Curating The Week: DAWs, The Creator Economy, How To mix

An article about DAWs (digital audio workstation software).

“In some ways, the DAW replaced the piano as the primary site of solitary musical expression, retreating from living rooms to glowing screens in share house bedrooms. Music creation ever since has never been so lonely.”

An article on the creator economy

“When I imagine a cultural renaissance that inspires me, I think about working together to address unsolved questions, tugging on threads in conversations that need unraveling, creating enduring artifacts for generations to pore over and iterate upon. The ‘publish or perish’ model that nudges people to rack up more followers is not the pinnacle of creative freedom; it’s indentured spiritual servitude.”

A video about mixing

“You can’t have a fixed method for every mix…Every change you make is provisional: you make the best guess at the correct settings, based on the context you have at that time. Here’s my suggested methodology:

1 Start with the volume faders and set a rough balance for all elements of the mix, before you do anything else. 

2 Whatever is bothering you most about the current mix, attack that next. Keep fixing the most egregious problems you can hear, and those problems will naturally get smaller and more subtle, until all of a sudden you realize your mix is cooking and you’re nearly done.

3 Get to that stage as quickly as possible. 

It’s not enough to learn the technique: your ears need to be able to recognize situations where that technique might help.” 

2 thoughts on “Curating The Week: DAWs, The Creator Economy, How To mix

  1. I read the first two. Provocative stuff, and each expresses some novel perceptions well, so thanks for pointing them out. The DAW post focuses on the limitations of the DAW outlook, but it’s present-ism means it overlooks the problems and manifold issues of the previous musical creation regime. The Creators one asks some very good questions. It’s only a passing point it that post, but I take issue with the assumption that being forced to create something more often obviously dilutes the quality of the creative product. Yes, I agree that that can be a grind at times. Yes, I agree that some of what one makes on a forced march will obey Sturgeon’s Law, but I think for many creators making one “good’un” out of 100 tries is a better bet than making one “good’un” out of one or two tries.

    1. I would add re: the DAW article: it also sort of omits the technology’s enchantments from the musician-in-a-flow perspective. But you’re right: every recording era has its mediations. And I’m all for iterating (daily) for quantity; quality will appear now and then, one hopes.

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