That part of a mix where every fader is disaster

Clyde Carey
2 min readNov 19, 2020


Except when the recording consists of just an acoustic guitar and vocals (and so very often even then!) there comes a point in nearly every single mix where it sounds ok-ish….not AWESOME, but certainly passable, where any knob, switch, button or fader you even LOOK at breaks the mix into muddy, crappy, garbage. The best laid plans. New strings. Fresh drum heads. Prepared bands (yeah, right!). None of it matters here. Its a fight to the death between you and that mix and you only have so many passes before the tape itself starts shedding oxide.

With our new tools in the virtual world, you can always undo. But you don’t. Sure you save a lot and you can go back, but you did so many things you want to keep between then and now that “undo” may as well be “glue”. You are committed. This is your mess. This pile of moving parts, spinning randomly in all directions.

The parts you want, flying away, with an arc like a comet. Once in a while it comes close enough for you to see it, but its only a fleeting moment.

The parts you would rather damn to the infero, collide with every single thing that is righteous or even tolerable. As if gravity around anything keep able was enough to draw in every speck of dirt and glass and molasses the universe had to offer.

Through all of this chaos, you pick a hill to die on. No matter the mess, you will engineer your way out of it, at least to something coherent, but only just. Threads of the thinnest silk keep the whole thing from collapsing.

Today was that day for me. Somehow I felt upon waking that I really was beginning to have a handle on this whole Unity thing. I took on a challenge upon the challenge I was given, and bit off way more than I could chew. I spaghetti’d my way into a total mess in the hierarchy that I may never decode (and I still can’t understand how the hell the scene view works anyway!). I still felt and still do feel I can deliver a product, but the twists and turns are too much to keep in my mind. And yet they are stored in my repo.

Frustration! I don’t know if Unity is broken or I am. No script, manual, tutorial or video I could find explained to me just what is going wrong with the particle system. Could be a bug, but I burned a whole day on it.

The important part is, even while it made trouble, I could see at least four ways of coding around it. We’ll meet tomorrow and the duel is on.