How I mix
The possibilities of digital with the sound of analog
a cliché but it’s the best way…
TLDR : I only quote once I have a copy of the stems
Any mix engineer who quotes before seeing the stems (or worse, before even hearing a rough mix) is not providing a custom service but offering a “conveyor belt” service which is unlikely to result in the best mix for your material.
If you’re sending the files off to be mixed you’ll need to prepare the Pro Tools session or export the stems anyway.
Loading a copy of the stems into my system will enable me to establish how much work will be required to get the mix to a standard that I’m happy with.
TLDR : appropriate editing & tuning are included
My aim is not to make MY work sound good but to make us ALL sound good. If I hear the need for editing or tuning, that’s included and it’s normal. I have a healthy approach to both these practices and (depending on style) know when it has gone too far.
TLDR : Pro Tools + Analog outboard gear
I love Pro Tools but when it comes to fx like compressors and EQs I can STILL hear a depth in analog outboard that even the best plugins can’t capture. Plus it’s way more inspiring to - for example - play on a grand piano than a realistic sounding keyboard.
I mix from Pro Tools HD out onto my analog desk using my outboard.
TLDR : I might make suggestions but it’s your call
While working on a mix I occasionally notice that something is missing. It may be rhythmical, may be spacial, may be musical. If it’s a major part I will suggest you make a change and re-send the stems. If I hear it in my head and it’s a minor part (such as percussion, a pad etc…) I will often add it as a suggestion. I do not do this motivated by ego or in an attempt to take over and claim your music as my own.
I will always provide two versions of the mix - one with my suggestion(s), one without. It is TOTALLY your call. I won’t be offended or lose sleep if you don’t want to keep it in. I also do not ask for royalties on these parts, though a mention in the credits alongside other musicians is always appreciated.
I’m delighted to say that on average my clients ask me to leave in my suggestions.