Mike Stewart's the president, founder of Stewart Internet Solutions. It's an Internet consulting agency and services company, and it's in Nashville, Tennessee, used to be in Atlanta. Mike's composed countless radio jingles, television scores, and he's produced and performed with some of the big names. It would take the whole podcast to read this guy's bio because he's really been there and he has a gold record. I'll have him tell you about that.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 476
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:52] Tom's introduction to Mike Stewart [09:29] The Gold Record [17:06] Common mistakes people make with audio [43:16] Sponsor message [45:20] A typical day for Mike and going back to touring [55:10] Making bugs extremely profitable online
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Disabilities page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities
Mike's website – https://mikestewart.live/
Pest Control Marketing podcast – https://pestcontrolmarketing.live/
Buckner and Garcia – https://bucknergarcia.com/
DistroKid – https://distrokid.com/
Pac-Man Fever (Original) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY_ESTnBlS0
Pac-Man Fever 40th Anniversary Band Reunion 2020 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc41twU4og8
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
How to Pitch a Podcast – https://screwthecommute.com/475/
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Episode 476 – Mike Stewart
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with Episode four hundred seventy six to screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Mike Stewart, who I kind of attribute to me being in front of this microphone in the first place. He's pretty much my longest running Internet friend and colleague and the one of the good guys in the industry that I'll never have to go after in scam brigade because he's a good guy and he would be so proud of me if he was sitting here because I got a compressor limiter noise gate there. I got a computer interface. I got a one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine channel mixing board here. I talked him out of all of this stuff, having me do all this stuff back in the old days. But he pretty much got me a video editing. And we're going to have a big hamfest here today on on problems and mistakes people make with audio. And we got some really cool stories for you. So hang in there. We'll bring them on the minute. I hope you didn't miss Episode 475, how to pitch a podcast host or producer on your own without an agency. Plus, on that episode, I revealed the secret on how to get very expensive podcast agencies working for you for free. Very cool trick. I have a lot of big name podcasters doing it now because of me.
[00:01:50] All right. How do you like me to send you big checks? Well, how about joining our affiliate program? Just email me at Tom@screwthecommute.com and I'll be happy to send you big checks, PayPal, gold bullion, if I knew how to do it cryptocurrency. But I have no idea how to do it. And you can make a lot of money just referring our products and services and grab a copy of our automation ebook. This book has helped me handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and 65000 customers without pulling my hair out. So grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And all this stuff will be in the show notes, including links to Mike's stuff, because you want to check him out thoroughly and while you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app. It'screwthecommute.com/app where you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road now. Now is the time. I usually just tell you all about my school, but I'm going to get rid of that today because I want to tell you about the program we have going on that's I'm really, really proud of. We have a program to give scholarships to persons with disabilities.
[00:03:01] So not only can they legitimately learn a highly in demand skill, which is Internet marketing and digital marketing for small business, learn from home. They can legitimately work from home, which I've been preaching for 24 years. But now now with this pandemic, everybody says, oh, you can work from home. I didn't know that. So check that out. IMTCVA.org/disabilities and at the top we have a go fund me campaign and any little bit you contribute helps out. And if you're really flush with cash you can sponsor a person yourself. Be very cool. I kind of equate it to you. Get your name up on a library or a park plaque that you helped, you know, make something permanent, really change people's lives. So check it out.
[00:03:53] Let's get to the main event. Mike Stewart's the president, founder of Stewart Internet Solutions. It's an Internet consulting agency and services company, and it's in Nashville, Tennessee, used to be in Atlanta. Mike's composed countless radio jingles, television scores, and he's produced and performed with some of the big names. It would take the whole podcast to read this guy's bio because he's really been there and he has a gold record. I'll have him tell you about that. So, Mike, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:04:25] Yeah. So that's what you tell your guests.
[00:04:29] Yes. Well, you got to be ready to screw the commute.
[00:04:34] Ok, I'll commute. OK.
[00:04:37] Yeah. Yeah. Well, if you're not on the road you got plenty of time to do other things. Yeah. So. So how are you been Matt.
[00:04:44] You know, moving to Nashville was something I wanted to do my whole life, and I was involved with the music industry in Atlanta from nineteen seventy nine to about nineteen ninety five. And the music industry, the Southern Rock world that I was a part of there, it kind of got taken over by the the hip hop and rap world that Atlanta is known worldwide for its hip hop and rap world, which I have no problem with. You know, that's your cup of tea. But it wasn't mine. And so around ninety nine is about the time I met you. And I started saying, well, I will take my audio skills as an audio engineer to the Internet. And I found a whole nother world of speaking and and info product creation. And and I pretty much said, you know, OK, it's not in the cards for me to be in the music business anymore. But about ten years ago, I started working with the country artist Ray Stevens, guy who had guitar and streak and everything is beautiful. He's an old Georgia fella. And I started working with him in Nashville. And about six some years ago, Ray said, Mike, I think Nashville could use a guy like you. But he said, let me tell you a little something about Nashville. We're not much into this virtual Internet stuff. We go have breakfast and lunch and we we meet face to face.
[00:06:09] So if you don't live here, you're never going to build relationships. And and he was 100 percent correct. It was pretty interesting this past year because of covid, I had a bunch of my music industry people going nuts. So how do you use the zoom? And I went, oh, my gosh. I mean, Zoom has been around forever. And it's like you're just now there's still struggle with it. But at any rate, 50 years ago I wanted to move to Nashville, but I moved to Atlanta instead. And I don't regret it because I've had chapters in my life that are just amazing. And this is just a new chapter in my life to be around the music industry again. And and it's it's really manifested a lot of things that I've always enjoyed and wanted to do. And we'll talk about some of the songs. But still, I am an audio guy at heart. I love music. I love recording process. And I mean, I remember the first conversation you and I had, you know, what do I need to record with my computer? And and here you are. Here you are owning and using all those things you said. No, no, no, no. That's too much. No, you can't. We can't do that. No, no.
[00:07:23] Well, I had to evolve into it. Now that you're I've always known you as a water guy, are you sitting on a waverunner right now as you talk to me?
