Hippocratic Oath for Recording Engineers

I had nothing else better to do the other day so I decided that we need a version of the MD’s Hippocratic Oath for recording engineers. Why not? So I borrowed the language from a modern version of the MD’s oath from here.

The Hippocratic Oath For The Recording Engineer

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those audio engineers in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those newbies who are to follow.I will apply, for the benefit of the often crappy mixes I receive, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of over-compression and therapeutic auto-tunism.I will remember that there is art to recording as well as science, and that warmth, tape saturation, and understanding of the groove may outweigh Protool’s knife or the latest plugin.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed in fixing it in mix.

I will respect the privacy of my clients, for their often crappy mixes are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of editing and overdubs. If it is given me to re-record a part, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to delete a track; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own musical biases. Above all, I must not play at God [substitute one of the following: Bruce Swedien, Bob Katz, George Massenburg, Bob Ludwig, (fill in blank)].

I will remember that I do not mix wave forms, but a song in need of my help, whose suckiness may affect the musician’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the music industry.

I will prevent over-compression whenever I can, for dynamic range is preferable to loudness.

I will remember that I remain a member of the Audio Engineering Society [or substitute your own favorite here], with special obligations to all my fellow engineers, those of sound of mind and body as well as the hearing impaired.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of listening to the records of those who seek my help.

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