Vocal Distortion On Leona Lewis Best You Never Had
Fist off, I want to thank you for the posts you made here before, reading them changed the way I mixed, and also the way i thought about mixing. I joined this site (then lost all my log in details) shortly after your last Q+A and was pissed that I had missed the opitunity to pick your brains!
I have about a thousand questions in my head, but I will try to eek them out over the month. This is my first post under a new name, so I thought I would start with something controversial... haha
So I got Leona Lewis' album when it came out (don't hate on me but I love her voice) I was listening along in the car and "The Best You Never Had" came on, I was thinking the bass mix in the intro was sick, although I wasn't a fan of the producers choice of clap I was nodding my head! I was thinking the mix reminded me of your work, so there I was wondering who had mixed it, and before I could stop to check the credits it came to the chorus, and there it kinda all went wrong for me.
It sounds to me like she was hitting some serious limiting on the more powerful phrases, with a fair amount of harmonic distortion happening.
When I got to check the credits I was supprised to see you had mixed this, and also to see Jaycen's name there (lot's of questions about how all that came about, and on working in partnership to follow) So I was wondering if the vocal came to you like this, or it was a choice you made for the vocal. I noticed that it was happening on the adlibs also causing a slight squash overall. So was wondering if maybe this happened in mastering.
A little sub question about that, do you always listen to a mix after the mastering stage to see how it turned out?
Ok so not trying to hate, and no I don't wanna take this outside! haha
One man's smoke is another man's toke and maybe it is exactly how you wanted it to be.
Right, I have questions for days, but I will hold back for the moment!
1st, nothing is off limits here. When one does 250 or so mixes a year, some things can slip by. I don't recall hearing what you heard, but if it is indeed there, then I will take the blame (or credit for you guys that like distortion). I like a little distortion in the chorus sometimes, because it gives the listener the feeling that the artist was singing really loud. I will have to check it though. good question, hit me on it again so i won't forget.
Don't worry, I wil remind ya. :-)
I'll ping you over an MP3 if you can't find the mix, haha. Would that be legal? I own a copy, and your on the credits? haha
Your reply got me thinking, if you do something you think sounds really good, but the client isn't a big fan of it, do they always mention it, or because your "Dave Pensado" do they just think you know best. From all I have read of your's you seem like one of the most Humble men in this game, but you can't get away from the FACT you are a modern mixing legend, does this intimidate some people to give their opinion if it is against yours?
Sometimes I have to fight to get something my way (business partners and A+R don't hear it how i do) do you still have to have that battle sometimes? There is another thread here about a comment Christina made about you always being on her side, but that's for another day!
When one does 250 or so mixes a year, some things can slip by.
This statement confirms a suspicion I have had for a long time, that many of these "big league" mixer guys develop a production-line approach to their work, just churning out the same old thing with the same old presets, and not giving every mix the full attention it deserves.
I suggest you reduce your workload if you are letting distorted lead vocals "slip by".