Login / Register
 
the myth of brilliantly mixed music
New Reply
Subscribe
#241
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #241
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: I was country, when country wasn't cool
Posts: 2,938

cowboycoalminer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
But once we get beyond the basic to-do's and no-no's, it seems that there is tons of room to discard old-school notions of taste for futuristic attempts at shaking things up.
I'm trying to find the correlation between your above statement and the mix referenced. I like your idea but I cant say that I hear it in this mix. And would arguably be an expert on Toto as I have cued up this particular track and others of theirs many, many times throughout my life.

Coincidentally, I have heard some Beatles mixes that have tried to incorporate the type of "out of the box" thinking you mention. The results where less than stellar I think.

The idealism behind your post is good, but rearranging what is tried and true method is shaky ground. My 2 cents.
#242
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #242
Banned
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,618

Happy Musicfan is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
I'm trying to find the correlation between your above statement and the mix referenced. I like your idea but I cant say that I hear it in this mix. And would arguably be an expert on Toto as I have cued up this particular track and others of theirs many, many times throughout my life.

Coincidentally, I have heard some Beatles mixes that have tried to incorporate the type of "out of the box" thinking you mention. The results where less than stellar I think.

The idealism behind your post is good, but rearranging what is tried and true method is shaky ground. My 2 cents.
I 'rearranged' that post based on your comments. The mix of words and paragraphs were arbitrary & precarious !

I just think that the art of mixing today (especially in pop music and electronic music) employs the very basic stereo imaging rule (high frequencies branching out from the low frequency center point) but seems to want to supply more surprises, and bending of the 'rules' - I wonder if any modern, progressive mixes actually succeed in breaking those 'rules'.

IMO, the Toto ''Africa'' example seems to be a relic of the past : too tame, restrained, ordered and predictable for young, modern mixers.
#243
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #243
Gear nut
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 130

chevega is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post

Mixing isn't an art imo, it's a service.
:(

I thought I was an artist.

Guess I'm just a janitor.
#244
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #244
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: I was country, when country wasn't cool
Posts: 2,938

cowboycoalminer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by chevega View Post
:( Guess I'm just a janitor.

It's noble work.
#245
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #245
Geariophile
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: london
Posts: 13,333

Karloff70 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
It's noble work.
Is it?
#246
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #246
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 156

cabbo is offline
It occurred to me that many posters in this thread could benefit from reading this book:

"The Unknown Craftsman" by Soetsu Yanagi

Not about music but worth reading for anyone aspiring to be creative.
#247
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #247
Lives for gear
 
pqlia's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,098
My Recordings/Credits

pqlia is offline
Michael Angelo ??

Will keep this very brief as I’m unsure who has the time to read through all these posts.

I would just like to add that I’ve been mixing for more years than you could imagine and I have many reference mixes that I marvel at and have never been able to even approach (quality wise) – But it’s what keeps me growing and trying to progress and develop… they set A VERY HIGH BENCHMARK.

You try to match the general amounts of bass/mid/top and sit back and think your mix is ok because it’s in the same superficial ballpark… then realise that the reference mix is still somehow elusively more impressive. It’s tight, yet, extended, it has an expensive sheen that was most likely innate to the mix before it reached the mastering engineers ears. And you know it didn’t come from any ‘high gloss, super-sheen’ plug-in.

Then you notice that the drums have what is commonly known as ‘knock’ – the frequency which makes them pokey and upfront on a small speaker – but then when you listen on a large monitor they sound thunderous! You return to your own mix to find that you can achieve satisfactory ‘knock’ or ‘weight’ but not both with the same level of authority then you realise that it's more than simply combining the correct (knock/weight) drum samples.

Then you notice that the reference mix has absolutely no instrumentation which is competing with anything else, and you know the transparency you're hearing is more than text book ‘selective frequency’ mixing technique.

Then you notice that although the level is slamming, the reference mix doesn’t sound flat but remains completely open and three dimensional.

Then you notice the vocals are loud and proud without being detached from the track and you know it’s more than simple compression.

Then you realise that the reference mix sounds different on every playback system but somehow ‘right’ in the context of each one.. and you know it’s more than great mastering… and on and on and on and on and on….

Now when you have a long checklist and realise that the reference mix simultaneously and effortlessly ticks everything on the list with equal poise and assurance you know you are listing to something very special that is in my opinion and example of a very high level of artistry.

Back in the day someone once told me not to even try to match those mixes because it’s impossible – But those are the mixes I aspire to…even now after years and years!

I HAVE noticed a trend of late though… mixes that have that rough and ready ‘quality’ . . . (i have some machines and i'm going to turn them on mixes) - even i've done some of those!!!! I’ve been debating with myself for a long time – asking ‘what’s the point of aspiring to the greats when everyone is lapping up those ‘anyhow mixes’ …. Are times changing? I really don’t know to be honest.

