Early in the week I got a call from Steve Hybicki which is my mentor when it comes to tracking and mixing. He called to ask if I would like to come over to see him work on a recent session from one of the major labels he works with. Without hesitation I told him yes and we setup a time and date later in the week.
I was driving to Sandy Springs to meet with Steve at his house as he was going to guide me through new mixing methods he uses throughout most of his sessions. We went to the office section of his building to get some coffee as he started up his macbook to open the Pro Tools session. Sipping on some columbian dark roast with some french vanilla creamer, the session opened up. The name of the session said John Legend-Love Now remix.
I was excited knowing that he was going to show me something that deals with the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter. Eager to take in the lesson he was about to give something happened…
At the time of us getting in depth with the mixing session he got a call from Mike Will Made-It about the Black Beetles remix with Nicki Minaj called Black Barbies. Mike Will needed Steve to change the song arrangement of that track to be released soon on the radio and needed it within 2 hours.
For Steve it was no problem at all to take care of that but he needed me to open the John Legend session on my mac which I brought. I told him that I can do whatever he needed me to do sinceI had my laptop, charger, hard drive and my magic mouse with me at the time. I had everything setup ont the desk and was ready to open the session but there was one problem… I FORGOT MY ILOK!!!
An iLok is a unique USB device that holds your licenses for iLok-protected software. Different software companies use the iLok to provide security for their programs. When running the iLok-protected program it is searching for your license on the iLok attached to it.
Without my iLok (that holds access to open Pro Tools on my mac) I could not open the John Legend session either. I thought that I was prepared for the session but I was missing one of the most important item to bring. I had to spend the time watching Steve work on Nicki Minaj’s part (which I learned a lot from that brief moment). I saw how he made the reverb transition that he used on Swae Lee coming in on the hook which was a unique reverb tail method.
I looked at the situation as a lesson more than a problem. The lesson was to NEVER leave the house without my mac and iLok when it deals with music. You never know what the next session may hold.