"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?
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.