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So you finish the MIX and play it............
Old 23rd June 2005
  #1
So you finish the MIX and play it............

For the band, the label, the management and get many different opinions. Here are a few lessons: 1. avoid sending mp3's as they rarely translate to people that dont know better. 2. Never take anything personally. 3. Be prepared to recall if neccesary and dont bitch about it. 4. Always realize that your version is an interpretation of the song, and there can be many. 5. Always finalize your mix, people that dont know better like hype. 6. When listening to suggestions from everyone realize that you will never make everyone happy, try to focus on the artist. 7. Do many mixes besides vocal up and down, ie guitars up, keys up etc., cover all the bases. remember that +.5 up doesnt mean much to many people but us. 8. Try to get suggestions upfront instead of afterwards. 9. Try not to give away your secret for great effects. 10. Make sure it is mastered by someone that understands what you do sonically. Good luck out there!
Old 23rd June 2005
  #2
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Words you speak tell many truths,stereomixerson
Old 23rd June 2005
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomixer
10. Make sure it is mastered by someone that understands what you do sonically. Good luck out there!
I would agree on most.

The last one though if you do a lot of mixing most of the time is out of your control.

Its an easier choice if you are the producer/engineer but if you are one of a couple guys mixing on an album is pretty much the choice of the producer/label.

Sometimes basically its who is available at the time and the budget.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #4
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i dont agree with 7... just commit to a mix and own it... all this pansy pussyfooting anymore is ********.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #5
Not what I said

I didnt say don't own your mix, I said cover your ass, Its your recall pal and they never come back the same!




Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
i dont agree with 7... just commit to a mix and own it... all this pansy pussyfooting anymore is ********.
Old 23rd June 2005
  #6
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomixer
remember that +.5 up doesnt mean much to many people but us.
Not my experience. 0.5dB can make the perfect difference between a "just a touch more vocal" and "yes, now it's perfect". Same for snaredrum or bassguitar or leadguitars...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 24th June 2005
  #7
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Not my experience. 0.5dB can make the perfect difference between a "just a touch more vocal" and "yes, now it's perfect". Same for snaredrum or bassguitar or leadguitars...

i believe he's saying the same thing, with the caveat that those kinds of differences don't matter to most people who aren't the artists or engineers, mainly because most people literally can't hear the difference.

it's easy to forget the vast gulf between your ability to hear vs. the average joe's.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 24th June 2005
  #8
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
I have to disagree with the idea of printing millions of passes. I think this can open a can of A&R worms that I would rather not deal with. I prefer to commit to a mix. Obviously vocals up and those sort of passes are smart, but it is definetly easy for a insecure producer or engineer to go waaaaayyyyy overboard. When i was an assistant this one guy would print at least 16 passes. We would spit in his food.
Old 24th June 2005
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u
I have to disagree with the idea of printing millions of passes. I think this can open a can of A&R worms that I would rather not deal with. I prefer to commit to a mix. Obviously vocals up and those sort of passes are smart, but it is definetly easy for a insecure producer or engineer to go waaaaayyyyy overboard. When i was an assistant this one guy would print at least 16 passes. We would spit in his food.

Yeah but having multiple passes can save your ass if a recall is required a week later.

Especially if someone new enters the picture and a vocal up in verse 2 is needed.

You can edit 2 passes together and voila mix is done.

It sure beats having to recall a big ass analog mix and hoping it comes back the same.

Also you never feel the same energy as you do when you hear a track for the first time.
Old 24th June 2005
  #10
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i have learned the more options you give a client the more likely other options will come about, KISS. give them what you bring... thats the problem with this world now, too many options. no commitment. from 128 track songs to 10 seperate mixes [plus stems JUST IN CASE] ... id rather recall something within the context if an issue is discussed personally [your points 3 and 4, totally happy to do and fully understand...]

but while i read it again, the mp3's BETTER xlate because thats how kids are gonna be listening to your mix. even if they buy it they are gonna rip it to their iPods. and AnR's being the douches they are probably are listening to the iPods in their car or compressed radio. they dont know better and neither does the mass of the population.

i mean i agree with 80% of what you say...
Old 24th June 2005
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
i have learned the more options you give a client the more likely other options will come about, KISS. give them what you bring... thats the problem with this world now, too many options. no commitment. from 128 track songs to 10 seperate mixes [plus stems JUST IN CASE] ... id rather recall something within the context if an issue is discussed personally [your points 3 and 4, totally happy to do and fully understand...].
More mix options aren't really for the client as much more for the label or mastering engineer.

Some labels will want to release different versions for different countries.

Having different mixes allow more flexibility for the remixers.

Also in mastering sometimes the vocal can get lost or the snare so having a different version can save you there.

Most of time the clients don't even bother listening to the different versions i've learned.

