Question for the Experienced Folk
Old 26th January 2013
  #1
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Question for the Experienced Folk

Howdy! I just have a quick question, something I've been wondering for quite some time.

I'm 16, I got my first computer at age twelve and started recording songs in garageband. I began mixing them by researching various techniques. Fast forward to present day, and I'm becoming more and more serious, been collecting gear and plan on attending Uni for audio production.

Basically, I find it hard to listen to mixes I've done a year or two ago. Because I'm improving by leaps and bounds all the time, it doesn't take long before I hear all the wrong things I did.

To the more experienced people out there, when you listen to a mix you've done maybe five years ago, how do you feel? I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea that it's possible to reach a level of skill where you no longer look back at your previous work and say "meh".

Thanks for any responses!
Old 26th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
savyurrecords's Avatar
 

Sounds like you are going in the right path. I go through all sorts of different feelings about stuff I recorded in the past. Normally it goes like this.

I finish my project/album/whatever. I am not perfectly content but I feel that I did the best I could given all the circumstances. Fast forward to a few months. I absolutely hate it and never want to listen to it again. Then maybe a year or two after that it comes up in the iPod shuffle. I am then pleasantly surprised and think that I might have some skill amongst my failings.

Not that scenario happens all the time but I have found that perspective of your own art will vary tremendously over time. This is normal but don't let it consume you, just keep moving.

Edit: To answer your last question.
If you ever get to the point where you don't feel like you could improve upon things, you are getting complacent and need someone/thing to give you a little kick in the ass.
Old 26th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
LoFi_By_Choice's Avatar
 

My first attempts at any of this was 20 years ago (this year!! WOOP WOOP... just in cas you need an excuse to party, right??) and I don't listen to any of it other than for pure sentimentality now. And even then its like once in several years.

I figure if I feel like the last project was better than the one before it, but still not where I want to be, I must be doing something right.

Good luck.
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
LoFi_By_Choice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColourfulSound View Post
I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea that it's possible to reach a level of skill where you no longer look back at your previous work and say "meh".

Thanks for any responses!
Hopefully you'll not reach this point, as that signals the death of ambition.
Old 26th January 2013
  #5
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoFi_By_Choice View Post
Hopefully you'll not reach this point, as that signals the death of ambition.
That's a very interesting way of looking at it! I guess if you look back and don't really feel the need to improve, you've probably lost that drive xD

Thanks for the insight!
Old 26th January 2013
  #6
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by savyurrecords View Post
Sounds like you are going in the right path. I go through all sorts of different feelings about stuff I recorded in the past. Normally it goes like this.

I finish my project/album/whatever. I am not perfectly content but I feel that I did the best I could given all the circumstances. Fast forward to a few months. I absolutely hate it and never want to listen to it again. Then maybe a year or two after that it comes up in the iPod shuffle. I am then pleasantly surprised and think that I might have some skill amongst my failings.

Not that scenario happens all the time but I have found that perspective of your own art will vary tremendously over time. This is normal but don't let it consume you, just keep moving.

Edit: To answer your last question.
If you ever get to the point where you don't feel like you could improve upon things, you are getting complacent and need someone/thing to give you a little kick in the ass.
Thanks for responding! This makes sense to me! I still do find stuff to smile at when I listen to my older recordings, but I guess it is a really good motivator to want to improve.

I appreciate the insight, always good to hear from more experienced folk!



Cheers!
Old 27th January 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

It's funny - I listened to a bunch of my old tunes (1990s - 2001 or so) the other day. And while I had to shake my head at some things that just didn't fit together properly, most of them made me smile. Usually there was something that grooved or had a little bit of snap to it.

This is a good reason to make sure you're really happy with each piece you let out into the world. If it's up to your potential at the time, you'll probably feel good about it later.

Keep at it, and much success to you!
Old 27th January 2013
  #8
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCtoDaylight View Post
It's funny - I listened to a bunch of my old tunes (1990s - 2001 or so) the other day. And while I had to shake my head at some things that just didn't fit together properly, most of them made me smile. Usually there was something that grooved or had a little bit of snap to it.

This is a good reason to make sure you're really happy with each piece you let out into the world. If it's up to your potential at the time, you'll probably feel good about it later.

Keep at it, and much success to you!
Haha I feel you! Often when I listen to my work from a year or two ago, I shake my head at my production work but I actually find it cool to see where I was trying to go with a particular song!

Thanks, and same to you my friend!
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Gear Head
 
Boneman's Avatar
 

Sometimes it's the equipment's fault

Of course that's going to happen. Sure you're gonna get better. But... I go back to projects from years ago and all I can hear is the 16 bit digital reverb... or the certain effect that was popular at that time. Think about 10 years from now going back to some of these awful auto tune mixes. A lot of times your work is just going to be a time capsule. As long as you're growing and improving, you're on the right track. Cheers!
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