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Old 20th August 2019
Gear Guru

Originally Posted by awaken_the_skies View Post
How did you get out of being stuck with some aspects of mixing?
keep on mixing
Did you just take it slow, let time pass and see if you'd figure it out?
You could "let time pass" for a long time and never 'figure out' how to fly a jet airplane. Almost anyone who does anything at a high level has taken some kind of lessons, somewhere, somehow.

Did you buy new gear?
Yes, but this was back in the late Jurassic period. I did not own an EQ, for example. There was NO EQ WHATSOEVER in my studio. Then I bought one and that was the only new thing I had for about that entire year. So I learned how to use it. I learned it inside and out. Today, someone buys a DAW and they instantly have pretty much every single type of device a top studio had in the 1970's - albeit in the form of plugins. In a way, it was easier to learn things one at a time

Did you watch tutorials on YouTube?
there was no YouTube when I was learning how to engineer

How do you feel about all of the information on the Internet vs just doing your own thing at your own pace? There's lots of info on the Internet obviously and everyone shows you their way of doing one same thing, but there's so many buzzwords and product advertisements in disguise (like plugins, DAWs, gear) I question whether the Internet is a good place to learn. Sure there's great, useful information somewhere but there's just too much useless stuff to filter out first.
There were many fewer sources of information. A handful of magazines had stories and interviews. You traded tips with other engineers. People would apprentice with an experienced engineer.

It's a trade-off, IMO. If you apprenticed with one guy, you learned his one way of doing it, but you learned it damn well, which might be better than learning 3 ways of doing it, all a bit shakey.

I think I'm okay at mixing considering I have cheap gear, no room treatment, and no formation. Mixing and all the technical details aren't really my passion but I do get a rush out of it when everything glues together and helps my song deliever better emotions. I'm not sure if I'm stuck or maybe even overwhelmed.
Another thing that was different about "those days" was that most musicians were "just" musicians and most engineers were largely specialists. At least to the extent that not every musician was convinced that he was supposed to be "his own engineer" and there was no other alternative!

When 'home recording' was first taking off, most musicians treated it as a way to save money. i.e. do some tedious one-mic overdubs at home, off the clock, but come back to the big studio to mix, or to track drums, or use their grand piano. It was not originally a mass rush to do "everything" at home.

Today, many people seem to have forgotten that any part of the process can still be hired out. You can send your tracks to an online drummer to play the drums. You can send your mixes out to be mastered.

You can send your tracks out to be mixed. Even if you enjoy doing your own mixes, sending stuff out a few times could be one of the most educational things you could try. Better than YouTube.

There is something to be said for playing to your strengths. There is also a lot to be said for the idea that your identity as an artist is independent from your ability to mix the tracks you wrote and performed. In fact, if you did get "signed" the first thing The Label would do would be to take your sessions away from you and turn them over to Mr. Big Shot Mixer Dude to do a "pro" mix of them.

It all depends on what you are best at, what you enjoy doing, and, if "success" is on your mind, which kinds of outside professional "help" will give your music the best shot at that success.