Believe it or not, Dueling Mixes has been around for 6 months now.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned so far:

#1 – Mixing is so much more about ME than it is about what gear I use.

One month for Dueling Mixes I decided to mix the song through my Presonus mixer instead of in-the-box. The mix still sounded like a “Joe” mix when I finished.

Drastically different tool, same “sound.”

Lesson: if you want to change the sound of your mixes, you’ve got to change how YOU mix, not what tools you use.

#2 – Loudness is powerful

The very first month at Dueling Mixes I didn’t properly level-match Graham’s mix with mine. Graham’s was a few dB louder.

Even when I listened back, I thought Graham’s mix sounded better and bigger and fuller. Part of that was because the mix WAS good, but a big part of that was because my mix was noticeably quieter.

Lesson: Louder will SEEM better to you, even if it’s not necessarily better.

#3 – I was right about deadlines.

Having to start and finish a mix (plus shoot a tutorial video and get everything posted to the members area) each and every month has shown me how valuable and productive deadlines are.

I always preach the value of deadlines, and how they force you to get things done, but I see it in a whole new way inside Dueling Mixes.

And our members are seeing it, too,

Lesson: Deadlines will make you better. Period.

#4 – You’ll never be 100% happy with your mixes.

In fact, I can almost guarantee you that there will be certain aspects of every mix you finish that you just don’t like.

Get over it.

Every mix you finish makes you better.

Lesson: Focus on finishing lots of mixes rather than perfecting one.

#5 – Mixing is art.

Some people simply prefer Graham’s style of mixing over mine, and it shows some months in the voting.

I may clearly prefer my mix over Graham’s, but some people like his artistic taste over mine, and that’s oooookay.

Lesson: Don’t try to make everyone happy. Do what sounds best to you.

#6 – I should have done this sooner.

Dueling Mixes has blown my expectations out of the water. It’s become insanely popular, which we didn’t expect to happen so fast.

AND…I’VE learned a TON in the process.

I’d say I’m learning as much as our members, just from powering through mix after mix, and seeing how Graham mixed his vs. how I mixed mine.

It’s fascinating. And it’s making me better.

I wish we had started doing this YEARS ago.

If you’ve been “on the fence” about joining, you should consider at LEAST giving it a shot for one month.

I’m guessing learn what I learned in #6 above,

“Why didn’t I join sooner?”

Joe Gilder
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