Your first mix is often your best

Some great advice here. Watch the short video with Bruce Swedien, the engineer that mixed Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” — after 91 mixes, the version that went on the album was mix number 2.

  • So the second—not the first—mix is the best?

    • JohnDoey

      Yeah, but the real problem with the Les Miz movie is no singers were involved.

  • JohnDoey

    This is so true.

    The flaws in your first mix will often be charming and add uniqueness to your song, while the flaws in later mixes are often preconceived and second-guessy and add genericness to your song. Plus you wear out your ears the longer you go. You lose impartiality.

  • scottsiegling

    I agree, I think a … flawed sense of perfectionism makes people run things into the ground sometimes. There was a great interview in Musician magazine with Glyn Johns years ago where he mentioned the Stones weren’t happy on Exile until they’d killed the song with 50 or 60 takes, whereas the early takes had a lot more life to his ears. I don’t think that stuff showed up on the reissue a few years back.