You may have seen that I’m running a special discount this week on my really fun Speed Mixing course. Click here to check it out. I’ve put together some cool bundles, including an option to have me mix one of YOUR songs AND record the whole thing on video for CHEAP. (These offers goes away on Friday, so place your order before then.)
Before you check out Speed Mixing, though, you and I need to have a little chat.
“What’s with the emphasis on speed, Joe?” you might ask.
Speed isn’t everything, but it IS important.
I make music because I want to express myself, connect with others, and have an impact. I can’t do any of those things without finishing and releasing music.
The most common complaint I hear from people is that they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to finish projects they start. If that’s true of you, that you don’t have much time for music, and you struggle to make the best use of that time, then becoming faster at your craft is almost an absolute necessity.
Take mixing, for example. If you can go from taking twenty hours to mix a song to only four, you’ll finish that album five times faster. You’ll finish it in a few weeks rather than a few years. It’s easier to create four free hours in your schedule than it is to create twenty.
Imagine what your life would look like if you could accomplish in four hours (one evening) what used to take you twenty hours (a full weekend). Imagine how many songs you could release in a year. How many new client projects could you take on? It’s exciting to think about, right?
Now, this is the part where you expect me to make some outrageous claim like “I can cut your mixing time by 80% with a few ‘top secret mixing hacks.’” It’s nothing like that. The biggest reason people take too long to finish projects isn’t that they don’t have enough experience or haven’t practiced enough or haven’t had enough training. They take too long because they don’t believe it can be done faster. They assume that putting in all that effort, all that time, will yield a better result. But that’s not always true.
If you are aiming for perfection, you are destined for mediocrity.
Yes, practice and preparation are important.
Yes, we need to spend time on the things that matter.
But more often than not we abandon good work in pursuit of perfect work. We spend three hours listening to the kick drum in solo to get the perfect kick drum sound, ignoring the fact that how it sounds in solo has almost ZERO correlation to how it will sound in the mix.
I’m not advocating sloppiness or laziness for the sake of laziness. I want you to challenge your preconceived notions about what it means to create great-sounding music. You may believe it is a time- and labor-intensive process that necessarily takes months to do well.
But have you tried the alternative?
Have you tried to record and release a full-band song in a weekend?
Have you tried to write a song with a timer going?
Have you tried mixing a song in one hour?
You can’t say, “I could never mix a song in less time,” when you’ve never actually worked against a stopwatch to see what happens.
You’ll be surprised. You’ll find that your 1-hour mix will sound very close to what would have taken you eight hours to achieve. And it’ll be a game-changer for you.
Another side of this coin is the fact that life is hectic and unpredictable. If you don’t ratchet up your ability to produce quality work quickly, you will miss out on countless opportunities.
For example, yesterday I sang in a funeral. I was asked last-minute to play a song I had never heard before. Because I have forced myself over the years to learn things quickly, I was able to play the song, even on short notice. Imagine if I had told them, “Y’know, I’d love to, but I’ll need at least a week to learn the song.”
There have been other times in my life where friends have gone through major tragedies, and I’ve felt called to try to comfort them through music, so I’ve sat down and recorded a song or two for them, usually some of their favorite hymns, and given it to them.
I don’t tell you this to brag on myself. Honestly, I didn’t really want to write about it at all. But I included it here because it demonstrates one of the most powerful reasons to become well-acquainted with working quickly. Oftentimes life only hands you a short window in which to have an impact. If you maintain that you need tons of time to do anything of value, these types of opportunities (which happen all the time if you look for them) won’t even pop up on your radar.
Or to go in a more pragmatic direction, if you can start and finish projects in a timely fashion, you can work with more clients, make better promises and guarantees, and potentially make a lot more money.
There are times to sit and create and ignore the clock, but there are also times where working quickly is more helpful than harmful.
Give it a shot. I think you’ll both surprise and impress yourself. You’ve got more awesomeness in you than you think.
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