All about producing and mastering audio for disc, the web and beyond

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Learning From The Artist

Learning From The Artist

When working on a science experiment, conducting a poll or doing anything creative there is always a danger in beginning the process with the conclusion already decided. Not only will initial prejudice skew the results but it will often get in the way of discovering something more meaningful than you could have imagined or anticipated.

Where art is concerned, we usually look for a strong sense of identity and conviction in the creators or participants, and there lies a paradox. My clients want me to have a strong idea of how I think their recording could sound (or in some cases should sound), yet there have been instances where my clients have a strong idea and I learn from them. Just last week a client instructed me to NOT add any high frequency equalisation. He didn't want his project to be articulated, or 'opened up'. The texture he was after was murky and purposely distant. This is certainly not a choice I would have made, however the result was rather stunning. It evoked a feeling of warmth and melancholy, and allowed for a sort of intrigue that wouldn't have been achieved without his instruction.

It behooves us to always keep our ears and minds open, and to listen for those little nuggets that might indicate meaning or serve as a catalyst for new ideas. It allows the producer or engineer to do something different and out of the ordinary... and when has creating really been a place for the ordinary?

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