25 episodes

No one wants to be a starving artist or struggling musician. Join Michael Elsner every week as he interviews the world’s most successful musicians, and dissects the strategies they’ve implemented to achieve the kind of career that every musician dreams about. If your goal is to do what you’re passionate about and create music full time, this is the podcast for you… because Real Musicians Don’t Starve!

Real Musicians Don't Starve Michael Elsner

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

No one wants to be a starving artist or struggling musician. Join Michael Elsner every week as he interviews the world’s most successful musicians, and dissects the strategies they’ve implemented to achieve the kind of career that every musician dreams about. If your goal is to do what you’re passionate about and create music full time, this is the podcast for you… because Real Musicians Don’t Starve!

    Finding Your Niche and Mixing Hits

    Finding Your Niche and Mixing Hits

    Alan Litten is a Mixing Engineer who has had six #1 hits, and many Top 10's. He has worked with artists including Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, and many others.

    Alan has built his career by focusing on building a highly regarded reputation in niche markets within the music industry.

    Here's a sneak peek inside this episode:

    [3:20]  Noticing how the recording market was transitioning from professional studios to home studios, and mixing out of his bonus room
    [6:55]  The 3 niche markets he's worked in, and how he navigated from one into the next.
    [13:00]  The importance of looking outside the box at the outlets beyond 'pop music' to build a life-long career in music.
    [16:15]  Stepping outside of a red ocean, into a blue ocean where you can grow.
    [19:20]  "The people who are willing to pay for quality will find you.”
    [19:45]  Alan's hybrid home studio mixing setup.
    [25:30]  The plug-ins that Alan gravitates to when creating a mix.
    [30:20]  How Alan begins the process of mixing a song.
    [35:40]  The misuse of compression that's so common among independent musicians who mix their own songs.
    [43:00]  The an early lesson in my career regarding how one of my favorite albums I ever worked on got ruined by over-compression.
    [46:20]  How to build a great relationship with a highly skilled mastering engineer before you even finish mixing your album or song.
    [50:50]  Looking at your songs as income producing assets.
    [54:20]  How to approach your recording and mixing process with a team mentality, and getting feedback through the entire process to get a perspective of what's working, and what's not.

    • 59 min
    Taking Control of Your Musical Journey

    Taking Control of Your Musical Journey

    Christian Cullen is a keyboardist / composer who spent 5 years as a member of rock legends Night Ranger.  Other artists he has played with include Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Bobby Kimble (Toto), Rick Nielsen & Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Tommy Shaw (Styx), and many other rock legends.

    After leaving Night Ranger, Christian has had tremendous success as a composer for TV and Radio spots for companies including Disney, NFL, Fox, Ford, and Google.

    Here's a sneak peek inside this episode:

    [2:51]  How living in Illinois, and not living in a major music metropolis, opened doors for him to play with so many rock legends.
    [9:46]  His approach to taking on a challenging gig, especially with a tight deadline or a quick turnaround time.
    [11:15]  Why it's important to never take a gig that you don't think you're right for.
    [18:28]  There's something magical that happens when you get in a room with other musicians. Something else starts to happen that you never expected and it changes everything.  You have to be open to that and not hold on too tight to any one particular idea.
    [19:16]  The best stuff happens in collaboration.  When you look at your favorite records, it's a team of people doing what they do best.
    [22:46]  His weekly schedule of scoring, sound designing, and mixing video projects for clients.
    [29:17]  Why it's so crucial to be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are.
    [30:10]  Once he knew he wanted to be a producer, he also realized that he had to get better at mixing.
    [31:35]  Once you have the ability make your recordings sound great, the creation process is more exciting, and you reach your end goal much quicker.
    [35:14 - 35:35]  Perfection doesn't exist, and there is no perfect scenario.  Creating music doesn't require you to be a perfectionist to do exceptional work.
    [36:17]  Towards the end of his time touring with Night Ranger, he woke up one day and realized, ‘’It's time, it's time to say goodbye to this chapter of my life.’’
    [38:34]  Everything he's ever achieved in his career, opportunity wise, came through some relationship that was forged over time.
    [39:26]  Part of being successful as a creative individual is not having the financial stress while trying to create.
    [41:42]  Layering sound effects to picture is no different than layering instruments such as guitars or synths.
    [46:50]  There’s so much to learn from other people who have had in the music business, and there are a lot of people who are eager to share their experience when they see that there's interest in what they’ve done.

