Wisdom from the Red button.
"If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer."
Give yourself headroom = leaving some for others
The more distortion you have, the less width your sound has
Physics shall always best you. Work it to your favor; don’t fight it
Play hard ≠ play loud
Sound statements, not fillers
Concise arrangements are your studio’s best gear
A great recording of a poor performance won’t impress anyone
Playing ‘tight’ encourages dynamic processors (comps, gates) to enhance your mix
Leave knobs alone, control your sound as if you were playing acoustically
Honey gets more out of your engineer than vinegar
Speaking your mind professionally will get you respect
Silence presence in Music is as important as its absence
"Space is the place"
Big versus Loud
Most (it’s a disease) perform music like angry Youtube commenters. All in caps. WITHWORDSSOMETIMES allclumpedtogether….
Annoying, right? Now imagine 4+ people doing the same thing together, all demanding ‘more me’ in the cans. It’s like being a ref for an idiocratic debate. The Tao of Recording prevails; fitting in harmoniously flatters your performance more than any EQ/Verb/Compression EVER will. Live with it! Just like your everyday speaking M.O. uses subtle intonation for subtext and emphasis, music behaves dynamically as a reflection of our own humanity. So don’t Bogart the bandwith, it’ll make everyone sound worse, including and especially yourself.
Path to Enlightenment
No matter how long and articulately you may describe ‘Chocolate’ to someone, tasting it is the one and true epiphany. Whenever with client, we feel it is our duty to showcase symptoms whilst providing solutions of dynamic issues. We are but wizards, not magicians :)
Playing in crescendo will yield a very different musical perception from your listener than ramping a volume fader up, regardless of observer’s musical acuteness. Our brain understands physics on a much deeper level than we may accept… You know how we can imagine a face when somebody is smiling over the phone? By subtle sounds, and how our ear/brain picks up all signals from our interlocutor. Singing with a smile provides a very unique perception, just as a picture of someone smiling would trigger a particular reaction from someone looking at it. Therefore you don’t want to fix anything in the mix. Do it at the source.
When you’re playing and singing with your instrument, what YOU are hearing from your ears’ location is VERY different than when someone sitting 5 ft away would perceive.
Your ears are vertically 3+ feet above and slightly behind the soundhole, and just behind your other soundhole, meaning your mouth. You are only monitoring partial reflections and indirect sound. Imagine you are holding a torchlight at an audience. For you to see what’s going on, you are blinding and annoying a roomful of people!
Once you consider this, you will train your ear to listen from another’s perspective. What you are hearing isn’t what you sound like. Once you adapt, microphones will be 100% friendlier, and your mix won’t need wrestling.