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Author Topic: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!  (Read 30366 times)

wwittman

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2005, 01:53:16 pm »

I wonder who thinks Sgt. Pepper would have been a better record if the A&R dept had insisted they send it out to an outside mixer who "mixes hits" and "has more perspective"?

I agree with Ross about the trend to over recording.. and I think in PART at least, that if the guys who were recording 4 tracks of surround dripping water, with and without flanging effect, knew they had to sit there and MIX the thing into the record they were supposedly hired to make, they might be a little more inclined to make some decisions... or at least to make sure it actually sounded like something instead of a collection of "ideas".


I like some of JJP's work.
I like some of the Lord-Alge's work (more often Chris').

It's the overarching concept that irks me.
I've seen records mixed OUT of being hits.. but I don't believe a record can be mixed INTO being one.
And I don't think there's any magical mystical technique that is "now" or "radio" or whatever the hype is.
The guy is either good at putting it all toegther or he's not.
The rest is marketing voodoo.
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William Wittman
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(Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx, The Outfield, Hooters...)

Fibes

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2005, 02:05:03 pm »

wwittman wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 13:53

I wonder who thinks Sgt. Pepper would have been a better record if the A&R dept had insisted they send it out to an outside mixer who "mixes hits" and "has more perspective"?



Precisely.

My last post was a bit heavyhanded, I apologise if i came across as holier than thou.

That said, I hate you all, the guns are aimed and ready, so don't screw up, 'cause there's a bunch of 60mm cannons aimed at you... heh heh...


Call me old fashioned but i still think a record is best left in the hands of the team that travelled the journey from step one.


WW-  Great point about the "overtracking/we don't have to mix it crew." lately it seems there is more emphasis on Fixing, sifting and less on mixing due to "unlimited tracks."

Make some fucking decisions people, that's what real artists do. you never saw Monet hiring finishers to sand layers off his paintings after they dried...


Vision...
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Fibes
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2005, 02:29:52 pm »

Kehew was telling me about going through the 2" masters of a certain classic album recently, and if you threw up everything at 0db, you essentially had the mix you heard on the album, minus panning.  I want to be that good.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Fibes

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2005, 05:58:10 pm »

J.J. wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 14:29

Kehew was telling me about going through the 2" masters of a certain classic album recently, and if you threw up everything at 0db, you essentially had the mix you heard on the album, minus panning.  I want to be that good.


Yeah, i've noticed it's harder to get there when you aren't tracking everything through a desk. I remember riding faders during vocal takes and now with the whole outboard pre thing into a DAW it's a lot harder to get the fader in line. Using one desk and a finite number of tracks always forced the issue of printing "in the now." Instead of three+ discrete mics for each RTM guitar into the DAW it was always a mono or stereo mix going to tape.
Fletcher has talked about basically giving stereo stems to "after the fact" mixers like L/R RTM GTRS, L/R drums etc. Seems like that's one way of (somewhat) locking in the original vision, although i'm sure it ain't the best for team morale. Then again if it works noone should be complaining.  
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Fibes
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Etch-A-Sketch

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2005, 06:48:23 pm »

J.J. wrote on Thu, 24 March 2005 11:29

Kehew was telling me about going through the 2" masters of a certain classic album recently, and if you threw up everything at 0db, you essentially had the mix you heard on the album, minus panning.  I want to be that good.


I have to wonder about this though...Is it really the multitrack masters, or is it a flattened multitrack 2" of the mix?  Where did he get the 2" reel from?  Just curious...



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Derek Jones
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #50 on: March 24, 2005, 09:43:54 pm »

Well, Brian has mentioned it in this forum, so I don't think I'm talking out of school, here.  Brian is given original masters to do mixes of extra tracks or outtakes when certain albums are rereleased.  I'm not jealous of JJP, I'm jealous of Brian!  