Once Michael Angelo was considered a skilful and great artist… then a new generation came along and challenged that whole notion of definitions of ‘great’ by saying ‘look at my three lines that I’ve drawn, they are equal to Michael Angelo because I deem them to be Art and therefore can conceptualise them as being a valid Artform… and eventually what was once considered great became to be considered great no more ... (by many)

And right there I’ll stop… because this certainly is getting way too deep for GS . . . !!
#248
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #248
Lives for gear
 
pqlia's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,098
My Recordings/Credits

pqlia is offline
To add the overlong post above . . . not saying there’s anything wrong with abstract art – just saying that with progress, the definitions of what made art ‘great’ changed in many peoples minds… is the same thing happening in the music world ??? – a question I wont even attempt to answer!
#249
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #249
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 16,236

Sounds Great is offline
pqlia, great post.
#250
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #250
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 16,236

Sounds Great is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
I mean "brilliantly mixed"? Umm...I don't know that I would call any mix "brilliant"...but, .

Wow do I disagree. 'Wish You Were Here'. The mix of that record is a huge part of the result. Without question, brilliant!

Anything by Alan Parsons, especially His 'Tales' record. Brilliant isn't strong enough.
__________________
-Rob

Ice in her eyes, frozen tears could never be a surprise
You can't erase a dream you can only wake me up
#251
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #251
Gear maniac
 
guid0's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 290

guid0 is offline
To add to the abstract art discussion, guys like Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and the dada movement of the period between the wars brought forward a very "cynical" concept of what art is. The concept of "reay mades" like Duchamps' signed urinal was really shocking to most people back then.

The artist now proclaimed: "I deem this to be Art and therefore can conceptualise this as being a valid Artform" to paraphrase pqlia's post.

No reason why a mixing engineer can't stand his ground on this.

If you see the work you do as art, then it is.
__________________
When in doubt, yodel.
#252
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #252
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 283

TimS is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
I get it. My point was that to hire professional services for even some appropriate parts of a recording project need not be an out-of-reach pipe dream, but it seems that people frequently jump to that conclusion anyway...often because, as you note, they look at the investment purely as money spent with no hard "gear" asset to carry home. Yet they happily toil away for weeks and months to try to kludge together their projects at home. What do we reckon our time is worth?

I don't deny that many musical acts are running on close to zero budget. But when they say to each other "hey, we should record our stuff," presumably they've come to terms with the fact that they're going to be spending some amount of time and money. I'm just saying that if the goal is the best possible recording given the circumstances, the return on a wise investment of time and hired assets and talent may, surprisingly, be higher than that from a mid-level gear purchase and lots of subsequent tail-chasing. And, as much as we all enjoy the process of recording and get a kick out of going DIY, it actually might turn out to be more fun doing it in a studio.

And to keep this on topic, the engineer in that studio (assuming he isn't a washed-up 80s hack -- but why be pessimistic anyway?) might prove to be a big help in enabling those musicians to do their art and focus on their music in front of the microphones. That is a valuable contribution to the process of making a record, whether one wants to call it "art" or not.
I agree 100%.
#253
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #253
Lives for gear
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,141

biggator6 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Sonically, yes... that's your job, to make it sound better audibly. But you're not the record producer or song arranger unless they ask you to be.

Did you actually read what I wrote? He wanted to remove a spoken word track that the client specifically wrote for the intro, and wanted there, long before he came to mix. Who cares if - you the engineer - don't personally like it as long as there aren't any sonic issues with it?

See where I'm going? The line has been blurred by some of us sometimes encroaching on the actual art itself - without being invited to. If you are invited to do that, go for it. Rewrite lyrics, drop verses, whatever the client agrees to I suppose.

Anyway, this is becoming a circular disagreement so we'll agree to disagree. Just another net misunderstanding with wavering context.

P.S. Sure... when something kinda sucks to me personally I often wait for the artist to ask "What do you think?", about the song in general (the invitation to opine) then yeah... I might say ... "Imo, that intro is a little cheesy... but I'm only one guy so, grain of salt, others might really like it." If they don't ask, I don't say.
Go back to my earlier post. Find 'Rat Pack From Fort Bragg' - which, as I mentioned, is 'Combat Rock' as mixed by Mick Jones.

Give it a listen, then dial up 'Combat Rock' as mixed by Mr. Johns. TELL ME that you hear everything there - nothing cut, nothing dropped, exactly there in the 'artists vision'.
__________________
"Seriously, there's a certain kind of creative inspiration that can come from exploring the outer limits of a musical instrument. Now days the limits are so vast that it can be difficult to set boundaries." --spargee
#254
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #254
Lives for gear
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,141

biggator6 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
I don't think OP Miharbi is saying that mixing is not an advanced skill, but rather that any reasonably intelligent person can learn to do it remarkably well with an investment of time and effort. Have you ever tried to learn JAVA programming? Yeah it's difficult, but once you get it down you can do it in your sleep. And how many millions of competent computer programmers are there in the world? It's the same with the technical skill of mixing. After all, there is only so much to learn and so many sinkholes to remember not to fall into.

