As I sit here, in the studio mixing a new all Simon and Garfunkel acoustic guitar album I’ll soon be releasing, I am amazed at the feelings and ideas that come over me as I work on the music.
The first thing I am very impressed with is how, sometimes, we are much better off “taking a break” from the music, and re-visiting it later on. One can develop a sense of being so “inside” the music while initially creating it, that you can lose sight of how this stuff should really sound when it’s finally done!
The act of actually first recording the music leaves you with many lasting impressions that can stay with you so long that you end up having certain memories that almost never really go away! What happens is this unnecessarily prejudices many of your final decisions.
Taking a break from the music and coming back at a later date allows you to “freshen” your ears, and to look at it all from a new perspective, hopefully with as little prejudice as possible. Yes, the memory of certain licks and passages, and most of all how you felt about your performances will help you in creating the end product, but still you must remain open to new ideas and sounds.
This is also great when you have another person you are working with who has a set of ears you can trust. This gives you someone to bounce ideas off of, and then you become someone he or she can bounce ideas off of as well. This is, and should often be, your engineer, who you must implicitly trust to begin with! And I certainly trust mine! It’s also important to note how consistent your sounds must be.
This particular album was recorded with basically the same instruments at the same time, same place, so the consistencies are to a large degree, built in already…..but still you must remember to treat each one as a separate performance, and a separate recording!
I can now see why in the past, Producers I worked with insisted on getting solid performances out of me…less work for them on the “back end” of the project, and of course, more consistency of sound, tone and most of all, performance! Now, I’m looking to get the same out of myself!! And you should be the same in the studio, and demand nothing than the best from yourself and those around you!