Mythology – technology can fix a mediocre performance

We often say – “rubbish in, rubbish out” in music production I would say “rubbish in, not so bad rubbish out – but it’s still rubbish”. To my clients and those I mentor, I emphasis the importance of the pre-production process – really understanding the goal, practice and preparation before you even enter the studio to record.

This great little article by Jeremy Hager supports this and I thought my readers might enjoy his take on this discussion area. Hope you find it of interest.


“October 16, 2014
I believe it was Tom Lord-Alge ( U2, Simple Minds, The Rolling Stones, P!nk, Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Matthews Band, Blink 182, Avril Lavigne) who said, “Don’t capture a mediocre performance and expect technology to fix it.”

There are certain truths that technology can fix certain aspects of a performance, timing, and pitch, but only so far. A mediocre performance is still just mediocre, and technology can only fix it to a certain point. It’s also true in mixing.

I think it’s funny when people say “just fix it in the mix” because what we really need to be saying is “get it right at the source”.

Getting it right at the source can mean a lot of things. Everything from picking the right instrument, to the gear chain used to capture the performance, to how the part is played can have a huge impact on the overall song.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for using these tools to help craft our mixes. However, what’s more important is if we get it right at the source, this will make our tracks sound amazing because we’ve played the part correctly, the tuning is correct, the timing is correct, and we’ve captured the performance sonically with the right mic and placement. Only then can the “studio magic” that is technology make a good performance great, or a great performance stunning. Don’t expect for technology to fix it, instead be the best musician and engineer you can be. Excel at your craft and never stop learning and don’t ever settle.”

When helping produce a client’s music project (single, EP or full album) we spend considerable time on this element of the project. How much time? Like anything else – as long as it takes within what can be allowed! Because capturing the right sound for the end product does really impact on the final result.

Contact us if we can help on your nect project.

Cheers till next time.