I have been starting to rough out mixes on one of the current recording projects in the studio. This process begins with rather tedious editing activities: removing extraneous noises from recorded tracks, pitch correction, aligning bass guitar hits with kick drum hits, consolidating audio regions, documenting the session.
And I have started to flesh out rough mixes. Mixing has become quite an iterative process. I like to start rough mixes as the finish vocals are committed to the project. We still have a fair amount of recording left to do on this one project. Getting the rough mixes started will save a lot of time once tracking is finished. I am not sure if we will get this project done before September. And we have two more projects waiting in the queue.
Delays are never received well by those who wait.
To get my ears in tune I listen to reference CDs before, during and after my mixing activities. This allows me to get as close as possible to some of the finest mixes in the industry.
For this project I am using the following CDs to bracket the mix:
Alison Krauss + Union Station: New Favorite
Excellent dynamics, clear transparent engineering, astounding musical performances and arrangements. A work of art.
Beck: Sea Change
Great production, incredible vocals, awesome kick drums. Excellent dynamics, excellent apparent level and a great reference for many mixing projects.
Sarah McLachlan: Surfacing
The production is rich with great arrangements and originality, not to mention great vocals. The levels, the tonal balance and musicality will present well for years.
Vertical Horizon: Everything You Want
Vertical Horizon: Go
Very smooth with very even mids, yet still sounding clear. Although I have used Everything You Want as a reference for a couple of years, the artist I am mixing on this project highlighted Go as a reference CD. Interestingly enough, Vertical Horizon used the same mixing and mastering engineers for both projects.