“Dr. Dre attended a session that I engineered with Jim Jones of Dipset and started training an artist in a similar way to the way I do. It was a huge affirmation moment for me,” said Wife Wayne. MusicTech From his studio in St. Louis.
As a producer, engineer, educator, and global YouTube sensation, everything Wayne touches seems to turn into music gold. But his career, like everyone else, had to start somewhere, and he’s been on a continuous journey of discovery ever since. From recording sessions with big names like Future and Dave East to giving studio advice in YouTube videos to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, Wayne’s list of endless projects is growing. Recent work includes hosting married to music Podcasting with his wife and artist Lydia Kaiser, they built Dolby Atmos studio, and recently launched their collection of Wavy-1 Isolating Studio headphones.
His curiosity seemed to be restless. But while he advocates constantly updating skills and abilities, Wayne believes it’s essential for music industry players to work on their core strengths, and then focus on refining them to the point where they wow.
“I realized early on that I needed to work hard to develop a certain skill and decided to really write myself to learn Pro Tools,” he says. “I focused on this and used it as my leverage. I made sure I knew the platform inside and out and was able to work very quickly when needed.”
Pursuit of musical dreams
Wayne is revered for his deep knowledge of Avid’s DAW, Pro Tools. As a certified online expert, he has helped a lot of students achieve their qualifications while recording millions of views on his personalized educational content on YouTube. Besides teaching, he has spent the last 15 years working at the heart of the recording industry, initially capturing his early passion for hip-hop. When starting out, Wayne had ambitions of turning on the microphone rather than pressing keys on the desk.
“When I was young, I wanted to be a rapper,” he recalls. “I hooked up with some older guys in my St. Louis neighborhood who wanted to compose a song, and I went to the studio for the first time. It definitely excited me and made me want to delve deeper into the music.”
From here, Wayne got involved in music production software and began crafting beats at home on his “Dell big computer”. After high school, he studied at Full Sail University, where he plunged into studio practice.
Oddly enough, although I pursued this dream of rap as a child, I was terrified of the stage. It meant that any time I had to perform, I would do what we call ‘Gemini’, said Wayne, laughing. “I was just going to get myself into – but the music was really inside of me, and I knew I wanted to follow it. When I found that behind-the-scenes side of the recording, it definitely suited me more and my personality.”
Pro Tools was Wayne’s first audio working platform, and as his skills expanded, he became known in his local neighborhood as the recording expert for that specific programme. His studies at Full Sail were part of a broader effort to invest in his skills and prepare himself for the future.
“My mom was big on education, and she wanted to make sure I had a ‘nice and decent life,’” Wayne says. “Working in the rap profession wasn’t right for her, so I joined her, stumbled and got my Pro instruments.”
When he thought about his next steps after completing these studies, it seemed that transferring his expertise online was an exciting step and could complement his offline projects.
“I was studying at a college in my hometown and working on production and recording,” he says. “I felt that I could definitely create this kind of content online and realized there were no young hip-hop cats offering that kind of information. There was a real opportunity.”
Wayne has since built a huge following on YouTube, providing a range of content from deep dives into specific plugins to more fast-paced demos. Rather than any magic sorcery, he believes that a simple approach is the key to success on YouTube.
“After doing my research, I realized that most people turn to YouTube to solve problems. So I decided to focus on the answers,” he explains.
“I also wanted to make sure my content was searchable, so ‘How to find the beat’ and ‘How to score in Pro Tools’ were topics that I felt viewers wanted to know more about. I was also in a big bind to make sure it was ‘always on’. Evergreen” – so he can live on the Internet for 10 years or more.
After spending thousands of dollars in music education, Wayne says he felt motivated “to create a resource but also open doors.” Making these videos was his way of democratizing the resources available to aspiring music makers of all backgrounds.
“I can expand opportunities to include those who may not have the opportunity to seize them,” he says. “I’ve spent a lot of years paying off Full Sail’s debt, so a part of me has been sharing knowledge regardless of this college system.”
Wayne is currently in the midst of building an ambitious studio in Missouri. This new facility will include Dolby Atmos, a technology that is believed to shape the future of the recording industry.
“I am very excited about Dolby Atmos and the entire spatial audio landscape,” he explains. “I am excited that this becomes more mainstream and that music is created with this immersive sound in mind. It is the biggest thing for me since stereo.”
The development will be a multifaceted space where Wayne can keep his many music boards spinning. These various projects are monitored by Wavy Seals Elite, the growing community of audio engineers and producers he created for advice and inspiration.
“We meet twice a week. It’s like a studio coffee room,” he explains. “We are a group of engineers, producers and a talk shop. This is inspiring because some of these guys are brand new, and some of them are Grammy winners. Having this mix of perspectives really brings some life to the image and makes me think about music and recording in new ways – it’s a community Priceless “.
With Wayne’s extensive experience as an educator, it’s no surprise that he has a great deal of advice to share. One of its essentials is to develop a deep understanding of your music-making tools to improve workflow when locked into the creative process.
“If you know your equipment as well as possible, that means you can focus on your music,” he says. “So I recommend getting to know your software and music-making tools in as much detail as possible. You can then focus on capturing great songs, recording great sounds, and getting creative rather than wasting time trying to figure things out.”
When it comes to home recording, Wayne feels that music makers need to focus on an idea as simple as possible. Improving how you get into a track or rhythm may mean that producers or songwriters avoid getting lost in hardware or any technical details.
“Creativity can strike the weirdest of times, and we don’t always have the luxury of being in a professional studio when an idea pops up,” he says when it comes to spurring a local recording space. “You have to have a home setup that is able to capture raw emotion effectively. When you’re in that moment and almost crying into the microphone, that should be your last shot.”
“Don’t worry about anything like treating the room for your home studio,” he said. “It’s about having some simple and trustworthy tools to keep that creative spark alive.”
Wayne is also known for his vocal mixing skills. He says preparation is crucial before you hit the record to get this right. “There are a lot of things you can do to make this process easier,” he says. “Pick the right microphone, loudspeaker, make sure the sound and fitting match and actually have those conversations about the arrangements.”
With so much going on, Wayne’s schedule seems grueling. But a rich variety of music coupled with the ability to apply a haircut-like focus to projects and deadlines propels him forward.
“I am busy non-stop creating YouTube, but this is a big fishing net for me to collect followers and turn them on to other projects,” he says of how he breaks down his to-do list.
From his Wavy Seals Elite community to his Married to Music podcast, it’s clear that for Wayne, only the tip of his ambitions have come true.
“On certain days, I will mix, on other days, I will make TikTok videos,” he smiles. “I’m huge to go all in at once. I block out the world and focus on whatever I need to focus on. It means there is never a dull moment here.”
Visit wavywayne.com for more. Listen to who we love From Legendary love EP by Lydia Caesar.