More and more i have come to realise that the success (and quality) of my mixes is very much dependent on my physical well-being and my state of mind at the time. If i’m tired, my mix ends up sounding tired, if i’m stressed – then i have no patience with the mix to get sounds to fit properly – end result, a clashing, difficult mix. If i’m apathetic, then my mix is uninspired. If i’m bored then, yes you guessed it – my mix is boring. It took me a long time to realise this link between my physical self and the quality of my product…
I appreciate that sometimes we have to work when we’re tired, and do crazy hours just to get the job done on time, but you might be amazed when you start to look at it, as to how much we undermine ourselves on a daily basis. Staying up till all hours the night before a session, getting trashed the night before and ending up hungover, getting stoned during a session, working tired, being distracted (facebook etc), procrastinating cos we’re bored etc etc – all things that are guaranteed (if we are honest) to ruin our best efforts to provide a quality service for our customers. Because when you get down to it, that’s what we are there to do – provide a quality service for the people who are paying us their hard earned money.
My best mixes happen when i’m alert, fresh and excited about a mix, no doubt about it. Now i would quite happily stay up and watch movies all night – so sometimes i really hate the fact that i need to go to bed early so that i can get a decent night’s sleep. And i hate that sometimes i need to stay in when i would much rather go to the gig, chill out and have a few beers etc. It’s not very rock and roll, but because i’ve got a session the next day, i feel i owe it to my customers to present myself in the best possible working order i can.
I must admit though, as boring as all that going-to-bed-early talk sounds, it is 100% worth it, every time.
When i’m feeling good, i make decisions faster, i work quicker, i can think clearly and i’ve got all the energy i need to get through the difficult sections when they come. I can focus on what i need to do and have the clarity to achieve it. In the end i find that i work less hours when i’m fresh, than if i’m dragging around because i’m dog tired.
So the next time you’ve got a mix/recording/editing session coming up, try looking after yourself a bit better – eat well, stay off the drink, get some decent sleep and get up feeling good, and you might just do the best work of your life!