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View Profile Midnights-Ocean
I make music and sounds. I post mostly on newgrounds so people can use them in games and such. My full albums can be found on my home page below.

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Learning, mixing, peer pressure & social leaders

Posted by Midnights-Ocean - February 27th, 2019


Bit of advice. To remind myself things I’ve learned too many times. Also, perhaps encouraging people, like myself, who might not be aggressive enough defending what they know to be tried and true.


The 12 (don’t)s


#1 Don’t rely on 1 set of monitors or 1 room to test mixes (especially an untreated room)

#2 Don’t close your mind to critique

#3 Don’t fail to test the validity of critique with proven scientific method

#4 Don’t mistake opinion for factual observation

#5 Don’t mistake a strong opinion for an educated one

#6 Don’t let uneducated, unproven, opinions dictate to you

#7 Don’t let people, who do not do what you do, take away the value of what you do

#8 Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by social mob mentality or those who may wield it

#9 Don’t trust opinion over your gear (a spectral analyzer has no opinion to obscure the facts)

#10 Don’t stop furthering your education in your field

#11 Don’t let armatures convince you the utility of your education or gear is worthless

#12 Don’t let people take from you the merit of your own work and original ideas


So what inspired this? Since the move, I’ve been without a proper mixing room. I hadn’t tested my new room and thus, been in the dark concerning mixes. My past room and methods had given decent results. I’d learned better methods since then and expected better mixes. Newer peer pressure led me to believe, I was mixing poorly. So, instead of trusting my education and actually testing the claims with gear, I just ran with the critique. Making the adjustments I was pressured into, the mix sounded fine in the new room. My better knowledge said there was a bad reason why. The peer pressure insisted this was my “arrogance”.


The car stereo proved them wrong.


In the car, the mixes sucked out loud. In a way my better knowledge predicted. I tried blaming the car stereo to protect the peer’s image. Then I remembered, I didn’t learn all I had in the past, by blindly ignoring the science of audio engineering. Quite the contrary. So, I grabbed my old real time analyzer and gear, tested the new room and checked the car stereo for malfunction. Surprise surprise, training and gear wasn’t lying before and it didn’t lie now. Switched the room's monitors. Was forced to admit there was nothing wrong with the car. Took some notes. Did an EQ session and the mix came back to life, in the car, in the room, on phones. Kinda reminds me the time, way back when, someone in collage convinced me to mix on tracking monitors instead of mixing monitors (because they didn't know what they were doing).


Just wow. I have to say after all this is, be careful of social “leaders”. Just because someone’s knowledgeable or good at one set of things, doesn’t mean they are at others. Worse, if you dare to be knowledgeable or good at something they aren’t, they may try to drag you down. Making you look like the fool.


Unfortunately, some people, usually the aggressive kind, just plain don’t know what they are talking about sometimes. Worse, they often attempt to make up for unwillingness to educate themselves in your field, by pressuring you into a false narrative. One where your training or gear is “of little value”, “elitist”, "unneeded" or “outdated”. Like the loud guy at the gas station who strongly insists you take bad advice and your car suffers for it. Now, I have to fix numerous tunes. A bummer for sure. The silver lining though, is, to my embarrassment, life proves again, a simple set of truths when it comes to audio: Trust your education, use your gear, test critique, ignore the ignorant and stay confidant in your own hard work.  


In other words, if you have invested the time to develop the tools/talent to do a job well, don't let people take away those tools, simply because they are compelled to feel superior or whatever.


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