Quick Thought: Order of Importance


Let’s clear up some confusion. Great Things in music, in order of importance:

  • 1. Great Song (lyric & melody, structure)
  • 2. Great Performance (feel, heart, soul, arrangement, etc.)
  • 3. Great Production (sounds, textures, style, instrumentation)
  • 4. Great Mix (presentation)
  • A few thoughts on this:

    – Lower things on the list CAN NOT save things above them on the list. For example, a great mix won’t save a lousy song.

    – Things at the top of the list are enhanced by things at the bottom. Sometimes the top things get all the credit.

    – Within reason, things at the top of the list can survive when the stuff at the bottom of the list isn’t as great. For example, I’ve seen some great and memorable shows in my lifetime that sounded not so good. In other words, the performance was great, but the mix not so much.

    – When any of these are not great, inexperienced and/or uneducated listeners may mistakenly identify what isn’t great. For example, the performance might get the blame when a song is lousy or the mix might get the blame when a performance is lousy.


    David Stagl

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