Mentor My Mix Episode 005 – Bruce Mac Vaughn

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If you’re a fan of Techno then you’ve likely heard his tracks before, or at least tracks from his label Fierce Animals. In this episode of Mentor My Mix, Bruce Mac Vaughn gets personal talking about his career in music, how to coax out the music in your soul, and so much more.

From an industry veteran, these tips are hugely valuable. Take a moment to listen now.

Click the play button above to hear the following topics:

  • Bridging the gap from ’70’s love & hate to rave culture.
  • Born in the oil fields of Oildale California and coming to the Bay via Eureka.
  • Coming to SF heart broken when his band broke up.
  • Going to his first rave in Golden Gate Park and waking up to a whole new generation of music.
  • Asking to buy a “rave machine” and walking out with two turntables, a DJ mixer and vinyl from Frequency 8.
  • Going back north to Humboldt to start throwing parties on the beach.
  • Connecting with El Jefe from the band NOFX and started throwing Planet Trance raves in the club with a smoothie bar.
  • Getting offered a job managing the record store and becoming a sushi chef.
  • From DJ’ing to healing the ego and starting to produce.
  • Connecting with Pyramind as part of his evolution.
  • Not having the backing to go to music production school.
  • Teaching himself Reason v.1 and doggedly sticking with it.
  • Having business mentors who were a major influence in his career.
  • Going to London to work with his mentor and getting very real advice.
  • Turning the glamor nob down and not being an aspiring producer and owning the title and the role.
  • The importance of “feeling it” and not just going through the motions.
  • Believing in yourself enough to own it.
  • Making the shift from DJ’ing to producing and then producing for others.
  • Having an awakening moment and deciding to cut the cord from the conventional work week.
  • Focusing on personal happiness.
  • Putting happiness first and finding “the spokes on the wheel” to drive it.
  • Starting the label first to help generate clout.
  • Not being able to afford mastering at that time and “just figuring it out”.
  • Then the tracks started charting and others started to inquire who was doing the mastering.
  • Started with minimal techno but also composing for ad agencies to help generate working capital.
  • Hustling to do what was needed going Mastering to Mixing to Producing and now artists development.
  • Meeting Ryan Robbins originally as a client and then eventually having him intern and then working together to help drive the growth of the label.
  • Making Ryan a partner in Fierce Animal Recordings.
  • Years of cumulative experience and realizing the real value in what he had to offer was more than mixing, mastering and production but real artist development consulting.
  • Getting consistent top 50 charting tracks.
  • Cosmic Boys & Maksim Dark are currently two biggest artists.
  • Not listening to the haters and the importance of staying positive.
  • Getting “the crabs out of the bucket”.
  • Gifts from the universe to make you fight harder.
  • What it takes to find your Soul Song.
  • The commonalities of the human experience and feeling that burning need to express yourself.
  • Studying the non-dual Kabbalah as a healer.
  • Coming to the table without the ego and helping artists heal themselves from their limiting beliefs.
  • Coaxing out their soul song and helping them get through failure and seeing it as nourishment.
  • Holding the bitterness and sweetness together in relationship to fully experience life.
  • Going deep with modular synthesis with Ivo Ivanov.
  • The two roads of electronic Music: “Disposable Dance Tracks” and the need to keep writing vs. creating a memorable album in the vein of Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers.
  • Not giving in to any limiting beliefs or fears. Learning to get happy with Covid and using this as a way to wake up to how we treat each other and needing to find a new way.
  • Producing Headroom SF to help bring the Bay Are together and grow the community.
  • Radical honesty over brutal honesty!

Track Credits: “Chasing Rabbits” by Bruce MacVaughn and Deontology (Ryan Michael Robbins remixed by MacVaughn).

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