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Anybody currently getting worse at this?
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear

Anybody currently getting worse at this?

Not seriously...Sometimes I have to go through this phase that 'everything sounds thin or weak or boomy or...
I listen back to older recordings I have done with less gear or less experience and I think..that sounds great.

It all comes around again...but I think maybe I am going through that particular phase where you sort of need to catch up with your input...? I don;t know.
The Internet allows for alot more INPUT vs studio time to experiment with the knowledge.

Life is great..I am alive and loved..I have a great family, great studio, I am making a living with music, I bought my own house..but my mixes are a bit off today!!!

Old 29th July 2005
Gear Addict
Beezoboy's Avatar

Buy more gear.

__________ will take my mixes to the next level. Tell yourslef that. Its not your fault, its that you don't have enough gear. Seriously.

Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
maks's Avatar

buying gear can help
but really, i get this from time to time, its normal..ive found it usually occurs around patterns that im sometimes tired of subconsiously, being exposed to the same things too often..break the loop your tied into. Listening to something youve never heard before, going somewhere you never thought of, listening to old/new stuff "that REALLY inspires you",etc .And sometimes the pure experience of just silence, like vipassana meditation can do wonders.

catch up with your input??, absolutely, just a different one this time.

Old 29th July 2005
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
I listen back to older recordings I have done with less gear or less experience and I think..Holy **** that sounds great.
buy MORE gear?!? sounds like the opposite needs to happen.
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
beechstudio's Avatar

I get to that phase when I've been at it for too long. If I work for several days/ weeks whatever and don't take a break from my projects, I find that things can tend to fall apart. Call it ear fatigue or just plain ole stress. I usually take a couple days off, and believe it or not don't listen to ANY music. Catch up on other, friends, some type of recreation. It helps me get back to 'ZERO'. Everything sounds fresh when I come back to it, and I'm ready to work again.

Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar

it doenst really hurt to figure out that theres a FAT sound out there .
i enjoy the work of others and stopped comparing like every sec .

its just music , it should be fun , time will tell ... heh
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
drundall's Avatar

Originally Posted by Beezoboy
Buy more gear.

__________ will take my mixes to the next level. Tell yourslef that. Its not your fault, its that you don't have enough gear. Seriously.


You are totally awesome and a worthy member of gearslutz!
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Nut

Wow man, I feel you. I feel like my mixes and production have improved but stuff from the lean old days often sounds more inspired or effortless. I think the personal goal then was "clean" which for me is an easier goal than the present, subjective ideals like "fat," "warm," "loud" or "old-sounding"...

Even though I love gear and new toys - and can be inspired by them - I do think options can muddy the purity of getting an idea onto a record, and sometimes literally muddies the sound as well. When you have little gear, you are virtuosic on each piece and can wring every last bit out, often innovating by necessity to stretch out the limited palette. When you have a lot of gear, virtuosity sometimes takes a back seat to "how can I use this new toy" (or worse, "how can I use this new toy and HEAR the new toy in the mix" when sometimes you need transparency and subtlety instead!)
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Addict

I try listening to 2 or 3 other artists that the band likes. I grab some songs and compare them with what I have recorded. I've learned a lot that way and still do.

Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear

The switch over to computers really f**ked me up at first.
I'm still not sure if I've recovered.

I'm pretty sure we've all been through this type of thing.
I seriously doubt that things will always go as planned for anyone in this business.
There are very few recordings I've made where I don't hear things I would do differently looking back on them.
Take some comfort with at least knowing something was thin or "wrong" to you.
At least then you can work towards avoiding these problems as much as possible.
A good mastering engineer always helps too.

IMO some of our coolest recordings are made early on, because you aren't yet caught up in the "proper" gear and techniques, you are simply making it sound good to you as a music listener.
If you have years of recording experience and can still think in this naive manner you are the recording Jedi.
I try to remember to revisit this way of thinking as much as possible in the studio.
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar

my mixes are currently sounding fatter and warmer than ever. they have, however, lost too much punch... blame my infatuation with the api 2600.

so my challenge now is to get that analog saturation and gooey thickness while still moving copious amounts of air. many ideas abound. and i still maintain that, when used judiciously, good weed helps. a lot.

there are lulls in every craft, every artistic pursuit. take a break. space is an amazing restorative for perspective. sometimes the body needs a little time to absorb what the mind has taken in, mental constructs morphing into muscle memory. you are a master, and you are about to ascend to the next level; no need to make it happen, just let it in. breathe. smile.

patience is the key to all locked doors.

del ubik
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear

I agree , Ive had the same delima
Know your **** and work fast
new gear is sometimes a monkey wrench
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I'm not kidding here.

Sleep is the best thing for this for me. In the short term a walk around the block helps.
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Addict
Chrisac's Avatar

I bet a million bucks your mixes are fine. Youve lost a bit of fire in your belly, but this happens to all of us as we mature a bit. You can get it back if you do some exciting , or new project...anything that strokes your chin, or you have to work on autopilot.

