It’s Better To Get The Audio Tech Wrong, But Get The Music Right!!

Kenny's Tip of the Day - It’s Better To Get The Audio Tech Wrong, But Get The Music Right!!

I see this all the time. People asking audio related “tech” questions. Not that this is a terrible thing. It’s good to know whether or not you should “dither” before converting from 24bit to 16bit or whether or not you should leave “headroom” on your final mix to help the mastering engineer master your mix.

But… NONE of it matters if the music isn’t very good. And if the music IS very good. Or hopefully GREAT. None of the other “tech” stuff really matters at all. It will still be great and people will still love it.

I know. People will argue until they’re blue in the face about how to treat a room. What A/D converters sound better for jazz and what microphone truly performs best on a female lead vocal. I get it.

And again. All this stuff does matter. But ONLY if the music is compelling and moves your audience. Nobody cares how good your snare sound sounds if it’s playing in the middle of a track that is uninteresting.

A great analogy I would use is that we’re all trying to build houses. And some of us love A Frame houses while others prefer English Tutors. But many of us “carpenters” are still arguing over a using titanium vs steel enforced hammers. Or whether long tip nails will provide greater strength than balanced ones. (I made those terms up LOL)

It is MOST important that you create the best music (or house) you can first. And I fear that gets lost by many people who have chosen this as a profession or even as a hobby.

You think that the music itself is secondary because you can’t control it as easily. If you manage to get the same Kick and Snare sample that CLA uses, you think you can score the same or a similar result. Ignoring that mixing itself is so much more important than just good drum samples, you also have to consider the great artists or bands that someone like him gets to work with. They actually matter more.

Go look at his or any other great mixer or producer’s work. For every success, there’s quite a bit more failures. And that’s NOT because they did a bad job. It’s because people care about something else. MUCH MORE!!

Nothing is more important than the music. And the most important part of “music” is the creativity that went into creating it. Next comes the performance of that creativity. It needs to be very original and performed in an interesting or great way.

Although, it doesn’t have to be “perfect”. Plenty of great music is full of “flaws”. But it has to move the listener. Only after you have a great song, a great arrangement and a great performance of that arranged song, do people care about “how” it was recorded.

If you’re not sure about this. Try this test. Play your latest mix for a non-musician or artist to see what they think. I’d bet you quite a bit that they’re going to talk about everything BUT the technical side of what you’re playing them. And it will make you mad because you were focusing on the mix and they told you that they “didn’t really like the song”. LOL

The tech doesn’t matter unless the music is great. And even then, the tech won’t REALLY matter. Learn to focus on what really matters.

You can learn more by watching my videos at www.groove3.com

I hope this message finds you well. Kenny Gioia