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#234399 - 05/16/08 04:28 PM Getting your mind right for recording and mixing
BEBOP Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 3770
Loc: San Jose, California
Excerpted from Music 123 email:
Getting your mind right for recording and mixing.
Much like composing music, recording and mixing are a combination of creative and intellectual processes. In music, first we have a stream of consciousness where we improvise and wait for ideas to come. Next, we have the editing process, where we take those ideas, refine, expand, and organize them into coherent form. These different processes involve different sides of the brain—left brain for the intellectual and editing process, right brain for the creative. Problems can occur in the creative process if we have to switch between left brain and right brain processes too often. It interrupts our creative flow and can cause us to lose those precious ideas. The secret is to get all of your left-brain processes out of the way first so that once you’re in the creative groove, you can stay there. This holds true for both recording and mixing. In recording, the process should be as invisible as possible so that the artist (or you if you work alone) can focus solely on performance. Your gear should be set up in advance so that all you have to do is hit the record button. (Worrying about technique is left-brain, so make sure you know your parts before you record.)

Mixing is a complicated process during which we often find ourselves switching back and forth between the left and right brain. The best audio engineers do all of their left-brain activities first. The key is to make a list of each type of activity and do as many of the left-brain housekeeping chores as possible before you start mixing. Patching in all your outboard gear, normalizing the console, loading plug-ins, naming tracks, and calibrating your meters are all examples of left-brain activities. Anything that takes you out of that creative, meditative state is a left-brain activity. A sure sign you're engaged in a left-brained activity is when you find yourself a little disoriented and saying, “Okay, now where was I?” Once you get your left-brain chores out of the way, you'll be able to stay in the creative zone, where you can truly strike gold.

#234400 - 05/16/08 06:54 PM Re: Getting your mind right for recording and mixing
DanO1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 3602
Loc: Maryland
It's interesting that you post this. I've been watching Story Telling on the Music Channel.
If you've never seen story telling, it's when artist go "unplugged" and talk about their music and the lyrics and how songs where created.
Last night was Ringo Star talking about the Beatles and how they would write songs and how they all needed to be in the same room, looking at each other when they recorded their albums. Very interesting stuff.
Tonight is Bruce Springsteen and man let me tell you, this guy is deep. His lyrics all come from a creative process that is truly the overall beauty of music. I have a greater appreciation for what he wrote and how he came about the thoughts of his lyrics.

Now this has nothing to do with the mixing part of this post, but it does have a lot to do about where music and lyrics come from...
If you get a chance to catch Story Telling, watch it...Left Brain or Right Brain, it's all good.

Thanks for posting Bebop

#234401 - 05/16/08 10:53 PM Re: Getting your mind right for recording and mixing
Steve A Offline

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 241
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Your head definitely has to be in the right spot

Steve Altonian


[This message has been edited by Steve A (edited 05-17-2008).]
Steve A

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#234402 - 05/17/08 12:17 AM Re: Getting your mind right for recording and mixing
Ensnareyou Offline

Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 491
Loc: California
I guess it all depends on how you work and write. My studio and keyboards are setup so that as I am composing I am also recording and mixing. I can envision what the final product will sound like because I'm mixing as I'm composing. Most often once I've finished composing the song its only a matter of adding some live instrumentation and doing small tweaks in the mixing process to be finalized. This process works great for me but presumes you can also engineer and produce your own music.

Many film composers and artists I know who aren't engineers have their own personal engineer on call so that when the creative flow strikes, they can compose, record, and mix without any down time in the creative process. Time is always a factor when the creative process is happening. An idea that isn't laid down quickly can often be gone forever.


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