Over a long and varied career I have developed for myself what I call "Glen's Rules of Management." Actually writing them down and turning them into a book with a better title than that is one of the items on my personal bucket list that, unlike Jack Nicholson or Morgan Freeman, I will probably never actually get to. Suffice it to say that the many stories, examples, corollaries and such that would fill this book would fall under the umbrella of three basic rules: Define the tasks to be tackled, select the right people to tackle them, and give them what they need to get it done. I have followed these rules as my guideline while planning where to take IRN next, IRN v2.0, if you will. So how do these rules translate into the present and future reality of the IRN? I'm glad I asked...
DEFINING OUR TASK
IRN is being developed with the intent of turning it into the premiere online resource for high-quality, high-signal, low-noise programming and information to, and networking resources for, the independent artists, engineers and producers out there who are serious about taking the next step from creating vanity or hobby recordings to making high quality productions for the rapidly growing independent music market.
SELECTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Building a quality large-scale website, even slowly over time, is an awfully large task for just one person to handle. This is doubly true when one has other tasks to perform in their 24-hour day as well, such as audio/video/Internet producer and engineer. This is why I am lucky and proud to have enlisted the assistance of my long-time partner in Internet crime, Robert Fries, in the design and construction of much of the technical infrastructure of the IRN website. I first met Robert back in the early 90s when, as supervisor and team leader of emergency and third-tier support for the worldwide FTD computer network I hired him as one of my support gunslingers. Together we discovered the newly-public curiosity called "the Internet", back when the idea of the "World Wide Web" was still an untested idea and "spam" was just a Monty Python joke. Since then, Robert has proven himself time and again as one of the best out there when it comes to Internet programming technique and technology. He is the unseen man behind the curtain of much of IRN's server-side functionality, and I want to make sure he got public credit here for his generous assistance to me.
But all of Robert's and my work on building the website would be for naught if it didn't carry worthwhile content. "It's the content, stupid!" is the unwritten mantra of any successful website producer/manager. To start out, I have written several online interactive applications on audio compression, frequency mapping and gain structure which have wound up to be wildly popular across the Internet, much more than I humbly expected when I started writing them. I sincerely thank all for their kind words and support for these offerings over the past two years or so. Continuing with such endeavors, I have added an on-line book catalog to the list. This interactive catalog contains approximately 100 audio production-related book titles displayed in thumbnail image form sorted alphabetically by title into nine distinct topic categories for easy classification and lookup. One click on any book will bring the user right to Amazon.com detail page for that book with the option of purchasing that book, new or used, right then and there. And there are several more applets planned and on the drawing board. The voice and ideas of only one man can become stale and monotonous though - yes, I do get tired of hearing myself speak. In order to expand the width and depth of experience that IRN has to offer to the public, I will be starting (Real Soon Now) a series of interviews with Those Who Matter in the field of independent recording and publishing them on this network. Even more exciting than that, however, is the addition of a team of seasoned experts, professionals and otherwise gurus in recording and production from all over the country as regular content contributors to IRN. Their detailed biographies can be found on the IRN website, so let me just announce them here along with a quick idea of how I feel they fit together as a team. In alphabetical order only:
Benny is a professional audio engineer for a video production company based in Kansas City, Missouri. A graduate of Full Sail, he has established himself on the Internet as a go-to expert on all things Pro Tools - he co-runs the independent Pro Tools Forum internet website in his spare time - as well as being an expert on audio for video.
Living the life that most of us dream about, Jon runs his own green energy-centric recording and mastering service out on the idyllic Outer Banks of North Carolina. There is where he has also built fame and reputation manufacturing and selling his own line of custom designed, hand built microphones. He brings to IRN a technical expertise in electronics and audio not easy to find in today's breed of DIY audio recordists.
John has spent time in all aspects of pro audio engineering; first designing and overseeing construction of a first-class recording studio in Chicago's suburbs, then staying on as Chief Engineer there working with acts from every corner of the musical spectrum, from flamenco and world music to blues and metal. He has since move on to the job of Mastering Engineer and business owner, building and running his own Chicago-area top shelf mastering suite and studio, where he has pioneered the field of first-class mastering services by Internet.
As an engineer for the famous King Biscuit Flower Hour, Tom has helped produce and engineer shows for some of the biggest household name acts in the music business including The Who, Foghat, Kansas, Iggy Pop, and many other artists. He is president and owner of The Mastering House Inc. located in the greater metropolitan area of Philadelphia. Tom has also taught as a professor of audio engineering at various local colleges. When not mastering bands on his full schedule and not teaching college-level classes, Tom can be found moderating and actively participating in several Internet audio engineering forums.
Jay coincidentally now owns the suburban Chicago recording studio were Jon Scrip used to work before he built his own ME shop. Jay has worked with many rock and metal bands from local to famous, both playing on stage and as live gig engineer, in addition to his years behind the glass at his studio. One of the Internet's finest when it comes knowing and truly understanding the technical basics and the practical application of audio engineering from guitar amp maintenance to digital audio theory, Jay has also hit world-wide acclaim and popularity with his own line of top-shelf drum samples for Drumagog.
These are the "Pros From Dover", the current men of IRN. I hope to add a few more high-caliber contributors to our team in the near future as well.
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED
As of this writing, these men will be adding their wisdom and sharing their expertise with us in two major ways: First they will be regular participants in IRN's "Around The Console"; a series of roundtable discussions, moderated by me, that will discuss the topics most important to the up-and-coming performers and engineers in the independent recording field. Watch the IRN front page for imminent news on when and where to find this new feature on IRN.
In addition, each of these contributors has been given his own publishing column on IRN just like this one. This is their bully pulpit, their platform from which they can publish their own online articles on the technical or artistic subjects closest to their own hearts relating to the independent recording community. You can find their columns here and now at www.independentrecording.net/irn/columns/. The home column page for each author also includes links to RSS/XML newsfeeds and bio pages for each author. And the bio pages also include lings to that author's home website and e-mail.
GIVING YOU WHAT YOU NEED
In concert with these new offerings, check out our improved front page at www.independentrecording.net for new and freshly updated news and announcements regarding these new offerings, a global RSS/XML newsfeed for the whole IRN website, expanded e-nail contact facilities for talking to us and sending us your feedback, and a new instant click menu bar providing easy access to all of these new offerings. Some of these new front page features may be already available as you read this, others are in final testing and will be publicly available very shortly.
And that's just what's here or coming shortly. We also have plans in the works for much, much more. Just wait until you see IRN 2.5 and 3.0....