Does trying to be GREAT hinder you from being GOOD?
I was looking through the posts on the Maschine Masters’ Club (Facebook group) the other day and I came across a post from Well Known Tone asking if new beat makers were overwhelming themselves by trying to learn how to mix before they really know how to construct a song properly. This then got me thinking back a few years to when I was getting serious about beat making and how I used to stress about the overall quality of my finished beats. I was always worried that the sound quality wasn’t great and my mixes didn’t sound anywhere near as good as my favourite songs, at one point (or maybe a few times). I seriously considered quiting because nobody was going to take me seriously when my beats are sounding dull, muddy and horrible like they did and stressing about it had taken all the fun out of beat making for me. That’s why I started all of this in the first place, for fun.
On one of these occasions when I was thinking “Right that’s it, I’m done” I decided rather than quit I was going to stop trying so hard and just have fun making noise and let me tell you, as soon as I gave up caring how good my beats sounded and if people were going to like them I all of a sudden got the passion back and everything just became easier. My creativity had kicked back in and in turn my ‘ear for it’ started getting better, better sample selections and chops, better drums and instrument selections which better complimented the sample that I had selected, all of which goes a long way to helping your end product. This then made mixing choices alot easier and I discovered that much like getting it right in the mix before you master, getting it right in the sound design stage helps when you get to the mixing stage. Some might argue that this is a worthless point to make but I feel as hasty as humans are it is an easy point to overlook.
Obviously everybody is different and this is just my way of thinking but if you are struggling I say this, stop trying to be the beat maker/producer and the mixing/mastering engineer and just “Have fun making noise” you’ll find it easier and less stressful making beats. You’ll always pick up tips and tricks along the way, I personally learned a lot more about mixing when I wasn’t trying to learn mixing techniques. It’s easy to sit and watch hours of youtube tutorials on mixing and feel that their is a big set of rules and golden techniques that will make your beats or songs sound like your favourite hits but in reality each session is different. So think of these rules more as guidelines and do what is best for that session. After all, those hours spent learning to mix would probably be better spent making beats to practice your mixing techniques on right?
So untill next time this is Woods from Bunker Beats signing off and remember, Just have fun with it.