Me: "What are you doing?"
Brian: "I'm going through original (insert one of the following) Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac / Curtis Mayfield / Yes / David Bowie / (others I'm not allowed to mention in here) masters."
Me: "I hate you.  Can I be your friend?"
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Otitis Media

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2005, 07:13:52 am »

No kidding!  I wish I had a job that cool.  I get to work on mixes for video projects that are streamed on the web.  Audio?  What's that?  And then there's the matter of this one little song I've been playing with just to get my chops up, but the singer drives my wife NUTS so I have to stop with that one soon...

To be fair to JJP - I think his work is great on the whole.  He's out of my league skill-wise, I think.  

Dan
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Dan Roth
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compasspnt

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #52 on: March 25, 2005, 09:56:10 pm »

Otitis Media wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 07:13



To be fair to JJP ...He's out of my league skill-wise, I think.  

Dan



Perhaps, but then there's the human being-wise side of things...
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Bill Mueller

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2005, 09:30:29 am »

I wonder about the 2" your talking about. Is this an original? Or is it a mix dupe.

I have worked with producers who tried to track that way, but we always ended up compromising on the individual tracks for signal to noise and distortion. In other words, on one song I might drive the drums hotter for a bit of tape compression, while on another I lower them for high end fidelity but acknowledge the added tape noise.

The "0db at the mix faders" view of tracking assumes the analog recorder is an infinite, high fidelity storage device, not the smudgy, limited band pass, highly distorted box we know and love.

As a matter of fact, because of its greater dynamic range and lower distortion and noise, a DAW could offer this type of environment BETTER than a traditional 2" analog machine/mixing console setup. Just set one of your loudest instruments, (pick one, I would use a bass guitar) to say, six or ten db under clipping on your 24/96 or 192 DAW and then with your mix faders all set to 0, mix from the tracking side.

As a caveat, this approach would not include any volume changes that might need to occur after the tracking stage. Thats also why I think your friend may have a mix dupe.

Best Regards,

Bill
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wwittman

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2005, 09:39:14 am »

I'm not saying that literally the faders are in a line and the mix is mixed..
but on really well produced and recorded records, you can literally push the faders up with your elbow and it sounds LIKE the record.. the clarity is there, the character is there... it's just an obvious matter of making the vocal louder and the guitars lower, etc. and then it's THERE.
but you can hear it straight away.


It doesn't get "made" in the mix.

Some VERY older school guys did get so stuck in their 4 track and 8 track methods that even into the many multi-track days they still balanced the tracks on the tape so that it LITERALLY was every fader at '0'.. but that's not what I was talking about.
THAT, I quite agree, sacrifices signal to noise at the very least.
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William Wittman
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2005, 12:58:53 pm »

I was thinking about this thread yesterday, as I went by to visit Jason Falkner at his studio.  Jason, of course, was in the Grays, and had JJP mix portions of his two solo records for Neglektra.  I had told him about the thread and about my story with how Jack's mix with just the 24 track, the 8038, some EQ and him playing the faders killed over the final album version.  We agreed that having too many toys and too many options can be a bad thing.  

He had once told me that he didn't want to produce himself again, because he plays so many instruments brilliantly, and plays everything on his albums himself, he thought the songs got muddled in too many things going on, etc.  The he played me a track he just did that was classic a Jason Falkner demo.  I have always loved his demos, even the really lo-fi ones.  It sounded so great, even though he doesn't have the most amazing rig, he knows how to get really cool sounds from what he has.  He doesn't need to have every mic pre or compressor under the sun to get a sound that works for the track.  I mean, even the tom sounds were really cool and he was just using SM57s.  I told him that I think he should continue to produce himself, but use no more than 16 tracks this time.  LOL.  

This, of course, goes back to what some of us are talking about.  Use some discipline when you track and envision the final mix.  Pink Floyd records and the way they made their records are a really great example of this.  In these days of unlimited tracks and being able to automate EQs in PT, etc., it gets to easy to see, let's throw everything at the wall and see what sticks in mixing.  God bless the poor mixing engineers who decide to eliminate things when we producers overindulge the artist or get bogged down in our own indecision.  Nick Launay was telling me that they tracked the Semi Sonic record with all kinds of production, and Bob Clearmountain made it a guitar, bass and drums record.  Nick thought that it actually worked really great like that.  Anyway, I digress ... as usual.