In sum, if you are a brilliant mixing engineer, then you are simply an experienced knowledge worker. But others can learn the craft as well by investing the time and energy and buying good equipment. When that happens, sometimes there are the predictable cries from the previous generation of mixers that a new generation has horned into their territory and has diminished the value of their years of experience. If my small puny mind has learned anything, it's the fact that any technical engineering skill can be learned eventually by anyone more or less with some hard effort, unless we are talking creative genius which is a gift from the celestial spirits that cannot easily be duplicated. In all honesty, I don't think mixing requires the same creative genius as great song writing, for example.
I've mixed music and written code. BAD comparison.
#255
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
  #255
Lives for gear
 
Hardtoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan / Canada
Posts: 2,528

Hardtoe is offline
I can't believe people really have to "defend" that some mixers are brilliant and artistic.

If you can't recognize this fact, then you're in the wrong biz.

High level writers and artists certainly don't have any trouble understanding this basic reality of music production.

"Competent technician" is not good enough to play in the big leagues.
__________________
bring back stike

bring back thumbsup

Sincerely Yours,

Orion L. Paradis
#256
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #256
Lives for gear
 
Hardtoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan / Canada
Posts: 2,528

Hardtoe is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Both are technical skills that can be learned by almost anybody with some applied effort. The comparison is valid from that standpoint. The same is not true of a creative activity like world class songwriting. Writing hit songs is very difficult. Writing mediocre songs is easy. Most people simply will never be great song writers while they can still be great engineers.

Here - I fixed that for you:

The same is not true of a creative activity like world class mixing. Mixing hit songs is very difficult. Making mediocre mixes is easy. Most people simply will never be great mixers while they can still be great musicians.

#257
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #257
Lives for gear
 
Hardtoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Saskatchewan / Canada
Posts: 2,528

Hardtoe is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
LOL! I enjoyed your sense of humor. Thanks! Much appreciated.
It's actually the truth as I see it, but glad to make you smile.
#258
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #258
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: So Cal
Posts: 15,090

drBill is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Both are technical skills that can be learned by almost anybody with some applied effort. The comparison is valid from that standpoint. Not the same is true of a creative activity like world class songwriting. Most people simply will never be great song writers while they can still be great engineers.
What about world class mixing?

I can teach anyone how to write a song in 15 minutes. I can teach anyone how to mix in 15 minutes. Neither will be very good. In all likelihood their "art" will be hideous and in reality neither person is an artist.

A crappy songwriter is not an artist just because songwriting itself is an art. A crappy mixer is not an artist even though real mixing is an art.

If someone has an INCLINATION for EITHER, takes on the lifetime commitment, are gifted at what they do and excel at it, they are artists - no doubt.

Pretty simple really......
#259
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #259
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: underground railroad
Posts: 15,560

Sqye is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I can't believe people really have to "defend" that some mixers are brilliant and artistic.

If you can't recognize this fact, then you're in the wrong biz.

High level writers and artists certainly don't have any trouble understanding this basic reality of music production.

"Competent technician" is not good enough to play in the big leagues.
.

Well said.

.
#260
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #260
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: I was country, when country wasn't cool
Posts: 2,938

cowboycoalminer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
"Competent technician" is not good enough to play in the big leagues.
I guess I'm wondering which big leagues of which you speak? Care to share those experiences that lead you to this conclusion?
#261
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #261
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Nashville
Posts: 4,690

popmann is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Both are technical skills that can be learned by almost anybody with some applied effort. The comparison is valid from that standpoint. The same is not true of a creative activity like world class songwriting. Writing hit songs is very difficult. Writing mediocre songs is easy. Most people simply will never be great song writers while they can still be great engineers.
After 25 years of doing it...and working with lots of other people who do it to greater or lesser ends...there is a HUGE amount of aptitude involved. You can teach little tricks. Technical singal flow? Give me a week with someone. But, then why can't they balance a mix as quickly/well as I can?

