016 MixCoach Minute – The Myth of Multitasking

This is something I learned while trying to do videos about mixing while playing with my little girl on the playground. I CAN’T DO BOTH. It’s frustrating. I’ve found that multitasking while you are mixing is a slow process.

There’s a little test in this video. Let me know your results.
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Check out the next MixCoach Minute for more mixing tips!

Raw Transcript:

Hey guys, it’s Kevin again with MixCoach and I’m in a different location
today. I had someone to, I think Scott McCollum said, “I enjoy seeing all
the different locations you’re shooting these things at.” I had one of my
friends say, “Why are you shooting them anywhere other than a studio?” And
I’m like, “When you’re in a studio all day long, you want to get out every
now and then.”

So, anyway, this is Kevin. This is MixCoach Minute, and this is another
episode. This is the third and final episode, at least I think, about
things I learned on a playground. Now, this is the prequel to the other two
videos. When I was on the playground the other day, watching my little
girl, I took my iPhone, which I’m shooting all these on, and I took my
little boom pole that I’m holding my iPhone on to do these episodes, and I
was going to let her play and I was going to shoot a couple episodes, no
big deal, easy peasy.

Wrong. It was very difficult and I never did get it done. As a matter of
fact, I’m doing this almost a week later after I was in the park with her
playing, which made me think I learned something about myself, and it is
this, I work at home. This is my home. I’m shooting a lot from my home. My
studio is in the basement of my home and at the end of yesterday’s video
you heard a garage door open. That was the garage door going into my
studio. I had the door open and I had my camera stuck to the wall. I know,
I’m so high tech.

Anyway, it’s a good point, because my little girl and my daughter were
coming home and I had to leave to finish these videos, because I know I
want to have the clearness of mind to be able to express some stuff that
I’m thinking. The only time I get stressed is when I try to do two things
at once, like when I’m trying to play with my little girl and I’m trying to
get the finishing touches done on a mix. It’s very hard to do, and that’s
the only time that I get really stressed is when I’m trying to do two
things at once.

That’s what this post is about. It’s called “The Myth of Multitasking.”
Multitasking does not work. At least it’s never worked for me and I don’t
know anybody would be honest to say that it really works for them. Some
people can. I want to show you a test that I did the other day, and I want
you to try this when you get a second. Rewind this video and do this, I
want you to write, remember this sentence, “Mixing and multitasking.” It’s
two words. Mixing and multitasking. And then that has 21 characters in it.
So, what I want you to do, is I want you to take a pen and a stopwatch and
I want you to time yourself writing mixing and multitasking. You can pause
the video here.

And we’re back. Now what I want you to do is set the stopwatch, and I want
you to write 1 through 21 and see how long that takes you to do it. Okay.
It took me 11 seconds to write mixing and multitasking. 11 seconds, and it
took me 12 seconds to write the numbers 1 through 21. So, if multitasking
works, that means that you can write mixing and multitasking and it should
take 23 seconds. Well, I wrote mixing and multitasking and I alternated
between M, 1, I, 2, X, 3 and so on, so that I had the whole sentence
mixing and multitasking and the numbers 1 through 21, and I wrote them, not
consecutively, but, you know, a letter and then a number.

So, if multitasking works, that would have only taken me 23 seconds, right?
It didn’t. I timed myself and it took 42 seconds. That’s over double what
it normally took. And then I did another test, and I wrote mixing and
multitasking and right behind that, the numbers 1 through 21, and it took
me 22 seconds, so it actually took me less time to do things in a batch,
like that. One sentence and then, you know, one string of numbers.

I know you’re wondering probably, “What the heck does that have to do with
mixing?” My point is this, mixing can stress you out if you are not having
fun with it, you’re not learning as you go, and if you’re trying to do too
many things at once. If you’re trying to mix something and check your
Facebook. If you’re trying to tune vocals and mix at the same time maybe.
Maybe it’s, you know, I don’t know, doing drums and checking your email or
something like that, I don’t know. But I have found that I am more
productive when I try to focus on one thing. Which is why a few months ago
I made a post on setting a timer, because setting a timer makes you
concentrate on writing that one sentence, on doing that one specific task.

So, that’s the thing I learned about myself on the mixing from the
playground, the lessons I learned about mixing on a playground, is that I
have to concentrate on one thing at a time. If I try to do two things at
once it stresses me out and I don’t do either one of those tasks as well as
I could is if I concentrated on one. So, this has been the MixCoach Minute.
Come by and visit mixcoachmember.com. We have a great community of mixers.
We mix a new songs every month. There’s tutorials, and best of all, there’s
a bunch of great mixers there. I’m not even talking about myself. I’m
talking about people that I learned from on my website, MixCoach Member. Come by and check us out and I will see you tomorrow. Bye. MixCoach

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