[00:07:30] Well, I could have, but I wanted to use my best microphone because we're going to talk about microphones. I do have a houseboat with a studio now. And and if the Internet connection was a little more stable at the marina, I would have been there. But no, I'm in my studio here, but I live on a peninsula. It's a little thumb sticking out in Pursey. Like when I lived in Georgia. I lived on Lake Lanier. You came to my house there years ago. And and so the first thing I did was I took Google Maps and I said, OK, if I'm moving to Nashville, where are the lakes? And there's two lakes up here. There's Percy Priest and Old Hickory like and I frequent both of them as much as I can because I still love being on the lake.
[00:08:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So but I do remember one time and in Atlanta, you or your boat was sitting in the mud when
[00:08:27] We had a drought and the lake was was in danger of the water supply for Atlanta being interrupted. We just had a drought and the light levels dropped dangerously low. So I had a cove that had twenty feet of water and we were twenty two feet deep. So my you know, I bought this expensive house with a dock sitting in mud.
[00:08:48] I'd be better off because I can't swim. I actually if I go near the water, I swear to literally wear two life jackets in case one malfunction.
[00:08:59] Well, you know, I understand that water. Yeah, I'm a water guy. I jump in wherever there's water to swim. I just love it. And you'd mentioned wave runner. I take my wave runner out on this lake here, Percy Priest. But then I take my house boat out on Old Hickory. Old Hickory is basically the Cumberland River, which is dammed north of Nashville. And then it goes, you can actually take the Cumberland River all the way to New Orleans if you had enough gas and wanted to do this.
[00:09:28] Wow. Wow. So tell me about this gold record you got. I always love, love this story.
[00:09:35] Well, when I'm when I moved to Atlanta, I got involved with all of the music industry people that were there. We we had a really great music community. In Atlanta in the 70s and 80s. And why I made a living is I had a home studio, four track tape recorder studio in my house and me and a couple of buddies mine, Jerry Butler and Jerry Garcia, we started writing jingles for local businesses for radio, which, you know, that was we were actually recording jingles on a four track tape recorder and a house and selling them. And they were running on Atlanta radio now.
[00:10:11] And you had to use a razor blade that cut and paste stuff together, right?
[00:10:15] Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Know everything was on on quarter inch tape and you had a splicing block and a razor blade, a China marker. And when you wanted to edit something else, you had to put a mark on the tape and then put it down and cut it with a razor blade and throw it away or hang it somewhere if you're going to use it later of learning to edit on tape when digital came about was a great background that that, you know, sadly, a lot of these young kids that never know what a tape recorder is like, you can say tape or cassette or eight track and they go, what are those? They may even go, what's a CD? And anyway, long of it was is that was that was audio editing was with razor blade. And a good audio editor could could splice tape together and you splicing tape to hook it all together. So anyway, Gary, Jerry and I, we did jingles and we recorded voice overs and we created commercials for radio. But those guys also played on a band. I played in a band at night and Pacman games were in all the hotels. They were like they had two cons. They had the the arcade machine and then they had the tabletop. Well, we were pumping quarters in those games like crazy. And Gary and Jerry got the inspiration. Let's write a song using those sound effects. And and we went in a studio and we recorded Pacman Fever and a local radio station played it. And back in the old days, the the the verbiage was the phone lit up with the phones lit up. That meant people loved it. And that was the catalyst that got us the record deal with Columbia Records.
[00:11:53] And we did an album and sold two million. And I didn't write the songs, but I was the keyboard player in the band. And we had a hit record and we were going to tour. And then the tour never happened. And then radio said, well, we'll let you have one novelty record. They call us a a novelty band cause, you know, it was a song about a video game. Kids loved it. But when our second song, Donkey Kong came out, radio refused to play it and one hit record does not make a career. So this what I did? Well, only the writers did. But that was that was 40 years ago. We make more money off of people going to BucknerGarcia.com and buying the autographed CDs. In fact, if you go to BucknerGarcia.com, we're selling pop sockets, a membership site with we've got pictures. I mean, we're doing all kinds of crazy things and we're and people are streaming the song. So we're making more we're making more money from CD Baby and these things. And I made more money from that than I did from working on the albums. Wow. Not the gold the gold record. In fact, in my Internet marketing, I always hung my gold record in my videos. People people would say, do you really have a gold record? And I go, Yeah. I mean, I played in this band. We had a hit record called Pacman Fever. And and so I was awarded a gold record and I'm proud of it. But I made more money from people being impressed with me having a gold record.
[00:13:36] Right. Right. Well, that's when the people were on Oprah. Most of them didn't make a nickel, but they could brag forever that they were on Oprah.
[00:13:44] Yeah. I mean, it's a kudo that has perceived value. So anyway, that's the story of Pacman favor my jingle buddies. We sadly we lost Gary in twenty eleven and Jerry and I and and some of the in fact we during covid put the living members of the band together and we put up a video of us and I found some old footage of Gary at a wedding and we put a video together of the whole band performing it. So go to YouTube and look for Pac-Man Fever Live and you can see what a us old fellows look like playing the song.
[00:14:21] That's cool. Now, wasn't there something big come up with a movie or Disney or something?
[00:14:27] Well, in 2012, the producers of a movie called Rickitt Ralfe, which was a Disney animated movie about 80s video games. In fact, they had all the real video games from the 80s Coubertin and Candy. Candy land and a handful of Impact Man and Rickett Ralph was a fictitious 80s video game, eight bit video game, and they had written a song called For the Movie Racket. Ralph and the producer of the movie, remember, he was a he was a kid when PAC Man Fever came out. So he Googled PAC Man Fever Buckner Garcia. He found a website and he contacted us and he said, We have this movie, which we were unbeknownst to us. We weren't watching the outrage or knew anything about it. So we have this movie about 80 videos game. And can you guys do the same if we send you the song? And we said, well, yeah, but unfortunately our lead singer has passed away. And I said, well, as long as you're legally and ethically Buckner Garcia, we'd like you guys to to perform the theme song to it. And so that was September. And we said, well, great, you know, when do you need it? Back in two weeks. So we recorded it on our computers through the Internet, sent it back and it's in the movie. And what was interesting, it is the theme song to the movie, but don't know if you've been to movies lately, though. The theme song was the last thing to play in the movie. The Very during the credits, there were four other songs that played before our theme song. So we went to the movies to hear it and by the time it got to our song, the whole theater was cleared out. So I don't think anybody's ever heard.
