X

Archive for Audio Mixing

Mixing is where all the musical spices of the music recipe come together. As in cooking, if the balance is just right the results are a sonic delicacy. I don’t know why I’m using cooking references here, but my point is that, to me, mixing is where the track really comes to life. Inside Audio Mixing we have lots of articles to help you get the most out of your mixes.

Surround Sound Mixing – Part 1 of 5

This is a guest post by mix engineer, Unne Lilijeblad over at www.mix-engineer.com. This is the first article in a five part series about his experience with mixing in this still under utilized medium for listening to music.

Unne Lilijeblad - Mix Engineer

Unne Lilijeblad - Mix Engineer

It’s been seven years now since I took the plunge and invested in a complete Dynaudio Air 5.1 surround sound monitor system. At the time, I thought that Surround Sound on DVD-Audio and SACD discs was going to take off among music consumers. That didn’t really happen. At  the time, I could walk into a Tower Records Store or the Virgin Mega store in Union Square and find DVD-A discs from the likes of Seal or John Hiatt, but the last time I visited Virgin, I had to talk to a whole bunch of store people before I found someone who even knew what a DVD-Audio disc was, and how they differed from regular DVD-Video discs with music content on them. “Hmm, yeah, I think I do remember those. No one ever bought them.” Now Tower Records is no more, and the Virgin Mega store in Union Square that I used to visit has been closed for a few years. These discs are still available on Amazon of course, but I doubt they sell in any large numbers.

Read More »

Branding vs Positioning

Guest post by Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

Cliff Zellman

This is a guest post by engineer extraordinaire and my audio engineering mentor, Cliff Zellman. Starting out as his assistant quite a few years ago, Cliff and I worked together making records for internationally renowned recording artists, as well as, local musicians in the LA area. Since then he's become the go-to guy for voice over performing, original music compositions and script writing at RadioVision in Dallas, Texas.

Having been in the production industry for over 30+ years, Cliff has pretty much recorded, produced, directed and edited just about anything & everything audio. Below is a very insightful piece he wrote on the differences between Branding and Positioning.

Take it away, Cliff!

Lately, there has been an over abundance of self-injected philosophies on Branding. It seems to be an easy subject to sell for coaches and mentors offering voice performance related services. Some come in the way of a “webinar” (insert unnecessary definition of webinar here), blogs, social media postings and face-to-face classes and seminars. What they mostly offer is a list of “example brands”, nationals such as Campbell’s Soup, Levi’s, CNN, Chevy, and Kleenex or tagged to an individual like Cher, Lady Gaga, Don LaFontaine, Oprah, or Elton. They follow by saying, “These are brands. You need to have a brand. You need to stick out from the crowd. Be noticed.” OK, I just signed up, paid my money and invested my time to be in your audience– how do I do it? Most likely you will hear that same line repeated and I will spare you that. Just go back a few sentences and read it again if you must.

What I rarely hear being discussed is Positioning. Why? Maybe it’s not as sexy as branding. BRANDING! Wow that’s a cool word, so instant and so final at the same time. It sounds so powerful. This is MINE!

Read More »

You are not your audience.

concert-crowd

Make music for you fans, not yourself.

Apologies up front because this is a rant...

Stop concerning yourself with the minutia in the mix and start thinking about what's important. What might that be you ask? It's the song.

Your fans don't care if the hi-hat is a tad too low in the last bar of the third verse. They don't care that the last note of an arpeggiated guitar run during the outro is a little too loud. Nobody hears this except for you, the artist. Let me, the mix engineer, make these calls. This is what I do. I MIX music so that it translates the best it can to all formats and to all audiences.

Some of the best advice I have ever received came from my mentor and engineer extraordinaire, Cliff "Cliffy" Zellman. During many, many mixing sessions when producers or artists were obsessing over the most finite of things he would turn to me and say "Lopes, it doesn't really matter and nobody cares." Meaning that your fans are not listening to those elements in the track. They are listening to two things, the melody and groove - that's about it.

I understand that this is your art and that you want it to be perfect, but who are you making it for? Yourself or your fans? If you're making it for yourself you may want to ask yourself one simple question. How many copies are YOU going to buy? My guess is that your answer is zero.

