When you’re mixing, sometimes you just can’t get out of the studio; every time you think you’re done, you always hear something else that needs to be fixed, so you keep listening and tweeking over and over again until you reach exhaustion.  Recently, I wrote a poem about it because I thought it would be funny:

The Ballad of the Mixdown

A hundred hours lie behind,

But now my work has just begun.

It’s 10 AM—I’ll get this done.
 

With headphones on while Logic runs,

Each beat I hear is out of sync.

An hour later—Fixed… I think…
 

Just change the panning and the ‘verb,

And then this song will be complete;

By 12 PM—No end I see.
 

Just track more bass, and then it’s done.

But now—My song!  It crashed.

It’s one, and oh, this day is long.
 

I hear a ringing at 2k,

There’s feedback… Oh! It’s out of phase.

At 2 PM, my eyes—They glaze.
 

I’m almost done so I keep on.

It’s just… That synth—It needs delays.

At three, it’s there.  I hope it stays…
 

Six hours pass, but I’m not done.

I crank the volume, listen close.

This mix is still not right, I know.
 

Distortion on the vocal tracks—

Roll off the lows and try a gate.

It’s 10 o’clock—I never ate…
 

That automation just won’t work;

An amplitude accumulates;

It’s 1 AM and getting late.
 

Perfection beckons me to come;

I’d follow ‘til the end of time,

But then I see—It’s never done.

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About Shelby Rawlings Blalock

I'm a 22-year-old composer, pianist, audio engineer, student, and GRAMMY Camp 2012 alum––a Charlottesville native making my way in Nashville! I write music for orchestra and small ensembles, but my debut solo piano album Airborne is available now on iTunes.

2 responses »

  1. Lily says:

    hahahahahahahahahahaha looove this poem

    Like

    • Shelby Lock says:

      Thanks! The scary thing is that it’s hardly exageration for a lot of mixes. But believe it or not, I’m starting to get better about this–I mixed a song this weekend in about four or five hours. You just have to accept that it really won’t ever be done…

      Like

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