While teaching as a guest speaker at Dalhousie University and at the community college in Halifax, I had so many students ask, “What setting do you use on that?” I would have to tell them every time, “I don’t have a setting. The setting is whatever my ears tell me it should be.”
To think that every single base-track has to be used through a particular type of compressor EQ and have this on it or that on it is a total misnomer. It’s on a case-by-case contingency. Anyone who’s thinking about becoming an engineer should either find someone who’s willing to tutor you, or, find a reputable place where you can learn a little bit about it. I originally learned the trade of sound engineering from a school that relied very heavily on technical knowledge. If you want to become a really good engineer, you have to know all of that stuff. Above and beyond that, it’s a lot of experience, a lot of trial and error. The most important tools you have are your ears. Using them is the main thing – and have a good head on your shoulders that houses those ears.
Laurence Currie is a professional sound engineer, and Co-Host of MasterTracks, currently airing on AUX.tv.