As technology has changed from the use of tape and analogue recording methods through to recording in Pro Tools or other DAWs, the term “let’s just fix it in the mix” has become much more prevalent. Why spend money on a location engineer or spend the time getting your location shoot set-up right, when we can just fix it in post-production? Or why worry about loud background noises when you can fix it with restoration software?
All this might sound like a good idea, you’ll save on time and money, however your end product is going to suffer as a result. There is only so much you can achieve with post production software and while it has come along way in the last few years it is still not perfect.
By using the term “fix it in the mix” we are also assuming that the main purpose of tracking the audio is to just get a clean signal and get the audio recorded as best as you can. But there is one vital mistake that is made with this mindset. That is taking into account the performance of what is being recorded.
Although we may be able to remove some noise and remove some reverb (room echo), we can’t modify the final recording to get a better performance. Essentially we can’t “fix it in the mix”. The recording may sound fantastic but there is no emotional connection in the delivery, it doesn’t engage the listener, and this is the most important part of what you are trying to achieve.
So next time you think “lets just fix it in the mix”, make sure you take into account everything from the quality of the audio to the quality of the performance.