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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Mike Senior - Win Mike's New Book!  (Read 189213 times)

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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?


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April 22, 2011, 02:35:48 AM
Mr Tuesday,

When I heard your revised mix, which included "the drop", I was like, he just punked my idea. The truth, howver, is that you made my "stunt" look silly in comparison. So props to you for that. When I heard it, I was like, "Damn, I can't beat that"...yet!! I will have my revenge lol

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April 22, 2011, 06:43:55 AM
I was curious about the direction of some of the recent posts, so I finally took some time to listen carefully to the five final mixes.  I'm left with some observations.  Honestly, not meant as sour grapes, but more as a general query to Michael

1) if a band brought me these tracks and asked me to mix them, I could hardly expect to be taken seriously without tuning the horribly out of tune vocals, yet it appears that four of the five finalists didn't bother.  Maybe in todays music the out of tune vocal adds to the angst of a guy who has tried so hard, yet still feels like a failure, but personally, I don't get it.  So many really well done mixes submitted with tuned vocals that would be in my top five... just sayin'.  So apparently skipping the vocal tuning and moving straight to the special effects and decisions about arrangement carries more weight in this "mixing contest".  I think I understand some of the frustration now.

2) Michael seemed to pound home the importance of phase in many of his critiques, for which I'm thankful, because it made me try harder to get it right.  Yet when I listen to a couple of these mixes and switch back and forth from stereo to mono, I hear entire parts drop out.  Hmmmmmm.  Better keep them off of AM radio stations.  So is phase important or not?  This is a serious question.  Does everyone pay close attention to it when mixing or not?  Are there mix gurus who do not care about phase issues when mixing?  

3) Is the object of a mixing contest to master as well?  When I prepare a mix for the M.E. I leave headroom, and I lay off the limiting and 2 buss compression.  IMO the M.E. is better at it, has a better ear, and has more kick ass gear than I do.  Let him bring it up to production level.  So how do we compare mixes that have obviously been mastered with ones that have not?

4) Where did I leave my bottle of Jack?

Having posed these questions, which I think are fair, I would like to say that I am extremely grateful to you, Michael, for the incredible amount of time and effort you put into some seriously good critiques.  Worth it's weight in gold, for me personally.  I listened to most if not all mixes and read your feedback, and in most cases it was spot on good stuff.  Very well thought out.

I'm a completely self taught noob at mixing, and never had any delusions about winning this thing, and frankly that is not the point of the whole process.  I planned to buy your book from the beginning.  I wish we had more of these, because for me, it's the only way I can better at mixing drums, or the "wall of guitars" mix that can get so dense.

So now that it comes down to voting, I feel exactly like I do every four years in November as I go to cast my vote for president.  All my favorite candidates have already been eliminated by the press.

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April 22, 2011, 09:25:55 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?



Thanks. And you're right, the learning in this was getting inside a professional's head and hear what he's hearing. It was an awesome experience! I'm entirely ITB yes.
I'm cleaning up my server, but you can find some of the mixes I did on this forum here: http://soundcloud.com/stefhartog