I came across this really thoughtful post from record producer Michael Beinhorn in a thread about making “Superunknown” by the band Soundgarden that I think bears re-posting here:
“I have to respond to what you said about record making being amazing. It pains me to know that anyone can have a mediocre experience making a recording and I need to say something about it.
I realize that the recordings you’re asking me about were done 15-20 years ago when artists still had enormous recording budgets, so the scale isn’t really relative anymore. Additionally, there is little- no money in recording these days. In spite of this, there has to be some way that you can find enjoyment and fulfillment in this work- because it’s not just a utility. It’s meant to give something back- not just to the audience but to every person who’s doing it. If you find that feeling in your work, it’s worth more than gold.
The only way this can happen is if you’re able to take some time to get the best out of what you’re doing and to constantly learn as much as you can about how you like to work. By saying that, I don’t only mean learning the technical aspect, but from understanding what it is you’re after and why. If you’re open to examining this, you will never stop learning about or enjoying the process. It has the potential to be the most inspiring and wonderful thing you can ever experience- even in times like these. When I was getting my start, that feeling was virtually all I had to keep me going, but it was more than enough.
I felt compelled to say this, but it’s so important to find greatness in everything you do. This is how you will distinguish yourself from everyone else who does the same kind of work as you.”