THE GROOVE3 BLOG
Learn about music production, mixing, mastering and the audio industry with useful articles by the Groove3 team.
This is a very interesting topic for me. Although, trumpet was my first instrument and I did play it for decades in a classical setting (reading music) I never really studied music or musical theory.
In fact, it’s one of the things I regret about learning the trumpet as a first instrument. I believe that everyone’s first instrument should be piano. It has everything. It requires rhythm with both hands, it teaches bass lines, chords and melody all at the same time.
When you’re producing, mixing, engineering or even songwriting for an artist, there will be moments where that artist wants you to do things to the product that you disagree with. Something that is not just different but that you perceive to be bad. Or worse. That the thing that you’ve been working on for months is now destroyed. At least in you mind.
One of the more common arguments I see on audio forums and in audio groups is this idea that “the audience can’t hear the difference”. Or that they’re listening to an mp3 on earbuds and that everything you’re doing won’t ever be appreciated or matter anyway.
There is a tendency when you start out in this business, or any business, to think a few steps ahead. To think about where you're going or where you'd like to end up. But in that process, you might forget about where you are. Or at least, not want to think about it.
Years ago I was scouting a band I wanted to produce. They were in the process of getting a record deal and we were talking about making the record with them.
In the process of our sales pitch, we mention the studio we wanted to use as it would be perfect for their sound. The lead singer stops me and says "We're never recording at XXXX Studios again". What?
One of the things I’ve seen very often in audio forums and facebook groups is this notion that we’re all competing for the same jobs. Or that the industry is finite and there are only so many clients to get.
OK. I’m going to do my best here to avoid being sexist. Yes. I do feel that women are better producers than men. There. I said it. But why am I saying this? This is the part that people get angry about but “in general” women and men are very different. It is my belief that men “in general” are better at doing technical tasks. Or at least we prefer to do them. Which is why “most” recording engineers are men.
One of the saddest things I get to see while spending a considerable amount of time on audio forums and in pro audio groups is people focusing on minutiae. Things that are so small, that no one will ever see the difference. Of course, in our case, it’s no one will ever “hear” the difference. It’s the same concept.
As most of us tend to be in this profession, I am a self aware perfectionist. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It allows me to work tediously for many many hours to get things done but it also forces me to toil for many many hours trying to make things perfect.
Today, I’m going to assume two things about you. I could be wrong but try to see if these can apply to you. I believe that you’re a creative person. This is both a good and a bad thing. As we can use creativity to help us or to manufacture rationalizations about our work habits. The other thing I’m going to assume is that most of your more creative projects, don’t have hard deadlines. They need to be done… eventually.