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R/E/P => Recording - Engineering & Production => Topic started by: Michael Brauer on April 06, 2011, 11:38:22 pm

Title: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 06, 2011, 11:38:22 pm
So I was mixing a song today and I realized after finishing it that without my little voices telling me which ideas suck and which ideas are good, I'd be lost. How does that work for you? How much do you depend on those little voices.

michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Bubba--Kron on April 07, 2011, 01:39:45 am
"if you dont eat your meat, how can you have any pudding!?!?"

:)
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: bigbone on April 07, 2011, 08:34:47 am

I always listen to those little voices, i call them my ''instinct'', at the end, there always right.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 07, 2011, 01:26:41 pm
I always listen to those little voices, i call them my ''instinct'', at the end, there always right.

but that comes with experience so what is going in the head of a novice?
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: recall on April 07, 2011, 03:23:50 pm
Initially when i started recording I thought everything was fantastic.  I think you have to have this period where enthusiasm morphs into confidence because it gets you into it and keeps you at it.

Eventually, the more involved I got the more i began questioning everything.  This is not a nice period as you are essentially developing your intuition and your confidence takes serious hits.

After a few years like that I have reached the stage now where my intuition has caught up with my technical skill (and vice versa) and I know pretty quickly what a song needs sonically, or even if I don't know what the song needs I can definitely tell what a song doesn't need.  Of course I frequently have dead ends where i can't work out how to get around certain problems, but I find the more I revert to the ideas I tried initially on a song the more successful the mix is.  The more I focus on the technical presentation of the song and trying to iron out problems the less compelling the mix is eventually.  I take this to mean that I should trust my instinct (or voices) a hell of a lot more

I reckon once you have reached the level of MHB or Ross or many of you other posters, the technique is so second nature that it becomes ALL intuition backed up by experience.  Which is I guess what makes you successful.   :)

Thanks,

Iwan
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: bigbone on April 07, 2011, 03:32:35 pm
but that comes with experience so what is going in the head of a novice?

No really a ''novice ''. I play drums for the last 20 years, i may ask some
''novice '' question about plugins, but for the rest i can manage myself.....

P.S. i will post for the last time in here, i don't need that kind of condescendence behavior, no matter  how many Grammy someone can win.............
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: organica_ on April 07, 2011, 03:33:45 pm
i listen to the voices in my heart more and more. it's helping quite a bit!
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Bubba--Kron on April 07, 2011, 03:59:37 pm
Hey man, I think you entirely mis-read what Mr. Brauer was saying and over-reacted.  He was not calling you a novice, he was only asking what experienced people thought what was going through the average Novice's head.    No worries!!

Cheers, Bryan

No really a ''novice ''. I play drums for the last 20 years, i may ask some
''novice '' question about plugins, but for the rest i can manage myself.....

P.S. i will post for the last time in here, i don't need that kind of condescendence behavior, no matter  how many Grammy someone can win.............
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Bubba--Kron on April 07, 2011, 04:07:26 pm
I hear the music and/or what I think the music should sound like in my head and then have to make it happen in real life.  Its really frustrating and I find myself having to hum alomng with every note on the guitar neck just to teach my brain whats really what, it actually helps a lot.    I want to perfect my skills and get to the level you guys are refereing to where desires become directly connected with intelligent decisions becoming instincts. 
When are they gonna invent that thing where music comes directly from your brain's thoughts???

Great thread, cool posts also!!!

Cheers
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Dale A. on April 07, 2011, 04:30:06 pm
a novice does not have little voices always, some are anything but little
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: zakco on April 07, 2011, 06:51:32 pm
Interesting thought...

I was thinking about this basic idea recently while listening to some very early work of mine, which was basically my own songwriter demos and general guitar wankery. The thing that struck me initially was the huge disparity between the guitar sounds and everything else. The only thing I was sure of at that point was the tone in my head. I knew no rules but I had an sm57 and a pair of ears. The sounds were surprisingly good considering the lack of a proper acoustic environment and decent recording medium. The only explanation I can come up with was the fact that because I had no experience or theory to guide me I listened. I mean REALLY listened. I'd spend hours changing amps, pedals mic position until it sounded exactly like I wanted. By contrast, the drums, bass, vocals etc all sounded abysmal. I assume this was because I simply didn't have the sonic image in my head yet for those instruments. ie: no voices in my head.

I realize that this topic is about more than just sounds, but I thought I'd share that anyways...

Z

Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Bruce Tunkel on April 08, 2011, 08:19:20 am
I would consider myself a novice mixer compared with most readers here. I am very unsure if what I am doing is "good" or not and so I go through a lot of trial and error and comparing with other mixes that I like. Ultimately, I think I get pretty decent results, but would certainly like to get to a level where I can just feel when things are right, the way I can when playing music.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: bigbone on April 08, 2011, 08:44:59 am
Hey man, I think you entirely mis-read what Mr. Brauer was saying and over-reacted.  He was not calling you a novice, he was only asking what experienced people thought what was going through the average Novice's head.    No worries!!

