Back in college I wrote a STUPID country song with a friend of
mine. The chorus went like this (with a thick southern drawl):

“You caaaaaan’t truuuuust yer neighbor.”

It was just supposed to be a funny, silly song.

But as most silly songs do, this one has a bit of truth to
it…just swap out the word “neighbor” for the word “instincts.”

Have you ever mixed a song, and when you finished it you thought it
was amazing?

Then when you listened to a professional mix, you realized how far
off your mix was?

Yep, me too.

See, the problem is we have faulty instincts.

You can’t trust your instincts.

Khaliq Glover said something interesting at Presonusphere a few
weeks ago during his presentation.

He said that one of the first things he recommends doing at the
beginning of a mix is to listen to something else.

He said it helps “reset” your brain, so you remember what a good
mix is supposed to sound like.

It sounds silly, doesn’t it? That our brains could forget what a
good mix sounds like? But it happens all the time. We finish a mix
and think it’s the best thing since Pop Tarts, only to discover
that the bass and drums are way too loud.

If a Grammy-award-winning engineer like Khaliq needs to do this,
what makes you think you don’t need to?

It’s not about copying someone else’s work. It’s about having a
healthy distrust of your instincts…or at least keeping them in

If left to my own devices, I will turn the kick drum up WAY too
loud in every mix I do.

References keep me grounded.

So simple.

So effective.

And I think there’s no better way to practice this than by being a
member of Dueling Mixes.

Here’s why:

1. You get a new song to mix every month.

2. You get to hear how both Graham Cochrane and I mixed the song

3. You can pick which mix you like best (mine or Graham’s) and use
it as a reference track for your mixing session.

Plus, you get to see how Graham and I tackled various problems and
issues that arise during the mix.

It’s a BLAST. And you can get started right here: [ ]

Joe Gilder
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