Nobody is a genius every day, nobody is lousy every day – O.K, some are indeed lousy every day, but they’re destined for failure in anything they do. The idea is really to be a little better than average everyday, and genius when you can, and try to avoid being totally lousy always.
In real life, I’m a mechanic by hobby while many of the people that might read this are “recording engineers” by hobby. When I go to a custom motorcycle shop and see the tools they have at their disposal, I drool.
We have a moderately well set up shop that we play in on weekends. I’m like the little intern. We have some pretty cool stuff. A lot of the tools run on compressed air, we have lifts and bead blasters and some specialty tools.
We can build a scoot pretty much from the ground up, but we don’t have the CNC stuff that a lot of the “real” shops have – and we never will, because it’s a hobby and not a profession.
By the same token, I like some of the stuff we build in our shop way more than some of the custom bikes that sell for $50,000.
If you’re drawing the parallel, it’s all about making the best product you can with the tools at your disposal whether you’re building motorcycles or recording music.
After building a few motors, I’ve learned some tricks to make it easier to build motors and I’ve learned some tricks that make the motors come out better.
After approximately 35 years of being an audio engineer I have a pretty good grasp of theory and a repertoire of techniques from which I can draw that will pretty much insure a good translation of the artist’s intention.
At the end of the day it ain’t how you got to the finishing line, it’s that you got there at all. I don’t think there are a dozen things I’ve done in my career as an engineer that I’ve sat back and listened to and said, “Holy crap! That’s good.” I’m the same way with a bike. I’ve never owned one that’s been “finished.”
There is always something I’d like to change. There is always something where I feel I could have done better. There is always something I wish I’d done differently.
I just take that to the next gig, and the gig after that, and so on.
Recording is a medium because it’s oh so rare that it’s ever well done.
Fletcher moderates a popular REP forum here on ProSoundWeb.