How To Record Music

Over the weekend I found just enough time to put together a new website called HowToRecordMusic.com that will be dedicated towards my love of teaching the art of recording music. I have been recording music for over 20 years and while it's been a wonderful journey of giving my music away, I've never had the ability or desire to give my tricks of the trade away. Well, all of this will change now. I am going to focus in on what works and what doesn't in the modern world of recording music in every genre.

Music Is My Therapy

To me, music is my therapy, my inhale, my exhale, my way of capturing and releasing my emotions, my way of communication. Music has always been there for me when times became overwhelming.

My Personal Goal

HowToRecordMusic.com is going to keep me inspired, honest, dedicated, hungry, and educated. I can only hope that it treat you the same.

Get Social

Today is the first post. I setup the YouTube Channel: @howtorecordmusic and I plan on uploading at least 1-3 videos per week. I'm still re-learning how to use final cut pro (it's been awhile) so bare with me while I crawl through the learning curve and find a nice content creation rhythm.

Additionally, you can stay connected to more content on Twitter: @howtorecordnyc, Instagram: @howtorecordmusic, Facebook: @howtorecord, and Google+: @howtorecordmusic account to help you stay connected to the content.

Contact

As always, please feel free to reach out to me personally at @erictherobot or checkout my blog at erictherobot.com

Over the weekend I found just enough time to put together a new website called HowToRecordMusic.com that will be dedicated towards my love of teaching the art of recording music. I have been recording music for over 20 years and while it's been a wonderful journey of giving my…

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Launching Soundfly.com with NodeJS

For the past month or so, I've been working on creating an interactive music learning platform with a bunch of amazing and talented musicians, DIYers and makers in Brooklyn called Soundfly.

We're launching our initial concept on September 3rd, 2014 and we're excited to see how the app translates to the rest of the world. Particularly those interested in learning how to play music for the first time as well as advanced courses that will teach you a thing or two about how to improve your current playing skills.

My role at Soundfly is CTO, which is fitting since I am the only tech person (this startup is running lean and I love it) for now. Prior to joining I started working on porting all of my existing PHP apps and websites over to NodeJS, Express, MongoDB, Jade, and Less. I couldn't be any happier with this decision and I've been writing Soundfly's new codebase using a boilerplate NodeJS app that I created prior to joining the team. It's not only helped us produce more work in roughly one month's time, it's also allowed me, a single developer, to rapidly prototype Ian's (our CEO/Founder) design and product decisions in a more flexible and time saving approach.

I honestly love working in Javascript, I never thought I would be using it for an entire web stack. I mean, working in Atom (Githubs IDE) which is written in NodeJS, the ease of installing modules through NPM, the ability to debug so much easier, and working with JSON through the app is incredibly fun to me.

For us at Soundfly, we plan on thinking big and acting small. With that said, we need to move quickly and a have laser sharp understanding and focus of our individual contributions in order to be the most effective and productive. I'm afraid of how long this project would have taken me if I created it in another language. Node is becoming my all time favorite and it's making my job fun and full of life again.

After our launch in September, we will be focusing on several new courses and more advanced interactive learning games. We've been asking the question of "how do people learn online?" we don't believe it's a one size fits all model, we believe people take different steps in learning and comprehension and that everyone's path is unique. We're planning on discovering some best practices and applying these concepts on an more individual and impactful level. Indeed, we have some wonderful challenges ahead and I'm really looking forward to seeing how our app performs throughout it's lifespan.

If you're reading this and thinking to yourself that you would like to start learning how to play music from anywhere, please visit http://soundfly.com and signup to be notified of our official launch.

For the past month or so, I've been working on creating an interactive music learning platform with a bunch of amazing and talented musicians, DIYers and makers in Brooklyn called Soundfly. We're launching our initial concept on September 3rd, 2014 and we're excited to see how the app translates to…

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Why Your Startup Can’t Find Developers

Matt Mickiewicz runs a developer recruitment site called Hired. He sees startups making these same mistakes over and over.

In its first year of business, Hired organized thousands of developer interviews for companies trying to fill spots. It quickly became clear why some companies couldn’t hire. “Ninety percent of companies are bad at hiring, but it's particularly bad among seed stage companies and first time founders,” says founder Matt Mickiewicz. Here are the most common hiring mistakes made by employers on Hired:

Hiring In Your Own Image

Too many twentysomething founders look for employees just like themselves. “So you discriminate against anyone who is in their 30s or 40s or has a family,” says Mickiewicz. “But the most talented and experienced people will be in their 30s and 40s. I know one well-known startup who has been trying to fill a role for over four months, and has gone through two dozen candidates, simply because the founder mandates 80-hour workweeks.”

Founders typically look for candidates who have a similar educational background to themselves and live within 25 miles of their office. A CEO with a Stanford CS degree will often look down on anybody who doesn't, but this seriously limits the talent pool available to his startup. “We look a lot outside Silicon Valley,” says Mickiewicz on recruiting for Hired itself. “There are really talented people who don't live on the coast and there's a lot less competition for that talent.”

Another typical form of hiring self-sabotage is to concentrate on candidates from well-known companies like Google, Facebook, or Apple. “Don't just cherry-pick the Google engineers and the Stanford grads to work at your 'Uber for Laundry,'" says Mickiewicz. “Hiring Google engineers is generally a really bad idea. If you work at Google you have access to an entire set of tools and technologies that you won't have in a smaller startup environment.” Hired has also found that Google engineers are three times more likely than average to reject interview requests, simply because few companies are willing to match a Googler’s existing salary.

