My wife looked at me like I was crazy.

I’ve been on this big audiobook kick lately. I’ve probably “read” 15 books in the last few months. It’s the perfect thing to listen to while driving…or vacuuming.

Anyway, I finally got a copy of Mixerman’s “The Daily Adventures of Mixerman.”


I was sitting there on the couch the other day, listening to the book (which is also narrated by Mixerman) on earbuds, when I would just bust out with a gut laugh.

That dude’s funny.

It’s definitely a “Parental Advisory” listen, but still…really funny.


I’m sure I’ll allude to this book many times in the future, but the first thing that struck me was how Mixerman does a superb job of hammering home the point that the recording is only as good as the source.

He tells the story of having to pain-stakingly edit a drum track…with a razor blade…on TAPE.

We’re talking almost 200 edit points (cut tape, tape it back together) for a three-minute song. It took him like 12 hours or something.

That kind of thing can be done in an hour or two with a computer-based DAW.

Ah, but that’s the point.

Imagine for a second that you record to tape. And whenever something needs to be edited you’ve got to literally whip out the razor blade and start cutting tape and taping it back together.

Let that sit on your brain for a second.

Now, how would that change how you record?

Shoot, for me it make me SO much more focused during the recording phase. I wouldn’t DARE hit the talkback button and just say, “Eh…that’s good enough. We can fix it later.” Because I would be signing myself up for a full day of dangerous razor-blade work…when that could be avoided by “simply” capturing a better performance.

I put “simply” in quotes, because sometimes the performance is that bad…as was the case on this session that Mixerman is documenting. Getting a new drummer wasn’t an option. Improving the drummer’s playing wasn’t much of an option either, so he had to resort to his razor blade.

Do me a favor.

Next time you’ve got a recording session, imagine that you’re recording to tape. Take the option of editing out of the equation…at least at first.

Do whatever you need to do to capture a stellar performance, one that doesn’t need to be chopped up and “fixed.”

Sure, you CAN edit it later, but if you’re leaning on that as a crutch, you won’t really put the work in to capture a great performance on the front end.

Give it a shot.

Trust me, great-sounding tracks will make you MUCH more likely to get a great-sounding mix.

Take this month’s tracks over at Dueling Mixes. Professional musicians. Quality tracks. Makes mixing almost a “new” experience if you’ve never mixed great-sounding tracks before.

It’s pretty eye-opening for a lot of members.

Check ’em out here:

Joe Gilder
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