Isolation has been an unwavering torment of dreary reruns on TV, old forgotten films, and rationing toilet paper. However, I’ve also managed to find some downtime to widen my gaze at my own existence, and my day to day by reading books and drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee!
One book I’ve been reading has really had me thinking, and somewhat inspired this post. 12 Rules For Life is written by Jorden B. Peterson and is a thoroughly solid read from cover to cover, explaining 12 rules to guide yourself by for an easy ride on this world. The one that stood out to me more than most, however, was simply - You can’t control everything. And It’s true. With the formality of COVID-19, it’s obvious that there’s very little we can all do until experts tell us otherwise; but we can try to keep a level mind and find an ‘antidote to chaos’ as Mr. Peterson put it. So, without me rambling too much, let's dive in.
Choices, Choices Choices.
The only thing we have control over is our choices. In the context of mixing or recording, this can be as simple as a compressor on a channel, or choice of a microphone for a selected source. By the means of this post is to reiterate the use of preparation in this case and pragmatism in other cases. By this, I mean choosing a microphone because you are aware of the sound it reproduces, or a compressor because it has a certain sound or color that you feel would develop in the mix in the way you would like.
I found early on that I was choosing things for the sake of choosing them - and this wasted countless hours of my time (while learning of course) making mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided had I thought about my choices a little more, and maybe researched prior examples of work I knew to have also had ‘x’ microphone used on them, or ‘x’ guitar head and cabinet and spent time learning how to replicate that sound in my own way.
The point here is simply being aware of your actions in the mix and while recording - and always have a game plan for your outcome - otherwise you’re just doing things for the same of doing them and wasting time!
Positive Actions, Prove Positive Outcomes.
I must admit, it’s been hard watching my family and friends fall ill to this unforgiving virus.I’ve found myself succumbing to clutches of Xbox and watching the entire Star Wars saga front to back in self-pity, before eventually remembering that I had no control of this situation and remembering Jordan Peterson's rule. And upon remembering it, I decided to start utilizing the hour I was allowed out of my house to go for a walk, or a bike ride and start getting my endorphins working in my body.
It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of becoming lazy or wallowing in feeling bad for ourselves because the pub isn't open, or we can’t see our friends. But, we all have a choice here - we can live like that, and come out of the lockdown still feeling pretty bad because we will have created a cycle and bad habit of laziness - OR, we can still get up in the morning. We can still go for that walk. We can still try and learn and develop our recording and mixing skills. We can still eat healthy. We can still call our friends and family and check upon them. It’s your choice to sit and do nothing, or get up and do something.
Don’t let this lockdown get you down. Stay positive. Stay active. Keep developing your skills.
Push Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
I’ve found one thing that’s helped me massively, it to learn a sub-skill set or that which I already have. For example, I’ve never really made hip hop beats, but recently I’ve been working with a good friend of mine, an artist called Leyes (have a listen below if you wanna check him out, he’s brilliant) and we’ve been working on a lot of more commercial music.
Now, my forte has always been recording instruments more than creating electronic music, however - I’ve found a niche where I’ve made my own sound within this genre that crosses over into both worlds of electronic and recorded music. And it’s really given me a focus to hone my skills and develop in this new way that I’m obviously uncomfortable doing as it’s new! But in only a few weeks, I’ve managed to make well over 15 beats, I’ve sold a couple to new artists, and I’ve made some great, catchy, and compelling music with a good friend over facetime, sharing recorded files via a dropbox folder and working remotely to make music to share with the world and add to my portfolio to widen my client base.
Learn how to write a new style of music, or better yet, relating back to the previous post go and find some educational material and learn a new skill set so once you come out of this lockdown, ‘you have a new feather in your cap’ as the saying goes, and you can offer something new to your client base.
Lastly, we’re all in this together. We as a company desperately care about our community and our clients we’ve served for years. If you’d like us to write about a topic or subject you feel the community would benefit from especially at this time, please reach out and we’ll do our best!