This is a little embarrassing.

You might know that I’m a musician as well as an audio guy.

About once a month I lead the music at my church. Last week I was listening to a recording from the service I led back in November.

And I had to turn it off.

My singing just wasn’t very good.

I’m very comfortable singing in the studio, but singing on stage with in-ear monitors is still a relatively new experience for me.

As much as I would like to just belt away, hitting every note with perfect tone and pitch, it doesn’t happen.

I’ve wrestled for a few years with getting my monitor mix right, thinking that was the real key to improving my singing.

Then one day I realized something.

I’ve been writing more songs lately, and I usually quickly record them to my phone. I noticed that when I listened back to those recordings, my singing doesn’t sound that great. At all. I stray off pitch, lose tone, etc.

And that’s me singing without any in-ears!

That’s when it hit me.

I act like I shouldn’t have to concentrate to sing well.

The truth is if I don’t focus on my singing while I’m singing, it suffers.

This past Sunday I was leading music again, and I put a lot of focus on my singing. I paid attention to each word, focusing on maintaining good pitch and tone.

You know the rest of the story.

I listened back to a recording, and it sounds dramatically better than the one from November.

Now, if I rehearsed every day for a few hours, I imagine that my singing would become more “effortless” for me, but until that days comes I have to exert huge amounts of focus.

The same applies to your mixing.

If you have mixes you’ve done that are simply embarrassing for you to listen to, join the club. But know that it doesn’t have to always be that way. If you can learn how to focus, how to develop both your listening skills and your mixing skills, you’ll be well on your way to more “effortless” mixing sessions.

We can help you get there over at Dueling Mixes.

New song drops tomorrow morning!

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Joe Gilder
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