Mixing Masterclass with Andrew Scheps — Part 7

So, this song came and they had been spread out over I think sixteen outputs on a board, and so rather than remake the world again, this one sort of half came into my template, where I just took all of their output busses, and in Pro Tools, you can uncheck them to make them not go to hardware anymore, and stay inside, and then I just built auxes at the bottom that take what used to be their outputs — output 1 and 2, output 1 and 2, output 3…

Whatever crazy names those had, and now those are auxes in my session, so I can start with what they’ve got and then build from there.

Then this song has — like, the biggest moment of growth in this song happens when the drums drop out. That’s easy, right? That’s when the drums should come in, so getting that to happen — the moment that happens when the acoustic comes in, that I saved, save as, back up the copy. That moment had to be there. So if I worked on this for another four days, because I was also co-producing, and adding, and changing arrangements, if I screwed it up, I could always go back to that session and figure out, “Okay, what’d I change, why is this no longer working?”

Because that was a such a big deal, that moment, and that section sounds good by itself, but it’s just subs, and acoustic, and some twinkly stuff, but coming out of what it comes from, which sounds pretty big, until you realize, “Okay, that was actually not so big, because then we get huge.”

So there are a couple of weird, little sort of backward moments in this mix, which I’m happy we got to work, but in terms of like, the extra stuff, there is just a little bit less parallel stuff going on, but it’s exactly the same thing.

I mean, alright, the 2mix, what’s on it. It’s that guy again, then that guy, then that guy. So there’s no Fairchild on the 2mix on this one.

There’s a special crush just for the acoustic guitars, because I really wanted that sheeny thing where he’s strumming, and it was well recorded too, so that was easy. Some reverb.

And also, it doesn’t hurt that all of the strings are played by Amina. I don’t know if you know of them. They’re an Icelandic string quartet that played on all of the early Sigur Ros records. They are the strings for Sigur Ros. So they played on this whole record, and that makes a huge difference pulling up tracks like that.

But other than that, it’s pretty much the same as everything else. There’s very little automation in this session. There’s some block stuff for the drums when they come in at the end, I had to turn something up right there, and yeah. That’s it.

[someone asking question]

Yeah, and we actually — when I put it up, we were toying with pulling some 1.2kHz out of the speakers. It’s a little harsher. It comes from — this was recorded in some less than optimal situation with some of the guitars and vocals, because we basically did them at home on his laptop.

So we used them, because they’re awesome, and the way they feel is great. But yeah, maybe I would go back in context, and I would take a little bit out, but in general, when I listen — like, we actually got the vinyl, and we checked it last night at home, and it’s a little sibilant in places, but that mid-range didn’t bother me. So I think it’s just a combination of the room and whatever else is going on.

I always mix on an old pair of Tannoy SRM10Bs. They are passive, concentric speakers, so the tweeter is right in the middle of the woofer. They’re sort of a magic pair of speakers that they made for a few years, and then stopped making them, and made the SGM10Bs, which then you get blah blah blah blah blah.

So this one particular model of speaker, I now own four pairs, and they still make recones for them, so when I blow them up, they can fix them, as long as I don’t set them on fire.

And that’s it. That’s all I listen to, because they’ve got tons of low end, tons of top, and you can also listen super quiet without them sounding different, which is something a lot of speakers don’t do. Most of them, you turn them down, and the woofer will stop working before the tweeter, and these are balanced all the way down. So that’s what I listen to.

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