BTW, thank you for mentioning sacrificing signal to noise.  I've often wondered about the wisdom recording everything with faders at 0db for that very reason.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Otitis Media

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2005, 03:02:29 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 21:56

Otitis Media wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 07:13



To be fair to JJP ...He's out of my league skill-wise, I think.  

Dan



Perhaps, but then there's the human being-wise side of things...


Surely by now you've noticed that I'm an asshole? Razz
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Dan Roth
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drumsound

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Re: Zoolander and his mullet want to mix your record!
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2005, 04:57:09 pm »

I don't even know if I should add to this thread.  There' a lot of things happening and I have thoughts though....

Firstly I agree with JJ, the EQ cover looks really [Chicago Italian accent] stoopid! [/accent]

I also think the Grays' record sounds odd.  I think many things were EQ and compressed in SOLO.  I think that is a bad idea in general.  I also thin the method of EQ on that record is to find the "most important" frequency slice and boost the crap out of it and cut everything else.  Besides for most of the vocals and a few guitar parts I find the sounds very odd and not musical.  BUT, I really love the record because its full of great songs performed by great musicians.

I'm also totally on board with William.  Records should be mixed by the engineer/producer who made them in the first place.  I often know certain things that will happen in a mix well before I'm at that stage.  If I hand the record off, how do I know that those things will happen?  I do commit a lot of things to tape.  I want an odd, pointy guitar, I set up that sound in the room and then record it that way.  But I try to get a good level to tape for S/N ratio even if I know it will be low in the mix.  An outside mixer might crank that part and change the whole feel it was meant to add to the mix.

I like having 24-tracks.  I also like not even using them all.  Unlimited tracks and long record lengths are not helping our industry for the most part.  There are exceptions to the rule of course and I don't think that these things a bad in and of themselves, but I think they help 5-8% of the time and detract 92-98% of the time.  2% of the time they're just right.  

To address J Hall, Ross and others, I also agree that we shouldn't spend our time making broad stroked "this guy sucks" comments, but I have no problem with informed, specific criticisms (of me, my work or choices or of others).
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strawberrius

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Re: want to mix your record!
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2005, 05:36:54 pm »

i have produced/recorded songs mixed by most of the big dogs. in some cases, i chose who would mix and in others, the label chose. you have to remember that not all producers/engineers are even allowed to mix their own records these days (even if they are excellent at it). especially when those records get up into the competitive "million seller" category. but in the last several years i have become real good at printing the sounds and FX that i want in the final mix. there actually is an art to preparing Protools Files for these guys.

for instance, TLA & CLA want essentially "block audio" with no plugins whatsoever.  in JJP's case, he likes to get the PT session as i last had it... plugins/drum samples/unconsolidated fades and all. I'm in the middle of mixing several different artists with clearmountain right now and he is cool enuff to throw in the 5.1 mix at the same time.

i love to mix and essentially do mix every project on ProTools b4 i send it to these guys.  but.....
i must say after working on a grueling album for 3 months, the last thing i want to do is mix it/open up that can of worms.... so i'm all in favor of other people mixing my records.  and all of the above have been excellent at working with me and my mix comments (including a/b'ing to my protools 'ruff' mix). in the end it usually makes for a happier artist, producer & label.

just my 2 cents.

-jrf
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J.J. Blair

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Re: want to mix your record!
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2005, 07:13:13 pm »

- jrf, the great thing about Bob is that you can have a lot of input into the mix session, whereas the LAs have a reputation for not caring what you think.

BTW, since we all agree this picture is ridiculous, I stumbled upon the issue with Dave Navarro, shirtless lying on an SSL.  There's an editor at EQ who clearly would rather be working at Honcho.  I'll scan and post it later.  Dave is a nice guy, but I'm sure would be the first to admit that he can be a rockstar, so I'll post it, as a friend, in hopes that he says, "What was I thinking?  This is a magazine that guys read."
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham
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