Confession time.

I work better when I’m working on my own music vs clients’ music.

I can’t really explain it, but I think it has something to do with ownership. I have high standards for myself, because it’s my music.

For clients, I sometimes don’t have that same sense of ownership and urgency to get it perfect.

I think that can be both a good and a bad thing.

On the good side, a lot of times clients can’t hear some of the issues with their songs, but I can address them in the mix, because I’m not emotionally attached to the music.

On the bad side, sometimes I’ll submit my “mix 1” to the client when it’s not really ready. I’ll be “almost finished” with the mix, and I’ll go ahead and send it to the client to review.

Bad Joe. 

See, if the mix isn’t finished (i.e. if it’s not up to my standards, if I wouldn’t release the mix as it is right now), then I don’t need to send it to a client. Of course the client will have some changes they want me to make either way, but if the mix is still incomplete, I’m probably causing some angst on the part of the client. They spend more time pointing out the unfinished parts than focusing on the mix.

And that’s my fault, not theirs.

So, my advice today is simply this — take ownership of your work, whatever it is.

Treat it like it’s your own music. Don’t lower your standards.

(Preaching to myself here.)

Now, there’s a difference between lowering your standards and not being able to produce the mix the client wants.

You need to be continually honing your skills, so your response to client requests can be a confident “I can do that,” and not an insecure, “I’ll see what I can do.”

For top-notch mixing training and practice (that WILL make you better), get signed up for Dueling Mixes here:

Joe Gilder
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