[00:16:12] But if you go to YouTube, still bragging rights,
[00:16:15] It's still great. You go to YouTube and search Wreck it Ralph Buckner Garcia, you can hear the song that we recorded on our computers at home. Danny, who sang it, was the drummer. He did the drums and sang it. I did all the bass and keyboards and Jerry did keyboards. And then Jamie Houston, who wrote the song for Disney, mixed it in Los Angeles. And within 14 days we went from Do you guys want to do it to being ready to play in the movie came out in November, so that's why they had to have it mid-September. So it was one of the last things to be cut into the final end of the movie. But it almost won an Academy Award. It was beaten out by Frozen. Oh, wow. Wow. And my my grandchildren love frozen, but I don't I don't
[00:17:03] I wouldn't even have any idea what it looks like, so. All right. So let's get into some kick it around some. You know, you've been around all year long time. You've taught me it's now twenty one and a half years ago to get started editing. And so just let's go into some of the common mistakes people make with audio. First of all, they should know that it's one of the the most popular mediums because it's the only medium somebody can learn or be entertained while they're doing something else. So it's really a good skill to have. It's made me a fortune. So so just take it away and just mistakes and what to do about them.
[00:17:44] I think one of the biggest mistakes that people do is not getting a studio quality microphone, what I what I call a large diaphragm vocal mic, and there's lots of brands out there. When you and I started the USB microphones like the Yeti and the Audio Technica and the Samsung and the Road, all these microphones didn't exist. You know, you had to have an analog microphone and you had to have a analog to digital interface for your computer. But, you know, the thing is, is I've heard a lot of people record stuff with their their built-In microphone, with their computer or a webcam microphone. And even though those microphones have gotten better over the years, there's still nothing with the quality of a good studio microphone.
[00:18:34] All right. So let me ask you something. I tell you something that I've experienced over the past couple of years and get your opinion on. So I had the leftover condenser mic that you had got me and then I had another one around here as a backup when the first one broke. And I did probably 300 or more episodes of this podcast with with that, Mike and I just spent a fortune in time editing out breaths and little tiny noise room noises. And I have a pretty good recording environment. So then I switched to a dynamic mic and my editing went down the you know, it just took hours and hours off my editing time. So I've been telling people to get a dynamic mic if they don't have a perfect recording environment. So what's your opinion?
[00:19:26] Well, you know, it could be a setting that you did I mean, a microphone, whether it's condenser, the reason for vocals and the voice, there's there's some more a Christmas and a high end the condenser mics used to have. Now there is a dynamic. Sure, Mike. Right now, that's all the rage. I think it's the same seven.
[00:19:52] That's what I'm using right now. I'm so happy
[00:19:54] That didn't exist when we first
[00:19:55] Started. Yeah, but it's four hundred dollars to.
[00:19:58] Right, right. Yeah, but that's the rage. That is a dynamic. Mike, I don't think that's what was causing your editing issues. I think either you had too much compression, you there was something bringing up that, that noise. I mean a microphone if you, you bring the microphone is going to pick it up.
[00:20:18] Well you know I do screw the commute so.
[00:20:23] Well that might get you out of breath. But but at the end of the day, I don't think switching from a dynamic to a condenser was the issue, the issue
[00:20:33] The other way, the other way around as
[00:20:35] Well. Switching from a condenser to a dynamic, if you got a good sounding frequency response microphone, you can get it to work. But you know what a lot of people do is they get USB microphones. They don't have the outboard configuration, equalization, compression noise, gates, those kind of things that you can do with an audio mixer. You know, when you get back to making good audio, if you if you've got a good audio mixer and you said it correctly and you the microphones are not the issue, it's the settings and the equipment you're using.
[00:21:15] So you think that this microphone that I got now was so high quality it overcame those difficulties from the other mike?
[00:21:25] Well, because it's a smaller diaphragm, because it because they figured out how to get a better vocal quality with a dynamic, more dynamic. Mikes were usually used for loud percussive sounds like loud guitars, Brahms and, you know, and live performance. But in studios all the way back to the 50s, you saw Frank Sinatra in front of that big round microphone at Capitol Records. Well, that was a that was a large diaphragm convention. We knew as audio engineers, you always did vocals on a large diaphragm condenser mic, but you adjusted it properly. And then and I don't know when the s.M Seven came out, but all of a sudden in the last few years, sure figured out a way to make a dynamic microphone that rivaled condenser microphones. And maybe it's less forgiving or forgiving or more forgiving on those extraneous noises. See, that's another thing. You may have gotten better at work in the mike, because if you talk about other mistakes, if you've got a budget and there is no issue, you need an audio mixer, you need a compression limiter, you need an SM7. That's what you need. But I just said about.
[00:22:44] Do you need that extra? Like, I have a focus, right?
[00:22:48] Yeah. You need some sort of a titty converter focus. Right. I multimedia.
[00:22:54] You originally got me an Edirol a long time ago. It's still sitting over there.
[00:22:59] I mean when I told you Edirol, you if you just said in 15 years it'll be out of business, I would have not believed you. But it was a great unit at the time it made your money. Yeah, but just like any technology, nobody's using Windows three point one anymore. So so focus. Right. In fact, I've upgraded to I multimedia. It's called an axe and I'm really pleased with the inputs on it. All right.
[00:23:28] So, people know what we're talking about. We're talking about getting a good quality professional microphone, converting it so it'll go into your computer. Is that a fair right?