Do vinyl records really sound better than digital?

 

Vinyl-records.-Photo-credit-Knipsermann-CC-BY-2.0-Wikimedia-Commons

Knipsermann's photo of classic vinyl.

Over the past few years there has been a surge in musicians releasing their material on vinyl. I love this! Mostly for nostalgia and the fact that they want to try something outside of the norm - digital downloads. They want to experiment, play around, get into it. Tweaking and fussing is what musicians do naturally. Eddie Van Halen refers to himself as a tone chaser.

Whether it be tone, harmony, melody or whatever we're all chasing some form of audio bliss. I live for this. I'm at my best while in the zone mixing.

When the track starts to come together and it resonates deep inside me I literally start to dance in my chair. There are very few similar feelings. Anyway, I digress. The subject of this article is, "Do vinyl records really sound better than digital?" So. Does it?

I'm going out on a limb here and say no. At least not as a modern music distribution method. The reason why people think vinyl sounds better than digital is most likely because they've listened to vinyl recordings from the 60's, 70's and 80's - the height of vinyl production - and thought "Wow! Why does that sound so much warmer than today's music?". I think I know and can tell you in one word... Analog.

Read More »

Logic’s Pitch Correction plugin. Is it too simple?

An all inclusive audio resort

I love Logic. It comes with everything. From synths to samplers to loops to drum machines to a ton of plugins. One of it's best, and I'll assume underutilized, is its plugin for Pitch Correction. If you're confused by this tools ultra simple interface you are not alone.

That's so simple it just might work!

The  plugin interface is so simple that I thought it can't possibly be a "real" pitch correction tool. When I first opened it I wasn't sure what to make of it. It has a piano keyboard layout, a couple of buttons and that's it. So I of course headed over to YouTube to try and find a video about it and discovered that the guys over at Gearwire created a great six minute tutorial that outlines the plugin nicely.

Click below to see other GearWire videos...

Read More »

Engineer Rafa Sardina relies on Focusrite

Rafa Sardina with his Focusrite ISA8028 mic preamps

Rafa Sardina with his Focusrite ISA8028 mic preamps

From MixOnline.com

Focusrite reports that Grammy Award–winning Los Angeles-based engineer/producer Rafa Sardina (pictured) relies on the company's ISA Range of modules for production work in his studio, After Hours. His collection includes a rack of eight classic ISA110 modules from a Focusrite Studio console, and he recently acquired an ISA828 8-channel microphone preamp.

"My first encounters with Focusrite were with the Studio console at Ocean Way,” Sardina says. “I had quite a lot of experience in working on that board, and I was very fortunate to work in other studios that had them."

Sardina's client list includes Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Luis Miguel, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Paco de Lucía, and Alejandro Sanz. His diverse work covers everything from pop to R&B, to classical recordings and movie soundtracks.

Read the entire article here.

Leave a comment and let's start a conversation.

The Monthlies – Come on Eileen

For about two years now I've been working with a fantastic LA based indie/pop band named The Monthlies. Over the past few weeks we've been putting the finishing touches on their upcoming EP titled "Horror Flick", which will include a very cool version of Dexys Midnight Runner's 'Come on Eileen'. If you search YouTube for this song you will see that several groups have covered it, but most versions are similar to the original. Not this one!

The Monthlies, in doing what they do best, have put their own unique spin on this 80's pop standard. I won't say much about what you're going to hear other than if you are expecting an updated rehashing of the Dexys version you're in for a big surprise. We hope you enjoy The Monthlies version of 'Come on Eileen' and please leave a comment below if you'd like to share your thoughts with the band.

[audio:Come_on_Eileen_web.mp3|titles=The Monthlies - Come on Eileen]

The Monthlies are...
Wes O'lee - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Jana Bonderman - Lead Guitar
Chris Hall - Bass, Backing Vocals
Nick Miller - Drums

If you like what you hear check out their MySpace page for more songs and a video of their last single, Hip Girl.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Contact us

ARE YOU IN NEED OF A QUALIFIED
POST PRODUCTION PARTNER?

JUST WANT TO SAY HELLO?

Send us a message using the contact form. We never pass up an opportunity to talk shop.