You Can’t Fake Quality

You can't fake quality image

Russ Hughes has had a successful career in multiple areas of the music business, but started a small blog dedicated to helping Pro Tools users that has grown into a group of sites (,, and that may be the most influential in the digital audio world today. Here’s an excerpt from my Music Business Advice Book where Russ describes how you can’t fake quality and never to settle for anything less than your best. This came from an interview for my Inner Circle Podcast #124.

Russ: You can’t rush quality. You can’t fake quality. You can’t fake a great vocal, for instance. Even though we have the tools now that we didn’t have 20 years ago, you still can’t fake a great drum performance. It takes skill and talent in both the artist, the musicians, the writers, the engineer and the producer.

…if I had to boil it down to just one phrase, it would be “Don’t settle.”

In the instant music making society that we have today, we’re presenting a story to the new generation of engineers that anything is possible and we can really “fix it in the mix.” I don’t believe that. I think that real quality shows, and even more than that, stands the test of time.

So if you want to make a career in making music either on one side of the glass or the other, spend time crafting your skills because you’re never wasting your time if you do that. You’re wasting your time if you try to take shortcuts, because it will be like a fast food versus a beautiful meal that you’ll never forget again. I’ve sometimes tried to take shortcuts, and I regret it now. The things that really matter are the ones that I took my time on and didn’t settle. So if I had to boil it down to just one phrase, it would be “Don’t settle.”

You can read more from The Music Business Advice Book and my other books on the excerpt section of

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