Also bear in mind that being a studio prouducer/engineer/musician for a living is a highly stressfull job so being creative under those circumstances can be difficult at the best of times...

Im constantly up and down. One day I like my mixes, and the next I think their all crap. Even my older analog only days I used to think the same thing, and actually when I really rhink about it a lot o fmy newere mixes are better than my old analog ones...Im just in denial about that sometimes

But some very good advice on this thread
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
I think it's being in the process of change/getting to the next level that makes us feel this way.

I had this a lot with guitar playing too. I would practice like mad but feel that I was getting nowhere, listen to old tapes and think: WTF am I doing these days?
Usually after another few months I'll realize that some things I've been working on are just THERE. It always pays off in the end, that's the beauty of it!

New gear is a good excuse for messin' up though: 'I'm still getting the hang of this new Mistressor here'

Old 29th July 2005
Patchy engineering performance can be frustrating..

Its a bummer when overal production quality can be 'hit or miss'

Some people dont suffer from this and they are lucky.. I bet some cant understand what we are talking about..

To fix it (cause I can suffer from "patchy sonics" on productions)

I am definetly going to try getting up old (good) DAW drum track sessions up of bands - to A/B with the new sessions of the SAME band returning for more work.

Why progress with the session if the the drums arent at LEAST as good sounding as that bands last session..??

Its of importance for my studio to address this - as folks come in to do 3 tracks, return to do more & again... thats far more common than folks arriving to do a whole album.. stuff done here BECOMES an album... gradually...

I can miss things like bass drum tuning / padding.. TOTALLY diffferent ballpark snare sounds.. amount of HF on cymbals - to me there is A HELL OF A LOT that can be different from one session to another.. (and the bands havent the ear for this at all)

Some folks can crank out generic sounds day after day.. not me..

I think carefull checks AT THE EARLY STAGE OF A PRODUCTION is the key....

That's my plan anyhow...

Yup... GOOOOD topic..

P.S I think my background of 20 + years of working in studios with no instruments or back line provided and just doing the best with what ever gear the band brings in has something to do with all this... dunno....
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

I noticed this at one point; the stuff I was making wasn't as good as the stuff I made a few years back. So I compared some stuff that I did in the nineties with a couple of ADAT's and a Mackie board. The only outboard I had were a pair of dBx 166's and a couple of Midiverbs.

So I figured, maybe it's the damn plugins!

So I started taking them off of the sessions, mostly the plugin compressors, and lo and behold, stuff started sounding good again.

So I started buying some nice outboard and it started sounding even better.
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
Bob Ross's Avatar

I have on occasion felt similarly. At first I thought it might come down to the dreaded Analog versus Digital debate: All those mixes of mine that I think sound great from 15 or 20 years ago were done on analog tape, and all the ones from the last five years where I find myself second-guessing sonics were done on DAWs.

But then I realized it's not the media per se. First of all (and perhaps most importantly) those tunes from 15 or 20 years ago were MUCH BETTER MUSIC than most of the crap I've recorded lately!

And secondly, there's a certain nostalgia, a fond remembrance of the process of making those older recordings, that's hard to divorce myself from when listening to them. Regardless of whether or not analog sounds better than digital, I definitely had more fun making records on 2" tape than I do on a Mac; regardless of whether that fun is audible, it is definitely something that makes its way into my conciousness when listening to my work.
Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear

Uninspired? No. This is a cool project I am fact it is becasue of my desire for great sound that I am not happy with the outcome...The performance and VIBE are terrific..The 'SOUND' is ...

Tired? Oh yea...For sure. I have been at this gig for 3 months and I have a TON to do this week alone and next two weeks are going to be even worse.

Thanks for the input brothers!!

Old 29th July 2005
Lives for gear
rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Great topic! I know this feeling well. It does seem to come and go. I'm getting used to it, and trying not to listen to that particular voice in my head when it pops up.

Old 29th July 2005
this is killer advice

you guys are giving some EXCELLENT advice. taking long breaks of silence, critical listening, experimenting with plug-ins vs analog gear, and all of the psychological effects of maturing as an engineer.

what i want to comment on is this is a good problem to have. that is, if you didn't occasionally question your work as an engineer, approaching everything the same way every day, where would you be? you'd have lost any creative edge and ingenuity. your productions would sound similar to all of the hacks out there (no one on this forum, i'm sure heh ). at that point you might as well pack it in, right? but no, you're hearing something. you're paying attention. you've found a problem and, while it's a matter you need to address, it's good that you discovered the problem.

know what i mean?
Old 29th July 2005
Gear Maniac
impact studios's Avatar


I also get this feeling some of the time....
But only on my own recordings
Clients songs seem much easier to work on and mix for some reason..

Maybe im just to quick to knock my own stuff...
Anyway im glad im not the only one that gets this feeling...

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