I’ll be honest: I never really considered myself a blogger and never thought I would one day be writing an article online. I was thinking: Who am I to give advice to other people, or why would others be interested in my opinion? I don’t have grammies, or even a gold or platinum record under my (own) belt. Yet it seems that more and more people around me are asking me how I do certain things and how I achieve the clarity, width and deep tight bottom and musicality of my mixes. These are how my clients or fellow engineers described my work, and quite frankly, I never thought of it this way. I just mix, do the best I can every time and it either works, or it doesn’t… then we do revisions with the client, until he/she/they are happy.
Just like most of you, I read about every book and watched every video, interview or gear review about mixing there is. I’ve been absorbing knowledge at a rapid rate for the last 10 years and have adopted it to suit my own aesthetics over time. I didn't wan to become a CLA 2 or the next Brauereiser. Yet, both of these (and many more) mixers have inspired my work tremendously and over time I seem to have developed my own habits when it comes to mixing.
There was a point about 1-2 years ago, when videos and articles about mixing stopped helping me. After watching the 10th video about parallel compression (a really hot topic these days) and the millionth CLA interview, I realised: I know this already. An other video is not going to make my mix better any more. So I closed Youtube and got back to work, knowing that I have all the tools and the skills necessary to make great mixes. My lack of techniques or tools were not the problem any more, it’s my own personal limitations and false beliefs that were holding me back. So all I can do is letting go of these beliefs, keep mixing and become more and more mindful of the music I am working with.
What I want to try here is to give you no-nonsense advice on mixing, recording or what ever I feel could be useful. It might even be something deeply philosophical - we are working with arts, after all. You are more then welcome to ask me questions and I’ll write up something to give you the answers you seek. I think there are too many people out there declaring themselves authorities in the field and giving out advice like it’s hot cookies. Yet to me most of these so called educators are just recycling what has been told a million times, or really are just selling you the gear/plug ins of their sponsors, getting good money for doing so. Now I am not saying that some of them aren’t actually great engineers - but it seems that because of the recent shifts in the industry it has become more profitable to advertise stuff and to teach the craft instead of actually doing it. No wonder the internet is exploding with educational websites!
My advice is: if you are an engineer starting out, watch those videos. Learn the techniques, try them and see how they work for you. And once you know your techniques, shift your focus to what truly matters. listening to the music and approaching it appropriately.
I will share my thoughts and ideas on this with you. I will also get technical some times, when there is something interesting to show. Yet I will try to focus on the listening and the approach side of things, as that is something no one teaches and what is really making the difference. The big engineers and producers know this, and that’s why they don’t hesitate sharing their techniques with us. They know that they are of little use for us if we don’t have a deep understanding about the context and what is going on in their heads when they are mixing.
So I hope you’ll find something useful in the things I will write about. If there are any questions, just ask and I’ll get back to you.
Happy mixing! ;)