Y’know the old “the customer is always right” saying?
Well, it’s ain’t always true.
“No, William, this song DOESN’T actually need more cowbell.”
If you’re the kind of person who does everything the client asks, when you come to this realization, it can be really freeing.
But on the flip-side, you don’t want to become that person who never takes suggestions from clients.
The customer may not always be right, but you should still listen to ‘em.
I finished up mixing and mastering an album this week for a new client. It was a different genre of music than I normally mix, so when I submitted the first round of mixes, she came back with lots of suggestions.
I could tell she wasn’t terribly thrilled with the artistic direction I was taking the mixes.
It took some work, but I finally honed in and discovered what the real issue was. The mixes I had sent her were fairly dry, with a nice, warm, subtle reverb in the background.
She wanted the songs to sound like they were in a big concert hall, with lots of bright reverb.
I almost never mix that way, but that’s what she wanted.
Fast-forward to the end of the project, and she was absolutely right. When I listen to the first mixes, they definitely sound way too dry and small. The final mixes are big and regal. The mixes complement the music really well.
Bring your creativity to the process, but listen to the client. Just because they don’t know anything about recording or mixing doesn’t mean they can’t offer some really valuable input.
Be open to suggestions.
And if you are unsure about how to implement the suggestions you receive from clients, maybe you could use a little extra training?
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