Is it soup yet?/How do you know when your mix is finished

Aloha guys,

In another thread twilightsong posted:

NO mix is ever really “final” – right?)

Which to me brings up the excellent question of:

How do you know when your mix is finished?
If ever.

Of course when dealing with clients the answer is easy.
It’s when the client is pleased with the product.

But I’m asking about your personal work(s)
When do you say?: OK that’s it. No more work on that one!
Or do you ever?


When your wife says “That sounds good!”

Now we’re doomed… don’t tell mine that! :open_mouth:

I tossed 5 of my tunes together in a Wavelab 8e montage on the weekend just to check it out, I have a reasonable playback system in the room next to our kitchen at home, and made the wife listen (as I so often try to)… and then I remembered what Doug (Twightlight Song) once raised in a topic… why do our families seemingly ingore what we do creatively?

When is it done? I think I reach a compromise with myself between perfecting and being done with it… I’ve been writing for 40 years, and nothing in my mind is ever really finished… hpoefully I’ve just reached that point where I either feel good and move on, or its in the "come back to it later pile… its a disproportionate ratio. :confused:

Then of course, one must be afraid, very afraid…

:wink: :laughing:

It’s finished when I can no longer find the motivation to go back to it again. Whether it’s good at that point is a different question :wink:

Or accepted.

Remember James Brown when they’d lead him off stage and he’d come running back for another refrain and it’d happen again and again? It’s kind’a like that.

That’s a question for which there is no definitive answer. It’s like a bunch of muso’s embarking on an impromptu 12-bar blues jam … how/when do you end it?

May as well ask “Who is John Galt?” :wink:

You end it when it starts sounding like jazz. Quickly. :laughing:


Does this mean we’re NOT playing Jazz Odyssey tonight?

For me, I may think a mix is done because I’ve reached the maximum quality given my skills at the time. But years later I’ve been known to revisit the mix or retrack it entirely because my tracking / mixing techniques have progressed significantly since the original song was done.

Ahhh! We now get to the point the point.

I posted about this back in November:
Is yer music sounding/workflo better than 2 years ago?

So just because your DAW has new features, do you go back and mix months, even
years old projects?

They did it with the Beatles! :wink:

Actually, it’s more because I suck less after a few years so even with the same DAW I could potential revisit an old tune.

LOL. For a second I thought you wrote you suck more after a year or 2. :laughing: If that is the case, you can use the new shiny tools to make ya sound awesomer! :smiley:


I still haven’t forgotten your offer to give me the Mandolin if I’ll come get it. I hope you still have it, but if not I understand. The only reason why I haven’t offered to just pay for shipping is because I’m using it as an excuse to have a beer with you the next time I’m in the area with some time to spare after my meeting(s) are done.

Back to your post, sometimes shiny new toys are worth revisiting. A perfect example is the LittleMicroShift VST from SoundToys. It has done an excellent job of fattening up vocal lines, guitars, and saxophones without the overhead of having to create two additional tracks per “track to fatten,” pitch shifting both, and offsetting both to avoid comb filter effects. Not only that, but their VST simply sounds a lot better than my technique (which isn’t bad either to be honest).

The point is that when I get enough tracks to “release” an album I will do what Lenny did with The Silver Thread (except that I doubt my results will sound half as good as his): lock myself in a room and really spend some quality time on mixing and mastering. And without the distraction of new songs, etc. I should get a nice, consistent mix from the effort.

So, you’re saying it WASN’T done :laughing:




It was done at the time. :stuck_out_tongue:


No biggie. I still have it in a closet sitting in its coffin .