- Simon Chate
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Mixing at last! Hooray!
Today is a great day! As I write this I am sitting in Topcat Studios with Brad Wann - sound engineer extraordinaire - and we have officially started mixing my album - at last!
We're kicking off with Brother Sun, Sister Moon - currently placed as the first song on the album. As all you audio folks will know, we've got to get the frequency balance just right so that it doesn't sound too busy and muddy in some frequency areas or too empty in others. We're looking for the Goldilocks Effect - everything's not too soft or too loud, and we have the frequencies perfectly balanced across every sound source. Gotta have it all "Just Right!"
It's a big mix! We have 9 tracks of drums plus bass guitar, acoustic 6 & 12 strings guitars, bouzouki and mandolin tracks, we've got didgeridoo tracks, low D drone vocals, synth accordion and sax tracks, 3 whistles and 5 tracks of backing vocals plus one track with my daughter, Jessi's brief vocal right at the end of the song. Phew!
After a couple of hours, we've got an awesome sounding mix, and well on our way to the finished product!
Well, I've had a few days to listen to the newly mixed song and my thoughts are as follows:
Generally, the mix is excellent, however, I have a few suggestions I'd like us to try.
- I need to tweak the pitch on the word "mean" in the first verse, it's a little flat.
- The mandolin is not loud enough. I really struggle to hear it at all in the piece, and it's a colour I really want to have clearly ringing through.
- The accordian is a little low in a number or critical places, I think that we need to either automate specific areas of slightly increased gain, including the harmonisations to the tin whistle melody and the entire outro.
- Check the tuning of the lower vocal harmony on the words "play with me" in the first chorus.
- The bass feels too compressed - too clipped - and just not bassy enough. I either need reassurance that it'll be fattened and warmed up in the masterung process, or I need to re-tweak it.
- The didge part in the outro needs a tad more volume, and some quick L - R panning of individual "whoops" in the final bars.
That's about it for now. I'm still loving listening to the piece!