015 MixCoach Minute – You learn to mix from your clients, producers, and friends

This is something I learned from watching my little girl at a playground one day last week. It’s amazing to me at how fast kids learn to do stuff. I think this tip today is another reason… They watch each other.

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Check out the next MixCoach Minute to find out what else Kevin learned at the playground!

Raw Transcript:

Hey guys, it is Kevin with MixCoach. It is time for another episode of the
MixCoach Minute. Yesterday I started a series that talked about the things
that I have learned from a playground, which seems to be a lot of things.
Kids learn a lot from a playground and I guess I am just a big kid.

Yesterday we talked about that learning to mix or learning anything really
has to be fun in order to process it and turn it into something that you
enjoy and appreciate and get a lot of mileage out of. It kind of almost has
to be fun. You have to make it fun somehow. Today I want to talk about the
thing that I noticed about my little girl.

I took her and put her on the swing and I was trying to show her how to
swing, you know, how to get herself swinging because she wants me to push
her all the time right now and I wanted to tell her, “Here is what you do.”
So here is a coach telling a little kid what to do and I noticed that what
she was doing more often than not was that she was looking to the side at
the kid beside her who was swinging.

So she didn’t even realize there was really another way to do it and the
things that I was saying were not necessarily resonating with her but she
was looking off to the side watching this other kid doing exactly the same
thing. Well, guess what she started doing? She learned to swing from a
friend, someone she didn’t even know from the playground by watching.

My point is that kids learn from other kids and I think as adults we think
that we are too grown up for that sort of thing. But I absolutely think
that you have to invite and attract and even go get people and put them
into your life that you can learn from. Mixing and being a great mixer,
being a great musician is all the same. There’s nothing really different
than that. You have to surround yourself with people who are better than

As a matter of fact, let me try this quote. It is a quote that I have been
tossing around in my head, “In order to get better at mixing, you have to,
A. find clients that demand more and B. find producers who require more and
third one is the point I’m trying to make here, you have surround yourself
with peers who know more.

The same thing happens on the playground with kids, they surround
themselves with unknowing kids. I will bet if you put a kid out on a
playground by themselves they wouldn’t be nearly as advanced as they would
if you put them on a playground full of kids. So they actually learn more
from the experience of being on the playground with another kid than they
do with their parent teaching them how to swing.

Another thing that I noticed about the kids on the playground is that they
don’t complain about what is not there. They play with the toys that are
there. Now, my little girl, she makes a choice whether to swing or whether
to slide because sometimes there are parks around here where she can either
swing or she can slide, and there’s one park where she can do both.

But I have noticed that if you put a ball out in the middle of a field and
put kids out there, they’re going to find a way to have fun with that ball,
kick the ball around, and come up with a game or whatever. I have even seen
videos of kids in other countries who have a stick and a loop or a wheel
and they just play with the stick and the loop. I don’t know what that is
called, maybe you do, and if you do let me know on Facebook or under this
video what that’s called.

They don’t complain about what is not there. So in other words, how that
applies to mixing in my mind is that your mixing skills will not go up or
down depending on which plug-ins you have. You will either learn to
dominate and learn to make a game, or make the plug-ins that you have sound
good and any [inaudible 00:03:50] right out of the box comes with plenty of
plug-ins that will help your mix sound good; enough to make you better. You
do not need plug-ins.

As a matter of fact, I feel like I am chasing a rabbit trail here but one
of the things that I have noticed about my mixers on MixCoach Member is
when they first come in, especially the new mixers, now the more
experienced mixers aren’t this way and the guys who have been with me for
over a year are not this way anymore either; you tend to want to use all of
your plug-ins if you’ve got them. I am applying this to kids again; the
more toys you have the more confused you get about which toy to play with.
So limit your plug-ins, limit your time you spend on them and stuff like
that and have fun with it. That’s how you will become a better mixer.

The takeaway is this; whatever you do, surround yourself with mixers. If
you’re in a local community and you know where you can go and hang out with
some guys who can mix well, go hang out with them. If you don’t live in a
community like that, I am not saying that you have to come to my side, I
would love it if you did come to MixCoach Member but there are other mixing
communities around. Graham Cochran and Joe Giller have one. There are
several more but I wanted to give them a shout out because I like those
guys. I would love for you to come see us at MixCoach Member because we
have several hundred mixers now and they are all getting better every time.

That was the garage door so I guess it is time for me to end the video.
‘Like’ this video if you want to hear more about this sort of thing and
‘like’ the other videos that you want me to expand on. Until tomorrow this
is a MixCoach Minute, Bye.

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