[00:23:40] You know, if all you get is a USB microphone into your computer, you've limited your amount of control. And so the only control you have, even though the quality may be OK, is you've got level control volume level and you've got how you work the microphone. And we're going to get into some of the mistakes here in a minute. But the main thing is that if you really want to have high quality audio, you need an external mixer, an external audio interface. Some mixers like my particular mixer I have has a compressor limiter built in, but you can buy external compressor limiters or you can add that processing in the software afterwards. But regardless, you've got to know how to use and adjust those systems properly. And it it's really Tom. It's about getting the ears. You know, one of the things that I did and what I'd recommend is get a sample of something that, you know is good. And compare gears a bit and it's like, why does that sound good and why does it sound good? And and learn how to adjust it to get you get closer to what you know is good. When it came to mixing records, we put up a great record that we knew was a hit and we would listen back and forth and why those hours not sound as good as the hit. We know that that's the standard. So in other words, if you're not looking at perfection and then making the adjustments to get close to that perfection, you know, give you a great example. I've had clients record something for me. And the mistake was they I said, did you buy the microphone? Oh, yeah. And then I realized that they didn't realize they turned their microphone on, they were using their webcam. I mean, it's a common mistake. Another mistake is the level is so low. That it barely makes a waveform in the software. You've you've got to approach zero DB no more than somewhere between negative three and zero is where you want to be constantly hovering with your video meters.
[00:25:53] Well, speaking of that, Mike, do you know I had to get this thing called a cloud lifter in addition to this fancy microphone that was one hundred and fifty dollars.
[00:26:04] Right? Right.
[00:26:05] That's the signal. Keep it clean.
[00:26:08] Right. Right. And that's one of the you know, the you know, a lot of people when you say, well, you need to spend five hundred. I mean, you've got to remember and all the new eighty five was five thousand dollars when I had my studio. Wow. 40 years ago. So five hundred, a five hundred dollar microphone to get professional quality was like so and that I'd hear people go oh my God. Five hundred dollars for a microphone. I should be like 50 bucks. Now you're not going to get quality for 50 bucks. And then all of a sudden these Samsun and all these companies started coming out with one hundred one hundred twenty five dollar USB microphones. And the USB microphones are good. They're they're miles above what we ever had before, but they're not compared to getting the right equipment. Right. So anyway, the other thing is, even with the right equipment, if you record your level too low. Then you've missed the point, because what happens is, is to raise the volume up, you're raising up what's called the noise floor. Every room that you record in has a certain measurable amount of noise. It could be a low hum from a light. It could be the you know, I've had people have refrigerators in their offices. Well, that refrigerator is making a low little Tom. And that's a measurable noise on a microphone.
[00:27:32] I had a guy with the with the fish tank and another lady with a grandfather clock.
[00:27:40] Well, you know, I mean, you you have to make a quiet environment, are quiet enough. And, of course, you know, ACX recommends a 60 db noise floor, meaning. When you record silence.
[00:27:57] ACX folks is the place you go to get accepted for an audio book into Audible that's owned by Amazon.
[00:28:06] And these settings that we're talking about, which I know you wanted to kind of gear towards the audio book and even podcast world. Right? You want to have as quiet a room as you can get. That's why I used we used to build isolation booths in our studios is full of padding. I mean, when you go in isolation booth, you can almost hear your heartbeat because it's so quiet and any sound in that booth is being absorbed by the soundproofing foam we use to use a phone, much like bedding foam. But it was called oral or Xanax and you can go get bedding foam and it does the exact same thing. But any rate, you know, I had a client years ago said this microphone's defective. And I said, what do you mean it's defective? Well, there's this there's this rattle. I just keep hearing this rattle every time I record. I said, well, send me a sample of your recording. Turns out their disk drive was rattling and they didn't realize. So you have to be conscious. Like, my little studio here in my house is quiet enough for what I want to do. I mean, I'm able to do vocals here, able to do my podcast. I made sure that this is a quiet end of the house. I don't have I actually use a watch nowadays. They have microphones, stand vocal booth, semicircles. I don't know if you've ever seen any of those.
[00:29:34] I'm not in it right now, but for preparing for my audio books. I built like a PVC frame and then I've got those acoustic blankets over it. And it's really crazy. If you clap your hands outside, it sounds one way you go inside. It's just like that.
[00:29:53] Right? Well, to record a voice, you need what's called a dad room. No reflections, no no reverberation, no echoes. And and of course, those are the those are the mistakes people make. They're not conscious of the recording environment. OK, I'm about an inch from the microphone. And I have also another thing that people don't have. And I know you've got it. I have a pop filter and we'll talk about pop filters here in a second. But if I've moved, I've moved back a foot and I'm talking totally different. Totally different. And you have you have to watch radio hosts on television, watch videos, whether you like him or not. Look at Howard Stern. He eats the microphone every time he talks. And when he's not talking, he backs off, but he just instinctively knows to get right up to that microphone and get into its sweet spot of its of what's called its reception pattern. Because if you're not in the suites, out of the reception pattern, you get an inferior recording. And it could be a recording that the engineers at or even your audience would notice.
[00:30:58] Something's not right. Well, it's it's learning to not move. You can be animated, but you have to keep your speaking voice within a distance. Now, there are consonants. In the English language and I guess any language, hard consonants, Bs, Ds and Ps especially. When you say words with those, I'm going to take my pop, those are off. Pop, pop, pop, that probably made an ugly thud. That is distortion. And people who don't know I mean, I used to see professional announcers when they would say. Peter Jones popped a. Peter on his pink truck, he could turn his head instinctively every time that he came up, and that was not to want to take with with what was an explosion of sleep. If you put your hand in front of your mouth and say, Pop, you're going to feel this burst of air, hit your hand. You can say Mike, you can say Tom. You can say including open. But when I say pop, Peter, you can feel a real hard. And that burst of air kills microphones.
[00:32:17] Like a sledgehammer hitting that diaphragm.
[00:32:20] Right. Absolutely. So you can learn how to you know, and in fact, one of the things they, you know, they want you to do is they want you to have a maximum audio level and they don't want, you know, extraneous noises and make sure that you don't pop the microphone with, you know, with words. You're saying, you know, you don't need to be dropping stuff. You don't need the dog coming in and barking.
[00:32:44] And which might happen during this podcast, but it's not an audio book.
[00:32:51] Well, but if it was an audio book, that would that would be an artifact that was wouldn't be acceptable. So you got to measure how much noise is in your room and eliminate that noise. That's a big mistake that people do. And then you've got to have software that allows you to get the settings and the measurements to be professional. You know, there's processing that all software will do to fix things. But I used to have an audio engineer producer years ago. He said if you lay it down right, you don't have to fix it.
