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Explore The Extremes

Daily Blog - May 5th 2021

Exploring the extremes and going too far is necessary. Consistently testing the limits and trying to overcome them is what leads to progress.

The Best Microphone

And when we do creative work this is what leads to exciting art. Pushing boundaries, making bold decisions and being willing to fail is crucial.

Will people like our latest crazy idea? Who knows. And we shouldn't care. If we have a feeling that it might work and resonate with our audience and if we like it ourselves, we just have to try and find out.

Playing it safe will not get anyone excited. Or at least not for long. Taking advice is important, of course. But if we always play by the "rules", stick to best practices and fear the extremes, people will forget about our art quickly. There are no hard rules.

Creating something remarkable and hitting the sweet spot requires going too far. You can always dial it back a bit later, if necessary. But you will never know if you don't try.

  • "Will my client like this crazy distorted effect or is this way too much?"
  • "Should I really add that much low end to this kick drum?"
  • "The guitars are probably WAY too loud here, but it sounds so freaking amazing and I love the energy!"
  • "Boosting that much midrange on the bass is nuts, but the growl is exactly what this part needs!"
  • "It's weird because I've already boosted 15dB of top end with that first EQ, but I feel like it could use some more. Let's see how far I can take this!"

I have thoughts like these every single day when I'm mixing records. I'm constantly afraid of going too far and failing. But I ignore these thoughts, trust my gut feeling, do whatever I think is cool and move on. Always forward. After all, there's only one way to find out and only one way to make sure we end up with something that the artist and their audience are beyond stoked on. And if I do fail, so what? At least I've tried and now I know. I happily take the criticism, don't let my ego get in the way, adjust and move on again.

When was the last time you stopped before actually reaching the limit because you thought you're not supposed to do this? What will you try next time you write, record or mix? Can you ignore the doubts and just go for it?

-Benedikt

PS: You'll also find these daily blog posts in my Instagram Stories: @benedikthain

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