Have you ever thought that you think too much?

I think it’s time to think about rethinking how you think.


But seriously…

Remember when you first got into audio and recording? Everything was new and exciting. If you’re like me, you knew NOTHING…and you loved it.

But then you inevitably develop a desire to learn more. While learning more is good and helpful, if you’re not careful it’ll leave you constantly evaluating, analyzing, and over-thinking every decision you make in your studio.

No place is this more of a problem than during mixing (and mastering).

The entire process can seem like a constant stream of rabbit trail after rabbit trail. You set up fifteen plugins on the vocal, only to realize (after 3 hours) that it isn’t working.

Here’s a simple formula that will keep you from running down so many rabbit trails and help you get things done and make ‘em sound awesome.

It’s pretty simple.

If you find yourself:

* spending more than 5 minutes on a particular track, plugin, etc.


* “starting over” on a particular track more than once (getting rid of the plugins and starting over from scratch)

Stop and ask yourself, “Am I over-thinking this?”

(Hint: the answer will be “yes.”)

Next, listen to the track again and decide two things:

1. Does it need anything? (Hint: chances are your shaker track doesn’t need any plugins.)

2. If it does need something, what exactly does it need?

A lot of times for me, the answer is something like: “It just needs a little bit of EQ, and it needs to be turned up a bit.”


If you can get in the practice of stopping yourself when you start over-thinking things, you’ll be well on your way to better mixes in less time.

Speaking of over-thinking, this week’s VIP training video deals with multiband compression (arguably the most over-thought plugin out there).

I show you two very simple (and powerful) ways that I use it. One is for mastering. One is for mixing.

Check it out here:


Joe Gilder
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