Otto D'Agnolo is a recording engineer who has spent over 40 years of his life in the music business. He began his career in the music industry as a performer and then went on to become a recording engineer. Otto has had the pleasure of working with s...
Otto D'Agnolo is a recording engineer who has spent over 40 years of his life in the music business. He began his career in the music industry as a performer and then went on to become a recording engineer. Otto has had the pleasure of working with singers like Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Billy Preston, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Kenny Rogers, and countless others. His work has also been featured on popular television shows such as The Jersey Shore, The Office, One Tree Hill and more. Otto’s hard work has even earned him an Emmy Award for songwriting! On today’s episode, Otto educates listeners about the important lessons he wishes he had known when starting out in the music industry.
Otto describes how great music is made. It starts with a catchy melody that sticks in your head, then a lyrical hook is added, and the rest falls into place to create an engaging and beautiful song. However, because of the way music is consumed today, artists only get about two to three seconds to engage the listener. Especially when listeners are impatiently looking for new music that resonates with their musical taste, they tend to skip songs at lightning speed. Otto explains that it is crucial to grab the listener right away, because if you intrigue them for the first two bars, they will stick around for four bars, eight bars, until they have given the song a thorough listen. Otto says that it is extremely important to do something groovy or unexpected in the first few bars to try and hook that audience, and from there, the listeners can decide if they like the song or not.
Tune into this week’s episode of Southern Soul Live Stream for a conversation with Otto D'Agnolo about the ins and outs of the recording industry. Learn more about how iTunes destroyed label branding, the power of TikTok on the music industry, and why having authority establishes trust for musicians. Then, check out Otto’s website linked below for an immersive musical experience!
• “It's amazing how much more important it is to learn to listen well, before you try to play well.” (08:03-08:09)
• “I was so surprised to watch these three completely separate artists who've never crossed paths have that exact same process on the vocal microphone. I thought it was fascinating.” (11:51-12:02)
• “It's really learning to get the artists to let go of this wall they built around themselves to be safe, and to really try to get outside of what they've decided is their thing, because sometimes their thing is a lot bigger than they think it is. They just love that safe space that sounds great to them.” (19:28-19:38)
• “People don't trust you until they see the gold record on the wall, and then they listen to you.” (20:26-20:37)
• “What we found from polling our members is that it's not about the music. They love the process. They love the personalities. And I've got guys who have told me, ‘I would never have listened to this stuff. But now that I've watched you make it, I want to buy the record.’” (40:59-41:13)
• “I think that part of our problem, especially in this streaming world, is that we aren't listening to the album, so we're not getting the depth of artists. We’re listening to singles.” (1:04:36-1:04:44)
Connect with Otto D’Agnolo:
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