As I drove to the site of my day job this morning (I run my own residential remodel business) I have to admit my own personal frustration. Why?, because I had been trying to finish a mix to demonstrate in the new training course (I hope to release this by May) and I simply ran out of time to complete it.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you've set aside a limited amount of time to work on a project that doesn't go as planned. You had hoped to complete a mix that ended up taking twice as long as expected. Now you're frustrated and left feeling like you didn't really accomplish anything at all?
After my own personal moment here over the weekend I came to a clear conclusion. I'm doing the very thing I teach in the new "how to mix music" course to avoid. I fell into the same trap I've seen so many others do over the years. If you can relate then let me share with you a mindset that helps me.
So what did I do wrong? Well, maybe nothing. Sometimes things just happen. My laptop was having issues that took time away from my ability to mix. Once I got the problems solved, it was late into the evening and I was exhausted. On the other hand, maybe I had an unrealistic picture of how much I could truly get done on my mix. Either way I was left feeling a bit angry and like I had failed.
Here is the mindset I've had to talk myself back into. The truth is, the issue with my laptop is now solved. I also now know how to avoid it for the future. In reality I did learn something. I learned what I needed to know in order to take the next step with my project. I often run fifty or more tracks with more than seventy-five effects in my projects. If my laptop loses even a small amount of performance it can literally stop all progress on a mix.
What I really needed and wanted were two different things. I wanted to knock out the entirety of my mix so I could be done with the project. What I needed was to simply take the next step and go from there. I was thinking about taking the next forty steps to finish the mix. This made me feel like a failure by only taking the one step to fix the issue at hand, even though I had still made progress. Truth is..
...you don't really need to know everything about how to mix music in order to create professional recordings. You just need to know how to take the next step.
I've heard this called, "just in time learning". Along with this idea is the mindset that even one small step equals progress. So focus on the progress and not the unrealistic place of perfection we often have in our heads.
What do you need to know today that will help you take the next step in making great recordings? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever been frustrated like I was when something didn't go as planned? Take a second to share your own experience below.