I've read your points.
I'm not satisfied yet.
Mixing is a reaction - fine, I agree 100%.
But - you could say the exact same thing to anyone trying to master mixing, be it an amateur at home or an apprentice at Oceanway Studios.
While there are many many different mixing tricks, and no one even knows half of them - I expect even the best engineers keep learning new things all the time - there are still some constants that repeat each time.
Had there not been every engineer would be as clueless as I am when confronted with a new song! Obviously that's NOT the case
Returning to the guitar analogy - assuming the player has talent, then he can learn, say, 2 Deep Purple solos, a solo by Slash, then a solo by Brian May and a couple of others. Then he'll read about the pentatonic scales, etc ... and say to himself: I've seen how bends are used, I've seen how to apply vibrato, hammer ons and pull offs - and I've seen it in the *RIGHT CONTEXT*, I've got some ideas from the solos I've played - let's try to create my own solos now!
Had he *not* played the pre-made solos he would have had a much more difficult time creating his own solos, even after reading 10 books about scales and guitar techniques. Why? Because although all solos are different, all solos have elements in common, some tricks are often repeated, some patterns emerge. We'd like to tell ourselves that every song is different, but there are also unchanging constants. .
You can say solo playing is a reaction, and it is! And in fact, you can't even learn it, it's a talent. But! You *can* learn other people's solos and *experiment* intensively and one hopes that after a while you'll get the hang of it.
The same method should work for mixing.
The current mixing books give us theory, which is good! But what about the practical, real world examples? Anyway, what sane individual tries to learn the theory before "getting his hands dirty"? There's a reason you take the theoretical exam AFTER learning how to drive a CAR, not BEFORE.
What I'm saying is - why doesn't any book try to give us the insight that can only be gained by watching a recording + mixing engineer work on a single song from start to finish?
)or maybe a couple of songs(
That's exactly what a studio-apprentice gets, and I don't.
I'll refer you again to the Rip Rowan point-to-point column (just type +"Rip (Rowan" +"Point to Point" in google and you'll get to it, I think.
There mr. Rowan has explained how he took a single average power-pop song Oasis style and recorded it from start to finish. And then mixed it.
I've learned more by reading that feature than by reading 6 mixing books. Simply by "watching" a professional at work.
True, it did not teach me "how to mix" - no one ever teaches you that!
You learn how to mix by watching specific examples.
You can even say you never really learn how to mix - no good mixing engineer is even truely satisfied with his results, he always strives for better (I guess that's what makes him good).
By the way, the Rip Rowan column is, as he has said himself in an editorial, the most popular column ever to have graced the pages of the magazine - he got more e-mail responses than for any other article he has ever written. So that goes to show you it isn't fluff - I'm talking about a serious gap in the literature here that no one is stepping to fill in!
Like I previously said, any pro here interested in "leharim et hakfafa" I'll gladly pick it up with him/her.