Music is such a heart thing. I may enjoy one song and think that it is the best song of the album, while another may find that song strange.
Best example, one of my favourite artist is Phillip Phillips and one of my favourite tracks of his is “Get Up Get Down.” It is such a zingy fun track. I was so certain that D would love it once he heard it. To my surprise, no sia! He found the track weird. I was so surprised.
Then, I was recommending John Mayer to my Sergeant today, I was so surprised that he did not know who he was. I recommended Continuum to him, “Waiting on the World to change” is one of the hits. He did not enjoy it as much as I did. Almost every musician I know loves John Mayer and would be surprised if you did not know who he was.
So my question is, is it a good song? Or is it just artistic preference?
The question goes further, when is an engineering feat wrong and when is it artistic preference?
Things like these goes into worship/song mixing too. When is a delay distracting? What if I as a sound engineer and music producer love that delay? Who should tell me that it is a mistake and it is wrong?
What is wrong? On what basis am I wrong?
Let’s say, if I cut a funny frequency like let’s say 600Hz. People will definitely question, why cut there? What are you doing? It doesn’t cut any boxy frequencies and it doesn’t cut any nasal frequencies either, so why are you doing the cut there? If I am cutting a funny frequency, it is most likely that there is a buildup in that frequency and I am clearing space. It may not seem to be doing much sound wise, but I did it because of the meters.
So while it may not be right suns theory wise, it is certainly right engineering wise, so who is to say who is right?
If a film photographer say that digital photography is not true photography, because you are not in the moment and you can edit what you have taken, that is cheating! In the film photographer’s heart, he is most definitely right, a photo should be taken and that should be the end goal. So in his heart editing is wrong. However, in the digital photographer’s heart, editing is just another step to make a better image. Editing is just as important as the shooting. Who is to say which photographer is wrong?
The line gets even more blurred when we analyse what we say is a good photo. One photographer may say that a good photo MUST be in focus, another will say a good photo doesn’t need to be totally in focus, it is what it portrays that matters. Who can say who is right?
Now let’s get into operation, as a photographer myself, I would never go into an ISO higher than 6400 on my A6000. That is a rule that I have set for myself. So if I see myself accidentally shooting higher, I would scold myself for a mistake. However, another photographer may just shoot auto ISO and it may go higher. It may be noisy but he might be able to accept it when I totally can’t. So who is to say who is right?
I have found myself more and more encouraged when I realised that I didn’t like my teacher’s mix. Not because it wasn’t balanced well enough, oh no, in fact, it is WAY better balanced than mine, but it was because that my heart preferred my own mix.
I preferred my mix because of my artistic preference. Beyond that, our source tracks were the same, but we have two different products. Who is to say which is right?
That is why I always say that as long as it works, it is fine. However, if there is a better way, why not right?
If mix 1 works, fine.
However if mix 2 is several times better, perhaps I should learn how to do mix 2.
Perhaps it isn’t about who is wrong, perhaps it is about who is better.
Perhaps there is no “wrong” but there is always “better.” Always go for “better.”
It is like choosing a snare for a song. A days that the track should sound like snare 1, but the drummer say it should sound like snare 2. Both aren’t wrong, just which snare is better for the song. Who is to say that I have to use Snare 1 for this song, because snare 2 is wrong?
Just because one person does something one way, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily wrong. Just perhaps there could be a better way.