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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Mike Senior - Win Mike's New Book!  (Read 204990 times)

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April 21, 2011, 07:52:43 PM
i have to agree with lastrite, livingsounds & angusmaclean. i don't care to win or not & i didn't want to respond on that point until now, but it seems others have the same view so i found it fair to be that honest to also respond.
it is obvious, that the focus has been shifted too much to production / finding production ideas / finding overdubs, etc. at least it seems it was not beneficial to only mix like a professional mixing engineer would make a mix with "release quality" given that material. a mix that sounds like its coming from a different room or vocals tuned wrong is not my understanding of "release quality" (sorry guys, but your mixes had other good ideas). pls note, that i'm not talking about stuff like e.g. tuning vocals in term of "focus to production", since from my view tuning of the vocals was not a production gimmick here, but absolutely necessary to get release quality.

long story short, i think a shortlist of course is always subjective, but it is way more "special" than i expected. further it is a pity, that this shortlist is the poll too, since there are some other mixes i would have given my vote. now the poll is too biased for me to vote. i hope my post is not understood as "bashing", but as critics with positive outcome. the latter one was my intention.

nevertheless, this was a great experience. so wanted to say big thanks to mike, young griffo & john for that contest! mike, your critics have been very detailed & "to the point". thank you very much for that! i hope you take my critics (& that of the others) also positive. maybe its a good different viewing angle on yourself and your decisions. thanks again & keep it up!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 07:58:47 PM by karumba »

April 21, 2011, 09:14:41 PM

Hopfully this is the first of many contest we have on this site.

Have to graciously concede to the winners... 8)

Good luck in the final voting

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April 21, 2011, 09:16:27 PM
I'll reply to karumba's post, because it sums up some of the points so far.

i have to agree with lastrite, livingsounds & angusmaclean...
it is obvious, that the focus has been shifted too much to production / finding production ideas / finding overdubs, etc...

I understand that a lot of this 'mix' is actually about production, and I can sympathise that people feel that they should be judged primarily by their mixing skills in what is ostensibly a mixing contest. That said, my bottom line has always been that anyone who comes to me to have something mixed wants to walk away with something that sounds like a finished record, so it's my job to provide them with that, whatever that involves. Especially in these times of limited recording budgets, engineers are increasingly being judged in terms of what they can fix as much as by what they can mix. To quote Dave Pensado, for instance: "I think any engineer who complains about having to do that will probably be an engineer who is not working in a few years. Because that's the future. If you develop that skill set, of being able to fix anything and then mixing it, you'll be working a lot." I agree that Young Griffo (like almost anyone these days, to be honest ::)) would benefit from making better raw recordings and arrangements, but I think it's also important for the mix engineer to do the best with what's there. (As long as the band are willing to pay for the couple of extra days work involved, of course! ;D)

Quote
long story short, i think a shortlist of course is always subjective, but it is way more "special" than i expected. further it is a pity, that this shortlist is the poll too, since there are some other mixes i would have given my vote. now the poll is too biased for me to vote. i hope my post is not understood as "bashing", but as critics with positive outcome. the latter one was my intention.

I'm happy for people to disagree whole-heartedly with my choices -- it's more fun that way, after all! 8) Mixing is art, and all art is subjective. There's no getting away from that, so I fully expected a good deal of disagreement about the shortlist, especially with 70-odd mixes to choose from. As you say, though, in the grand scheme of things it's not the competitive element that's been the real value of this exercise. It's been the learning process everyone's engaged in -- myself included. ;D

Keep those comments coming!
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April 21, 2011, 10:01:52 PM
ok, i'll keep the ball rolling :-)

That said, my bottom line has always been that anyone who comes to me to have something mixed wants to walk away with something that sounds like a finished record, so it's my job to provide them with that, whatever that involves. Especially in these times of limited recording budgets, engineers are increasingly being judged in terms of what they can fix as much as by what they can mix. To quote Dave Pensado, for instance: "I think any engineer who complains about having to do that will probably be an engineer who is not working in a few years. Because that's the future. If you develop that skill set, of being able to fix anything and then mixing it, you'll be working a lot."
mike, thanks for your reply. i think everyone understood your philosophy.
my view is, fixing *recording*-problems is one thing (and i think that is what dave meant with his "quote"), but changing the production another. young griffos track is fine as it is, but just needs some fixing here & there, but no additional production gimmicks. maybe its not a perfect radio single, but it could have a good place on an album. i think it doesn't need additional production stuff, since it is authentic independent rock & doesn't need to be forced to converted to be fully compatible for the radio-play (it won't be authentic anymore IMO). young griffo had the idea to have the track like that & as an mixing engineer i don't turn a track into something else if everything (regarding the production) is fine from my view. maybe that is different in your SOS rescue articles where the songs have bigger problems with the production process itself (or even more: they do not know where to place themselves). but i just don't think that this is applicable here. i think the band knew quite well what they did from a musical / production perspective.

it seems the discussion part has been opened :D
looking forward to read more comments!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 10:06:45 PM by karumba »

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April 21, 2011, 10:07:14 PM
Speaking of Dave Pensado, his show is highly recommended.....
http://www.youtube.com/show/pensadosplace
Interesting that even people at his level receive tracks with phase problems, distorted vocs etc and spend plenty of time fixing before getting into the mix. Particularly enjoyed this exchange...
Dave Pensado "Mike, how do you mix on pot?"
Mike Dean "How do you mix off pot?"
Heh.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 10:20:39 PM by manuke »

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April 21, 2011, 10:13:53 PM
Speaking of Dave Pensado, his show is highly recommended.....
http://www.youtube.com/show/pensadosplace
yes, its fantastic! it shows how a versatile mixing engineer he is.

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April 21, 2011, 10:17:41 PM
Deleted, I couldn't get my point across the way I wanted :)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 10:21:35 PM by Lastrite »
I'm cleaning up my server, but you can find some of the mixes I did on this forum here: http://soundcloud.com/stefhartog

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April 21, 2011, 10:32:56 PM
Deleted, I couldn't get my point across the way I wanted :)
just be honest. its all about that. i've read your deleted post since i have subscribed to the thread. there is not need to delete it. send me a PM if you would like to recover your post, so i can send it to you (i think most of us have read it anyway) ;-)

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April 21, 2011, 10:52:11 PM
Wow, what an honour to make to the final!  :)

Some cool mixes here, it's amazing in how different everyones mixes are. Every mix has it's own personality. Very cool.

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April 22, 2011, 02:31:49 AM
It's no surprise to me that this shortlist doesn't match my own favourites at all. I knew after reading the first few critiques that Mike listened to the mixes in a very different way then me. And that's a good thing, because I wouldn't learn anything from someone who thinks exactly like me...

Now that the contest is almost over I want to say one thing though: I'm sure a better mixer would get a better result from these tracks. But I truly think that most could be gained by actually re-recording/re-producingediting it. 'Mixing' this felt more like 'fixing'. I'm not saying that to bash who-ever recorded it (I have no idea who that might be). Just want to say to the band that they could achieve much more in terms of end-result in future projects by putting more weight on those earlier stages. I hope this is taken as positive as it is intended!

I am surprised to see the mix with the vocals tuned to the wrong note in there though ;)

Thanks again Mike for your insights, John for the creating forum and Young Griffo for the tracks!




Lastrite,

Just so you know, I liked your mix best, sonically, from the get go. You definately challenged me to up my game. And for that I thank you, even if you didin't "make the list"..as though that matters at all when it's all said and done. Are you entirely ITB?