What role can I play to help get you to the best version of your work?
Pretty straightforward question that I obsess over frequently in the minutes before falling asleep each night. One simple answer is that I should be a technical extension of you, your ideas, and what you are trying to achieve. But, damnit, this is a blah-g post. There are larger forces at play – and we really need to get the word count up for this to be seen as a meaningful exchange.
All joking aside, recording sessions are often an evolving process that require us both to shift between different versions of ourselves and our skill sets. What should I be focused on when you are working through all the necessary versions of yourself?
And, to be clear, I don’t mean this in an adversarial way – and I certainly don’t mean it to be intentionally contrarian. I mean in it a way that I trust you to be focused on what you are zeroed in on – so I am going to focus equally hard on another aspect of the recording. You are focused on your vocal performance? Wonderful. I will focus on how microphone choice, placement, and EQ can highlight it. You are working on a guitar tone? Lovely. I will tell you how I think that particular tone will work its way across the mix without a ton of volume behind it. You want to zero in on a particular mixing avenue? Great, I want to start thinking about what potential consequences that bears for mastering.
You probably get the idea by now. We are more efficient when we don’t share neuroses but rather when we work through our own for the benefit of your record. I want to be the one looking at the forest while you are looking at the trees- and visa versa. Both (or all) of us locked in maniacally on the same detail often leads us to miss how it folds into the bigger picture of the recording. At our best, we are a system of checks and balances for one another. Records tend to move forward most efficiently when you have the trust that we are all pulling on the same rope- just maybe at a different spot.