If your mix sounds like shit…

… The problem might just be the hour of the day that you’re listening. The human brain is quite phenomenal. You will actually hear music differently depending on when you listen to it.

I make all my best mixing and production decisions in the morning when drinking coffee. Early mornings are great, even four or five in the morning can be really productive hours. If I can’t sleep I get up then and start working.

I can sit for quite some time but around two ‘o clock it falls apart. I hate the mix, I hate the world and I hate myself. I start looking for a butter knife to cut my wrists with. Lately I’ve learned that it’s best to take a 30 minute nap at this point. I won’t get anything halfway decent done anyway, and I’m more energized when I wake up.

Somewhere around four or five I’m on a roll again… At least some days. Certain days I can even sit working well into the evening. I don’t believe in late night work unless you’re really cooking – it’s better to sleep and get up early.

It never fails, at least once a day I question my musical work and feel like quitting, typically around two, as I mentioned before. Usually I love it again the morning after. If you never love your own (musical) work then quit doing it. Know your hours, know yourself. Now go make some kickass music!


  1. says

    One time I needed to mix a song for a client the next day and I couldn’t sleep. I finally fell asleep around 5:30am only to wake at 6:30am. Then the power went out at the studio until 8:30am. I was debating whether to just get the mix done on no sleep or take a nap and try and do it a couple hours before the deadline later in the day.

    I ended up mixing it with no sleep, but the song was a very chill and mellow song. Everything felt very synchronous while I was mixing – my state of mind/body/energy was very dreamy and seemed to match the song a lot.

    I sent the mix out to the client and out of the 3 songs I mixed from those sessions he liked that one the most and had the least amount of changes!

  2. Sturphy says

    I ALWAYS feel better and more creative working at night. Not sure I can explain it other than having the whole day behind me makes my focus and drive better. The phone doesn’t ring, the world is quieter, fewer distractions. It’s when most good live music happens too, and somehow they tie together for me. There is also the potential for beer.

    Now… if I could only make my wife understand…

  3. MoonshineDelight says

    I’m a night owl so after midnight is when I’m most productive and inspired. Distractions disappear, and my mind relaxes without the worries of daytime tasks. Sometimes I find my energy levels peaking after midnight, which always makes for an interesting early morning.. ugh.

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