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How do you get your mixes approved?
Old 4th August 2005
  #1
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DirkB's Avatar
How do you get your mixes approved?

Say, you’re mixing one song a day, 2 possibilities, the artist can come to your CR and he/she cannot.

Can come to CR: do you let them come buy at the end of each mix, tweak a little and then approve? Do you burn a cd so they can check in their car? Do you let them take the cd home and finish up the morning after?

Cannot come to CR: do you send them an MP3, or have them donwload the full resolution file? Do they approve one mix at a time or do you mix a couple and then let them listen/adjust/approve?

Are there situations where the artist(s) doesn’t even hear the final mixes and you only deal with the producer? And how does that go?

Lot’s of little questions, but I was just wondering what is common. Recently I mixed a fun project, but it took quite some extra time and work to get the first couple of mixes approved since the artist was not able to come to me when I was finishing up the mixes. Now, with my hybrid mix environment, recalling a mix takes only a couple of minutes, but I did spend quite some extra time…

What’s your preferred modus operandi?

greetings,
Dirk
Old 4th August 2005
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
1) Can come to CR: do you let them come buy at the end of each mix, tweak a little and then approve? Do you burn a cd so they can check in their car? Do you let them take the cd home and finish up the morning after?

2) Cannot come to CR: do you send them an MP3, or have them donwload the full resolution file? Do they approve one mix at a time or do you mix a couple and then let them listen/adjust/approve?

3) Are there situations where the artist(s) doesn’t even hear the final mixes and you only deal with the producer? And how does that go?
1) come by & check mix. I try to go for the 'final mix' If they dont like it - book more time to fix it. However - the other engineer, here builds into his session planning - a final "mix tweak" day several days after the main mix days - so bands can listen at home and 'live with' the mixes.

2) Never really had this situation in my 20 + years. IMHO if you 'care' you will be there for the mix.

3) Once or twice I've mixed a few B sides / Demos when the band was not present for the last 4-5 hours because the band had to drive to a gig.. V rare. They accepted what they were given.
Old 4th August 2005
  #3
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
I just did a single with band based in Cardiff.

We tracked it down there and then mixed up here in London.

Everyone was pretty happy with sounds and working mixes while tracking so, with relative confidence, I brought it back up here, we mixed it and then I sent them some MP3's (burned at 320 kbps).

The only suggestion they had was that they wanted all the noise at the end of one song (about 4 guitars of extra mayhem) to sound like a 'piano being thrown down a staircase'.

So I recalled the mix, pitch-shifted everything except the bass drums down a few octaves and blended that in the with the rest of the kunk going on and seemed to have created the desired effect. Not sure if sounded like a piano but... Oh and I think we used some dirty Ohm plug-in too. Man those things are nasty!

I would have preferred to dump an old piano (already put out to pasture and ready to make one last dignified stand in the name of rock and roll, of course!) down a flight of stairs but the budget didn't permit such extravagance. heh

R.
Old 4th August 2005
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I typically mix with at least the band's leader (every band has one, you know the one who pays for almost everything themselves and acts responsibly and promotes them and deals with bar owners...) for as much as possible. When they ask too many questions etc I politely try to shut down the conversation by any means to keep the flow going. I wish they would at least show up after drum groups are setup as that's time consuming and the whole foundation, but I'm cool with them being there the whole time to cut down on tweaking later.

War
Old 4th August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
The Alamo's Avatar
 

Hi Dirk,

I can only answer you on the question where the artist/client attends the session, or at least part of it.
Common situation #1: I start mixing at 9-10am, by myself. The artist drops by somewhere after 5-6pm. Listens to what I came up with for a few times. I take note of their findings. Then I either make some changes or we'll discuss the remarks. If it's the first song of the album, everything will take a little longer though.
Common situation #2: I start mixing at 9-10am, by myself. The artist resides at the studio for the entire mixing period. He drops by once in a while to check on how I'm doing. I advise them not to sit behind me for the entire time, because I get more out of them when they come back every other hour or so. Also, it's too hard to keep quiet for a few hours. Not only for them though...for me too if I have too much company...That's why I like working at a studio that offers more than just a good console: like a gym, a pool, a pool table, anything that is good to clear their minds and keep them happy.

In both situations, we'll try to get a clear picture by dinner time. Now, as for giving them reference copies to check out the mix at home: I don't mind doing that. Often, when it's a band I've never worked with before I'll make them a few copies anyway. But when it's a returning customer they often don't even need a copy every day since they've learnt how the mixes will translate.

After dinner work: Final check of the mix. Often I'll leave the mix on the console until the next morning, and start preparing (at night) the song for the next day. At that time the assistant will be working on the recall sheets.

All The Best
Old 4th August 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Say, you’re mixing one song a day, 2 possibilities, the artist can come to your CR and he/she cannot.

Can come to CR: do you let them come buy at the end of each mix, tweak a little and then approve? Do you burn a cd so they can check in their car? Do you let them take the cd home and finish up the morning after?

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB

Cannot come to CR: do you send them an MP3, or have them donwload the full resolution file? Do they approve one mix at a time or do you mix a couple and then let them listen/adjust/approve?

Yes but i prefer the first the choice(client attends).


In the past i've done ISDN lines also.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB

Are there situations where the artist(s) doesn’t even hear the final mixes and you only deal with the producer? And how does that go?
Yes and usually it works out fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB

Lot’s of little questions, but I was just wondering what is common.
The answer is nowadays they all are.

You have to be prepared to deal with all.
Old 4th August 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
You have to be prepared to deal with all.
Agreed. I just came to the conclusion that sending mixes via mp3 to the client to check on, isn't good enough... I guess for the occasonal situation like this, a FTP server to upload full mixes is the way to go.

Thanks for the answers,
Dirk
Old 4th August 2005
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
I guess for the occasonal situation like this, a FTP server to upload full mixes is the way to go.

Thanks for the answers,
Dirk

I wholeheartedly agree.
Old 4th August 2005
  #9
azz
Gear Head
 

MP3 my #$%
Old 4th August 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I like them to take a CD home to listen to on their own system (or car) if possible.
Sometimes the control room just doesn't work for them, and you get no real feedback.
I also like to get the mix halfway there before taking comments.
I always get the feeling the clients think I'm messing around for fun when I'm getting the initial mix together.
It's so boring for everyone but me.
I hate the " So what are you doing now" questions.
It just wastes so much time to explain every move you make.
Old 4th August 2005
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I work in a smallish place mostly with local artists. I like to get the mix pretty close and then call them to come by and listen. I make any tweaks necessary and print. Often a CD is made that they take home or check out in the car or portable player. Depending on time of night, and amount of time to mix, I might leave the mix on the desk and do extra tweaks the next day. That seems to happen on the first couple of mixes, but then the artist and I have sussed out each other enough to make it unnecessary.

I did a big mix project last summer where the artist and I were in different towns. When I got to the point where I'd call a local, I instead burned a CD. I went home and made an MP3 and emailed it to the client. He listened and made notes, called r emailed them to me. I made the tweaks and repeated the process. I quite liked this because my schedule was even freer than usual.

The one client that I've done mixes without approval is a guy who's done two full lengths with me first. He and I know how to do our thing. I do the mix and send him a CD he calls and says "It great." Other than him, I've never done that and I'm not sure I'd like to...
Old 4th August 2005
  #12
FNM
Gear Maniac
 

I usually mix on my own time, and then leave a CD on my porch for the band to pick up at their leisure and give me notes.

When bands come in, they usually make tweaks, and then listen to it for a weak and want more tweaks done, so I usually try to get it to what I think is best so when they come in only very minor tweaks need to be done and it saves them time.
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