When I'm tracking something that I'm pretty sure I am going to be mixing I tend to not make rash decisions, I mean, during tracking I'll leave a fair amount of options on the table to choose from when it comes to mix. For instance, I'll trk gtr with 3-4 vastly different sounding mics and make the decision about which to use once I'm in a position to hear the song in its entirety. Maybe a part needs to be more aggressive, I'd rather use the 57 than EQ the ribbon. And in many cases you don't know these types of things when you're immersed in tracking, you do what sounds good.
At the same time, I'm not saying that commitment isn't important because it is. It makes jobs move faster. If I know for sure that I will not be mixing the project, maybe I'll pair down before sending to mix, maybe I won't. But I know I'd rather receive a mix job with options as opposed to one without.
Another engineer friend of mine and I were taking about this, he said, "Shouldn't the thought be to have choices rather than to make compromises?" "Agreed...I think." I said. His girlfriend overheard the conversation and added, "It's 2015, Bruce Jenner is a woman and we can also accept the use of more than 8 trks."
"...and though I may never have to, it's good to have options." ~ Bazan
I’ve recently been thinking about how we capture things. I’m not quite talking about things like mediums like tape vs. PT, mic placement, or anything like that. More why/how.
Back when there were no recordings you had to go see someone perform a tune you love or you struggled along at home without an education on your piano, trying to remember how THEY play it. And if you were not of money then there was very little music in your life. Sure there was the radio but that didn’t really come into view until later and they were expensive too.
Then recordings. And this is where I started thinking: is what I do, in a way, bad for music? Is it similar to how certain Native American tribes believe that a photograph will steal your soul? I bust in, use some devil magic to recreate something that only happens once to be played back at another moment in time. Is that right?
I remember hiking to this spot, real beautiful and shit. It took hours. I was about to take a picture when the other person I was with asked me why I was going to do that, after I spent hours, sweating, hiking there. It’s beautiful because it’s here now, maybe the photograph degrades the moment. Maybe the recording degrades the music?
Do I care?