Feeling Incompetent

This week, I’m recording the last few pickups on “Our Father, Vindicate“, and editing the whole thing down to a final mix. I’m doing this in Pro Tools.

I am a Logic guy. On Logic, I can fly. I can bend it and tweak it and make it do anything and everything I need, and I can do it with my eyes closed. But, this project was tracked in Pro Tools, and I need to really understand that software better, so I’m forcing myself to finish the whole project in Pro Tools.

Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes figuring out how to remove the basic volume automation that the tracking engineer had used to make a rough mix. I just about put a fist through the monitor.

I own a house now. Last week, I needed to fix a few small gaps in the brick around out pool. 90 minutes later, I was covered in mortar glue (which does not wash off), unable to touch anything without coating it with thick sludgy stainy cement glue gunk, the bricks were permanently stained with huge swaths of the crap, and the initial problem was still not solved.

I hate, HATE, feeling incompetent. I just want to scream “I am an intelligent, skilled, and valuable person … I just SUUUUUUUUCK at THIS!” I have to fight so hard not to give up, to force myself through to the other side. I know that someday, I will be able to set mix groups for Pro Tools in my sleep. I know that someday, I will be able to repair masonry without permanently damaging myself or our home.

It’s just that today, that someday seems eternally far away.

16 thoughts on “Feeling Incompetent

  1. Stick

    [in crochety old-guy voice] Well sonny, I was runnin’ Pro Tools back before they called it “ProTools”.

  2. JC

    I know the feeling Mike. Mine use to come from trying to fix something on my PC with nothing to work with other than my common sense and logic. Man I used to get frustrated!!!

    Here’s the cool thing, although it won’t actually help you at all. I really like that you are trying. I like that you own your own home now and you are fixing it up and you’re getting your hands dirty and doing it yourself. So many people just call a number and get someone over and open their wallet and it’s done. They haven’t learned anything. I’m mostly a do it yourself kind of guy. I want to know how to do it. I want to know how it works. Even if I ruin whatever it is I’m working on, by the time I’m done, I will understand how it works and how to fix it if it breaks the next time. There is something extremely satisfying about that. With apologies to the ladies, it may be a guy thing. My wife who is amazing at so many things, has no interest in figuring this stuff out. (Either that or she has figured out that when she comes to me with a problem and I solve it, she knows how productive and needed it makes me feel…OK….it’s probably that). IT’s the old…”hey, I can do that!”. I don’t even think its a money thing (although with new homeowners, sometimes it is). For me it’s a control thing. I don’t want to have to depend on someone else to fix something. I want it fixed/repaired NOW.

    You’ll figure it out Michael. Patience my friend, patience. It is worth the knowledge…and feeling of being in control.

  3. aly hawkins

    I’m about to strip and refinish a pair of end tables, racking my brain to remember everything Gretchen taught me when we redid your ginormous desk all those years ago (remember how it was a terribly forest green). The end result will be either totally crackin’, or in desperate need of her intervention. I’ll let you know…

  4. michael Post author

    Well, the worst that could happen is a bunch of us make a road trip up to Ojai and make fun of you.

    Then punch Bryan.

  5. aly hawkins

    Project update: If you decide to use a crazy-harsh chemical stripper, you should do your best not to drop the glass jar it’s in, thereby splashing said chemical stripper onto your bare feet. If, despite your best efforts, gravity gets the best of you, you should scream for your spouse to rescue you, which he or she will do, because he or she is awesome.

    I will not allow you to punch Bryan. He’s my knight in a white muscle shirt.

  6. Gretchen

    Oh Aly I’m sorry, and have done that very thing. bummer.
    thank you for the fun memory you just reminded me of. :) How did the tables turn out? Was there any left after refinishing your feet?

  7. aly hawkins

    The tables are a day or two out from awesomeness—so heavily lacquered that I still have some stripping to do tomorrow (which I will do in long sleeves and hiking boots, apparently). Then I’m painting them bright aqua, and have a high-gloss finish after that. We’re shooting for funky and eclectic, which is ever so close to garish and horrifying. Hopefully we will land on the right side of a very thin line.

  8. sharolyn

    You are in good company, Brother. “They (Egyptians) made their lives (Isrealites) bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kids of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.” -Ex. 1:14

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