I am the first to admit that I’m not about that freelance audio engineer life. I did it a bit in college and a few years after, and it boggles my mind how many people want to pursue music that lack the necessary, foundational talent. Maybe it’s what they see on television and in magazines, blissfully unaware that it actually takes some sort of talent to really succeed as a singer.
That’s what makes this video so hilarious.
Most musicians with studio experience know that the video is pretty inaccurate: mixing boards don’t work like that, and no pitch-correcting plugin on earth can fix vocals in real-time that seamlessly. Yet, it is a hilarious example of what producers and engineers have to deal with when hired to assemble music for someone with little to no talent.
It reminds me of a young lady who pursued a vocal performance degree at my alma mater. Beyond the fact that her vocal tone was lackluster and her “singing” was little more than talking in random rhythms, she couldn’t stay in tune to save her life. Since it would look bad on the school to issue a vocal performance degree to someone who can’t sing, she eventually graduated with a general music degree.
We used to hold anonymous music critiques to provide our fellow classmates with constructive criticism and she submitted her demos to one of the sessions. To this day, I’m thankful that she was absent on the day of her critique: half of the room laughed hysterically throughout the listening session, and the other half cringed while covering their ears.
Nevertheless, people fail to realize the importance of audio engineers. Equal parts physicist and artists, these genies take all the raw materials of a recording and gets everything sounding clean and balanced. The difference between a lackluster mix and a great one is like the difference between taking the bus and flying first class: once you get a taste, it’s hard to go back.
So cheers to all the audio engineers of the world. Our ears thank you.