Along the way I've found a very small number of gems, things that add significantly to the pot. Ermin Hamidovik's "Systematic Mixing Guide" appeared a bit late in my story but consolidated many pages of my own notes and added a few more besides, and Graham Cochrane's Recording Revolution is almost worth having the Intenet for on its own: Mixerman's "Zen And The Art of Mixing" is irreverent and insightful and funny and anyone who wants to mix should read it beforfe their first mix and following their 50th. But still no flash - perhaps I'm just a little slower than most people.
Now many years ago, when I had a real job, I found myself in a pub with a colleague, trying to figure (over a pint of warm, flat English beer) how we managed to learn to do what it was that we did (we were both Enterprise Sales-people). We couldn't find an answer and eventually forgot the question. Today I had a "revisit" to that moment. I finished a mix this afternoon and at-last, "the-sort-of-flash" happened. That's a lower case "t" and a lower case "f".
What's the sort-of-flash? It's that mixing is truly a game of a thousand mundane moves. It's actually quite unexciting and there is no boom. It's about learning some basics, then forgetting that you've learned them and applying them over and over and over again until your sensibilities start to take shape. It's about knowing that something's wrong or right before you know what it is, it's about learning techniques then forgetting that techniques even exist, it's about accepting that the music is more important than the sound, that excitement is more valuable than perfection, it's about developing your senses, about finding nuggets and not mistaking them for answers, and it's about realising that you ain't gonna find the answer in anybody's "Black Friday" sale.