[00:33:24] And I always remembered that he he used to say, if you lay it down right, it'll mix itself. You know, it's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. Even if it's a pig, the lipstick ain't going to make it not a pig.
[00:33:37] So I started to experiment here. So I have a pop screen that's about two inches from my SMB. And the SMB has one of those foam things on it, too.
[00:33:49] But let's say it has a built in pop screen.
[00:33:51] Yeah, yeah. And then I'm about three inches from the pop screen, so I'm about five inches from the microphone. So I want I want your professional ear to tell me if I'm not at a good length. Is the sound OK?
[00:34:09] You sound close Mike, to me. Yes.
[00:34:11] Ok, but what if I go here and talk to you, Mike? Is that better or worse?
[00:34:17] So that's a little warmer, sounded like he got a little closer.
[00:34:21] Yeah, I got two inches closer to the pop screen. So you like that better?
[00:34:26] Yeah, but say pop into it, right. Pop the microphone and say pop. Pop. Pop. So they have really designed that microphone for dummies.
[00:34:38] Yeah, and even though when I did that thing about pick up our podcast app, I did turn my head for app. But this is yeah, this is a pretty, you know, a good quality microphone. And I think if you want to take
[00:34:52] You to take that phone off of there and get right to the diaphragm, you could you could you could trash that Mike. Right. Right.
[00:34:59] But I like it better here, right where it is now rather than back here until three check.
[00:35:06] That's two. That's but but the the polar pattern, they call it a polar pattern where the microphone is sensitive. They've really I mean, you know, we're talking microphone technology has been around since the 30s and and condenser mikes didn't change much over the years. They didn't need to because nobody but audio engineers bottom. But now, sure, the manufacturer of that particular microphone realizes that there's podcasters and, you know, give you a great example. Billy Eilish, her and her brother record her Grammy winning projects in her bedroom with that microphone. Wow. You know, now. That didn't exist when you and I met
[00:35:54] Rode. No this was 20, 21 years ago.
[00:35:57] And and, you know, microphone technology, Telefunken and Neumann out of Germany invented the high quality microphone for the speaking voice. You know, I don't know if you know this history, history, and I don't mean to offend people, but Adolf Hitler was the one who wanted a better microphone, did not know that he was adamant to make the most highest quality microphone for his propaganda speeches. And that's why the German technology made the world's best microphones.
[00:36:30] Wow. I did not know that now.
[00:36:32] Well, there you go. He was an evil jerk. So I want to stay. I'm not I'm not a proponent of Mr Hitler. But he did put the incentive into the engineers. And that's how the and that was in the thirties and all those Telefunken microphones, he wanted a microphone that made him sound more robust over the speakers at those functions. And it worked, sadly. There you go. But the microphones work. And then years later, in the 50s, 40s and 50s after the war, the audio engineer said, oh, my gosh, the quality of this microphone is that's why Capitol Records had to go look at pictures of the Beatles. The Beatles are all around the Telefunken microphone singing their harmonies. And it's because that's what everybody used and nobody knew the home recording was in the future. Nobody ever thought that.
[00:37:32] All right. So what other kind of mistakes are they making?
[00:37:37] You know, just not learning to use your software or not learning how easy it is to mark edits, understanding how to do pickups.
[00:37:46] I still snap my fingers. I think you taught me that one hundred years ago and our software will let you mark where your mistake is. We used to give out clickers, right?
[00:37:56] Like the dog clickers.
[00:37:58] Yep. And that's how we would tell our voice over talents to mark a mistake. But then half the time people would steal our clickers and we'd be out of. And so I said, snap your fingers and it gives you the same mark. So learning to mark mistakes, learning what a pickup is, audio books on loaded to pick up audio books unloaded another mistake, pick up audio books uploaded to ACX must adhere to the following requirements. You see how I marked my mistakes so that when I'm looking at the audio editing, I can quickly audio edit.
[00:38:34] Yeah, I see the big spikes right on the screen here as we're talking.
[00:38:37] Yeah. So it's just, you know, audio editing is overwhelming, you know. Well I used to say take out what's bad. What's left is good. Yeah. I mean don't make it hard on yourself. It you know, when I was editing with a razor blade, that's when it was hard. Now editing is a breeze.
[00:38:58] Yeah. You just have to learn the software and now it is the I do a pretty darn good job of the quiet environment but I still use noise reduction. Tell him about that.
[00:39:12] Well, I don't know why you're using noise reduction, noise reduction used to be reducing of tape hiss in a digital world, there is no digital noise. So what do you what noise are you reduce? You're doing noise elimination software?
[00:39:27] Well, I'm not sure the terminology, but anyway, I take a noise print of my file and it might be system noise that as far as I know, but I you know, how the the the wave is like perfectly smooth if it's quiet. Right. Well, there's a little bit of fuzziness in that line. So I just take a noise, print it says capture, noise, print, and then I say process the entire file and it takes out any noise. And especially, you know, I get guests on here that all different. Let's not you know, we put it that way. It's not your quality. It can be all over the board where there's all kinds of noise on their track. So I take it out with noise reduction.
[00:40:13] Well, absolutely. OK, so that's not noise reduction historically was reducing the noise from typists.
[00:40:21] Oh, so I'm using the wrong term.
[00:40:24] Ok, so so that's why you can confusing this old audio engineer. If you if you listen to a nineteen sixties album, even on CD, you'll hear, you'll hear this hiss and that's called tape noise and the way you mask tape noise is having what's called a better signal to noise ratio. But what you're doing is doing noise sampling and elimination and software can learn what the noise is. The noise floor. And it can go through the whole file, isolate that those noises and eliminate them as long as it doesn't auditorily affect the quality of your recording? The software has gotten better and better and better over the years. Years ago you would do it and then all of a sudden you're like and and so is audio engineers. Once back, it goes back to the theory. Get it laid, right, so you don't have to use software to fix it, but now that's what's amazing and you can see it on YouTube, their software now that can go into recording and pull the instruments apart. I mean, you can go listen to isolated vocals of the Beatles and the Beach Boys that were mono records. And he can go into the store, it can go into the recording, learn the part you want, and pull just that out. So the software just keeps getting better and better. And I'm sure it's artificial intelligence stuff. So if you're happy with the result, fine, because what that's doing is that if you do have a noise, flawed sample, in fact, that's one of the things here. I can see it says I have a room tone at the beginning and end there. Want to see how noisy your environment is. And if you exceed a threshold, they're probably going to reject you.
