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Choosing a mix engineer for a project and Andy Wallace/Nevermind
Old 18th June 2009
  #1
Choosing a mix engineer for a project and Andy Wallace/Nevermind

Hi Butch Vig. Thanks for taking out the time to answer questions about your esteemed career.

When choosing the mix engineer for productions that you helm, i was wondering if you have more of the final say or is it more the band and or label?
Old 19th June 2009
  #2
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Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Hi Butch Vig. Thanks for taking out the time to answer questions about your esteemed career.

When choosing the mix engineer for productions that you helm, i was wondering if you have more of the final say or is it more the band and or label?
I think Cobain picked this one... at least from what i've read... story goes: label gave him a list and AW mixed a record Cobain liked so he picked him....
Old 19th June 2009
  #3
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Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Hi Butch Vig. Thanks for taking out the time to answer questions about your esteemed career.

When choosing the mix engineer for productions that you helm, i was wondering if you have more of the final say or is it more the band and or label?
Usually I discuss the selection of a mix engineer with the band and A&R person.
Sometimes I'll get the band to listen to potential mixers recent body or work, so they can tell what their sensibility is. But you have to be careful...a lot of artist don't "hear" the mix, they listen to the song or the artist, and if they don't like it, they cross them off their list.

When we chose Andy Wallace to mix Nevermind, Kurt and I looked over a list the label had sent with potential mixers. There were LOTS of names I knew and respected, and I was psyched that I would have to chance to work with a kickass mix engineer.
We looked down the list:
Scott Litt, Ed Stasium, Don Gehman, Bob Cleramountain, Tom Lord Alge, etc etc lots of great mix engineers....

until we got to the bottom, and it said:

Andy Wallace/Slayer


Kurt said: "Call that guy!"
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Old 19th June 2009
  #4
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Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post

until we got to the bottom, and it said:

Andy Wallace/Slayer


Kurt said: "Call that guy!"
Hhaha. That is awesome!
Old 20th June 2009
  #5
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Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
until we got to the bottom, and it said:

Andy Wallace/Slayer


Kurt said: "Call that guy!"
Ha! That's awesome!
Old 20th June 2009
  #6
Andy Wallace

Not sure if this should be posted, but Andy Wallace is a genius in my opinion as is Butch Vig which goes without saying!
I just wanted to show my respect for some of my heroes in this industry, not to forget Rick Rubin, Bob Katz and of course Phil Ramone,

Eck (G)
Old 20th June 2009
  #7
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I'm disturbed by today's trend that an outside mixer "has" to be brought in to mix major projects.

Is it a political issue with the labels? Obviously, you're talented enough to produce a final mix -- and it worked in the "old days" -- so why is this not happening much anymore?
Old 22nd June 2009
  #8
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Originally Posted by Studio Addict View Post
I'm disturbed by today's trend that an outside mixer "has" to be brought in to mix major projects.

Is it a political issue with the labels? Obviously, you're talented enough to produce a final mix -- and it worked in the "old days" -- so why is this not happening much anymore?
From my point of view, after working a lot of hours on a project, i like to have the ability to step away from it, and when let someone else take over the mixing chores. When I walk in to make comments on the mix, I usually have a much fresher perspective on how it should sound. The mix engineer also has my ruff mixes which are a pretty good template.
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Old 22nd June 2009
  #9
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Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
From my point of view, after working a lot of hours on a project, i like to have the ability to step away from it, and when let someone else take over the mixing chores. When I walk in to make comments on the mix, I usually have a much fresher perspective on how it should sound. The mix engineer also has my ruff mixes which are a pretty good template.
How long do you generally spend on a rough mix? Are you doing any additional arranging during this time or are you just focused on the mix?
Old 22nd June 2009
  #10
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Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
From my point of view, after working a lot of hours on a project, i like to have the ability to step away from it, and when let someone else take over the mixing chores. When I walk in to make comments on the mix, I usually have a much fresher perspective on how it should sound. The mix engineer also has my ruff mixes which are a pretty good template.
Hi Butch

Do you really find mixing a "chore"?

Nick
Old 22nd June 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
We looked down the list:
Scott Litt, Ed Stasium, Don Gehman, Bob Cleramountain, Tom Lord Alge, etc etc lots of great mix engineers....

until we got to the bottom, and it said:

Andy Wallace/Slayer


Kurt said: "Call that guy!"
that's classic. loved that guy's sense of humor.
Old 22nd June 2009
  #12
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Originally Posted by planet red View Post
How long do you generally spend on a rough mix? Are you doing any additional arranging during this time or are you just focused on the mix?
Sometimes I make very polished rough mixes if i feel like I need the band and label to hear them a certain way. When Billy and I finished AM's New Wave, I took the sessions home and spent about 3 weeks doing roughs, and we actually used one of the mixes on the album.

Other times, I like to keep the roughs just a flat board mix, with very little eq, comp, and effects. That's what Chris Dugan and I did with 21st Century Breakdown, we hyped it just enough to get the idea across, but leaving a lot of room for CLA to do his thing.

The danger of doing really good rough mixes is that you fall in love with them, but it's also hard to do a rough mix and leave it kind of unfinished...there's a tendency to want to make it sound "finished" before it is actually finished.
Old 22nd June 2009
  #13
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Originally Posted by nbrecording View Post
Hi Butch

Do you really find mixing a "chore"?

Nick
I like mixing, but I will say that I'm not the speediest mixer in the world!
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