The Perfect Mix, Is it a Reality?

Is there such a thing as a perfect mix? It seems like a pretty basic question. There are obviously terrible mixes, but perfect is not so simple.

Music at its purest form is art, and art by it's very nature is subjective. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. So if you want to quantify anything that's subjective, you'd have to rely on a utilitarian approach, or basically what is perfect for the most people.

There is an inherent bias to that logic though. The reason being is that a "perfect mix" can change over time due to trends, cultural tastes, and the direction of the music industry. Think about how the loudness war has affected the sound of recorded music. So I don't think figuring out a perfect mix from that approach makes much sense. Anything that is open to bias is not a good foundation to build upon.

Basically, the idea of a perfect mix starts in the music production process. The reason being is where music itself is art, music production has more science behind it. Where there is science, there are numbers, and where there are numbers there are facts. Take this for an example.

A guitarist records a guitar solo that sounds great in a live situation, it is the art. The recording on the other hand will sound different. You have the starting point of the recorded guitar solo, but if you gave that solo to two producers, the finished sound will be different. So the question is, which one sounds better and why?

It's what makes the idea of a perfect mix such a riddle because every producer hears music differently. There are commonalities in the production process. I am sure both producers would eq the sound, maybe use some compression, reverb, or whatever. There are parts of the process that are the same but ultimately there is a difference. One will be better then the other.

Maybe the best way to think about a perfect mix is to compare the mix on a spectrum. I think everyone can agree to that. There are terrible mixes, mediocre mixes, good mixes, excellent mixes, but the elusive perfect. Is it possible? Maybe perfect is more of an ideal then an actual tangible objective. Something like the speed of light or absolute zero. An idea where you can get close but can not actually reach.

Perhaps that's the nature of producing. It's an ideal to strive for but ultimately who knows. Maybe only time and the music's effect on other people is the only way to really judge perfection.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share, like or comment your thoughts below.

No comments:

Post a Comment