them, and how to reach out to them that is not pushy. In the workshop, Graham provides you with a word-for-word email template that you can use to land your first clients with ease.
- The three-step process for going from no projects to having a portfolio that gets artists interested in wanting to work with you.
- The classic mistake that people make when setting up their portfolio website to showcase their work and how you can build one for under $100 that gets you high quality paid work.
- How to make yourself stand out from everybody else.
- The four crucial stages for making a side income offering music services and then how to grow that into a full-time income.
Recording Revolution comprises of products that will prove to be useful to producers, singer/songwriters, and music makers in general. All the videos and lessons that you will find in the various products of Recording Revolution provide guidelines on the different techniques you can use in mixing. They cover all the significant portions you will need to get started, ranging from basic stems to the final mastered mix.
Also included are foundational techniques and creative mixing ideas that you can experiment with to enhance your sound. The products are straightforward and easy to navigate even as a total beginner. The only downside of Recording Revolution is that it may prove too basic for advanced music makers, but even then, there are some useful tips that you can use to freshen up your techniques.
So definitely give it a go!👉 Click here to Learn More about the Best Courses of the Recording Revolution!