Mike Dawson, Modern Drummer Podcast Host, Pro Drummer, Managing Editor at Modern Drummer, Recording Studio Engineer

Mike Dawson would tell you that he’s a total drum nerd, and he’d be right.  He might even go as far as to say he’s an all around dork, and he may be right.  I jest, and with much admiration and affection for the guy.  He’s one of the coolest people I’ve met in the last year.  He’s a lot of other things, including great drummer, podcast host, and Managing Editor at Modern Drummer Magazine; but my favorite Mike Dawson qualities are generosity and humility.  I believe it’s these two qualities that brought him back to the podcast to help me celebrate milestone episode 25.  Would you like to know a bit more about him?  Check out episode 1 of this podcast. That’s right, he was my very first guest.  For this episode, I had two primary interests for this interview. One, find out Mike’s secret sauce for success on Instagram and Facebook.  And two, dig into the details of his home studio setup.  Here’s what I learned.

The first order of business was talking about how Mike has built his impressive following on social media.  He summed it up in a word–consistency.  He said his strategy has been simply to put some grooves on Instagram every day at about the same time of day.  When asked about his preference in terms of social channels, he went straight to Instagram, because it allows easy-to-use editing, trimming, filters, and more.  He also loves how Instagram easily and conveniently feeds right into Facebook and Twitter.

The conversation then dove deep into how Mike’s studio is set up for the different types of recording he does.  For Instagram his set-up includes two mics for the drum set; one on the bass drum just outside the hole in the head and a room mic three to four feet in front of the kit.  He runs the mics through a mixing board which feeds through a Shure MVi and then into his iphone.  The good news is that the mics he uses are fairly inexpensive.

Mike then shares specifics on mics, software, hardware and sound treatment used for his professional recording work.  This is typically work for which he’s hired and paid.  He shares a number great tips including his “secret microphone,” sound treatment, overheads, and more.  Mike uses Logic recording software. He admits that there are benefits to knowing Protools even if you prefer an alternative such as Logic, but finds that Logic best fits his needs. When I asked him to ballpark the cost of a starter home studio, he says it’s totally doable for less than $1000, not including your instruments and computer.




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