    You can learn more about Christian at: http://christiancullenmusic.com/

    • 48 min
    The Business of Writing Radio Hits

    The Business of Writing Radio Hits

    Brian Davis' songs have been recorded by artists including, Brantley Gilbert, Lee Brice, Jarrod Niemann, Tyler Farr, Gretchen Wilson, and many others.

    He wrote Brantley Gilbert's #1 hit "One Hell of an Amen."

    • 45 min
    Fixing Your Audio Issues

    Fixing Your Audio Issues

    Björgvin Benediktsson is an engineer, mixer, educator and best selling author. His book, “You Get What You Give,” is a simple story for finding success in the music business.

    He is also a wealth of information when it comes to recording and mixing. The quality of content that he shares with his audience on a daily basis through Audio-Issues is unparalleled.

    Here’s a sneak peek inside this episode:

    2:25 - Björgvin’s online educational site Audio Issues started through his writings 12 years ago, because he wanted to share his audio school education with others.
    3:19 - The things that you're solving for yourself are probably things that other people have issues with, and would like to know the solution to.
    3:58 - Don't just learn to learn, learn to apply!! If you haven't applied your lessons or the things you’ve learnt , then they haven't truly solidified.
    9:33 - Björgvin’s book “You Get What You Give” is a simple story of finding success in the music business. It is written as a business parable for the musician/music producer.
    14:29 - A lot of times it's about taking action in the face of fear.
    15:37 - Taking action, putting yourself out there, building an audience, and seeing what resonates with others, will help guide you and your career path.
    22:28 - Success can be a numbers game!!
    25:06 - Lose what doesn't move the needle, and put what does move the needle into overdrive.
    30:59 - Know how to define your own success, and what that success means to you… as your definition of success is not the same as someone else's.
    42:41 - Björgvin currently works as a mentor at the university of Arizona, mentoring student teams that are building businesses.

    To learn more about Björgvin, go to: https://www.audio-issues.com/

    • 51 min
    Navigating the Road to Success

    Navigating the Road to Success

    Brian Carico has been a fixture in the music industry for over two decades.  He's worked with artists including Blake Shelton, Sir Paul McCarney, Aerosmith, Brad Paisley, and many more...

    He's also an inductee into the Full Sail Hall of Fame!  The wealth of insight and career advice he brings to this interview is second to none.

    • 50 min
    Building Your Network in the Industry

    Building Your Network in the Industry

    Today's guest, Johnny Rabb is the drummer for multi-platinum rock band Collective Soul.  Throughout his career, he's also played with artists including Maynard Ferguson, SheDaisy, Tanya Tucker, Mindy McCready, and many more!

    He's also an educator, and was voted #1 Best Educational Author by Modern Drummer Magazine's Reader's Poll.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

-Cricket- ,

LOVE LOVE LOVE this podcast!!!

Be prepared to listen to a STAR studded line up!! This podcast is perfect for anyone who is serious about their music careers. And, it’s refreshing to hear from SO MANY A-listers who have ACTUALLY made music their livelihood!!

ric chandler ,

Awesome,Inspiring,Insightful podcast

Thank you Michael Elsner for such an amzing podcast, what a great idea to ask very successful musicias to explain the how, why and thought process of their success so musicians wanting to be successful themselves can learn the mindset and very insightful tips on becming a successful musician themselves.Michael is also an amazing musicians and very successful in the sync licesning business and has a great course called MAster Music Licesning , which every musician must know about , especially in todays climate. Thanks for sharing Michael. Ric

beebopaluka ,

If you’re serious about leveling up your business in music… check this out!

Michael Elsner offers conversations with real music business professionals. He’s been very successful in his own career and is very generous and down to earth making his approach to music business practical and focussed on success and results. Def. check it out if you’re serious about results.

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