[00:42:12] Yeah, he's talking about from audio books.
[00:42:14] Well, I mean, even though this is audio books, this is just audio engineering one on one, you know, make sure your environment is consistently as quiet and human. In fact, I know a studio in Atlanta that floated on rubber the build our studio, the whole studio had three inches of hard rubber so that the vibrations of the cars going down the street in front of the studio would not get below frequencies in the studio. The microphones could pick up and could make a noise slower of of a low rumble. Wow. And you're not going to do that. I mean, you're not going to build a room that is completely isolated from the sounds of the world, jets flying over, kids outside. Well, when will you know?
[00:43:08] Maybe whenever they throw me in the loony bin with padded walls, it might have a rubber floor. I see. How crazy.
[00:43:16] Well, you take your computer in there, you'll get a better record.
[00:43:20] All right. Well, we got to take a brief sponsor break. When we come back, we're going to ask Mike, what's a typical day look like for him on his wave runner and and how he stays motivated. And he's also got some cool stories about bugs you might want to tell you. So, folks, I'm just so proud of this program. You know, I've raised a lot of money for homeless children and in animals and all kinds of stuff over the years. But, you know, I'm kind of as I look back, I am proud of that. But I kind of think they're kind of bandaids because what happens to those kids after I feed fed them for a year. But in this case, you know, I really want to change people's lives permanently. And these folks that got dealt a hand much more difficult than most of us just for for me to jump in a suburban and go down a 7-Eleven and back is 15 minutes for a lot of them with physical disabilities. It could be an hour just to get ready and get in the car. So I want to do something about this and I need your help. We want to get them trained, get them. And by the way, their suicide rates are four times the average.
[00:44:27] Their depression rates are three point seven times the average, and their unemployment is the highest it's ever been in seven years. So I want to do something about it. I'm going to do something about it. But I'd love to have your help if you could the check out IMTCVA.org/disabilities and then click on the Go Fund Me campaign. You'll actually see some of the people there, how they're progressing and anything you can contribute. We really appreciate it. It's all going to go to scholarships for them and we're also going to use some of the money to hire people with disabilities to help run the program. And I'm finding from some of these folks that have slight impairment that we have to upgrade the school a little bit to to help them get through the courses. So so there's all kinds of stuff that you could help out with, and we really appreciate it. So check it out. IMTCVA.org/disabilities.
[00:45:26] Let's get back to the main event. My old buddy Mike Stuart's here telling you things to take your audio to the next level. He guarantees you will get a gold record if you if you listen to him.
[00:45:36] So I don't make a disclaimer, I guarantee, in any event.
[00:45:43] So Mike, what's a typical Nashville day look like for you nowadays?
[00:45:49] Well, you know, because of all the things I've learned over the years, you gave me the freedom to in my 60s to to move to Nashville and one of the things that I enjoy doing is just this is a very much a relationship town. The music business is about I mean, every success story in the music business is relationships. You can trace the relationships that this guy knew, this guy that knew this guy. The the I'm going to bust a bubble here. There is no talent scout and going all my Tom you're a star. Sign that rich and famous contract and you'll be a star next week.
[00:46:31] I guarantee it.
[00:46:32] I guarantee it. I'll guarantee you a gold record. Now, the bottom line is this is you got to build relationships. You've got to have amazing content that the world loves. You know, it's very much akin to Internet marketing. You know, my friend Ahmed Maurin says, don't make a putz. A product unable to sell, and I've made a handful of putts in my life, but I've made some winners too, and and and that's why you just keep going back to the drawing board and go. Well, I think from all my knowledge and my experience, this is something that people will will embrace. And it's akin to the music business. If you write a song about liver and onions, you may love it, but nobody else loves it. But, you know, if you write a song about your heart being broke or you're fine and love or or, you know, you miss your baby or a thousand tried and true subjects, then then people may like it. And I used to love American Bandstand. It's got a good beat. You can dance to it. That was what every kid ever said. Don't write a record while all songs have a good beat. You dance the most already. So that's just the public. So you have to make content and you have to be in the relationships of the people who are the decision makers. So my day in Nashville is is constantly meeting with influencers.
[00:48:02] Real influencers.
[00:48:04] Real influencers. Like I'm working with an agency here that represents a band called The Headliners. The headliners are three singers from 90s bands at each other's 30 number one records between these three singers. And they're trying to make a comeback because by by music standards, they're all those are 90's guys. They're old, you know, not old. They're in their 50s. But, you know, the people who dominate the charts are kids and they're in their 20s and 30s. And so I love working with artists and and try to to bridge the gap of the Internet. You know, the mindset here in Nashville is the Internet caused the problems. And I tell them the Internet's not the problem. Your refusal to embrace what's possible is the problem. And and I'm having a blast getting some breakthroughs, fact I helped produce saw Brown live. There's a big band from the 90s called Solier Brown, and Mark Miller has been open to my ideas and and they're doing when it comes to content creation. This town is amazingly creative when it comes to Internet marketing. There's a lot of holes that they haven't plugged.
[00:49:25] Well, you know what, Mike? I'm so happy that we didn't get interrupted on this podcast because you are such a rock star touring currently that I was afraid the groupies would be beating on the door. So I might be too early for that. But tell them about the you're touring.
