The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Why can you attend a mastering session but not mixing?
Old 17th July 2005
  #61
Lives for gear
 
RichT's Avatar
 

It's a personal thing (or should that be 'personnel'? heh ).

I track most of the projects I mix and so I'm able get a good idea of whether or not I could mix with the guys I've been working with for the last x amount of days.

What I find normally is that I gain the artists trust through the tracking process and that they actually trust me to get on with it without their prescence.

There are a couple of producers I work with that I like to sit in on the mix with me though, they're more experienced and more specialised in their field (Rock-a-billy for example, I can mix it but I don't listen to it much...)

I guess it depends on how much you respect the mixer you've hired.

If you like his previous work and think he'll work out for you, then some compromise might be needed.

You're unlikely to get his best work if he feels you're demanding 'this' and 'that' and probably better to just go to someone else.

Cheers,
Rich
Old 17th July 2005
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
ghoost's Avatar
 

hmmm ... don't know about stealing trade secrets, although I understand the concern/sentiment. I think the reality is though, you could have somebody copy all your settings, go home to duplicate equipment and it's very likely it won't sound exactly the same (that is what we're talking about .. right) siince it's not in the same room !!

Keep those same settings in the same room (same equipment) .. bring in 3 other quality mixers and it's a guarenteed bet those settings will change as well as the sound, by the time he/she walks out of it. And it will possibly sound just as good, to an impartial ear ... just different.

Therin lies the truth ... You can't copy somebody's EARS or whatever ZEN process they go through to reach the final result.

Personally, I don't permit the artist to be around when I mix. It would interfer with my process, but that's just me. The secret thing doesn't really enter my mind. I also tend to produce,track and mix 99% of the projects I work on. The artist has heard these beforehand and a certain trust factor is pre-established. Needless to say (for me at least) I usually start to hear a mix (somewhat subconciously) as I'm tracking and it will of coarse influence how I track. I don't conciously duplicate any procedure be it tracking or mixing.

I really can't imagine working any other way ... but that's just me
Old 17th July 2005
  #63
Gear Addict
 
MrChang's Avatar
 

My 2¢

1) If you've heard a mixer's work... and you simply "must hire" them for your project... and he's not down with you being there while he's whipping your mix into shape...

Hire them. Get a great mix. Make money. Repeat.

2) In my experience with farming out mixes, many guys & gals work so fast that their "trade secrets" (aka-years of sweat-equity) are going to fly by you. They've got their methods down cold, and 6 hours with them isn't going to unlock anything more than "Wow! This guy is good. Is that a Pultec!!!" Otherwise, Berklee now is accepting MP&E applicants for the fall semester.

3) There is no quiet observer. As a client, I'm most guilty of this myself.

4) Always be there for the home stretch... and take all the credit!

5) See #1 & #4.


Or you can take your business to someone cool with you sitting in for the session...

but, as stated earlier, most mixers work in their panties... not a pretty sight... or, sometimes, smell
Old 17th July 2005
  #64
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick
I've been on both sides of this issue.

I produced a song that Dave Pensado mixed. He was very cool about me hanging around and watching. I would throw in my thoughts here and there, but for the most part he offered up what he was doing as he did it. I did another with Jean Marie Horvat, and very much the same experience. Jean Marie was happy to have the company and was very forthright in talking about what he was doing. And, sheesh... he was fast.
Know JMH very well I can tell you that he absolutely hates when clients are there too early. But being one of the nicest human beings on earth, he would never make anyone feel unwelcome no matter what. but the point being that while he may have been happy to ave you there, he really wasn't happy about someone being there during his personal moments. This is the case for pretty much every mix engineer I know, myself included (I believe Bob Clearmountian has it on his top 10 list of things he hates). Dave may be one of the few exceptions though, he thrives on people being around. But most people aren't going to tell you they want to be alone because they don't want to offend anyone.

While maybe the one paying the bill technically has the right to be there, I think it can be very uncool to put the mixer in a position that makes them uncomfortable and interferes with their job task, even if it is meant with the best intention. It is an art unto itself and the mixer is an artist who needs to be comfortable to perform. If someone needs to be there the entire time, then perhaps they may not have hired the right person. I dunno...
Old 17th July 2005
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
that isnt a secret, its just the unknown... and as someone already pointed out earlier... information is available everywhere now.
Yeah but not everything is.

