I’m a big fan of the Norse gods.
In fact, back in 1000 AD, Iceland converted to Christianity, but everyone who wanted to keep swearing(that’s their bad-ass way of praying) to the Norse gods could do it as long as they did it in secrecy.
The Vikings had some pretty cool gods. The big cat among them was the all-father Odin.
You might have seen him portrayed fairly well by Anthony Hopkins recently in the Thor movie, but make no mistake, this guy had wisdom beyond anything you could imagine.
He wrote a series of poems called Hávamál that contained much of his wisdom. But it really only boiled down to one thing.
Try everything but not to excess. Sure, his poems were about how to behave at a gathering of Vikings. But I can’t help but wonder if there’s truth to moderation in your audio production as well?
Exercise Caution in Your Audio Production
There’s too much excess in the way we produce sometimes.
As Odin says:
Better gear than good sense
A traveller cannot carry,
When we can’t get the sound we want, we go out and buy a new microphone instead of learning how to use our old one.
Drink your mead, but in moderation,
It’s easy to get drunk on EQ. When we boost frequencies we do so excessively, even when a small boost is enough. The same goes with compression. We crank up the compression, even when you just need to tame the peaks. Or even automate slightly instead.
It is best for man to be middle-wise,
Not over cunning and clever:
Being conservative in our mixes can often yield the best results. Don’t steer clear of all processing, but don’t overdo it either. We douse our tracks with glorious hall reverbs, even when short plates and delays could do the trick better.
And finally, when we master our tracks, we forget how great a track sounds with only slight compression and limiting.
Modest Music Production
I’ll sum it up with one more phrase from Hávamál:
Let a man with his guests be glad and merry,
Modest a man should be”
But talk well if he intends to be wise
So in the new year of audio production, try to err on the side of caution and see if your songs reward you for it. Look it your mixing session like a party where all the tracks are your guests. Some are the life of the party and are the center of attention. Others hang out and chat in the kitchen. It wouldn’t be a party without them because they lay the foundation for great conversation. People come and go, drink and have fun, creating a great night of happiness.
Do that to your mixes. If your tracks have fun at your mix party, your mix will turn out great.
For practical music production tricks for recording and mixing, check out the Recording & Mixing Strategies Bundle.
Image by: -RobW-