[00:49:46] Oh, well, anyway, coming to Nashville has got me back to my first passion, which is playing, performing and and creating music again. And and at least I have people here who can make decisions, publishers, managers and so forth. So anyway, talking about relationships and how what I'm doing today, years ago I met a fellow named Gary Talley, and Gary was in a band with me in Atlanta in the 70s. And I went over to his house. And you talk about gold records. His wall was covered with gold right now. And I said, Gary. You were in the box tops, the band had the hit song, the letter. Give me a ticket for an airplane. I mean, this was nineteen seventy six, only about nine, eight years. Ten years later, he said, yeah, I was in the box tops. I said, what are you playing with us for? And I got a music lesson that I never forgot. It's just I need the money. And I went, how is it you could be having all these hit records? And you need the money. Well, if you don't write the songs, you don't produce the songs and you got a manager who takes more than his fair share, when it's all over, you could be broke. And that happened over and over and over again. So that was that was something I want I want to help talented people who have fans.
[00:51:20] I tell people every day. You're in the music business, you're in the fan building business. So, anyway, Gary and I have been friends forever. When I moved to Nashville, I reconnected with him because he moved here in the 80s. And baby boomers love the box top and they love those hit songs. Our average groupie is sixty five or older. And and so there is an agency out of Los Angeles that packages these oldies acts, Herman's Hermits, Tommy James and The Shondells, the Buckingham's. I mean, if you go to Paradise agency, you can see the box tops is one of the blood, sweat and tears. You wouldn't believe all the bands that are still out there working. Why are they still working? Because they don't know what they don't know anything else to do. This is what they've always done. They've always played music. They don't want to do anything else. And then, too, they get paid well. And the baby boomer audience loves going to these shows. So the keyboard position opened up for the box tops and. Because I was had a relationship with Gary, Gary said, hey, let's get Mark to be our new keyboard player and that's how I got in my relationship.
[00:52:33] There you go.
[00:52:33] Relationships. And then and then, of course, I've been helping them learn Internet marketing and, you know, little by little building our audience because the Internet marketing world is very akin to the music world. We call them subscribers, music people call them fans. So in other words, you got to build a huge list and then you got to convert that list to a sale. And the music world doesn't understand. I mean, I see people perform live here in town all the time and not one way and knowing how to stay in touch with those people. They had a room full of a thousand people and they're not doing anything to connect. I ask artists, this is I won't name names, but I ask a producer friend of mine. I said, you have a number one artist on country records right now. Yeah. Why aren't they doing a podcast and what his answer was. But what's a podcast? Yeah. And so I said, well, it's a way for your artist to build fans to go to her shows and buy her whatever she sells. And it's like, well, they don't have time. You know, it's always it's it's overcoming these excuses. But, you know, it's become a game to me now.
[00:53:54] I enjoy it. And that's my Nashville day is creating again, producing. In fact, I created a Spotify band called Nash Memphis. Gary and I of the Box Tops. And in fact, anybody listen to this, go to your if you have a music service, Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Antion. We're everywhere. In fact, there's a company called. Oh, shoot, I'm having a senior moment here, distrokid.com, if you're a musician, you can for twenty dollars a year have your music everywhere. Wow. In other words, when I was a kid, if you didn't go with a record label that could distribute your music to record stores, something from the past, you know, you couldn't have a hit record. Well, for twenty dollars a year, my music can be in Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Tittel, Tick, YouTube, and I keep all the streaming money. So never before in the history of building an audience has the music industry needed that. So anyway, I'm a big advocate of destruction. We have this project go to YouTube and search Nasch Memphis's. It's a national tribute to the music that was created in Memphis in the 60s and we're just looking for our fans.
[00:55:15] You're fine. But you know, you said that the it's quite a bit like the Internet. Tell them about how you've been able to make bugs extremely profitable online.
[00:55:31] Well, you know, here here in Nashville, we have the Nashville podcasters and and I've got a lot of Dave Ramsey podcast is one of the big podcasts that come to this thing. So there's so I've known about podcasting, oh, I guess 15 years. And to me, it's just a part of content marketing. It's an ability to build an audience because your content is good or really good. And and then you get the opportunity to tell people how to support you. You know, that you're the only advertiser on your show is you and the world is free to podcast. So I was helping an old friend of mine, songwriter friend Hal Coleman, and he he sold his pest control company about 12 years ago. And he said, I want to be a coach like you, Mike. I want to I want to coach business owners. And and so we tried that and it didn't work. And I said, look how you're a bug guy. You you own a bug company. You killed bugs their whole life bug guys will relate to you. I said we need to market to bug owners, bug exterminators. And he said, well, what do we need to do? I said, well, the first thing we need to do is we need to blog, build a YouTube channel and we need to podcast. And of course, Hal said, I don't know what you said. And I said, well, let's just do it. Let's just do it. I'll do the technical side. All you got to do is just show up and and, you know, dispel your words of wisdom.
[00:57:04] He had a good microphone. He had a computer. And in fact, even when I lived in Atlanta, we produced it over the Internet because I didn't want to drive across town. Forty five miles to just produce a podcast. We could do it just as easily as you and I did. Right. So we started the first Pest Control Marketers podcast. And it it is a podcast just for the owners or people thinking about starting a pest control agency. And we have the number one pest control marketing podcast in the world. I mean, if you Google pest control marketing podcast, you'll see we're all over the place. And we we have we don't have a lot of listeners. We probably have about a thousand downloads per episode, but it's a thousand targeted listeners. And we pitch our coaching program, our marketing services are consulting our membership sites, our annual event, in other words, we have what I call a digital back end. And, you know, all Hal wanted was we in fact, we did our podcast before we did this podcast today, we I stole an idea from you. We did QR codes for Bug Guys. It was a good episode. Yeah. And because, hey, did you know QR code starts stands for quick response code. I did not know that. Yeah it well I didn't know that till I Wikipedia. But anyway long and short of it is is is a percentage of our listeners become. Six to ten thousand dollars a year worth of business to us and how we wanted 10 coaching clients so that he could work, what he wanted to work 10 hours a month and make six grand.