And i personally feel it should stay that way.
Old 17th July 2005
  #66
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Yeah but not everything is.

And i personally feel it should stay that way.
Why?
Old 17th July 2005
  #67
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

IF THIS WAS about knowing what gear and settings pro mixers use.. having Mr. Wagener as a moderator here, every one should be making awesome sounding records by now.
Old 17th July 2005
  #68
no ssl yet
Guest
How I got into this business

I got into this business programming drums for my childhood friend's father. The father took me under his wing when he saw my interest in music. After I went into the studio with him I was hooked. I wanted to learn as much as I could about manipulating sounds to make them submit to my will LOL. As I began writing songs of my own, I hired the same engineer/studio.

had I not been able to attend through most of this, someone would have possibly taken away my inspiration.

I like Pensado's attitude. If you REALLY want to learn, and you are not bull****ting about it, then I dont have a thing to hide from you. Besides EACH SONG is different. Knowing every "trick" does not teach you when to apply it.

I think I owe it to the universe to keep giving to that which has given to me
Old 17th July 2005
  #69
Lives for gear
 

maybe you could ask to set up a video recorder/camera and put it in the back. that way you won't be interrupting the mixer.

and you know you aren't getting billed for 45 minute cigarette/cellphone breaks.
Old 17th July 2005
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
Why?

For the same reason if you mention a piece of gear that someone uses the prices on ebay jump.

Some people are just getting plain lazy and want to be able to dial up someones sound like a preset.

Like the Andy Wallace guitar or bass sound or the JJP kick or snare sound.

They want instant gratification without putting in the sweat.

I've mentioned pieces of gear here i personally favor and had people PM me right after saying "hey i just bought piece of gear X that you said. Now what presets do you use or what are your favorite settings?"

My attitude is "what?"

How about trying the thing out yourself or just some experimentation?

That's how i learned what worked best for me not so and so telling me that its great.
Old 17th July 2005
  #71
Lives for gear
 
audioez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChang
My 2¢

2) In my experience with farming out mixes, many guys & gals work so fast that their "trade secrets" (aka-years of sweat-equity) are going to fly by you...

Couldn't have said it better

I must give some props to berklee!!! Alumni '01
Old 17th July 2005
  #72
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Yeah but not everything is.

And i personally feel it should stay that way.
why, that is stupid.
Old 17th July 2005
  #73
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I've mentioned pieces of gear here i personally favor and had people PM me right after saying "hey i just bought piece of gear X that you said. Now what presets do you use or what are your favorite settings?"

My attitude is "what?"

How about trying the thing out yourself or just some experimentation?
Well, you are certainly right about some people wanting it handed to them on a silver platter and not wanting to do the sweaty part. That's kind of a societal thing right now I think. I'm dissapointed that you are faced with folks emailing you for presets and silly stuff like that. I suppose I can understand your position in this thread a bit better now knowing that.

I for one just want to say "thanks" for you sharing your thoughts and techniques here, and for the generosity with which you do so. Without having to email you for specific presets, I have indeed experimented with various concepts you have put forward, adapting them to my own gear where it is different from yours. It's always been fun and informative, and you are indeed having a positive influence on making music sound better, far beyond your own work in your studio. That's why I share when I have something to share, I'd much rather listen to better music than worse music, so if I can help someone make better music I'm all for it.

In that vein, there are many people here to thank for the help they've given me, it's all appreciated, "secret" or not!

Also, I personally would find advice like "take preset #19 in your 480L and run it through preset #92 in your H8000 and you'll have THE SOUND" to be less than helpful. Since I don't have that gear that advice would be completely meaningless to me. The real important part of all this discussion is in the general principles involved, the approach, the problem solving, the broader ideas.

So perhaps there are "secrets" involved with the details of the gear itself, but not in the general approach and principles?
Old 17th July 2005
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

this is such a pointless argument.

there is nothing wrong with giving out presets if that means a good starting point, and like said earlier every song is different. anyways, a amateur that asks for things like that is just discovering "secrets" the pro engineer has probably learned years ago, and now is way ahead of those anyways. So he the amateur that knows many secrets, is in no way competition or a "job threat" for the pro.
Old 18th July 2005
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
why, that is stupid.

