Published by stellar on 2nd October 2012
Joe Baressi Mixing Rock and Tracking Rock
When I saw the ad for the Joe Baressi videos on Gearslutz I had to look into them. Joe is legendary. I have nothing bad to say about Mr. Baressi even after watching his videos!! It really is a rare gift to be able to get your hands on videos like these, at about the cost of an hour or two of studio time. After briefly running through tracking and mixing, here are my initial impressions:
The good: Joe shows you his all of his techniques for tracking and mixing guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. There is enough in these videos for anyone to get at least a couple of good ideas from. In that sense they are totally worth it. I guarantee that almost anyone of any level of experience will take something away from these videos and be able to apply it in what they do. You also learn Joe's specific techniques that make his sound, such as submixing multiple amps, subharmonic synthesis, pre-and post- compression eq, mix bus eq, etc...
The bad: When the mixing video starts, the song is already mixed. Joe spends the entire video basically hitting mutes, solos, and bypass buttons. "Here it is with eq, here it is without" kind of stuff. I would have much preferred getting at least some notion of how he arrived at these settings. This style permeates both videos. You see the faders moving, but he never takes you through automating a lead vocal take. He simply mentions that it has been done already. While the guitar and bass tracking sections were very detailed, the drum tracking section was seriously lacking. He skips placement of the bottom snare mic altogether, and I had a very difficult time figuring out where the mics are pointing, distances, etc... It's almost as though the cameraman has never been in a studio and doesn't know what he should be shooting. Only one song is tracked and mixed (which is understandable for a video like this) but, for instance, if you prefer dry vocals to vocals that are swimming in delay, you might not get very great technique ideas out of this.
The ugly: Joe isn't even using his own mics. They brought in a bunch of mics that are probably for product placement purposes. For some reason the producer of the video felt it important to tell us the price tag of every piece of gear being discussed....WHYYYYY??? They give you these music-video like closeups of the overhead mics....but you can't even tell where they are placed. It's a joke. About half of the tracking video is the musicians actually playing the takes....as though we care to hear these guys play it over and over again....by the way, prepare to be ear-raped. This song is bad. This band sounds like like the christian version of system of a down or something. Don't get me wrong, they are fantastic musicians....but if this isn't your particular style, you might not get the most out of this video.
The video reminds me of 80s and 90s guitar videos. You would get some fantastic guitarist like john petrucci or yngwie and they're going "this is an E string, this is an A string".... Overall the video is heavy on gear worship and light on technique...if you want to know what EQ settings are being used, be prepared to pause the video a lot. If you want to know WHY those settings are being used.......your'e not gonna get this here.
Overall, watching the video did give me some ideas to try, and I believe was worthwhile to buy. I hope to see more videos like this, and I hope my review will help to steer future ones in a more technique-driven direction, because we already have a place to read about gear