THE REVIEWS ARE IN
When I think back to my best mixes—regardless of their commercial success—in each and every case, I can only describe the experience as one in which I was working from deep within, outside of any external forces. I wasn’t thinking; I was doing. I wasn’t scared of what anyone would think. I wasn’t scared of failure. All my decisions were made with confidence, and once a judgment was made, I didn’t second-guess myself. I allowed the music to guide me, and I based all of my mix decisions on nothing more than one simple criterion: Are the song and production doing what they’re supposed to be doing?
That sounds nice, huh? I mean, that’s the headspace you want to be in when you’re mixing! The problem is, you can’t get there if you’re focused on all the wrong things. I mean, we’re all susceptible to distraction and self-doubt. But great mixing involves trusting yourself, first and foremost. And if you’re mixing for someone else? Well then, your Artist needs to trust you too.
Great mixing isn’t about manipulating sound. It’s about the decisions you make in regards to the music, the balances, and how you use those balances to push the listener forward through the song. This is accomplished thought concrete strategies and techniques. You can spend the next decade mixing two songs a day to get there. Or you can get Zen & the Art of MIXING 2021, and I’ll explain the thinking behind great mixing. Then watch your confidence soar.
It’s been over ten years since I first wrote Zen & the Art of Mixing, and oh boy did a lot change in that time. Not in terms of the Art of mixing, mind you. That won’t change until music and stereo does. But the technology? I was mixing on large frame consoles in commercial facilities when I wrote this book. Now I mix entirely in a computer at my house.
In this 2021 version: The Gear chapter is entirely new. The Mastering chapter has significant updates. The rest of the book has been trimmed, revised, recast, amended, and fluffed to match the realities of mixing today.
For those of you who enjoyed the original versions, this is the book you love with the relevance you require. For everyone else, I present to you my most popular work, to date—Zen and the Art of MIXING 2021.