“It took me so many years to get away from the high fidelity, crystal clean mixing mentality.” — Jesse Ray Ernster
The “less is more” approach has never been more appropriate than in our latest episode of #TilYouMakeIt with award-winning mixing engineer Jesse Ray Ernster (known for his work with Doja Cat, UMI, and Burna Boy).
To become a great mixing engineer, you want to reach the point of unconscious competence – where you’re no longer weighed down by precision but can instead take a light touch, concentrating on the creative vision you hear for the track.
Jesse’s mindset now is to “refine and optimize what they [the producer/artist] have built”, fulfilling their desire for the track.
This means opening up the client’s DAW session, keeping everything intact and working to understand what they want for the track.
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“I think that most producers, they don’t really want you to fuck up their song. They built the song a certain way for a reason. I just, I’m refining and optimising what they have built. Imposing less of my ego and my taste has been fulfilling more of the desires that they have been wanting.
It took me so many years to get away from the high fidelity crystal clean mixing you know, mentality. Because so many engineers have that it’s just like, Oh, I know I need to eat you it perfectly. There can’t be rubbing. There can’t be frequencies colliding with each other and oh my gosh, that would be a travesty.
No, the imperfections are, this is why they built it. So you know, I’ll get in there and optimise. But I have been just opening their Ableton session or the logic session FL and really just doing it that way, keeping everything intact, all of their plugins, definitely doing way less than before.
I think I’m getting booked a lot more now by respecting what they did.“