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Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Kev Tav » Sun May 17, 2020 6:32 pm

The Bunk wrote:....I do with a few of them, absolutely; the thing I was most guilty of in my early days was "rushing it" and I was too keen to get the thing out for people to hear when another few days or more would have been more advisable. And I always used far too much reverb!
But also with some of them I think " wow, that was/is pretty good". The unfortunate thing with the latter is that I often can't remember the recording set-up, especially with some acoustic stuff where I have somehow nailed it!

I'm with CC too...I like listening to my own stuff, if it's good.

YEP!!

1) Too much effing REVERB in my early days. Definitely. Like, in a way that was obsessive.
2) "Rushing it" too. Wanted to get stuff out. Couldn't take a WEEK just to do it right.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun May 17, 2020 10:07 pm

Guilty of the above but there are still some textures, progressions and flavours that resonate with me now even if the entire tune doesn’t.
I had one amusing cringe - taking a dance score into the theatre for a first time playback. I spent the entire night mixing (under really cheap headphones) to meet the deadline. We started playback and all was good until the storm section. There was so much bottom end on the thunder I used the grill fell off the theatre’s sub woofer. Seems I had no idea how much low end I mixed in! The house guy said no probs after some polite laughter subsided. He made an eq move and on with the show.
I bought better headphones.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Dave B » Mon May 18, 2020 9:13 am

I also suck at mixing. These days, I suck slightly less which I suppose is a good thing. But most of any improvement is down to this forum in general, and Zukan in particular, helping me to understand the nature of my failings. Every new (to me) technique discussed here brings a further degree of clarity. It all adds up.

So now, when I hear dodgy older mixes, I can hear what's wrong with them and that's got to be a good thing. In general, my criticisms fall into the following areas :

1. I didn't understand how to make the most of / mitigate the sound of the room I had used for recording. Mics pick up everything and understanding the sound of the room is more important than I thought it was. I need to learn when to use it and when not. I think I'm getting better at understanding it.

2. I didn't use a good reference track to mix to. It's easy to sit in an audio bubble and become used to the way things sound on your raw tracks and just end up with (hopefully) a slightly better version of a rough playback mix. It's also easy to then end up with a bunch of phase issues which suck sound out of the overall mix. A good reference will give you an idea of the balance and quickly highlight any duff areas. I need to get one of the decent A/B plugins when a good one comes up cheap again

3. My lack of knowledge! Simply, I didn't know how to do something and now that I do I could have done the previous job better. We all have lots of those, and it's a very common failing - all just part of learning. But, the flip side of that, is knowing _when_ to apply certain techniques and that can be just as hard. Parallel distortion on the drum bus? Great for a big sound, but may not be what you want for folk percussion. Then again, it might be just the ticket. To me _that_ is the real skill in mixing - knowing _when_ to use techniques not just how.

Oh - and I listen back to music I've made all the time. If you don't enjoy it, then what's the point?

:)
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby outofphase » Mon May 18, 2020 12:48 pm

I'm getting embarrassed by all my stuff. Stopped showing it to friends years ago. Even after release on the decent edm label.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby garrettendi » Mon May 18, 2020 2:14 pm

I get embarrassed at my current works! But I learned just last week to not be so hard on myself, chalk it up to a learning experience, and most of all: do what I enjoy, even if people* hate it!

*Nobody on here has been harsh though! Honest... But not harsh!
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 18, 2020 2:22 pm

garrettendi wrote:Nobody on here has been harsh though! Honest... But not harsh!
That's important for self-analysis as well. Be honest in your appraisal but don't go beating yourself up! :)
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby MOF » Mon May 18, 2020 2:47 pm

I also get embarrassed by the fact that I enjoy listening to my songs. It feels incredibly narcissistic and self-indulgent.

I write songs for me and if other people like them then that’s great.
I do go back to old songs and make small changes though.
Ravel didn’t think much of his ‘Bolero’, I don’t think many people would know any of his other works.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby jaminem » Mon May 18, 2020 3:19 pm

MOF wrote:
I also get embarrassed by the fact that I enjoy listening to my songs. It feels incredibly narcissistic and self-indulgent.

I write songs for me and if other people like them then that’s great.
I do go back to old songs and make small changes though.
Ravel didn’t think much of his ‘Bolero’, I don’t think many people would know any of his other works.

Interesting point, after discussion (over the Phone!) with my writing partner and singer in my 'band' on Friday evening, and in particular using 'other' singers on our next project, it became apparent that any joy he got from hearing our finished songs was always tarnished by the fact that he had to listen to himself singing and hated it.

I hate hearing myself just speaking, so I can fully understand, even though it hadn't occurred before.

I'd like to be as pragmatic as Martin and say that my efforts were the best I could do at the time, but to be fair, I have made some diabolical sounding stuff, so its really hard not to be a bit embarrassed. I'd like to think things have marginally improved over time...
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon May 18, 2020 5:27 pm

Absolutely!

But I'm also pleasantly surprised by some of them too. Which sort of makes it worse, because you start to wonder how you managed to screw one up so much, if you were able to nail another.

Honestly I think if you don't get...maybe not embarrassed, but a little sceptical about the quality of what came before, you're not progressing.

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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon May 18, 2020 7:57 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Honestly I think if you don't get...maybe not embarrassed, but a little sceptical about the quality of what came before, you're not progressing.