On the other hand, startup CEOs tends to be prejudiced against developers who work for less cutting-edge large companies, like Dell, Accenture, or Salesforce. Mickiewicz points out that Uber’s CTO was hired from VMware.

Programming Trivia Questions

Too many interviewers still rely on puzzles and programming trivia questions. Google stopped asking puzzle questions in interviews when it found that the fact that a candidate could calculate how many golf balls fit into a plane had no bearing on whether they could actually do the job.

Viewing the interview as a combat sport is another common pitfall. “Asking an engineer to architect Google Maps on the whiteboard when they work for a car-sharing startup,” Mickiewicz says, “just because the CTO worked on Google Maps. It becomes like a battle of wits. The CTO versus the applicants: Who's smarter?”

Mickiewicz suggests that Stripe’s interview process, which is based on setting more realistic programming tasks, is a better model to follow. Hired interviews its own engineers in a similar way. “Pair programming is something that we do ourselves. The engineer we are interviewing will work alongside one of our engineers for 2-4 hours to solve an issue that we are currently tackling.” Mobile consulting firm Mutual Mobile gives candidates broken code to fix.

The Need For Speed

The biggest variable between hiring companies, and the best way to compete with employers like Google, Facebook, and Apple, is simply speed. “You should be able to present a final paper offer within 5-10 days of first meeting someone,” says Mickiewicz. “Move the process as fast as the candidate allows versus as fast as is convenient for you. We have seen hundreds of cases where companies just forget to follow up with candidates or to reject a candidate. They'll reschedule interviews three times because of other priorities.” Series B companies are Hired’s best customers and they tend to have much more organized hiring processes, giving them another advantage over seed stage companies in the battle for talent.

Startups underestimate how much time they should spend on recruitment. “20-25% of your time should be spent interviewing,” says Mickiewicz. “It's a really good metric as to whether you have a hiring culture. If you view hiring as a core competency you need to develope in the business, then you'll do whatever it takes.”

You’ve Got To Pay If You Want To Play

You must pay market-rate salaries. “Don't ask people to take a pay cut when they live in San Francisco and have car payments or house payments,” says Mickiewicz. New graduates can command $100,000 a year in Silicon Valley. Hired has found that bumping the offer up to $120,000 gives you access to 30% more candidates. “There are definitely people who are 2 -3 times more productive than others and if you believe that, then paying them 20% more is a bargain.”

Most founders vastly overestimate the value of their equity. Don’t expect employees to take stock options or even equity to compensate for a lower salary. If you can’t match a Google paycheck, then offer flexibility instead. Many developers want to work from home or to work part-time.

Hiring bottlenecks can seriously stall a startup’s progress and even threaten its entire existence. “Even though we have only been around for a bit over a year, many of the companies who were really bad at hiring have already gone out of business or been acqui-hired,” says Mickiewicz. “Based on behaviors I see, I can predict who the next three or four companies to go under will be.”

Source: http://www.fastcolabs.com

Matt Mickiewicz runs a developer recruitment site called Hired. He sees startups making these same mistakes over and over. In its first year of business, Hired organized thousands of developer interviews for companies trying to fill spots. It quickly became clear why some companies couldn’t hire. “Ninety percent of…

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Raise Now: VC Funding For Startups At Highest Point In More Than A Decade

There is a reason it feels like everyone and anyone is raising money to build a company: They are. According to two studies, capital raised from venture capitalists by growing, private companies is at its highest point since 2001.

A study by MoneyTree pegs the total sum raised in the first quarter at $9.47 billion. By its number, that is the highest figure since the second quarter of 2001, when venture capital invested $11.5 billion. The year-ago quarter according to the study saw a more modest $6.01 billion of inflow.

A separate study by DJX VentureSource has a slightly different figure for the period, estimating total first quarter investment at $10.7 billion. It also estimates the comparative 2001 figure at $11.5 billion, however.

Regardless of which group has it more right, the trend is plain: Huge dollar amounts are up for grabs at the moment, as investors look to pour capital into companies of all stages while the NASDAQ is high, the IPO window is open, and cash-rich industry titans are more than willing to buy talent and products alike.

Bubble? It depends on who you ask, but I doubt anyone can say with a straight face that we’re living in financially conservative times. Cracks have appeared, with Square delaying its IPO, Box’s S-1 raising questions, and King’s offering struggling to find traction. But that hasn’t stopped others from going public and taking on new cash.

Signs of the times abound.

All that said, it’s important to keep scale in mind. Note the above stats indicate that we’ve reached mid-2001 levels of investment. That says nothing about how high investment was before, naturally. BusinessInsider, in a post aptly entitled “Venture Capital Funding Is Nowhere Near The Levels We Saw During The Dot-Com Bubble,” published the following chart [data is from the above-cited MoneyTree study]:

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 1.28.17 PM

Venture capital investment is therefore at record levels when you compare backwards to any moment before the massive implosion of 2001, but remains dwarfed by prior excesses.

A few data points: Pre-2008 crash, venture investment topped out at $8.45 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. It topped $28 billion in both the opening quarters of 2000. That’s a pace of around three times the investment we are seeing now, and funds are often going to larger, more established companies with nine-figure revenues.

The market is not in perfect balance, and there is quite a lot of stupid money bouncing around funding foolishness. But the total dollar figure for the first quarter of 2014, given how top-heavy it is toward mega deals for late-stage companies, likely isn’t a reason in and of itself to panic.

IMAGE BY FLICKR USER  Luz Bratcher UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN CROPPED)

There is a reason it feels like everyone and anyone is raising money to build a company: They are. According to two studies, capital raised from venture capitalists by growing, private companies is at its highest point since 2001. A study by MoneyTree pegs the total sum raised in…

Read More