First of all Danny @Danny_Danzi ... You keep talking to me like I'm a stranger... Just to remind you, I'm fHumble fHingaz from RR - I just changed my screen name, that's all.
Secondly - thanks for the offer - much appreciated... And just to reassure you, I'm not taking this the wrong way - I know you're a friendly and helpful dude from our many discussions back in the RR days.
Thirdly - That said, and this probably sounds a little defensive, but that is not my intention - I feel pretty awkward about having to explain why I take "so long" to do things. I know it probably wasn't your intention to provoke that kind of emotion, but I have to be open and honest. It feels kind embarrassing, actually - not because I'm ashamed of the time I take or the results I get - but that speed of work is a BIG point of pride among many audio people...
If I'm a whimp in that regard, then so be it.
But, at the same time, having to explain myself feels a little bit like handing in a note to the teacher or something. At 48, I'm extremely sure of my own mind, & I'm well past that.
Nevertheless, perhaps because it might benefit the discussion, I will try to explain myself...
I put it down to this: I'm not a "fast" person when I do creative things. In fact, I have no desire to be. For me, it takes the pleasure out of doing creative work. This is a deliberate choice on my part... I realise this may sound strange to you, or even to most people, but bear with me...
I was (and am) a precociously gifted visual artist. I could draw with three dimensional realism, shading and perspective at an age when most kids have difficulty drawing a stick figure. From the time I could hold a pencil until I left school, I drew constantly for pleasure and relaxation. Then I started to work at a day job where my artistic skills were part of what I did each day. From that point on, I stopped drawing for pleasure - it no longer held the allure and escape it provided me when it was not assciated with work.
I now work all day in an industry that requires us to work faster and faster for less money. I've been working in that industry for over 30 years. We have been working with computers since 1986, and I have been using computer programs for artwork design since then, so I'm very familiar with the correlation between workflow, speed and productivity. I honestly have no desire to come home and work on things for pleasure that put me in the same "faster, faster, more, more" mindset.
I don't run my studio as a business, full time, and I doubt whether that would ever happen at my age. I see it as more of a hobby that rewards me with a little bit of money to perpetuate it, and that brings me a great deal of satisfaction.
Regarding your questions about decisions: No, I don't have any problems making decisions. Due to my line of work, I'm used to, & very experienced at making creative decisions and decisions of balance and proportion. That kind of experience transfers very well from the visual world to audio. My mixing environment is as accurate as possible for me in my circumstances - I've tested it to my satisfaction, so I don't second-guess myself. I don't want to sound arrogant, but that is the honest truth.
When I speak about 20 hours to mix a song, I'm including all the time editing timing, tuning etc etc. Some songs take a lot of prep before you even get to mix - Some songs you can get to work straight away. I'm including all of that time.
You mentioned that I was accurate with my estimates of Pro rates. As I said, that's because I listen carefully to a lot of Podcasts and interviews on the subject. With that in mind, one of the other things that listening to these interviews revealed to me is that, while I'm definitely not on the fast end of the scale when it comes to mixing, I'm by no means the only person who takes my time. Many professionals mention figures of a day, a day and a half to mix. In many cases, that excludes mix prep, which is often done by an assistant.
All in all, taking an average of the professional mix community, I'm pretty satisfied with where I'm at speed-wise, especially considering the fact that I don't do this full time.
My goal in mentioning the time it takes me in the first place was to raise awareness of the fact that a lot of work is involved in getting a mix that approaches professional results. In most cases, it isn't just 3 or 4 hours from "go" to "woah".
To sum up: I think we look at this thing from very different perspectives, and our goals are different. My goal is to take myself away from the pressure to perform artistically and make money in very tight time constraints. Understandably, your goal is to get to the destination as fast as possible. On the other hand, mine is to enjoy the journey.
I hope that answers your questions.... & I too come in peace
But this is not about me... Sorry to go off-topic @feaker Paul - back to the subject at hand.