Nicely put Jack - it's great to be happy about your elderly musical ideas, but if you can now hear ways to improve them, you have confirmation that you must be making some technical progress ;)


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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby MOF » Mon May 18, 2020 11:31 pm

Interesting point, after discussion (over the Phone!) with my writing partner and singer in my 'band' on Friday evening, and in particular using 'other' singers on our next project, it became apparent that any joy he got from hearing our finished songs was always tarnished by the fact that he had to listen to himself singing and hated it.

I like to hear myself while I'm singing and often double track or use ADT on my voice. It's when I hear myself back that I get somewhat critical. That's when the compressors and eq come out, plus more effects, to wrangle it into something resembling what I heard in my head while singing.
John Lennon didn't like his voice either, apparently, but there's no way he would let anyone else sing his compositions.
Voices are very personal, for years I couldn't stand Bob Dylan but I like to hear him singing these days, it's got character.
Tell your singer that he'll just to live with his voice and not get paranoid about it, unless everyone tells him it's dreadful of course.
A lot of actors don't like watching their recorded performances either.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon May 18, 2020 11:52 pm

As a random observation I'm far more embarrassed about my slightly* generous midriff than I am about anything I ever did musically.

-sigh- spot the man who just chanced across a photograph of himself in his early 20s sporting very tight skinny jeans and nothing else. Blimey, why didn't I appreciate what I had going for me in terms of 'non waistband overflow' at the time?! :shocked:

* I'm being nice to me.
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby zenguitar » Tue May 19, 2020 12:11 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:As a random observation I'm far more embarrassed about my slightly* generous midriff than I am about anything I ever did musically.

Glad I'm not the only one. In my mind I have the same physique as I did in 1991 when I had been doing near daily local crew jobs in London for 6 months. When I returned to Devon I didn't have an ounce of spare fat on me, my brother's first thought was that I had been very ill until he realised I was just in the best shape of my life.

Sadly, the mirror has taken to telling me porkies.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue May 19, 2020 2:00 am

zenguitar wrote:In my mind I have the same physique as I did in 1991 when I had been doing near daily local crew jobs in London for 6 months. When I returned to Devon I didn't have an ounce of spare fat on me, my brother's first thought was that I had been very ill until he realised I was just in the best shape of my life.

Sadly, the mirror has taken to telling me porkies.

I know exactly what you're talking about, roadie-ing is about as good as you can get exercise-wise. I shifted the major portion of an imperial ton almost daily back in the day. These days the mirror in my case tells the truth :-)

I carry weight better than some, but that's hollow comfort because I'm pushing the boundaries even so and I'm acutely aware that I need to get out there and start burning off the podge where it matters.

No joke... I finally gave up smoking 3 months ago with a view to marching up and down the South Downs to get trim again. I knocked the fags on the head with assistance from the NHS (Champix, by the way, is epic for anyone struggling to quit like I did. It's not without its own challenges but it works like nothing else you can possibly imagine) after 20+ years of multiple failures and just as I was in Amsterdam planning to polish off my walking boots on my return we get a global pandemic and told to stay indoors for 2 months.

That said, weight is shiftable and my body has always responded well to physical punishment in that regard. No complicated dieting plans required. It's a simple physical equation: calories in vs. calories burnt. If the latter exceeds the former, everything will take care of itself.

I'm on the heavy side because I'm a bit lazy, better off than I used to be (thus more toys) and a bit greedy (mmm ... sausages). Now I feel able to do it, once I have a sense of safety going outside I simply need to march up and down the hills on the South Downs regularly. Last time, 2 or 3 (or 4?) years ago, I lost 2 stone in what seemed like no time doing exactly that, so I'm under no illusions as to what I need to do.

Luckily I have a beautiful 9-mile walk (with shorter variations) right on my doorstep from the Devil's Dyke to the Clayton Windmills and back, over some of the most hilly and picturesque landscape that the South of England has to offer. Optional extensions to Ditchling Beacon extend that walk to 12 or more miles depending on the route and it's all glorious ancient and elevated countryside.

Recent discussions about social distancing notwithstanding, I think it's probably not far off now that I can put my smoke-free lungs (the last month or so especially I have rediscovered just how amazing the ability to absorb oxygen efficiently is, to the point it's fundamentally improved my life) to the test on the Sussex hills because much of that path is off the beaten track. At the height of summer in normal times it's relatively rare to meet fellow walkers and distancing is of no effort whatsoever so I'm rather looking forward to it :thumbup:
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Re: Do you ever get "embarrassed" by former mixes, songs, works?

Postby zenguitar » Tue May 19, 2020 3:03 am

All so true Eddy,

On my return to Devon I soon found regular local crew work and it continued to be all or some of my income for the best part of a decade.

what was fascinating was that I got a full time job in the Civil Service and, after a couple of years got my motorbike licence and spent just over 4 years with my bike as my only transport, summer and winter in all weathers.

Towards the late 90's I cut back on the crew jobs, but the daily commute on the bike kept me in good shape so I didn't put on much weight. The weight gain only came after my Honda VFR750 was stolen and I couldn't afford to replace it.

Riding a large bike won't get you fit, but it really does give you enough of a daily workout to maintain your level of fitness.

Andy :beamup:
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