After a while listening to them all in a row it starts sounding the same.
Old 24th June 2005
  #12
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Oh i forgot....I also charge a recall fee, so I often don't care if i have to come back.
Old 24th June 2005
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u
Oh i forgot....I also charge a recall fee, so I often don't care if i have to come back.
I usually offer the first recall for free as part of my mixing services.

Basically what i do is edit the the passes together to give them what they want.
Old 24th June 2005
  #14
one more thing

If you are doing a pop mix, dont forget that if you think the vocals are loud enough they probabaly aren't, and if you are doing a rock mix the guitars are probabely not loud enough either. Never charge for the first recall, tacky! allows you to charge for the 3rd recall!...remember they screwed up the first recall!
Its great to see alpha only giving one mix to the clients, thanks, more remixes for everyone else.





Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I usually offer the first recall for free as part of my mixing services.

Basically what i do is edit the the passes together to give them what they want.
Old 24th June 2005
  #15
Gear Addict
 
trident fan's Avatar
 

tell it like it is alphajerk . u rock, especially your comment about the options. i've
learned idiots can bury you with the options u give them, especially if you are getting paid for a project and not by the hour.
"commit coward" - eddie kramer
regards,
tf
Old 24th June 2005
  #16
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Tom VDH's Avatar
 

I think all that's been said is right, it's good to cover your ass, but based on the fact that clients easily get lost in too many versions, I rarely give them more than 2 options per track. it just ends up making them feel unsecure, which is not good.
I keep alt. versions and stems in my pocket in case they come back.

Good thread though. Cheers,

Tom VDH
Old 24th June 2005
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Some good advice there.

It can be the hardest part of any session, especially when, as an engineer, your only working with a band. Its easier to have a producer there, as at the end of the day his choice of mixing tech is final (apart for label!!). When working directly with a band, its hard to strike a balance between what you know is right, and will sound right sonically, and what they want it to sound like. At the end of teh day, your only as good as your last mix, so you want every mix to sound good to you, and when the artists are wanting something that doesnt sound good to you, thats when life can get a bit hard...
Old 24th June 2005
  #18
I'm in the print a mix and be done with it camp. Similarly, Ansel Adams would never "bracket" a photograph. Usually, when I've done recalls, a mix would be better by starting from scratch a nd going a different direction. As far as that + or - .5dB crap, it's all a matter of committing, letting your client know you're committed and letting the chips fall where they may. Half up Half down always leads to second guessing and just gets in the way of the SONG. We all do remember it's about the song don't we!
Old 25th June 2005
  #19
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomixer
Its great to see alpha only giving one mix to the clients, thanks, more remixes for everyone else.
i dunno.... im usually remixing someone elses hose job. and i go bold with mine, more upfront with vox than most, and keep the snare and kick in there.... i mix for the final, not for a mastering guy.


plus recalls are easy for me... and i can tweak it until their budget runs out.b
Old 25th June 2005
  #20
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
i dunno.... im usually remixing someone elses hose job. and i go bold with mine, more upfront with vox than most, and keep the snare and kick in there.... i mix for the final, not for a mastering guy.

nice. i'm with ya, where i place the vocal makes most singers quiver with fear. until i point out that putting it there makes the ladies quiver with desire.

my motto: make the vocals loud enough to ignore.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 25th June 2005
  #21
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Only one I'm not crazy about is the one about keeping secrets about how you do stuff....most of the real pros in the business don't care about stuff like that.

I've sure talked to a lot of them....engineers, artists like The Beatles....etc....and only ONE in all the years I've been around was a jerk. They are so confident about their work that telling you how they did something means nothing to them, and shouldn't. After all, they already DID it. You'll just be copying it

TH
Old 26th September 2008
  #22
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Jake 2.0's Avatar
great advice!
Old 26th September 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuLio View Post
I'm in the print a mix and be done with it camp. Similarly, Ansel Adams would never "bracket" a photograph. Usually, when I've done recalls, a mix would be better by starting from scratch a nd going a different direction. As far as that + or - .5dB crap, it's all a matter of committing, letting your client know you're committed and letting the chips fall where they may. Half up Half down always leads to second guessing and just gets in the way of the SONG. We all do remember it's about the song don't we!
You and the other guy (alpha I think) are the guys I'd want mixing my record... I wouldn't want a guy at the helm who isn't secure enough to know where he wants the vocal to sit....but I'm not an artist, I'm an engineer and I agree with you two 100%. Go for it completely. If the label doesn't like it, mix it again. .......I do recall getting absolutely slammed for starting a thread stating this very thing.

Nick
Old 26th September 2008
  #24
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matskull's Avatar
 

I usually print different mixes for myself, so I can listen to them on different systems, environments.
When I'm happy with the mix I try not going back with recall and all that stuff cause my clients usually don't know **** about how to make a recording and because at that point, mixing it more usually ends up getting worst instead of making it better.
So when I'm done, I'M DONE! lol
If the client wants me to change a mix, I'll charge.
Old 26th September 2008
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
beau's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
Only one I'm not crazy about is the one about keeping secrets about how you do stuff....most of the real pros in the business don't care about stuff like that.

