Hi, Doctor Nick! - The Value of Having Your Own Studio Space and How to Deal with the Shitty Band Next Door

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Happy birthday Nick Hook! That's right, our very own advice columnist is another year wiser today, but that didn't stop Doctor Nick from delivering his weekly dose of knowledge to the XLR8R faithful. Want to give him a present? Send in your questions to doctornick@xlr8r.com. The man knows about music, travel, DJing, production, romance, and the ways of the world. He's here to help, so let him work his magic.

Hi. By the time you read this, I'll be in a private jet, going somewhere luxurious to celebrate my birthday. Nah, in all reality I'll probably be laying in bed, hungover from the ASAP Rocky show. It's cold in New York but there are good vibes. I was gonna do a "Harlem Shake" video for this week's column, but I figured everyone would be cool without that… Anyways, back to life, back to reality.

Send questions to doctornick@xlr8r.com. We're running out. Really. Have your mom write one or something.

Hi Doctor Nick,
I'm 23-year-old producer from Hong Kong. My parents place couldn't fit me anymore, so I got myself a place in an industrial building for my studio and home as well. In the last four months, I've had to deal with the new metalcore band next door and their volume issues. I reached out to them multiple times to seek a resolution, but they couldn't do it. Their drums are loud, so the amplifiers need to go wild, too. It annoys me a lot, whether I'm producing or just chilling out. I can't afford to move right now either. So Doc, do I need to reach Zen level to maintain what I am doing?

Wut up man? Good move on getting a spot. (Side note to all: from my own personal experience, working on music changed exponentially after I left the bedroom. I'm not dissing the bedroom. I still have a controller in my room and if inspiration strikes, I make little MIDI notes or make sounds, but I found that I was never stopping work. 24 hours a day, I was "working," but really, I was wandering around my crib, looking on Facebook, chatting, and never really fully putting my energy into anything. Ultimately, I never stepped away from anything. Now that I have a separate studio, that mental break of coming and going has been great. I highly suggest trying it. You can have a human life and a musical life—they are both important. Friendship and relationships are also winning recipients from this.)

End tangent…

I've been through this shit. There's nothing worse than a bad band. Fuck. It makes me wanna quit music like yesterday. But what can I say? I've made my share of terrible shit then, and I still do now. I always worry that if they raid my computer when I die, people are gonna be like, "Wow, this guy is terrible." Probably so, but fuck it. Maybe if we die they'll think of us as some kind of geniuses with thousands of unfinished tracks in our computers. Who knows?


1) Slaughter an animal in front of their door.
2) Talk to them about scheduling.
3) Beat the fuck out of them.
4) Find some moving blankets, foam, egg crates, as much as possible to soundproof your room—and theirs. Getting real stuff might be better, but it's way more expensive.
5) Throw them some money. Greasing palms ALWAYS works. Fifty bucks might go a long way.

Other advice: Find a raw space. DON'T tell the landlord you make music. Tell him you do multimedia. Everyone knows that anyone who makes music is basically broke and irresponsible, so tell him you do post, film, something that doesn't make him think 60 Hz are gonna be blasting through the walls all the time. At the end of the day, none of these people are generally around, so you are all good.

Good luck G.

Okay, word. Dig it. Send questions. Much respek to all. Thank you for reading, as always.

Hi, Doctor Nick! appears every Thursday on XLR8R. Do you have a question for Doctor Nick? Please submit your inquires to doctornick@xlr8r.com. Nick Hook can help you.