Several years ago, I offered recording engineering services to musicians to make some extra money.
One day, a singer contacted me, wanting to record some audition material. I would come to discover she was a pain in the butt to work with. The kind of pain that no amount of compensation could cover.
We would record a take. She would listen to it. And then, insist that something was wrong with the equipment. That the tone of her voice wasn't right. This wasn't how she sounded.
She'd want me to change some settings and record another take.
This continued for hours. Every time, she insisted something was wrong with my equipment. This couldn't be right.
But there wasn't anything wrong with my equipment. And there wasn't anything wrong with my speakers.
The problem was, she was actually listening to herself.
Probably for the first time.
The microphone doesn't lie.
Some years prior during graduate school, a euphonium player wanted to record some pieces for an audition. He was a nice kid, but his sound was very airy. Not much core to it.
Like, hearing a euphonium and someone blowing at the same time.
So, guess what happened?
He listened back, and insisted there was something wrong with my recording equipment. His instrument sounded airy. This couldn't be right.
In this case, he insisted he was too close to the microphone. Yet, even when he walked to the other side of the room, he heard the same, airy sound.
Once again, it wasn't the recording equipment's fault. It was his.
But he never quite accepted that.
Listening to yourself is one of the hardest things to do. Accepting that you have problems to fix is harder still. And, listening to other people's feedback and applying it, especially if you don't agree with it, is the hardest.
But, the alternative is living in denial. And denial sucks.
Not just for you, but for everyone around you.