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Old 9th September 2005
Past Guest Moderator
Michael Brauer's Avatar

Hi Everyone,

I was really touched reading all the welcome notes. Thanks. I'll do my best to do you guys justice. I also see some old friends from years past are here and some that i've been corresponding with from my own site.

I want to thank Jules for inviting me to your forum. He’s a good guy. I wasn’t sure I could dedicate the time to a whole month of Q&A but I really wanted to do it so he worked out a plan to make it easy for me. I think attending the Tape Op convention a couple years ago hooked me. It was so cool. I wish I could have gone to this year’s convention but I had other commitments. I’ll try again for next year. Hopefully, we can have it again in New Orleans. Those people have it rough right now but the French Quarter survived the main hit and I’m sure they’d welcome a few hundred gear heads for a few days.

This place is serious! I feel like it’s ok to be addicted to toys.

I have a month to share with you my experience of almost 30 years of surviving this business. Let’s keep it fun. Jules is going to help me weed through the questions so that I can just sit down between mixes and answer the best questions.

I love to mix. I tried producing and producing/engineering/mixing and a few other combinations but mixing is the one I enjoy most so that’s pretty much want I want to talk about. Although, having said that, I think we should also discuss management, communications skills with artist and record company, assistant training. They are all related to the success of a good mix. Jules is probably going to have a coronary organizing all those questions but, hay, I’m the one that has to answer them.

On many levels I was a slow learner so I can relate to many of you that are struggling on certain concepts. So for some of you, my answers may sound too simple.

Perfect I’m not. I’ve had my period of thinking I was as cool as the artist along with the attitude and I paid the price of getting a reputation of being difficult to work with. It took many years to overcome that little blunder.

I had a pretty consistent rise to the top along with being on the all-important “A list” of many A&R people. But I also fell from that spot without a warning and was barely on the “C list” for a good 5 years. That hurt. For a short time I had to consider the reality of quitting because I couldn’t keep up with the bills to take care of my family. You think you feel insecure sometimes? You should have seen me after three years of not being in demand and being told I should drop my sound and listen to what the “hot mixers” are doing. That nightmare is now behind me and I can assure you I don’t take a day of work for granted anymore. Every morning that I come in to mix a song I’m hungry to nail it. And I hope this time around I leave on my own terms.

Achieving your goals is hard and requires a lot of dedication, duh! Maintaining your affluence once you get there is a lot harder. I’ll bet every pro reading this knows how painfully true it is. So, during the next few weeks, maybe I can help some of you avoid the pitfalls or find ways to get ahead by letting you in on some of my dumb ass mistakes. And I’m sure I can help answer the mysteries of how some sounds were created. Let’s see.