Got a great quote for you:

“In a movie, every scene has a specific reason for being there. Most movie makers don’t put scenes in movies that have no purpose. Why should an album be any different? Every song should have a purpose that relates to the other songs in the collection.” – Mixerman

Good stuff. eh? (See, I told you I’d be quoting Mixerman a lot, after reading his “Daily Adventures…”)

Here’s the dealio.

This album I’m working on started out with 13 songs. I did pre-production on ’em, recorded scratch tracks, and hired a drummer to play on ’em.

As I started recording the other parts to the songs, something became clear. While most of the songs had a great vibe and feel, there were two that just weren’t really working.

Before I even tracked bass or guitars, I ditched one song. I could tell it was going to be a “filler” song, and I didn’t want any filler songs on the album.

Then I tracked all the instruments for all the songs on the album, including that 2nd song that I wasn’t quite sure about.

Now I’m finishing up the mixes, and I’m almost positive I won’t be mixing that song, and it won’t be on the album.

Again, there’s nothing about the song that makes me really proud.

The 11 other songs each have their own feel and vibe. They work well individually and together.

These 2 songs just feel…flat.

So…rather than put out an album of 13 songs, and not being completely proud of each one, I’m going to put out an album with 11 songs, each of which I really, really love.

Did I pay a couple hundred bucks to have my drummer play drums on those two songs? Yep. Do I regret it? Not really.

Adding drums just confirmed my suspicions that they weren’t good enough for the album, and I’m glad for that perspective.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t force things. If you’re not proud of it, either change it drastically or ditch it altogether.

The same applies to mixing, too.

Just because the track is there doesn’t mean you have to use it.

That’s the beauty and creativity of mixing. You get to decide what stays and what gets muted.

That’s why I love Dueling Mixes so much. Each month I get to open up a brand new session, import the audio files. Listen to a song for the first time, and start making all those little decisions that add up to a great-sounding mix.

Wanna join me?

Joe Gilder
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