No its not stupid.

Part of what makes the music scene so desirable to people on the outside is its sense of mystery.

You take that away and it becomes just like everything else.

Over exposure is not a good thing.

You have to leave people wanting more or they won't come back.

That's why i always state that its not for everyone and it shouldn't be.
Old 18th July 2005
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
this is such a pointless argument.

there is nothing wrong with giving out presets if that means a good starting point, and like said earlier every song is different. anyways, a amateur that asks for things like that is just discovering "secrets" the pro engineer has probably learned years ago, and now is way ahead of those anyways. So he the amateur that knows many secrets, is in no way competition or a "job threat" for the pro.

Yeah but if the person says" hey i've tried this in a bunch of different ways and i still can get it to do what i want" my answer will probably be" but have you tried it like this?" "This is what i would do".


The point is they tried it themselves and made an effort to make it work.

If they want my presets than they might as well send me the track and i'll mix it myself.

I guess I'm from a different era.

The era where you were thrusted into sessions and had to figure things out based on the need at hand.

If the client wanted an X sound you figured out how to make an X sound.

If you couldn't do it they would find someone else that could(the manager would call in the next freelancer for the next session).

It was about pressure and competition.

So later you either go home and cry in your beer or you stayed in the studio to the wee hours trying to figure out how to give someone and X sound for the future.
Old 18th July 2005
  #77
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

you have some good points thrill.

As far as a era of competition, it's still a era of competition.. and even though it's easy to find out what gear uses who (and presets) , and it's way easier to access $$$ the good stuff.. there still is a big difference with the top pro guys and the others. And that difference is the big mystery.

It happens with songwriting aswell. The beatles chord changes and structures, and melody's are there for all of us to hear and see. But you have to be a Lennon or Mccartney to write another Beatle song. And frankly, for me .. it's a big ass mystery on how they did it.

I think it has to do with born with talent, instinct.. etc.. you can't teach those, you are born with them.. you either have them or not.. the answer is definetly not in the presets. That's the real mystery for me. No school teaches talent. That's why some of the best Pro's didn't attend one.
Old 18th July 2005
  #78
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
...I guess I'm from a different era.

The era where you were thrusted into sessions and had to figure things out based on the need at hand.
Darn, nobody bothered to tell me that era ended!

Whenever I've leaned on any kind of a formula rather than accepting that I didn't know what to expect, I've screwed up big time because of my loss of objectivity. I also find it's really easy to draw false conclusions based on a specific situation because things are always far more complicated than they appear to be on the surface. I went for years thinking you should always put an eq after a limiter before I learned that a Pultec simply did a better job of driving the tape machines I was using than the limiters we had. At Motown there were standard places to put a vocal mike in the studio that turned out to be unnecessary if you took the drums out of the room.

The difference between engineers is their approach to solving problems while maintaining objectivity. It's how they respond to a situation. Occasionally I've seen people that I worked with years earlier copying how I had done something while remaining completely oblivious to the fact that it wasn't working!
Old 18th July 2005
  #79
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
you have some good points thrill.


It happens with songwriting aswell. The beatles chord changes and structures, and melody's are there for all of us to hear and see. But you have to be a Lennon or Mccartney to write another Beatle song. And frankly, for me .. it's a big ass mystery on how they did it.
.
This makes so much sense.

I mean, would a guitar player say: "I don't want anyone in the audience while I play, for fear they might figure out what I'm doing and then go and replicate my parts themselves"?

It's crazy to think that anyone can mix as well as seasoned pro mixers just because they've figured out some compressor settings. Anyone who's ever tried to mix a song KNOWS that it takes years of experience to get to be as good as the pros.

Furthermore, I know I've been embarrassed comparing, what I thought were, my best mixes on high end gear to a seasoned pro's mixes on a mackie.

Still, I understand the need to be alone for a period of time while building the mix. It just helps one get into the zone.
Old 18th July 2005
  #80
Lives for gear
 
eightyeightkeys's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefthando
............
Still, I understand the need to be alone for a period of time while building the mix. It just helps one get into the zone.
It's also a matter of trying things without the peanut gallery making comments on every little twist of a knob.

