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Giving In Or Giving Up

There comes a time in just about every project where you feel like you have two options: giving in or giving up.

Neither of these are particularly good choices, and both can result in frustration.

Giving in is saying “this mix isn’t good enough, but I’m going to call it finished and move along.” Giving up is saying “this mix isn’t good enough, so I just won’t finish it.”

They’re similar, but there are a few key differences. If you can understand these differences, you’ll make the right call the next time you come across this unpleasant feeling. You’ve got three options:

Option No. 1 : Giving In

Depending on your level of “perfectionism”, you may or may not consider this an option. The best thing to remember is that no mix is ever really “finished.” Even some of the greatest mixes in history could technically be improved upon.

Don’t let this fact depress you or deter you from mixing. Your goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect mix, but instead to create a great mix that works for your production.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to give in, especially if you’re the perfectionist type. Don’t give in too easily, but there will come a time where you should. Option No. 3 will be your best friend when deciding this.

Option No. 2 : Giving Up

Giving up can be a bad thing if you do it too often. Failure is never fun to face. But sometimes, it’s a necessary part of the creative process. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. Not every production can be a winner, so pick your battles.

If you’re thinking of giving up on a mix or production, still follow through with Option No. 3, as it will help you make an even better decision.

Option No. 3 : Give It Time

The more time you give it, the easier your decision is going to be – give in, or give up. If you put down the project for a week and come back with a fresh set of ears, you’re likely to know within the first few minutes whether or not you’d like to continue working on it. Give it at least a week, which should be enough time for you to forget some of the small issues you had with it (or at least let them get off your nerves!)

 

2 thoughts on “Giving In Or Giving Up”

  1. Number three is, for me, usually the best option.

    If I let things just sit, often for months, when I come back I am usually delighted to find out just how “worthy” the track is.

    If you work on a track constantly, over a long time, it is easy to get sick of it, or of anything, and usually for all the wrong reasons.

  2. Good short article.

    No.2 and 3 happen when you don’t have enough experience. It is not bad at all to give up when you find out that you are not ready to finish a mix. However, it is important to research why you couldn’t make it.

    I’m more of a number 1 person. There’s always room for changes or a different interpretation. I know making recordings is teamwork and quite often a producer makes the final decisions, which doesn’t mean I am always completely satisfied.

    Perhaps good to mention: a very short while ago I had to let go a project of a big client. I just was not able to make a satisfying mix for songwriter and producer. Of course a big disappointment but also revealing: there is always enough to learn and to develope.

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