sound ambitions.

Rise Up Singing

with 3 comments

Just thought I’d share my latest mix with anyone who wants to hear it, as I feel I’ve progressed significantly in my mixing after two terms of Alchemea.

This song has proved hugely important in two ways, because it really taught me;

  • Nailing the recording of a song is everything. This is a song by Jackie Green, which was tracked recently for a Telefunken event where they pitted various models of their mics against some old classics. As such, there were tens of thousands of pounds worth of mics, pres and compressors in that room and it allowed me to pick and choose the mics I wanted*. The outcome of this is that these source tracks were of just about the best quality possible for me to start off mixing with, and consequently the mix came together very easily indeed. I also found this recently with a track that I recorded at college onto tape – I spent plenty of time choosing mics carefully and positioning them as well as I know how, and that mix turned out great.
  • Trust your ears, but only to an extent. The monitoring in the SSL control room is extremely hit and miss in the low end. This mix turned out a lot tubbier than I wanted, even after some careful mastering, but I guess I’ve got to get used to the room still. I knew from my own research and experience that the SSL room would be tricky to mix in and I’ve always been conservative with my low end in that room, but this time I let it slip. On the other hand, I find myself these days spending little time EQ’ing and being much less “by the book”, which is an affliction I’ve had for a long time. Theoretical knowledge is great, but if you’re not listening, what’s the point? Mixing, for me, seems to be turning into more of an instinctive, “feel” thing – which is great progress.

At any rate, all comments are welcome, and I know there are a couple of issues but I’ve still got a long way to go! The track was opened in Logic 9 before being bounced to 2″ Quantegy 456¬†and mixed on the SSL 4032 G+, and then massaged slightly in Pro Tools 9 in my home studio.

On a different note:

Yeah, I went there.

Anyway I must get back to doing some work – part three of the course is extraordinarily busy! Until next time!

*Which mics did I choose? I preferred the C12 for OHs and U47 for the vocals, but the Telefunken mics were admirable. The M80 does a fantastic job of snare and kick too, aswell as guitar, and the CU-29 made for a wonderful sounding piano, even though it’s a little bright on other sources for my taste. I also quite liked the AR-51 on the electric guitar. The track posted here is copyright Jackie Green.
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Written by soundambitions

February 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm

3 Responses

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  1. As for the low end being extremely hit and miss, I’d seriously consider picking up a bass and learning how to play it, just like you’re doing with guitar. Your ears will adjust to the lower end (you’ve got to remember the bass is 8ve below the bass clef) and it’ll be a lot easier to pick up on bass frequencies. I’ll sell you one of my basses on the cheap if you’re interested :)


    February 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    • lol dude epic misunderstanding! It’s nothing to do with having untrained ears. The room I did the mix in has severe issues with room modes and wave superposition, as the distance between the low end driver and the back (reflective) wall is approximately the same as the length of 1 cycle at 150. Equally, our monitoring rolls off below 80 so it’s mostly a matter of guess work – although I’ve found that getting the kick and bass to brush -5 works well (this is what I mean about not always trusting your ears!). I can totally tell my 40Hz from my 60, 80, 100 etc.

      I have been looking at getting a bass for months though actually, so I might take you up on that when I have the cash!


      February 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      • When I get my new 6 string you can have my old one. That is of course if the new one doesn’t turn out to be shit. I was incredibly wasted last night when I posted that.


        February 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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