Had a great conversation with Jeff (one of my customers) the other day.

He was telling me how he has owned Understanding EQ and Understanding Compression for a while now, and he even took my Recording Electric Guitar class a few months back.

But he said something interesting…something I need to share with you.

As we were talking, he said, “You know, I’ve heard you talk about getting it right at the source, but it never really clicked for me until I listened to your album and went through your Mix With Us class.”

(Mix With Us was a class where I shared all the multi-track files to my latest album, along with videos of how I mixed them.)

He said that once he pulled the files into Pro Tools and listened to the raw tracks, something clicked.

“So THIS is what it’s supposed to sound like,” he said to himself.

He told me it was kinda like the tracks mixed themselves. It was an ah-ha moment for Jeff. He said he finally understood why I harp on getting good recordings before thinking about mixing. He realized that he was focusing all his effort on buying new gear and practicing his mixing skills, that he had glossed right over the uber-important recording phase.

He would just record something, give it a quick listen, say, “Eh, I can work with that,” and move on.

It was really cool to hear Jeff talk about this. There was an excitement in his voice, because he now knows that getting new gear is fun and all, and mixing is a blast, but the key to getting really great-sounding mixes is simply focusing on the recording itself.

It’s really that simple.

When you’re recording a track, ask yourself if you’re going to need to add a bunch of plugins to the recording to make it sound good. If the answer is yes, then you’re not done recording. Get back in there and record it the way you need it to sound.

Then…it’ll feel like the tracks mix themselves.

Magic, eh?