Mixing

Lesson Learned From Having My Music Mixed By Someone Else

Lesson Learned From Having My Music Mixed By Someone Else

As sound engineers, it’s amazing when you get hired to record or mix someone else’s music. It means the band or artist like what you do and trusts your opinion, however, how often do we base our decisions on our own perception about the music rather than working from what the band actually wants and how they hear things within their own music?

Tom Lord-Alge - It's Not The Gear It's Your Ear

Tom Lord-Alge - It's Not The Gear It's Your Ear

In this interview, Tom speaks about how he started out at the age of 16, getting thrown in the deep-end by his brother Chris Lord-Alge, which decision in his career he like to change, when a mix is finished, how you should deliver a session and so much more.

Michael Brauer - Developing New Ideas And Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Michael Brauer - Developing New Ideas And Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

In this interview, Michael opens up about how he first got started, how he expresses himself through his mixing, favourite failures, going out of your comfort level to keep developing new ideas and stay fresh, what he learned from working under Clearmountain and so much more.

Mixing With One Set Of Plugins

Do you obsess over plugins? Do you always feel like you need new plugins to achieve the sound you have in your head? Do you spend more time trying new plugins than actually mixing music?

Like this guy's comment: "...it’s so easy to get distracted with plugins and get nothing done." 

or

"...I’ve noticed they’re many [plugins] so you end up looking and searching all the way and wasting time..."

Can you recognise that feeling?

Playing around with plugins can be fun, but don't let it be the main thing you practise, especially if you are starting out. Then you need to focus on developing your ears and mix as much music you can, regardless of which plugins you use. It's after a while when you have developed a certain palette with your current plugins that you can go ahead and develop more "flavours". 

Recently, I decided to only use one set of plugins and my reason for this was threefold: 

1: To emulate as if I was mixing on a console with an EQ and a compressor on each channel strip. I wouldn't constantly reach for a different hardware unit for each channel (even if they were available)

2: To learn one set of plugins well, getting to know their tone and developing a palette of flavours I could use for future mixes. 

My Plugin-List. Fairly small, no?

My Plugin-List. Fairly small, no?

3: Spend less time messing about with different plugins (my plugins list is actually kind of small)

How can this thinking improve your mixes? 

First of all, it will save you time which can be spent improving your mixes. 

And as stated before, this will let you develop a flavour palette which you can use in the future and you will know which plugin to use if something needs a bit more of a certain tone. This is harder to develop and memorise if you are constantly trying and buying different plugins. 

You can make faster decisions if something works or not because you don't have a 100 compressors to choose from.  

Experiment with how they are sounding if you distort them, of course, you can do this with all your plugins, but limiting the number of plugins you are using will let you absorb the sound and internalise it much more profoundly. 

Having a reason to use a plugin and not just putting it on there because you think you need to. By knowing the sound of your plugins, it will give you a better purpose to why you want to use it.

Obviously, you also save money, which you can spend on other stuff for your studio. Such as microphones, acoustic treatment and whatever else you prefer. 

You don't have to limit your plugins to only use the stock plugins, use whichever brand you like. I decided to only use the Slate Mix Rack and the other compressors available in that subscription, so it's not a ton of plugins but more than enough to learn and internalise. 

Let me know which set of plugins you will use in the comments below. 

 

Andrew Scheps - Character vs Clarity, Quiet Times, Mixing On Headphones and Much More

Andrew Scheps - Character vs Clarity, Quiet Times, Mixing On Headphones and Much More

In this interview, Andrew talks about early struggles about breaking into the industry. How he prepares for sessions. Working fully in the box. Character vs clarity. Favourite failures. Mixing on headphones. Dealing with the quiet times and much much more.