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Old 29th September 2004
  #1
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djui5's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Whoops

Dave,
Just curious if you ever had a good streak of mixing in your earlier years..............................Only to have a session come out horrible right in the middle of it all?


Say you do 3 albums that sound incredible.......then mix this one song that just came out hellacious......then mixed another 30 great albums?
Old 29th September 2004
  #2
Gear nut
 
JohnMcD's Avatar
 

Ha! I like this post. The law of averages is always around the next corner. For me, it isn't 30 albums, but every 3 artists! That didn't sound good about me...

If you don't mind, I'm definately curious how other engineers here at gearslutz fare.

-John
Old 30th September 2004
  #3
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

I would guess the whooops situations are more to blame on worse arrangements. No album will ever sound like the other, some sound better and some will sound worse. thats all due to arrangements. (I think) I would like to know what Dave has to say about that to.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #4
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

I'm not convinced I have ever had a string of good mixes

EVERYONE'S mixes ALWAYS sound better to me than my own. I usually always think the rough is better. Of the thousands of mixes I have done, I can only listen to maybe 10, and still be proud, and not break out into a cold sweat. Before you starting yelling Prima Donna (?) bull ****, let me explain something to you. A magician can NEVER see his own trick like the audience can. We see the girl actually cut in half, he sees the trick. I hear the flaws, the manipulations, the things I missed due to time or money, and my taste change every few months.

I don't think we should judge mixers by their best mix, BUT JUDGE THEM BY THEIR WORST MIX. Let me say that again, because it is incredibly important. Don't judge a mixer by his (her) best mix, but by his worst. We can all (and sometimes do) get lucky and get a well tracked session and look like Andy Wallace. But, luck aint gonna bail you out on a ****ty session. I actually take a lot of pride in the fact that I spend more time and effort on the bad ones. Nothing, I said NOTHING leaves my studio unless it is at least mixed pretty good. I might have to replay every track, or I might have to tell the producer to go back and try again, but it is gonna leave her sounding pretty good. I once did a mix for Paula Abdul with a 105 degree temperature, and a trash can that I puked in every hour. We had to finish it, no way around it. That is the only mix to fall below my standards. If you want to humiliate me, go listen to it. It sucks. I know this sounds arrogant, but I can name several other mixers who are the same way. I can tell, because we are on the same albums sometimes, and got the same crap. The mixers that don't have it just do what they can and don't sound good. But the guys with this attitude always amaze me. I guess it's just that corny saying, "If it's worth doing....."

So, I would say, some of my mixes are better than others, but if I am having an off day, I stop and go home, and come in early the next day. I will find a way to make it good. Period.

I am prepared to take flak for this, so let me have it. But I am very sincere about this, ask ecue or any of my other assistants, I drill this in their heads also. This ain't no HOBBY, it's the pros.

There ARE some days when I feel like I am not very creative, so I focus on the technical things, like pans, etc. and wait for the creative flow to hit me. It usually shows up eventually. Kinda like when Jordan had an off shooting day, he made up for it with defense until the shot came back. I aint no Jordan, but I can DREAM!

I just found a flaw in my own logic. How in the hell can I know if I have ever had two bad mixes in a row if I never listen to them again!!!! Uh OH, never mind........
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Old 2nd October 2004
  #5
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djui5's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Re: I'm not convinced I have ever had a string of good mixes

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
EVERYONE'S mixes ALWAYS sound better to me than my own.

Whew...thought I was the only one......




Thanks for the reply Dave.....


No way that I feel anyone should "let you have it"...

We're all human...and make mistakes...and have bad day's.....and f'k up.......but life goes on...


Glad my experiences aren't completely out of the ordinary......I was starting to doubt my skills.....
Old 4th October 2004
  #6
Re: I'm not convinced I have ever had a string of good mixes

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
EVERYONE'S mixes ALWAYS sound better to me than my own. I usually always think the rough is better.
Have you been reading my diary?heh
Old 4th October 2004
  #7
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 

Re: I'm not convinced I have ever had a string of good mixes

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dave Pensado
A magician can NEVER see his own trick like the audience can. We see the girl actually cut in half, he sees the trick. I hear the flaws, the manipulations, the things I missed due to time or money, and my taste change every few months.

I don't think we should judge mixers by their best mix, BUT JUDGE THEM BY THEIR WORST MIX. Let me say that again, because it is incredibly important. Don't judge a mixer by his (her) best mix, but by his worst. We can all (and sometimes do) get lucky and get a well tracked session and look like Andy Wallace. But, luck aint gonna bail you out on a ****ty session. I actually take a lot of pride in the fact that I spend more time and effort on the bad ones. Nothing, I said NOTHING leaves my studio unless it is at least mixed pretty good.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

genius post dave !
for me coming up the ranks , i finally felt that i was gonna be fine in a mixing carreer when i finally could acheive a consistant level of quality that was AT LEAST always really really good no matter how aweful the tapes were that i was handed.
great perspective dave. please keep your membership to the magic castle current. maybe we could see you saw a disagreeable a&r man in half.

s


Old 4th October 2004
  #8
LTA
Gear addict
 
LTA's Avatar
 

Re: I'm not convinced I have ever had a string of good mixes

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
A magician can NEVER see his own trick like the audience can. We see the girl actually cut in half, he sees the trick. I hear the flaws, the manipulations, the things I missed due to time or money, and my taste change every few months.
Which leads to an interesting paradox. I owned some of your (Dave) work prior to your guest moderatorship here, and i really dug a few things going on. Then somebody would ask what you did, and you were nice enough to explain it. I can never go back to listening to it in a non-technical way again. Then there are a few mixes you mentioned tricks on that i have bought after reading your posts, just to hear what you were talking about. With these, i'm having problems getting into it, because all i hear is "plugin xxxx with the yyyy setting," if you know what i mean.

I've come to realize i enjoy making music and listening to music, and knowing these sorts of intimate details is cutting into my enjoyment of just listening. The wonder of guessing how they did it is a longer lasting "good feeling" than actually knowing, to me.

I do really appreciate how you have been fairly vague while being specific at the same time, as there are countless concepts i've picked up from your short time here. Oddly, they've taught me how to listen to the "emotion" rather than listen to the "technicalities." Its been the little push over the edge of the hill i've needed for so long. Thanks for being an excellent catalyst

Another area that i like to let the magician keep his tricks is with movies. I try to avoid watching the bonus footage, especially when it concerns cgi and matte shots. Once you see them, you can't get past it and for me the enjoyment of the movie ends. Thanks to that approach, i can still watch special effect-based movies like tron, spawn, the orginal cuts of the first 3 star wars movies, the last starfighter and the tremors series without getting caught up in how "dated" they are. Wonder is more valuable to me than knowledge. Thank you for reminding me of that simple value i'd misplaced years ago.
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