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Final mix session – reality

I’m in the middle of a huge final mix session, again. Hence the lack of posts on the blog. I’ve made several emergency plans in the past so that I can write more, but apparently every plan failed. Or, to be honest I failed to keep my plans. Because the reality is, if you’re drowned in a huge job, simply, you don’t have the necessary extra energy. At least this is true about me. I put in as much energy as possible, and at the end of the day the only viable aim is to reach my bed to get some sleep.

Deadlines

Again, as this becomes more and more usual these days, our deadline is crazy, I mean it clearly seems impossible to finish everything properly. For a few days now we’re operating well behind the original schedule, because the scope of the material just gets bigger, while, obviously, our deadline stay the same.

Here’s some quick tips on how to treat situations like this. At least a few tips that seems to work for me, I hope it’ll work for you too.

  • While you’re in, be there. Don’t second-guess yourself, don’t overthink what has to be done, don’t think about the deadline. Just be there and do your job calmly. I know it’s sounds like some Zen teaching, but believe me, you’re going to have many egos on the dub-stage, you have to be the one who constantly make things happen, and don’t engage in personal fights.
  • If you see some opportunities, do more than you’re required. During the mix, you’ll need that extra and everyone will appreciate the fact that you’ve been so thoughtful that you did more than the original idea.
  • Another Zen sounding advise: learn to let things go. During a good mix session in a creative environment ideas come and go, you have to experiment while still mustn’t loose track of the whole mix. Everyone’s going to have good and maybe not so good ideas. Try to treat them equally while keep some perspective. It’s not necessarily you who has the best ideas. Live with it. Do what the mix need.
  • Learn to listen. Not technically. Many times, composers and directors don’t really know how to tell you what they really want to hear. When they talk about ideas, feelings, emotions, pay attention, that is your key to understand what they want to hear. It is simply impossible to have every person in the room talk to you in proper technical terms. Decipher the real meaning from their stories, and more importantly, make it happen sonically.

I know these may sound rather obvious to you, but too many people try to only focus on the technical side of things, while that is not the most important bit in the equation. I don’t say it’s not important, but far from being the most important. Now, back to mixing…