Growing as a Mix Engineer (Audio)

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Growing as a Mix Engineer (Audio)


Growing as a Mix Engineer (Audio) // A video (well, audio) on growing as a mix engineer. Download the audio version:

2012: // 2016:

Weathervane Music:

Transcript Excerpt:

Hey guys, Matthew Weiss here —

This is going to be a dark tutorial, meaning there will be no visual component at all, we’re just using our ears for this, and this is going to be an interesting concept.

Five years ago, I wanted to thicken up my reel for indie rock and indie pop, so I downloaded some track outs off of the Weathervane Music site. It’s a song called Borrowed Hearts, which I really like, and I got really into it, I spent a good amount of time mixing it. I think it was a day or a day and a half put into mixing the record.

Then flash forward five years, I really like the record, I want it to be on my reel, but I wanted a modern mix of it, one that I’ve done with now five more years of experience, and so a couple of days ago, I remixed the record, and I spent a lot less time on it, because this is just something I’m doing for my own reel, it’s not a paid thing or whatever.

Then I compared the two results. I have the original and I have the one that I did a couple of days ago, and a couple of really interesting things came to light, and I want to share them with you, because there’s a lot of value in the educational stuff we can garner from it.

The differences between the two are not so one to one, and there’s a lot of things that can be said for the growth, for the technical side of things, for the musical side of things. So the downloads for my mixes will be made available, so you can listen more thoroughly on your own, but for now, I’m just going to be playing little snippets and talking about them.

So here we go, this is my mix from five years ago. Here we are.

[mix from five years ago]

And here’s from two days ago.


Pretty radically different, right?

So let’s start talking about the things that are better and worse from one to the other, because one thing that I think is pretty apparent is that it’s not exactly like one is strictly better than the other. In some ways, it’s fairly obviously apparent that there are better and worse things, but it’s definitely a mix.

So in the first mix, the one that I did five years ago, there’s clearly technically speaking, there’s some things that are not quite as on point. The record, the vocals feel a little telephonic, the delays are very effecty, my fingerprint as a mixer is very clear in the record.

It’s also just overall sort of a smaller record. There’s some good things going on, but it’s just not really as big sounding, even though RMS wise and everything like that, these are about the same, and in terms of dynamic impression and everything like that, it’s not like one is way more crushed than the other.

Obviously, in the more recent mix, technically, I think that it’s a better mix. Everything is fuller, everything is better represented, but there’s a very apparent difference in terms of the musicality.

The first one, you can actually tell that I was really trying harder, because there’s a lot of focus on some musical things, and in some ways, the one from five years ago is just more exciting. It’s more interesting sounding, whereas the one that I did a couple of days ago is a very standard mix. There’s not really anything magical about it, it’s just getting the job done.


About Pro Audio Files

Tutorials on mixing, mastering and producing music in Pro Tools with plugins from Waves, FabFilter, SoundToys, Softube, Sonnox, PSP, Slate Digital and more. Learn how to mix using EQ, compression and effects like reverb, delay, saturation and distortion on vocals, drums, guitar, bass and more.

Growing as a Mix Engineer (Audio)

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