"That's cool", "Oh, I love that", "What the hell is that" \

And, yes, all of a sudden you lose your concentration and you can start to be manipulated by comments. Positive and negative.

I was working as a keyboard player/arranger for a very well known artist on his first solo album/CD and, during the mix, the engineer kicked us all the hell out of the control room until he was good and ready. I mean, first solo album, on your own, on his own nut where everyone is going to be super critical of the release and the engineer kicks us out. Big balls !
But, you know now I understand it very,very well. thumbsup
Old 18th July 2005
  #81
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Well, I suggest you gusy never go into post. We do shows where the writer, Director, producer, Picture editor and composer are in the back, all giving their 2 cents.
Old 18th July 2005
  #82
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
The other issue is what happens if you hand off your tracks to an engineer, walk away, and then when you get the mix it's not what you had in mind at all? Let's say it just doesn't work. That means you have to go back and remix the whole thing, and probably with a different engineer. Now you've doubled your mix expenses. If you'd been sitting in the room with the engineer in the first place you could have nipped any problems in the bud, and saved yourself the time, cost, and aggravation of getting a mix back that you can't use.

The approach I'm talking about is basically having a producer in the room to give some direction at the start but stay out of the way for the bulk of the time. This can be done in a cool way. Phones and internet just don't do that for me personally. Maybe if I have already done a lot of projects with that particular engineer and they know what I am going for. But for a new relationship, no way on the phone/internet thing.

And I did say relationship. And collaboration earlier. It is that, and I truly believe those things are important both professionally and in the creative process. And the mix is certainly part of that creative process.
These are all great points except for one. A good client, whether it's the producer, musician, engineer, mook or some combination...will give me a good sense of direction before I get the songs to mix. And usually I get rough mixes of the project before I even do a test mix because I want to be sure that I "get it" and will bring something postive to the table, otherwise I'm wasting everyones time. If the lines of communication are open then the interknot and phone calls can be a highly effective way of communicating but everyone needs to be open minded and aware of the common goals, sonic or otherwise.

Now, if you blindly handed your songs off to a mix engineer and didn't give them any sort of direction and have no involvement in the mixing until it's done then what can you expect!?!? That's about the worst thing you can do! I don't like having clients in the room while I mix because like Slipperman said, it robs me of the first impression which is highly valuable. On the flip side I need some kind of comparison and a general sense of what the project is about before I move a fader. Even something basic like "Well, we're into the sound of albums X, H, M and Z and the music is kind of like bands H, W, E and M". From there I can generally get it into the right ballpark and get the mix about 80% there before the client comes in for the last 20% of rides and 'next-day' tweaks.

And yeah...the internet and email can be highly effective for that. If anything, it can be better then having them in the room the whole time. I had a really bad experience mixing an EP for one band where I was the mix AE and also the baby sitter. We were at a studio that shares space with a martial arts school and the band (boredom and hyperactivity at work lol) decided to crash the kung-fu place and the studio owners were bitching at me for not having an eye on the band and keeping them occupied! Sorry dude but I'm mixing, get a Playstation or something!!! Or if I hit a stumbling block and need a 1/2 hour away from the song to clear my head and rest my ears I can take that time rather then having someone beat me with the whole 'why aren't you working?' routine. It's the little things like that that help me relax and generally encourage more creativity which generally leads to a better record.

But then again, I charge by the day or by the project and not by the hour. What can I say?

It works for me and my clients.
Old 18th July 2005
  #83
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
Well, I suggest you gusy never go into post. We do shows where the writer, Director, producer, Picture editor and composer are in the back, all giving their 2 cents.
Exactly, *exactly*. How about when you have more than one producer and they don't agree with each other or the director? I guess I'm so used to being in those type of situations (as a composer, and with directors and producers breathing down my neck too) that the concept of telling a producer or artist they can't be at a mix seems foreign to me.
Old 18th July 2005
  #84
Here for the gear
 

yeh, there is in fact three different points going on here, all interesting and relevent:

1. Mix alone or with people - hey, it is cool to get headspace with a mix, and less distracting than if people are talking / commenting / asking for moreme etc. OTOH, it's nice to be around other people, and if folk get distracting, it is easy to calmly and politely ask them to STFU.

