…And I ended my last EZ Tip thinking about this;

Have you ever worked with someone who does not keep their eyes on the prize?

Have you ever lost sight of the prize yourself?

What is the prize?

Who wins the prize?

Who loses?

The answers: Yes. Yes. Music. Everyone. Everyone.

I can’t tell you how many times I have either been working with someone and/or myself been that person-that does not keepthe eyes on the prize. The worst place for this to happen? During recording, of course.

Example: Say I just sang the best take of a recording I have ever done in my life! The best! Perfect feel, tone, pitch, inventiveness, all the correct lyrics, and all “felt from the heart.” The problems: it was slightly over-driven—or even worse: not the best-possible mic pre-amp was used. It should have been the API instead of the Neve mic pre! :-( The result? Scrap the take. Someone doesn’t hit “save.” Someone drives the Artist insane by making a wonderful musical moment-a miserable experience. They loose the spontaneity of the performance….in lieu of choosing instead….a better mic pre? Huh? It “went in the red once?” HUH?

Now it’s spanking time.

Guilty. A Recording Citation should be written up:

The responsible eyes were not trained on the prize--the performance.

Who’s fault? Mine, possibly….arg. Maybe you?

The prize-the performance, of course.

Everyone who listens wins the prize. Everyone who participates wins. Yay!

The world has now been cheated out of possible musical perfection, or at very least- a fun listen. No prize given…

Remedy? DON’T DO THAT! Always listen with your heart first. Always strive for the best possible sound, but don’t loose a good take for something you can repair or deal with later, technically. Don’t be a slouch engineer or producer, always experiment and pay attention —BUT—Think back on all the records you love dearly that have “imperfections” in them. Flaws…fuzz….they might just be considered later “found art.” Listen to the the vocal sound on “Baby You’re A Rich Man” in the4 choruses…..fuzzy. By design? Maybe…..or maybe not. Did George Martin scrap the take? Naw…thank goodness. Bad cables? Overdriven? Who cares……A win for George!

Cheers!

Jamie Hoover