[00:58:56] Because he sold his business, he's got retirement money and he said all want. He said, if I can make six grand a month working four hours a month, that gives me the rest of the week to hunt and fish and be with my grandkids. And he's doing better than that. So it's and then I do what I'm doing is what's called pay per click landing pages for pest control agencies. I've taken video, my passion, I've taken WordPress, my passion, I've done copywriting, which I love. And we build secret optimize landing pages for Google AdWords. But we put a video in there. And and so I tell a pest control agency, what makes you money killing bugs. Now. Break it down, what bugs do you make the most money on? And I've learned a whole lot from about bug guys in Philadelphia, the spotted lantern's live is a huge problem. Never even heard of that. Well, if you Google. Spotted Lannan. Philadelphia. You'll find my guys harpoon past illusions. And they we we buy ads, the Tom, what people in Philadelphia, we buy a 50 mile radius of just the term spotted Lantern fly. That's just the term. And then what happens is that gets to the to their landing page and the video has them coming out and saying, you hate Spotted Lantern flies. Well, we know how to get rid of them. Give us a call back. I'll let this play a little bit in the background.
[01:00:39] They're beautiful to look at. Damaging to all of our trees, shrubs and plants. And soon they're coming in droves to a neighborhood near Atlanta. And fire season is upon us. So one bobin advised to squash them, smash them and never let a single one live. They can often overwhelm our properties and plants. That's why Harpoon Solutions is on the job of providing protective coverage against Atlanta supplies before they get established in your yard to many of these critters and causing damage to your ornamental trees and shrubs, vines and garden crops, preventative action can help reduce the damage. Keep your yard pest free. This year we are committed to making all of our clients one hundred percent happy. Let us help you combat back Atlanta twice this year and bring you peace of mind knowing your plants are protected and our solutions today when it comes in. But just don't go to One five, five days to.
[01:01:47] Man, I wish I had that passed down here.
[01:01:53] Well, my point is, is the ads are cheap
[01:01:57] And yeah, because nobody's buying that term.
[01:02:01] Right. And so we we build multiple campaigns to multiple problems that they solve. And we produced the the YouTube videos or the videos. And of course, I want that one to play all the way to the end because that's what I think. We talked about it in a previous angle. But does the term jingle, even if nobody buys Google Harpoon solutions when it comes to bugs, just say no. Call two one five five eight eight two one eight. OK, so we we're planning in the 50 mile radius, local market. How to google them, even if you're not interested in using them, but in fact, this particular client said lower the budget on the ads, we can't handle the business. So anyway, in fact, I'm going to be building the training that I own because I don't care what the business is. You solve problems, you know. What are you Tom? I'm an Internet marketing coach. Great. That's brought what problems do you solve? Break it down. Well, I hope people who struggle with headlines. OK, headline copy, coach. They that broke them. Now, how many how many things could you break down what you do, all these thousands and you build a big Hi, I'm Tom Antion. And you struggle with knowing how to make the perfect headline for your YouTube videos, for your podcasts, for your blog post. Well, let me tell you, headlines are the most important thing. And let me tell you why I'm the best at teaching you that. And here's what I want you to call this number. Fill in this form, download this free e-book, whatever you want to do. And and that phrase, that page is optimized for that phrase. And that's the only phrase you buy. And then you build another campaign to a different video. And that's so that's what that's what I'm doing. The reason I'm doing it for Bug guys is because when we get a bug customer from our podcast. They are sold. They don't go, they say, what do you what do you what do I got to do first? And and and, of course, me and Hala supposedly were supposedly retired.
[01:04:11] Yeah, from touring in a band, creating jingles, writing music, meeting with big shots in Nashville. You're retired yet?
[01:04:21] You know, here's my definition of retirement. If I don't like it, I can only say no.
[01:04:29] Yeah, if I love it. Let's put it this way. You said be on my podcast. You can't shut me up. You know why? Because I love this Tom. This this is just this is life to me. This keeps me going. You know, I'll be on your podcast every week if you wanted me to be, but I know that.
[01:04:47] Yeah, we should. Yeah. But you host it and I'll go out in a way
[01:04:53] I think I want to go out on the way. Yeah.
[01:04:55] Well gee thanks so much. Speaking of shut me up and shut me up. I think this is the longest podcast I've ever done and that's great because it was full of great tips for everybody. Good stories. And and you perfectly explain niche markets, bug the bug business and everybody says and this is Rich's are in the niches. Well, there you go. So just the bad what I'm sad about is I don't have any spotted. Leonard flies around. I never even heard of them. So maybe I can get some of your harpoon guy to save a few and then we'll introduce him down here. And then and then I'll start a bug company.
[01:05:37] I think if you don't have them, you ought to leave it. Leave well enough. OK, all right. Well, I'll tell you what you can do. They have this new software where you could break this into two podcast, part one and part two if you really want it.
[01:05:48] No, no, I don't want I want the continuity. I want them to hear hear you from beginning to end. In the end, I think you have the world's record for the most times on on this podcast, too. And then and you're going to keep breaking it to because you're going to come back. Right.
[01:06:03] I'll come back and Tom when when the phone rings with you or the email comes in with you, you know the answer. It's always yes.
[01:06:10] Savan Well, thanks so much, Mike. So tell everybody how they get a hold of you and find some of your stuff. Well, got a lot of horses on lots of things,
[01:06:19] If you go to MikeStewart.live or even pestcontrolmarketing.live, but there is plenty of ways of seeing all the things I do. And, you know, I've got a podcast that I do. You know, I am so proud of you. Four hundred and seventy shows.
[01:06:38] You're number 476.
[01:06:40] Holy moly. You know, you got more energy than I do. We're at about one hundred and twenty with the pest control marketing one.
[01:06:49] Yeah, but I don't have to go meet any big shots for lunch like you do. I mean, you and Shania Twain are walking down the street and off and stuff like that.
[01:06:58] You know what she's been asking about you.
[01:07:01] Yeah. I'll bet.
[01:07:02] You know what? It's I just enjoy what I'm doing. And a mentor of mine years ago says all you can do is all you can do and all you can do is enough. So I'm just doing all I can. That makes me happy. And for right now, I'm just very grateful that you invited me on again. And I hope people got some good out of it. MikeStewart.live will tell you everything you need to know about Mike Stewart. And if you don't believe there's money and bugs, go to pestcontrolmarketing.live.
[01:07:36] All right, everybody. Thanks so much, Mike. And say hello to your wife for me and we'll catch everybody on the next episode. See ya later.
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