May 2017 Update – On Collaborations, The Music/Life Balance and a Wearable Subwoofer

collaborations and subpac

Total fan count grew from 3,828 to 5,215… mostly via Twitter and Instagram marketing, as well as my guest post:

john lavido may update

As you can see, the growth slowed a little. That’s because the Instagram and Twitter marketing doesn’t scale exponentially. Plus, the traffic from the guest post is dying down.

New track is almost done… it began as something along the lines of Animals by Martin Garrix, but it has grown into a different sort of beast. It’s intended to be a club track. To get you dancing. There are no vocals this time.

Collaboration spreadsheet is done… I’ve made a list of producers I’d love to work with, and I’ll be reaching out to them over the coming weeks and months. If you’re interested in collaborating and think we could make magic together, hit me up via email ( I can’t promise that we’ll work together, but I’ll definitely consider it.

After getting some particularly negative feedback on Reddit, I hired Mike Senior for a Production Critique. Mike is the author of the fantastic book Mixing Secrets. I wanted to find out from Mike, a distinguished mixing engineer, if the negative feedback from Reddit was valid, or if they were just trolling me.

I was blown away by what I received…

If you’re looking for detailed, actionable feedback on your music, hire Mike. You won’t regret it.

Here’s the final report he gave me (for about $200).

I bought a Subpac. A Subpac is a subwoofer that you strap to your back. Combined with headphones, it gives you the club experience. Instead of just getting the clarity of the headphones, you get the heavy bass feeling that you usually only feel at a club or festival. It makes music more of a tactile experience. Plus, it helps with mixing (especially if you mix on headphones like me) because it helps you to hear and feel the low end of your mix.

Recent challenges and struggles include… the particularly negative feedback from Reddit, as well as balancing music with other responsibilities, such as paying rent and eating food.

The feedback knocked me around a little, until I reviewed a folder on my computer where I save all the positive feedback I receive (if you don’t have a folder like this, make one ASAP – it’s a lifesaver).

As for the life balance issue, I’m constantly wrestling with how to balance music with everything else. While I’d love to drop everything and do music all day every day, it’s not practical at this point in time.

Anyhow, that’s all for this month.

I’m hoping to have the next track ready soon, but it’s important to me to get it right. So I’ll be using a few people to refine it (such as Mike Senior) before I release it to the public.

While some people recommend completing a track every 1-2 weeks and going for quantity over quality, I find that I learn more when I spend more time on a track. More time allows me to really work on honing my weaknesses… whereas rushing onto the next track would rob me of that extra depth.

I’m also going through the Hyperbits’ Masterclass.

Come June, the next track should be ready, with another one well on the way.

How about you? Post a comment below and let me know what’s coming up for you next month.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Joel Evans - May 17, 2017

Hey John, about the menu bar at the top: I think it’s better to just leave it at the top of the page instead of scrolling down for it to disappear, and scrolling up to appear. It is very annoying and inconvenient. Thanks!

Matt - May 18, 2017

Hi John, love the update. Brilliant idea to hire Mike Senior for review, his notes are very detailed and insightful! That’s really awesome that you bought a Subpac; do you like it? what are your thoughts on it? Is it worth buying?

    John Lavido - May 20, 2017

    Thanks Matt!

    Subpac is… fucking incredible. Adds a whole new dimension to the music. It’s changing the music that I like and appreciate, because I can tell instantly if the low-end is tight. It’s helping with mixing, etc. But it’s also wicked to simply lie in bed with and get lost in whatever tunes you like. Trap Nation is insane with it 🙂

Dave - June 1, 2017

hey John, i feel like you’re being a bit disingenuous with your readers here. you write that you are upset about negative feedback received at Reddit, from what I can tell all the feedback in that Reddit thread was related to the suspicious amount of upvotes your track received. Don’t equate criticism of your underhanded self-promotion with criticism of your music. In fact, had you left the song to be upvoted organically you might have given some time and space to receive valuable feedback in that thread, rather than have users understandably upset because they think you’re rigging the game.

Funnily enough, the one comment in that whole thread that ignored the suspicious upvotes and praised your track was posted by user jmacm – whose only other post on Reddit is related to email marketing, which is your day job isn’t it? Follow the link that user posted and you find yourself at an article posted by John McIntyre, whose photo looks eerily similar to yours. Really dude, you couldn’t make a new alt account to post from? Cringe.

Let’s get this right: you post your track to Reddit, buy upvotes to get attention, make a post from an alt account praising your song, then cry to your blog about it?

You HAVE to see here that you went about this the wrong way. I sincerely hope you get better, I enjoy your blog and want to root for you. Stop making it so hard.

    John Lavido - June 11, 2017

    Dave, thanks for the comment (and nice detective work!).

    You make some great points. Especially the one about the difference between criticism of my self-promotion strategy and criticism of my music. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

    I didn’t mean to “cry” about it… I simply wanted to be honest about the emotional aspect of the journey, even if I’d engaged in some “underhanded” promotion like you said. Everyone struggles with criticism, everyone makes mistakes, and I wanted to be real about that.

    As for going about it the wrong way, I 100% agree with you… because it didn’t work. However, I think it’s worth trying things like this from time to time to see what happens. Always be testing. But if I kept trying to use the same strategy again and again even though it didn’t work, then I think there’d be something seriously wrong.

Blair - July 4, 2017

I’m a bit late to this party give that this was last months post, but I just got one of those Subpac’s… and it’s WAY better than I thought it would be, so thanks for the heads up!

I’d love to know what you think of the Hyperbits masterclass. It’s kinda pricey for a group program, but his content (from the little I have seen) looks first-rate.

    John Lavido - July 6, 2017


    That’s exactly what I thought when I tried it on. It’s a bit weird at first, but it’s great once you get used to it. For making music and for listening.

    Re. Hyperbits Masterclass – the content is great, much stronger than your average youtube tutorial or $29/mo tutorial, and it’s all presented in a cohesive manner, so you know what fits where. My favorite part is the office hours calls where they just answer questions. I’ve learned more from those than from the actual lessons, but then again, I’ve been studying Serik’s stuff for a while now. Overall, it’s worth it if you can afford it IMO and will shave years off your learning curve.

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