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Audio Engineers: Am I alone on this one?
Old 29th December 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
Audio Engineers: Am I alone on this one?

I'm having one of those days and i'm struggling to shake this feeling of not being great at my job. I mean I understand that not every mix will come out perfectly to our liking but it's such a dissatisfying taste. Yesterday it seemed like I figured out every one of my problems I've ever faced as an engineer. Today my ear was fatigued and the frequencies were impossible to manage. Every reverb sucked for the particulars songs and for the moment I began reconsidering my profession (okay maybe extreme). So anyway I'm just wondering if I was alone and how you all deal with facing the tough times of recording and mixing?


Here's a recent mix so you don't think I'm always terrible
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0Gfjoffx8
Old 29th December 2019
  #2
Most issues I had came from humans themselves. Your honesty with yourself is refreshing. All’s we can do is our best. Our best in that moment. When nirvana asked Steve albini to remix “in utero” he said I’ll listen to it again to see if I can do better. He came back and said he can’t do any better than he already did and maybe they should find someone else. (Steve knew he did his best). Just do the best you can. If a reverb doesn’t cut it, keep tweaking. Maybe go for natural reverb (find a nice space and pump the sound in). We all have our days, although you said “yest you figured out all your problems”, that seems positive. If the client is happy, that is the most important thing most would say. If the client is you, make yourself happy by all means. Cheers
Old 29th December 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie Mumbles View Post
Most issues I had came from humans themselves. Your honesty with yourself is refreshing. All’s we can do is our best. Our best in that moment. When nirvana asked Steve albini to remix “in utero” he said I’ll listen to it again to see if I can do better. He came back and said he can’t do any better than he already did and maybe they should find someone else. (Steve knee he did his best). Just do the best you can. If a reverb doesn’t cut it, keep tweaking. Maybe go for natural reverb (find a nice space and pump the sound in). We all have days, although you said “yest you figured out all your problems”, that seems positive. If the client is happy, that is the most important most would say. If the client is you, make yourself happy by all means. Cheers
Unfortunately the client wasn't me today because the production selected would of been better. There would of been tracked out instrumentation and the vocals would of sat better because of the performance being greater. The issue I have is that i take everyone's music as serious as my own. I think that's how it should be as an audio engineer but that's not always the healthiest method in most cases. I'll be spending the rest of my afternoon scouring the web for tutorials on how to better accommodate the workflow. P.S the clients were happy but I can't quite go by their standards.

Thank you so much for your words. I truly needed it and I'll definitely go back in and work on those reverberations.
Old 29th December 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by LashonEvans View Post
Unfortunately the client wasn't me today because the production selected would of been better. There would of been tracked out instrumentation and the vocals would of sat better because of the performance being greater. The issue I have is that i take everyone's music as serious as my own. I think that's how it should be as an audio engineer but that's not always the healthiest method in most cases. I'll be spending the rest of my afternoon scouring the web for tutorials on how to better accommodate the workflow. P.S the clients were happy but I can't quite go by their standards.

Thank you so much for your words. I truly needed it and I'll definitely go back in and work on those reverberations.
I agree about making yourself happy even after the client is. It’s your name on there too and your studio, many times the client told me they were good, I said great, but I have much to do. There are many variables too, such as money (time). Not everyone can afford a 10 hour mix, so we must do a “10 hour mix” in 3 hours (to get similar results) the clients that understand this are a Blessing. The ones that don’t are part of the reason I don’t work professionally anymore lol (only half serious lol, there were many reasons, crappy music being number one, shotty hours (3p-4a) was number two. The most important thing, other than happy producers and artists, is to keep growing as an engineer ourselves. Pushing the boundries of our craft. Sadly many get burnt out and then just stop caring and only do it for money......edit—not sure what kind of music your doing at the moment, on my voice I like an old school Jim Morrison vibe, so I use a plate with 2.8 decay and a 41 sec pre delay. Dialed to taste. With some slap echo in there as well. Even maybe a longer delay for feel to help mimic that echo chamber they had/have.
Old 29th December 2019
  #5
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LashonEvans View Post
[SIZE="2"]I'm having one of those days and i'm struggling to shake this feeling of not being great at my job.
I find fear of failure to be a great motivator.
Old 30th December 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
DeNto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LashonEvans View Post
I'm having one of those days and i'm struggling to shake this feeling of not being great at my job. I mean I understand that not every mix will come out perfectly to our liking but it's such a dissatisfying taste. Yesterday it seemed like I figured out every one of my problems I've ever faced as an engineer. Today my ear was fatigued and the frequencies were impossible to manage. Every reverb sucked for the particulars songs and for the moment I began reconsidering my profession (okay maybe extreme). So anyway I'm just wondering if I was alone and how you all deal with facing the tough times of recording and mixing?


Here's a recent mix so you don't think I'm always terrible
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0Gfjoffx8
It can´t rain every day and the sun can´t shine every day as well!
However, mixing with fatigued ears is a very bad idea. It depends on the fatigue but sometimes it can take weeks for your ears to recover fully. You shouldn't underestimate that! I just had this experience recently.

best regards
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