When I think back to my best mixes--regardless of their commercial success--in each and every case, I can only describe the experience as one in which I was working from deep within, outside of any external forces. I wasn't thinking; I was doing. I wasn't scared of what anyone would think. I wasn't scared of failure. All my decisions were made with confidence, and once a judgment was made, I didn't second-guess myself. I allowed the music to guide me, and I based all of my mix decisions on nothing more than one simple criterion: Are the song and production doing what they're supposed to be doing?
That sounds nice, huh? I mean, that's the headspace you want to be in when you're mixing! The problem is, you can't get there if you're focused on all the wrong things, and we're all susceptible to distraction and self-doubt. Great mixing involves trusting yourself, first and foremost. And I can promise you, that trust is downright infectious to everyone on your project.
Great mixing isn't about manipulating sound. It's about the decisions you make in regards to the music, the balances, and how you use the arrangement to push the listener forward through the song. This is accomplished thought concrete strategies and techniques. You can spend the next decade mixing two songs a day to get there. Or you can get Zen & the Art of MIXING, and I'll explain the thinking behind great mixing. And then watch your confidence soar.
My Zen Master
Thanks Mixerman. You have shown me the error of my ways.
How exciting to be headed in a new (correct) direction.