The internet. Home to a wealth of information, an absolutely astounding amount of porn, and self-proclaimed message board/forum experts on every imaginable topic. I’ve been a frequent lurker on many recording/mixing forums throughout the years, especially when I was just getting going as a recording engineer. There is a lot of really solid advice out there. Tips, tricks, amazing stories from guys who worked with the legends. Seek and ye shall find.
BUT…to get to these nuggets of wonderful wisdom, you have to dig through a mountain of shit. It took me years to realize that just because a guy on a reputable message board was writing confidently about this preamp or that mic technique did not mean that he had anything solid to offer. It wasn’t until I started looking up these internet experts and listening to their work that the lightbulb in my head clicked on.
“90% of these guys have really crappy sounding work”, I realized.
For years, I had been taking whatever someone said as established canon just because he happened to have 5,000 posts on some board. After all, I knew so little and he writes with such an authoritarian tone. Then only to realize that a lot of these guys’ work sounded like balls. Do you want to learn about your craft from someone who’s work sounds like balls? I sure don’t.
My advice (trust me, I see the irony here): before you take the advice of any internet recording/mixing guru, listen to his work first. If you don’t like the quality of his mixes, you should probably move on. And just to be clear, I’m holding my own feet to the fire here. If you think my mixes suck, stop reading right now and go tell your friends about how arrogant this jeffro noob is for having a blog on mixing. And then find some people who mixes you do like and listen to what they have to say.
But please, always check out who you’re taking advice from. Separate the real kickass engineers from the keyboard-bangin’ wannabes. Once you do, then pay attention to the pros and take notes. There’s a lot of gold out there!