Cheers, Bryan


Oupsssss  you might be right, i should had listen to my little voices....
Sorry, sorry sorry. :-[

JN
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: rosshogarth on April 08, 2011, 12:46:29 pm
I was mixing a couple of days ago and slaving away having no fun and hating on my gig
and  one big voice was saying
this mix sucks, you are never going to make it sound like music
get away from it .. go !!
go .. go ... go ... and grab the skateboard and take your son to the skatepark
I jumped out of my seat
grabbed Brady
grabbed our boards
and bailed
came back a few hours later
and
that voice said
check it out, it might not be as bad as you think
and
I sat down and made a record ...
sometimes the white flag in the corner wins and sometime we have to be smarter than our own persistence to persist
because
anything you resist
will persist
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: J.J. Blair on April 08, 2011, 08:30:40 pm
I listen to the voices, and then I drive around and listen to my car speakers. 
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: john paterno on April 08, 2011, 10:45:48 pm
but that comes with experience so what is going in the head of a novice?
'What would Michael Brauer do?', of course...
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:06:42 pm
No really a ''novice ''. I play drums for the last 20 years, i may ask some
''novice '' question about plugins, but for the rest i can manage myself.....

P.S. i will post for the last time in here, i don't need that kind of condescendence behavior, no matter  how many Grammy someone can win.............

what?? I wasn't referring to anyone. I don't even know you. I'm asking a general question of what happens with a novice.

michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:12:48 pm
Hey man, I think you entirely mis-read what Mr. Brauer was saying and over-reacted.  He was not calling you a novice, he was only asking what experienced people thought what was going through the average Novice's head.    No worries!!

Cheers, Bryan

yah, that was weird. I'm interested in how the process develops and at what point you can depend on those voices. I am still not 100% with them. anytime the client comes in and says 'sorry man but that's not the way I hear the song" two things happen, my ego has to take a chill and my voices are assholes, why did I listen to them?
michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:16:27 pm
a novice does not have little voices always, some are anything but little

and that's what I want to know more about. Because if voices are based on experienced and a novice is coming up with genius ideas, the experience theory is no longer valid. My first record that I recorded and mixed was Luther Vandross's first record. It still holds up and I was doing some pretty cool things back then but I only had a couple hears experience, so I guess really it's more about simply little voices with a big hammer that just comes from some place deep inside. And for some it's great and for others it's not.

michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:17:57 pm

Oupsssss  you might be right, i should had listen to my little voices....
Sorry, sorry sorry. :-[

JN

forgiven.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:19:22 pm
I was mixing a couple of days ago and slaving away having no fun and hating on my gig
and  one big voice was saying
this mix sucks, you are never going to make it sound like music
get away from it .. go !!
go .. go ... go ... and grab the skateboard and take your son to the skatepark
I jumped out of my seat
grabbed Brady
grabbed our boards
and bailed
came back a few hours later
and
that voice said
check it out, it might not be as bad as you think
and
I sat down and made a record ...
sometimes the white flag in the corner wins and sometime we have to be smarter than our own persistence to persist
because
anything you resist
will persist

that's brilliant!
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 09, 2011, 05:31:30 pm
so at this point should we agree that;
1- you don't have to have much experience/novice to have your little voices lead you down a great path
2- instinct for musical decisions is not necessarily based on experience but maybe more on recalling from the millions of sensory memories gathered since birth and everyday from direct and indirect stimuli. Like hanging out watching a band and brainstorming some ideas or sitting at home just making your own music and the most amazing ideas seem to pop up with ease?
3-Listening to your little voices no matter how experienced(i speak for myself) can mislead you.
4- There isn't always just one great interpretation of a song.
5- The artist's vision supersedes the engineers.
6- Artist's vision isn't always the right one for the song to meet it's full potential. example: I've re arranged a song during a mix and it turned out way better than the version that had all the instruments playing from the top.
7- Why do little voices always have attitude?

michael

Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Extreme Mixing on April 09, 2011, 10:18:37 pm
Michael,

Great to hear you say those things.  It is always for the artist's vision that we do this stuff.  Sometimes I mix what's there, sometimes I mix what I think should be there and follow those little voices that you mentioned.  I actually don't know how I would work without them.  When I start a mix, I always start with the things that I know have to be done.  I organize the tracks in a way that makes sense to me.  Set up the board.  I listen to the rough.  I listen in groups to make sure the tracks are clean and to study what's there.  What happens from there is mostly a matter of following my nose and not censoring myself.

