Keep it simple, stupid.

That’s the phrase, I think.

Or is it, “keep it stupid simple”?

Either way, I think you would agree that it is very easy to over-complicate things in the studio. Yes, there’s a certain amount of complexity with anything music-related. But I think we take it too far sometimes.

The other day I was recording guitars for a song my brother-in-law, Joel, is producing. Joel was wearing the hat of producer, and I was wearing my electric guitarist hat.

I like working with Joel, because he knows what he wants. He comes into the studio with very specific ideas of parts and tones he wants me to record.

That doesn’t mean he stifles all creativity and turns me into a robot. It just means he gives me direction, which helps me focus my creativity.

The song we recorded ended up having only four guitar tracks, and it sounds HUGE.

I’m constantly amazed at how powerful simplicity can be.

My instinct is to record another four tracks, doubling everything I had already done. We could have done that, and we would have wasted another hour. The four tracks we recorded sound great. There’s no need to add anything else.

How can you apply this simplistic mindset to the way you work in your studio?

Here’s an idea.

Why don’t you try to create the simplest mix you’ve ever created? Just to see what happens?

I know just the song.

It’s this month’s song over at Dueling Mixes. I had fun mixing, and I mixed it pretty fast, too.

Start downloading the tracks here:

Joe Gilder
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