I've sure talked to a lot of them....engineers, artists like The Beatles....etc....and only ONE in all the years I've been around was a jerk. They are so confident about their work that telling you how they did something means nothing to them, and shouldn't. After all, they already DID it. You'll just be copying it

TH
normally it's the artists or assistant engineers that are more likely to divulge secrets or methods used by the engineers, producers etc. i've been straight face lied to numerous times by engineers and producers. my favorite is howard benson telling me that the reason why there is so much bleed in the tom mics, is because when CLA mixes the record, he uses the tom mic bleed as the main cymbal sound, often instead of overheads. so i asked him why we have overheads set up... he had no answer. but it was funny to see the toms gated and layered with samples when we went to mix.

personally i commit to mixes, i make sure that i feel like the mix kicks my ass before i show it to the band, to the point where if the vocal comes up or down, or certain things change little bits, it wont bother me.... i also offer recalls. however, i just got an old harrison console with no recall and no automation, so once that is set up and installed, ill have to figure out a new way of working.

peace

beau
Old 26th September 2008
  #26
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animix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomixer View Post
For the band, the label, the management and get many different opinions. Here are a few lessons: 1. avoid sending mp3's as they rarely translate to people that dont know better. 2. Never take anything personally. 3. Be prepared to recall if neccesary and dont bitch about it. 4. Always realize that your version is an interpretation of the song, and there can be many. 5. Always finalize your mix, people that dont know better like hype. 6. When listening to suggestions from everyone realize that you will never make everyone happy, try to focus on the artist. 7. Do many mixes besides vocal up and down, ie guitars up, keys up etc., cover all the bases. remember that +.5 up doesnt mean much to many people but us. 8. Try to get suggestions upfront instead of afterwards. 9. Try not to give away your secret for great effects. 10. Make sure it is mastered by someone that understands what you do sonically. Good luck out there!
Always remember that the singer is never gonna be loud enough in the opinion of the singer.
Old 26th September 2008
  #27
Gear Guru
 

excellent points, but I have to disagree with number 7

in addition to the concept of committing to the mix, printing a slew of vocal ups and downs and guitar ups and downs etc is simply a waste of time.

your recall may indeed ask for Vocal Up, but they will invariably ask for at least one other thing.

will it be guitar up or down? more bass? less snare?

more reverb on the hi-hat?

vocal up with guitar up, vocal up with guitar down, vocal up with guitar the same ...
then 3 vocal downs with guitars up and down and the same
then the bass and vocals...
then the keyboards and vocals...
then the various combinations of 3 instruments in all their up and down glory...

The permutations are endless. You can try to cover all the bases, but you never will.

Wait for the recall, see what they want, and do it then.
Old 26th September 2008
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
nice. i'm with ya, where i place the vocal makes most singers quiver with fear. until i point out that putting it there makes the ladies quiver with desire.

my motto: make the vocals loud enough to ignore.


gregoire
del ubik
ROTFL....fear and desire....that motto of yours is gold! Might have to adopt that quickstyle.....hehhehheh
Old 26th September 2008
  #29
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colinmiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickynicknick View Post
You and the other guy (alpha I think) are the guys I'd want mixing my record... I wouldn't want a guy at the helm who isn't secure enough to know where he wants the vocal to sit....but I'm not an artist, I'm an engineer and I agree with you two 100%. Go for it completely. If the label doesn't like it, mix it again. .......I do recall getting absolutely slammed for starting a thread stating this very thing.

Nick
Yes and when the label realizes that when working with you it costs thousands of extra dollars when they change their minds, they will start looking at someone else who spent a couple of minutes to be prepared for this and thinking about the client and not just himself.

Things happen. Recalls rarely have anything to do with someone messing up. Often are the case that legal issues come up, or something happens ouside of the project that effects the project itself. You might be doing a mix on 9/10/2001 that talks about dropping bombs which then becomes inappropriate because of the outside situation. You might have some contract issue with one of the performers who needs to be taken out. You might have some word that the execs at Disney find offensive to parents and has to be changed.

This notion that recalls are done because someone can't make up their mind is the problem. As is this notion that people who are prepared and takes steps to prevent problems is because they are insecure is ignorant.
Old 26th September 2008
  #30
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post

This notion that recalls are done because someone can't make up their mind is the problem. As is this notion that people who are prepared and takes steps to prevent problems is because they are insecure is ignorant.
I would also add that the notion that the mixer is an artist whose 'vision' is co-equal to the actual Artists vision is also a problem - for the mixer. If every time someone asked for a recall, I took it as a personal insult to my mixing skills, I would long ago have taken to a bell tower with my rifle and scope.
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