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Old 20th September 2005
Past Guest Moderator
Michael Brauer's Avatar

It’s an interesting question. It should be an easy one to answer but you’ve noticed it’s been sitting there unanswered for a week.

I’m never sure how I’m going to start a mix. I sit down at the desk, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and follow the stream of ideas that begin to flow.

If a song is based on a vocal and acoustic guitar, I might build the mix around that. In this way, the focus always stays on the vibe I captured at the start. There are times when I build the mix up around a piano or a bass and vocal. Establishing the vibe in the first ten minutes is what gravitates me to these odd combinations but it works really well for the song.

When I mix singles or albums, I’ve already listened to it once for approval prior to booking the time. There are exceptions but I don’t want to mix something I don’t like. It’s not fair to either the client or myself. Music that I can’t relate to, makes me grumpy and it’s hard to be diplomatic when I’m not having fun.

I don’t study a song prior to mixing it. I enjoy the spontaneity of not knowing anything about it. Of course, I sit down with the artist and ask a lot of questions prior to mixing, but the song is fresh and new to me at this stage.