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Author Topic: An album I Mixed is out, Artist was on NPR yesterday.  (Read 1969 times)

October 12, 2012, 05:16:40 PM
Hi guys,
I mixed this album late last year, and it went on for sale back in February 2012.

It is now up for the Grammys, on 6 categories, so hopefully, it gets the attention it deserves.

Here is a link to the interview done yesterday, 10/11/12, on  the show "All Things Considered", on NPR.

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162714267/blakes-poems-reborn-as-bluesy-folk-tunes-burn-bright

Here is a link to the full album :

http://nicksevilla.com/nicksevilla.com/Martha_Redbone-55th_Grammys.html

If you'd like, I can do a rundown of each song mix, so you guys can listen and learn a bit about different aspects of things that happened throughout the album, and how that was accomplished.

All the mixes were done "hybrid" meaning I mixed some elements inside Pro tools HD, while running some outboard processing at the same time, for certain instruments, and the lead vocal.

Cheers

  • *****
October 12, 2012, 07:37:17 PM
Congrats!

Some mix noted would be great, I think we all benefit from reading about mixes, and being able to ask some questions would be nice too!

Nice work on those mixes, too, Nick!

October 13, 2012, 06:47:44 AM
Thanks John,

I'll leave it up to people here to post questions after they've listened... maybe that's the way to go.

October 17, 2012, 05:38:45 AM
Congrats!
Some mix noted would be great, I think we all benefit from reading about mixes, and being able to ask some questions would be nice too!
Nice work on those mixes, too, Nick!

Hi John,
Thanks for the kind words on the mixes.
Well, "allrighty then"... Why don't you John, pick one song, and I'll do a detailed mix deconstruction on here.
Note : I do not have permission to upload any of the multitracks, so that won't happen.
But, I can go through one song and do some mixer and edit window as well as some plug in settings snapshots, and the mix will be available.
Let me know soon, I am out of my studio all next week for ten days of travel.
Cheers

  • *****
October 18, 2012, 04:15:32 AM
Hi Nick,

"Hear the Voice of the Bard" seems like a good one to talk about, it has a lot of dynamic shift, and I like the kind of outro jam thing.

When you were working on this project, were you referencing your previous mixes, to keep some consistency, or did you approach each new song individually?


October 19, 2012, 04:26:48 AM
Hi Nick,
"Hear the Voice of the Bard" seems like a good one to talk about, it has a lot of dynamic shift, and I like the kind of outro jam thing.
When you were working on this project, were you referencing your previous mixes, to keep some consistency, or did you approach each new song individually?

Hi John,
That's one of my favorites from this album.

On this particular album, there was a need for remote mixing from the beginning of the production, since not all the decision makers, namely the producer, John McEuen, and the artist, Martha Redbone, could be in the same room at the same time. This allowed for only very rough mixes to ever be heard by both of them until I got involved, about 1/2 way through production or thereabouts.

Why so early? Because it was a remote project, we needed both more time, and one place for the mixes to come from as elements were added, so that the conversation of the direction of production could be more uniform. After I started getting involved, both John and Martha started to hear the same exact mix the same exact day, so the direction could focus better,and go more quickly. That, and I could easily add / remove parts as new things got recorded by either John or Martha, typically receiving a new part and sending a new mix the following day for them both to listen to.

So when I got to mix a new song, I did not reference any previous mix until it was almost done. This would allow me to simply go in a new directions overall with the new song, and make that song unique to the lyrics, the way they were sung, and the vibe of the instruments. Then I would quickly listen to Martha's vocal from the first mix that was done and approved, and compared to the latest work. The funny thing is, once I had done the entire album, I went back and adjusted the first 5 songs vocal sound, because we were much happier with the latest vocals. That happens often during mixing.

Once I had all the final approved parts, I did start mixing again from scratch. Rough mixes for me, are only good "almost keepers" if the recordings are done quickly within a few days, and all band members and musical parts are there together. This album was not that sort of production. There was a lot of playing around with ideas, so mixing as I went was useless, it would have been a huge waste of everyone's time. I kept some notes on what was a "cool" effect, sometimes recording it to it's own track for reference later, or some weird treatment that was liked, but not quite there for the final mix.

The only instrument that I tried to keep sounding consistent from song to song was Martha's lead vocal. her processing changed from song to song to allow it to flow through the whole album, without ever distracting the listener with too much of a timbre change. In the end, I remember we re-recorded about half the songs lead vocals here at my studio, mostly because Martha had had a terrible respiratory infection halfway through the recording process, so we needed those vocals replaced.I cannot remember now which ones were which.

But, as far as the instruments, no, I did not try to make them consistent. For example on the percussions, there was a lot of rather extreme changes from song to song. Sometimes brighter and more up front, sometimes way back there.

I hope that answers your question on the referencing mixes through the process.

Cheers
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 04:36:58 AM by noeqplease »

  • *****
October 19, 2012, 05:28:27 PM
Thanks Nick!

That's an interesting way to work, I know what you mean about discovering a good treatment late in the project and going back to rework earlier mixes. I think you're right about keeping the lead vocal pretty consistent, in timbre, anyway, across an entire album (or even from album to album!)

How long was the time frame of the whole project? It sounds like several months, is that right?

October 19, 2012, 08:56:51 PM
Thanks Nick!
That's an interesting way to work, I know what you mean about discovering a good treatment late in the project and going back to rework earlier mixes. I think you're right about keeping the lead vocal pretty consistent, in timbre, anyway, across an entire album (or even from album to album!)
How long was the time frame of the whole project? It sounds like several months, is that right?

Hi John,
The album took around 10 months to complete. Of course, it was not a daily thing. My involvement at first was only 4-8 hours a week, finishing off the album with Martha in the studio was one week full time (60 hours or so in the week) and then a few hours after the fact with everyone listening on their favorite playback devices. I think my hour tally was about 110 hours total. Not bad at all.
You'll laugh, but the album cost in total, less than 20,000.00 including travel expenses for everyone, musician fees, studio fees, etc.
Great albums that make an impact do not have to be expensive to make. It takes a lot of planning. And John McEuen is a master at planning how to budget an album production. I love working with John McEuen, because there is no fat, no bullcrap, just great work, great sounds and great people involved in the whole process.