The Golden Rule Of Sound.


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There is one thing to keep in mind over all things, regardless of situation or setting, whether recording sound for film, recording/mixing music, or even being the front of house engineer for a live show.  The one principle that bounces in my brain like a rubber ball in a steel drum (which sounds pretty cool by the way) every time I put finger to fader.

If it sounds right to you, it IS right.

Feels pretty good to be the boss.

Feels pretty good to be the boss.

One might think that such a rule can not and should not apply in such an all encompassing manner.  Some might argue that there are other, more pressing things to consider concerning sound.  The undeniable fact is that the perception of anything artistic is completely subjective.  What sounds good to someone else, may not sound good to you, and vice versa.  Death metal will probably sound like high grit sandpaper to Christian musicians, and top 40 pop might sound like tinny wimpy fluff to Hip Hop musicians.

Death metal pioneer Cookie Monster agrees, it's all a matter of taste.

Death metal pioneer Cookie Monster agrees, it’s all a matter of taste.

With that in mind, you the sound shaper, must shape the sound in a manner pleasing to you, hence the golden rule of sound.  Sounds simple right?  Well, sort of.  There are tons of people who love to tell you the vocals are not intelligible, or just how bad your snare drum sounds, etc etc.

Some would say that the whole St. Anger album could be found at the bottom of that toilet.

Some would say that the whole St. Anger album could be found at the bottom of that toilet.

It takes a lot of courage to stay true to your vision and tune out all the naysayers, and also seek out advice if you find your mixes are not where YOU want them to be.  If you are having a hard time getting your main vocals to cut through the mix, you can rest assured that thousands of people have had the same struggles with similar (if not identical) equipment, and probably have a few tips and tricks to help you conquer your issues.  Who knows, you might pick up other cool techniques you didn’t even think to seek out, further expanding your creative reach.

With hard work and persistence, you too can be an insane musical genius.

With hard work and persistence, you too can be an insane musical genius.

Just like Rick Nelson said, you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.  As long as you are happy with it, its correct.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.

– Deinesaur

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