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a quick mixing story.
Old 16th August 2005
Lives for gear

a quick mixing story.

I mixed a song not too long ago that had a bunch of tracks.
With every "save as" along the way, I would print a mix for reference of what was changing, mostly to have something to go back to if I lost focus along the way.
So by save #15 the mix is getting pretty complex.

When I first put up these tracks I got a basic blend going with only the critical parts up. No shakers, Tamb, layered vox parts, no backwards gtr, no reverb, no flanged chanting pigmies heh .... you get the idea.

So I casually gave a band member a CD with a couple of the mix references from minutes into the mix process to many, many hours of work.
I was surprised to hear they all agreed mix reference #1 was by far the best mix!
Seriously a 20 - 30 minute mix, no fancy samples, no automation, just a very quick "put up some faders with a little eq and compression" mix.
The tracks were pretty good, so it acually sounded good with very little work.
Still I started automating and bringing in the layers even though I knew it worked well right from the start as a basic mix.
I'm sure we've all overworked a track, but this was a really extreme example for me.
I just went on with what I thought was expected from me as the mixer, rather than noticing that it really worked scaled down.
The funny part is I had no instruction to simplify this track.
It really was just by chance that anyone heard the simplified mix at all.
Old 16th August 2005
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
IME, after about 2-3 hours a mix is roughly 80% there. At that point the rest of the time can be spent to either polish the rough edges or overmix and kill it.

If it ain't gelling after and hour or two I'll pull the faders down and start again.
Old 16th August 2005
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I've been thinking about doing the "quick mix" and the "real mix" of everything I do.

I'm with Jay, at certain times you need to pull all the faders down and re-balance. Usually your compression and EQ is worked out and the faders can be redone quickly and sound a lot better.
Old 16th August 2005
Lives for gear
joaquin's Avatar

Originally Posted by Winey
...The tracks were pretty good, so it acually sounded good with very little work...
I think that that's the Key, together with good arrangement for a clean, fast, and great Mix. Obviously sometimes you do not get but BS to work with
Old 16th August 2005
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar

I've done mixes in minutes sometimes that the artist just wants to be it, it's all a matter of perspective. Whatever they like...I like. You can overdo everything in life!

I've also spent 8 hours on a song and just want to rip my hair out because it's moving further away from the goal. Typically that's because the band is throwing out so many "do this" and "do that" tweaks and after a while you just have to start explaining WHY you can't just "do that".

Bruce Swedien printed over 90 mixes of "Billie Jean", and they used mix #2.

Old 16th August 2005
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Originally Posted by Drumsound
I've been thinking about doing the "quick mix" and the "real mix" of everything I do.
What's the difference?

Isn't every mix a real mix?

Even my roughs have a certain degree of polish to them.
Old 16th August 2005
Gear Maniac
David Lee's Avatar

I've had the same experience many times as well. If your instincts are good, go with them.

I do nothing but live recording and mixing, and sometimes the same spontaneous performance deserves almost the same *live* mixing on the back end.

NO it isn't always that way, but when something feels right, go with it!
Old 16th August 2005
Here for the gear

Thanks for reminding me that we often over-complicate the process...we're all perfectionists and never's never 'good enough'

As we used to say in Texas, " Don't put legs on a snake!"
Old 16th August 2005
Thanks for sharing your story.

I'm sure we've all been there.

It's just that some of us probably didn't realize it... heh
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