Popular music used to be recorded, mixed, transmitted, and listened to in mono format. One track containing all of the sound, listened to with one speaker.When stereo recording entered the scene (around the 1960’s for popular music), expertise about how to mix in stereo was valuable. In their early stereo recordings, bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd did super strange stuff with the stereo mixes, like having all the vocals panned hard to the right and the rhythm elements panned hard to the left. Listening to those early experiments now is just strange, and laughable as well.Early pioneers of stereo mixing developed expertise that was valuable. Their expertise, in a nutshell, was to make a finished product that didn’t sound laughably strange when listened to in stereo.That same expertise now is a commodity. It’s not rare, and it’s not unusual. Any competent mixing engineer knows how to make a decent stereo mix. The value of knowing how to make a decent stereo mix was only temporarily valuable.What has retained its value in the world of recording engineering?Making music that really moves people. Understanding what music consumers want to experience and helping artists connect with that deep pool of desire (and money).That’s always what was exceptionally valuable. The mono -> stereo transition was just that, a transition. A temporary bubble for those with the required expertise.Some expertise is always valuable, and some is valuable primarily during times of transition.If you look at your own profession with both eyes open, you’ll see the exact same pattern.-PP.S. Know a self-employed software developer who might benefit from specialization? Send ’em this free gift! Details here –> https://philipmorganconsulting.com/referrals/
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