Mixology


They call me “Sir-mix-a-lot”. Actually, nobody calls me that. My friends call me “Golden Eagle”, or just “Eagle”. Either of those will work. Or “John”. Or “Coach”.

Here we are, the last day of the Dog Days of Summer and I think I’m done with principal tracking for B.A.N. record #3: Precious Melodies Against Satan’s Devices. I say I “think I’m done”, because I never know what manner or shape of self-doubt may strike my heart. Yay! It’s been a long and lonely road, and I got by with a little help from my friend(s) (@noahglenn). I now enter the mixing phase. It is a dark labyrinthian cave which I may never exit. Many a man has been beguiled by its wiles, and this stage can take forever if I let it. If you’re like me, it feels like I’m about to clean the gutters. I’ll be happy when it’s done, but it’ll be a messy, long process, with hands full of organic matter. And on a ladder. No, just kidding. Or maaaaaybe??
I run things on a pretty tight budget, so right now, it’s financially prohibitive to rent a room or pay out for an out-of-house mixing job. I WILL have another set of ears take in my roughs to give me pointers, but it’s pretty DIY around Casa Newton.

When it comes to mixing, here are a couple things that make my life easier.

1) I got started in Logic by the Mitchel Pigsley YouTube videos. He gives a lot of quick and dirty tutorials on many of Logic’s entry-level functionality. If someone needs a fast overview of, say, how the rhythmic quantization works in Logic, head there. His gains structures and on-air personality are occasionally questionable, but when I have a quick question about Logic, it’s the first place I head.

2) An enormous help to me is Recording Revolution Series. Graham Cochrane attempts to level the mixing playing field for the audio production layman by publishing daily blogs and videos aimed simplicity. His aim is to downgrade the idea that great mixes come from great gear, (outboard and plug-in) and to affirm the notion that the best tool we have is our ears. He encourages to start with volume,EQ, and compression (EQ and compression both a form of volume control by themselves! EQ is a “smart” volume control for specific frequencies, and compression just being an automated volume knob). I can’t say enough about this guy’s curriculum, and with a mountain of information before the beginner, here are some hip-shot links to some of the most helpful vids:

3) Mixing in Mono-
Ultimately, I learned this from #2 on my list. Mixing the bulk of my sessions in mono has been one of the single-most helpful tips! Mono eliminates the false audio impression of a center speaker through the use of directional panning, so if you are listening to a mix on lower-quality speakers, or in some degree away from the sound source, mono comes in handy for checking accurate balance of volume and frequencies of your tracks, and eliminating phasing.


Watching: Foxcatcher

Listening:


Advertisements