Dogmatism probably doesn't help
When I was a younger producer, I would often go into a song with a predetermined idea of exactly what the production was going to sound like. I would write it out on paper ahead of time, even. Like a mastermind!
And when my production ideas bumped up against reality in the recorded medium, was it always a perfect 10 out of 10? Of course not. There are a couple of geniuses who can map it all out ahead of time in their heads — I’m not one of them.
What I’ve learned works much better for me is to be flexible, and to allow myself to react in an evolving way to what I’m hearing as the production develops.
It’s fine to go in with a plan, and I often still do. And sometimes it works great! 10 out of 10.
But, more often, my original ideas land me at like 7 out of 10. Old me would have stopped there and futzed with the mix for, I don’t know, months. But current me stays flexible and keeps trying things. Including and up to complete redos!
Until I get to 10. Which I can always do — as long as I don’t give up prematurely, or settle for anything but a 10, or con myself into thinking something less than a 10 is a 10.
It’s about dedication. And it’s about being clear-eyed and self-critical. And it’s about not having sacred cows. Including cows of my own invention.
The song is the important thing — not me and my ideas.
Losing my religion — jamie