This song "Alive" (below) is a perfect example of how strategic collaboration helped me finally get my project across the finish line. I wrote and performed all of the parts (steps 0 to 7 in "Song Theory"); but, I just wasn't proud of the result--until I sent it to an experienced mixing engineer (step 8). The mixing engineer moved the project forward. He enhanced the drum sounds; brought the vocals forward; and, balanced the marimba sounds with the mix in a way that I couldn't have done on my own. He also sent his final mix to a mastering engineer (step 9) who rounded out the project and made it fit for modern listening devices. As the songwriter, I know my vocal performance isn't amazing... but, I'm happy that I was able to finish the song and express my idea in a professional way--without giving up the copyright!!!