- 0 Comments
Not long ago, I was contacted by my colleague and friend of about 20 years, Mike Metlay. As the editor of Recording Magazine, he was preparing an article for their 30th anniversary issue, and put out a general question to people involved in the industry: “If you could give one piece of advice to a fellow recording musician that you wish you’d known when you were getting started, what would it be?”
I answered while wearing my hat of a recording musician… something I’ve been for most of my life. My response was, as follows:
“Stop trying to make things sound perfect. The 74th take isn’t better than the 4th or 5th. Allow your music to be real, and to be glorious in its occasional happy accidents. Be yourself and be proud that no one else sounds like you. Do get good sounds at the source, but don’t spend three weeks looking for the right kick drum sound. At some point, be the musician you are, and record yourself to the best of your ability with the tools you have right now. There’s never a truly good reason to wait to record new music. Do it today; you’re not guaranteed a tomorrow.”
I really didn’t think about it after hitting send on my reply to Mike. A couple of weeks later, I began hearing from friends about my quote in Recording Magazine, and I had to go back and look at what I’d written to remember it. When the issue of Recording was delivered, I was very happy (and humbled, frankly) to note that my quote was included alongside a number of respected industry luminaries such as Craig Anderton, Al Schmitt, Bobby Owsinski, EveAnna Manley, Joe Chiccarelli, David Royer, and many more.
It’s one of those moments where one realizes that they’ve accumulated enough knowledge and experience to be able to give back, in a small way, to an industry that has been very supportive over many years. Hopefully what I said was true, and perhaps it helps someone who runs into the inevitable frustration that happens while trying to bottle the creative process, as we all do when recording music.