Steve
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 10, 2011, 01:41:07 pm
Michael,

Great to hear you say those things.  It is always for the artist's vision that we do this stuff.  Sometimes I mix what's there, sometimes I mix what I think should be there and follow those little voices that you mentioned.  I actually don't know how I would work without them.  When I start a mix, I always start with the things that I know have to be done.  I organize the tracks in a way that makes sense to me.  Set up the board.  I listen to the rough.  I listen in groups to make sure the tracks are clean and to study what's there.  What happens from there is mostly a matter of following my nose and not censoring myself.

Steve

that's pretty much what it comes down to.

I know there are records that I wouldn't have been able to nail if it weren't for my experience. Also it doesn't always come down to simply having good mixing chops.Sometimes you have to fight for the direction that you know is best and you have to keep artist's sometimes huge egos in check in the process. when that happens I know those voices are the voices of experience and I'm able to avert a problem by predicting and addressing issues before they happen.

michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Cass Anawaty on April 10, 2011, 03:32:09 pm
I've gotten into more trouble by not listening to those voices than when I follow my instincts.  "What I should have done" is tough to live with, and I'd rather get a "no" than assume it.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Extreme Mixing on April 11, 2011, 12:15:16 pm
Michael,

I'm wondering how much replacing and augmenting of sounds you do?  Do you have certain drum sounds layered into all of the sessions by your assistants, then pick and choose for yourself when you're mixing?  Or do you have a production meeting with your staff and decide what needs to be done before things are done.  Vocal tuning, drum sound augmentation, adding parts...

I'm a one man show, so I do it all for myself.  If I need drums sounds, I add it.  For the past several years, I've also been adding musical parts when I feel that the production/song needs it.  I did a mix last week for a guy who sends things over and says "Steve, do your thing".  It's an open invitation to take the song somewhere.  He even sends me his midi files in case I want to change his sounds out.  On this one, I ran out of DSP because of so many RTAS instruments.  I've been mixing for a long time, too, but this is really fun.  How much production work to you do in projects?

Ross, these questions go out to you as well.

Steve
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Michael Brauer on April 11, 2011, 12:51:02 pm
Michael,

I'm wondering how much replacing and augmenting of sounds you do?  Do you have certain drum sounds layered into all of the sessions by your assistants, then pick and choose for yourself when you're mixing?  Or do you have a production meeting with your staff and decide what needs to be done before things are done.  Vocal tuning, drum sound augmentation, adding parts...

I'm a one man show, so I do it all for myself.  If I need drums sounds, I add it.  For the past several years, I've also been adding musical parts when I feel that the production/song needs it.  I did a mix last week for a guy who sends things over and says "Steve, do your thing".  It's an open invitation to take the song somewhere.  He even sends me his midi files in case I want to change his sounds out.  On this one, I ran out of DSP because of so many RTAS instruments.  I've been mixing for a long time, too, but this is really fun.  How much production work to you do in projects?

Ross, these questions go out to you as well.

Steve

can you please post this as a new subject, it's not relevant to the topic we are discussing.

thanks,

michael
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: organica_ on April 11, 2011, 12:54:00 pm
<3-Listening to your little voices no matter how experienced(i speak for myself) can mislead you.>

For me, it's become very clear that inner voices can indeed be more misleading if not connected to my heart (or seem like it).... which perhaps is a kooky of saying that if they're intellectually based voices, moreso than emotionally/feeling  based, then it's best for me not to give too much attention to them necessarily when mixing. Voices feel different from one to another... in my zone anyhow. This is a great thread & btw- hello!


Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: Cass Anawaty on April 11, 2011, 09:12:47 pm
<3-Listening to your little voices no matter how experienced(i speak for myself) can mislead you.>

For me, it's become very clear that inner voices can indeed be more misleading if not connected to my heart (or seem like it).... which perhaps is a kooky of saying that if they're intellectually based voices, moreso than emotionally/feeling  based, then it's best for me not to give too much attention to them necessarily when mixing. Voices feel different from one to another... in my zone anyhow. This is a great thread & btw- hello!

Yep.  I also have to separate the "true" gut feeling from the "I just got this great piece and HAVE to use it!", lol.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: gtoledo3 on June 06, 2011, 02:24:19 pm
The best way I ever heard this put was the term "spell-breaker". The thought that when you listen to the mix, things either break the spell for you, or don't. What may or may not break the spell for the mixer may be different than what breaks it for the artist, or the audience.
Title: Re: Hay Ross let's talk about those little voices
Post by: studjo on June 07, 2011, 05:09:19 am
I hope those little voices come out of the music - at least that's what I want to believe and it's also one reason why I listen to the lead vocals soloed through one pass. I want the recording to speak to me.
I really like what Ross said since there are days when certain songs don't want to be mixed by me - while on another days it just flows ... dunno man - sounds very fishy :D