Mixing with the band there

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
michaelkerchner
audio school graduate
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 4:56 am
Location: Royersford PA

Mixing with the band there

Post by michaelkerchner » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:58 am

I'm sure this has been covered already but for the sake of a current topic lets see what we get. do you prefer mixing with the band present? personally i like to have the mix to a point and then have the band involved. sometimes its tough for the band members to stay focused/positive during the mundane tasks of mixing. i know a general template would probably speed up work flow but also for me seems to then make mixes more on the conservative and cookie cutter sounding.
sounds good, compress it
@thedarkchurchrecording

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2096
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:06 am

sometimes if trying to do a quick rough mix then sometimes there is no choice but otherwise I agree with you - I prefer to have some time for ME to focus and then have the band listen once I've got it dialed in a bit (and any editing done if needed). I also found that providing a very rough mix that does not have the usual compression/limiting/volume expected for a commercial release is usually counterproductive and its not always understood that yes, I'm just balancing levels, getting an overall feel and editing your mistakes and then i will make it louder....

User avatar
michaelkerchner
audio school graduate
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 4:56 am
Location: Royersford PA

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by michaelkerchner » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:35 am

digitaldrummer wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:06 am
I also found that providing a very rough mix that does not have the usual compression/limiting/volume expected for a commercial release is usually counterproductive and its not always understood that yes, I'm just balancing levels, getting an overall feel and editing your mistakes and then i will make it louder....
i can see how that would be a an issue, however i found that if i pre warn the band like "hey this mix isnt gonna be as juiced up as that ACDC record" it also leads into a nice discussion about mastering and the process of and gets everyone kinda on the same page.
sounds good, compress it
@thedarkchurchrecording

User avatar
Recycled_Brains
deaf.
Posts: 1964
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Albany, NY
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:23 am

It depends. If they do attend, I usually will get the mix damn near complete, then have the band, or the primary representative of the band join me for final real-time tweaks. Often though, the band has no interest in being present and I don't blame them. It's probably painfully boring to most.

I try to read the room too. If I feel like they'll be chatty and distracting, I don't even offer the opportunity. Last thing I want is to have to constantly be telling people to shut the f up and let me focus. ha.
Ryan Slowey
Albany, NY

http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8655
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by vvv » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:12 pm

I try to confine that to drinks, only.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:23 am

My 80's band worked with a lot of great engineers in a lot of great studios.
In hindsight some of the comments that came up were pretty laughable including one time when the drummer told Terry Manning he wanted his tom toms to sound "distant yet cannon like".

I look at the "band at the mix" as a producer's job to moderate.

One producer we worked with gave each band member 3 poker chips before the mixing started.
These were to be used for mix comments.

"For each song"? we asked

"For the entire album"

It turned out to be a very good technique.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6699
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by drumsound » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:55 am

I discovered quite accidentally that I preferred mixing without the band present. It was when I first opened my room. People were supposed to show, but I got a message that they needed to start later. I decided to just get going, and the mix shaped up nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I printed it to the 2-track and called and said "I have something for you to hear." When the band came in they LOVED the mix and asked for no changes after listening a few times.

We did the whole record that way. I'd mix and call them over. Sometimes we'd make a couple of changes, sometimes they liked what they heard.

I reflected on the process and realized how many times in the past when I would think something was really close to finished that when I asked the band what they thought someone would say "I liked it an hour ago." I made it me general policy to mix alone after that. I think the reason it works well is because its easy for the band to get lost and not know what's changing and to lose focus. If they've heard each little change, and pass the mix loses impact. If the last thing they heard was the last day of tracking, and the next thing they hear is a near or complete MIX it has impact on them. You can get their gut reactions.

These days will recall and everyone having email access, I mix and then send a copy. They can listen multiple times, on systems they are familiar with, and then send me a list of revisions.

ashcat_lt
tinnitus
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:54 pm
Location: Duluth, MN
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by ashcat_lt » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:55 pm

Image
Tried that once a long time ago. It wasn't horrible, but I'm not going there anymore.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6699
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by drumsound » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:01 pm

ashcat_lt wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:55 pm
Image
Tried that once a long time ago. It wasn't horrible, but I'm not going there anymore.
This made my night.

User avatar
losthighway
deaf.
Posts: 1869
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by losthighway » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:05 pm

I like doing some work on my own to get things generally in place for the global balance: eq, panning, cleaning up edits etc. Then send this to folks to illicit feedback. If it's a sonically ambitious thing, or if people want lots of production moves (dubbed out sections, reamped vocals, backwards guitar etc) it's sometimes actually more fun to have one or two visionary members present for chopping and screwing things up. Same deal if there's some serious layers, and the visionary wants to orchestrate things with lots of automated volume changes. At that point they're kind of the maestro and I like working side-by-side.

All that said, without that stuff I'm just as happy doing first, second pass with emails of notes. And I think the stuff I mentioned above usually has a way of naturally filtering at least 50% of the band out. It's nice that some people give up control to forward thinkers and are happy to get out of the way so there's one less side conversation happening in the control room.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8655
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by vvv » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:48 pm

elicit

"illicit feedback" is the name of the sound one gets from stolen Zvex and Malekko pedals. :twisted:
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
losthighway
deaf.
Posts: 1869
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by losthighway » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:55 pm

vvv wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:48 pm
elicit

"illicit feedback" is the name of the sound one gets from stolen Zvex and Malekko pedals. :twisted:
God damned homophones.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8655
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by vvv » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:03 am

Here-hear!
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
emrr
buyin' a studio
Posts: 806
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:21 am
Location: NC
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by emrr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:27 pm

Used to be the band was always present, and that dropped off 12-15 years ago immediately to NO ONE attending. For me at least. The part I miss about attended mix sessions is that, no matter what crazy things occurred, you were probably done when they left. As opposed to now, with a dozen recall/remixes over stuff that would have been right the first time if they'd been there. Do I want to go back? Not sure that's possible; the mix is being built from the first playback, so an attended mix session would really only be the nitpicky stuff.
Doug Williams
ElectroMagnetic Radiation Recorders
Tape Op issue 73

User avatar
joninc
deaf.
Posts: 1853
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: canada
Contact:

Re: Mixing with the band there

Post by joninc » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:20 am

Been thinking about this a lot lately... I think I do my best work when the artist isn't here (and generally that's how most mixing happens now). the other day the artist was here and i was so focussed on attending to his thoughts about the song that I wasn't really listening like I would if he weren't here and the mix suffered as a result... basically - it's a distraction that doesn't help. That said - there's always feedback after I mix and I am happy to make further tweaks - ONCE i've got it to where I think it sounds great.

so i have a mixing project coming up in the fall where the artist wants to attend. i've never told someone that they CAN'T because that seems kind of heavy handed but I do think it will take longer so I am debating how to charge for that. THey initially asked for a quote to mix the song but I didn't realize that they would be attending so i'm mulling that over a little - how to best handle it and also be compensated fairly for my time. It's tricky - and I actually love to collaborate but I also need the space to be able to make my contribution as good as it can be - it's a delicate balance.
the new rules : there are no rules

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests