I am in a business of tweakers. I, in fact am a tweaker. I admit it whole-heartedly. Most recording folk are. Usually tweaking has to happen, and often: Mix details, music details, equipment details, dealing with other people’s details. This comes with the territory. You learn by hand’s-on tweaking. You improve things hopefully by tweaking. Sometimes you can also ruin things by too much tweaking.
My main points today are this: Don’t miss the forrest for the trees AND don’t miss out on experiencing lovely trees because you’re lost in the forrest.
I have seen many recording folk over the years totally get lost themselves, misdirecting the beauty of a piece of music by missing a perfect take, obsessing about some technical problem. “The wrong mic, and it clipped a bit! ”Possibly a producer spends too much time (instead of the right amount) driving an artist to madness, instead of just making them comfortable, so they can be loose enough to make something that actually feels good. Too much tweaking….
The other side of this coin is something I’ll give you an example of: I just had to stop working with an engineer because he wasn’t willing to intelligently tweak. He hasn’t been willing to take the necessary time to remain educated about current methods of recording. He recorded good sounding tracks, but wasn’t willing to learn a number of basic “101” recording ideas on how to share them. He didn’t know how to use the internet (he had his wife’s email..not his own???) He didn’t understand how to share files (Dropbox and many others.) He actually didn’t know how to burn a “data disc.” Come on, man! Not enough tweaking…
As usual, as in life-I’d say this: Don’t be tedious and get left behind. Do always try to learn new things and stay in the game! Recording is better if it is fun and smartly done. Over-tweaking and under-tweaking can both be…..(wait for it)….a Tweakness.