As to the last point...that's not relevant. Unless you think John Lennon (or insert someone you dig) had the aptitude to be a great engineer. I don't-at least I never saw evidence of that. Yes, some people who are mediocre songwriters are great engineers. Some who don't even attempt to write songs are great engineers. Because they're not related. Not because one is a subset of another talent. I probably AM one of those guys..."mediocre songwriter" compared to engineer. It took me a long time to embrace what I'm really good at...and you know what it took? Albums coming out by performers much more talented than I...that my recordings/mixes sound better. That...and spending years on several forums trying to teach musicians the engineering side...help them...and being mostly unable to. Sure-some pick it right up and run-they had aptitude AND my help. And some struggle...year after year...album after album...maybe improving...but never really getting "there". Why? It's a different skill.
__________________
New singles available in all it's linear 88.2 glory:
Cogs In the Machine
Cliche
Older archives:
My work--now available in linear PCM for download!
#262
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #262
Banned
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 557

Shock Value is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
After 25 years of doing it...and working with lots of other people who do it to greater or lesser ends...there is a HUGE amount of aptitude involved. You can teach little tricks. Technical singal flow? Give me a week with someone. But, then why can't they balance a mix as quickly/well as I can?

As to the last point...that's not relevant. Unless you think John Lennon (or insert someone you dig) had the aptitude to be a great engineer. I don't-at least I never saw evidence of that. Yes, some people who are mediocre songwriters are great engineers. Some who don't even attempt to write songs are great engineers. Because they're not related. Not because one is a subset of another talent. I probably AM one of those guys..."mediocre songwriter" compared to engineer. It took me a long time to embrace what I'm really good at...and you know what it took? Albums coming out by performers much more talented than I...that my recordings/mixes sound better. That...and spending years on several forums trying to teach musicians the engineering side...help them...and being mostly unable to. Sure-some pick it right up and run-they had aptitude AND my help. And some struggle...year after year...album after album...maybe improving...but never really getting "there". Why? It's a different skill.
Simply different talents. And all men are NOT created equal when it comes to talent.
#263
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #263
Harmless Wacko
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: A prison cell with soffit mounts
Posts: 1,736

Slipperman is offline
Grown men(and women) changing air pressure levels.

Every single one of you. No matter HOW you do it.

Log off the internot and go make something great.

On either side of the glass.

All else is folly.


SM.
__________________
“No plan survives contact with the enemy”
:Erwin Rommel
#264
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #264
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: underground railroad
Posts: 15,560

Sqye is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
Grown men(and women) changing air pressure levels.

Every single one of you. No matter HOW you do it.

Log off the internot and go make something great.

On either side of the glass.

All else is folly.


SM.
.

Agreed. Again, more dancing about architecture.

.
#265
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #265
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: So Cal
Posts: 15,090

drBill is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
Log off the internot and go make something great.




All else is folly.


SM.
So what are you doing here SM????
#266
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #266
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: underground railroad
Posts: 15,560

Sqye is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
So what are you doing here SM????
.

Slippy just slips in, and then slips out.

He's not really here like the rest of us.

Actually true. He's been here three years longer than I, and has a fraction of my post count.

What am I doing with my life...

.
__________________
Sqye (Sky)::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Gearslutz Song
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Music 4 Film+TV+Web:::::: Wired Planet::::::Buddha

Studio Cat i7 + RME UFX + Linkwitz Orions + Tyler Acoustics Linbrooks + Buzz Audio ARC + GT-67 + Sonar + Komplete + Omnisphere-Trilian-Stylus + Symphobia + Mo-Tone Custom Tele
#267
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #267
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 229

joecandy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I"Competent technician" is not good enough to play in the big leagues.
Sure it is.
#268
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #268
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 229

joecandy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
So nothing after 1992 is any good? Methinks you might be the former-hair-band-guitarist-turned-engineer that I referred to in my previous post...

Now if you had said 2002, I'd be more likely to agree with you. .
The year everything went downhill depends on how old you are.

For instance, if you were born between 67 and 72, you will percieve that everything went downhill in 1992.

if you were born late 70's early 80's, you'll tolerate up to around 2002 or so, then you'll say
everything after that is shite.

And so on and so forth, since the early 40's
#269
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #269
Sub-Dude
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Harlem, NYC
Posts: 1,198

Bullseye is offline
I have no idea what these people are writing about. Unless a definitions of "Art" is agreed upon this discussion is meaningless.

Mixing? All I know is an artist starts with a blank and creates something beautiful. Can an engineer or "mixer" do that? This is a rhetorical question in case you didn't get that.

One can be competent to the point of virtuosity or to the point of being artistic in any endeavor. But how we define art is another story and so far what I read here is mostly irrelevant because none of it defines art. Without that the discussion makes no sense.
#270
6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
  #270
Lives for gear
 
davidwilson's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
Posts: 827

davidwilson is offline
Yes so right.

One skill that is commonly overlooked is being relevant. Yes there are many ways to skin a cat some are more popular and accepted than others.
If you cannot be relevant and connect with the audience then you are not entertaining them. There's no use pushing your views on how things should be people will just walk away no matter how technically good you are.

Remember were selling entertainment not science.
__________________
David Wilson

New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Remoteness / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
118
thethrillfactor / So much gear, so little time!
71
ninjaneer / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
4
airboy / Mastering forum
5
Steve Smith / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
5

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.