2. Stealing secrets - I have no concept of this, the only way we will make better music and progress is if we share information. Me sitting down with Lee Perry for a session isn't going to suddenly turn me into a carbon copy of him, is it?

3. Asking for more money for an attended mix - unheard of for me, and as far as I can see, out of line. Would the same mix engineer say that if Dr. Dre wanted to sit in on a mix?
Old 19th July 2005
  #85
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiopervert
yeh, there is in fact three different points going on here, all interesting and relevent:

1. Mix alone or with people - hey, it is cool to get headspace with a mix, and less distracting than if people are talking / commenting / asking for moreme etc. OTOH, it's nice to be around other people, and if folk get distracting, it is easy to calmly and politely ask them to STFU.

3. Asking for more money for an attended mix - unheard of for me, and as far as I can see, out of line. Would the same mix engineer say that if Dr. Dre wanted to sit in on a mix?

1. There are some people who won't STFU no matter what you ask them. I've rarely...I mean really really rarely (like dripping blood rare) kicked clients out of my shop. But there was one guy who was just killing me the whole time and I booted him out after a week. The final straw was him standing behind me, about a foot and half from my ears crinkling a candy bar wrapper in his hand while I'm editing audio for HIS project. Sorry, but if you can't respect the engineers wishes and your own msuic enough to NOT do something like that, then I don't need or want to work on your record.

3. I'd hope that the mix AE wants more money from Dr. Dre to sit in on the mix if that's his SOP. It's the principle of the thing. I figure if the client wants to sit in the control room from the time I push the first couple of faders up to the end of the song I'm going to make more money because it's going to take longer. The downside of that is that mixing like that can turn into teaching which is a different thing then mixing a record. And roughly 90% of the time I've mixed with a client (against my wishes) in the room for the duration the mixes have sucked. You want to attend? Coolio. Go hang out in the lounge and poke your head in once on a while. Listen to what's going on and make suggestions. That's cool, but listening to me solo the snare, vox and 'verb returns for a 1/2 hour? They'll lose their perspective and get lost in the forest and that's NOT cool.
Old 19th July 2005
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs

3. I'd hope that the mix AE wants more money from Dr. Dre to sit in on the mix if that's his SOP. It's the principle of the thing. I figure if the client wants to sit in the control room from the time I push the first couple of faders up to the end of the song I'm going to make more money because it's going to take longer. The downside of that is that mixing like that can turn into teaching which is a different thing then mixing a record. And roughly 90% of the time I've mixed with a client (against my wishes) in the room for the duration the mixes have sucked. You want to attend? Coolio. Go hang out in the lounge and poke your head in once on a while. Listen to what's going on and make suggestions. That's cool, but listening to me solo the snare, vox and 'verb returns for a 1/2 hour? They'll lose their perspective and get lost in the forest and that's NOT cool.
First off if your doing a recording or mixing for an artist signed to a major, much less someone who is huge, I'm sure your getting paid well, and I'm sure no one
will have the balls to charge the artist more if he wants to attend.
99.9% of the time no one really wants to hang for the whole mix. In the case of the original poster he want's to learn something from the mix by observing the engineer. I still think if he's paying he gets to watch if he wants to, and trying to charge him more is wayyyyyy lame.
Old 19th July 2005
  #87
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab
In the case of the original poster he want's to learn something from the mix by observing the engineer. I still think if he's paying he gets to watch if he wants to, and trying to charge him more is wayyyyyy lame.
Truth.
Old 19th July 2005
  #88
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
No its not stupid.

Part of what makes the music scene so desirable to people on the outside is its sense of mystery..

i take it back, THAT is even more stupid.
Old 19th July 2005
  #89
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
Well, I suggest you gusy never go into post. We do shows where the writer, Director, producer, Picture editor and composer are in the back, all giving their 2 cents.
sucks to be you.
Old 19th July 2005
  #90
Lives for gear
 
audioez's Avatar
 

hmmn, this brings up a good point!!!

I'd say make your clients go get a 6 pack, send them on runs; when they get back, they'll be like "Man! I should always let you mix alone" I've had this happen to me, it works! This was a project where I mixed 10 songs in two days with only one recall.

A mixing marathon needs provisions(fruit, bread and red wine) not micro management from the clients!!!



communication is the key! start today
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump