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New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

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New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:55 am

Just to let you know that Mike Senior has posted the latest Mix Review analyses of commercial hit tracks in the Mix Review forum.

This month's tracks are by Ke$ha, Tinei Tempah, Alexis Jordan and Chris Brown. Mike's kindly added a bit more background there than you'll find in this month's magazine — so why not head over and have a read... and maybe offer some comments of your own?
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby Evie McCreevie » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:32 am

I think the Mix Review series is a very good idea.

I'd like to suggest the names of all concerned should be listed with the tracks i.e. mix engineer, recording engineer, producer, studio etc.

Even (especially) on the tracks which get bad reviews.
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:48 am

This information is not printed in the mag but Mike does post it in the Mix Review forum threads
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby Mixedup » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Evie McCreevie wrote:I'd like to suggest the names of all concerned should be listed with the tracks i.e. mix engineer, recording engineer, producer, studio etc.

Fair point, though I'm less sure if that's a good idea... for one, it takes up space that I'd rather see filled with the reviews themselves; for another, I think this is less about naming and shaming and more about critical listening and analysis. In other words, I'm less worried about who did the recording/mixing/mastering than I am about what I can learn from it.

As Jen says, Mike has been expanding on the reivew with these sort of details, including which version of the track he used for reference over at the Mix Review forum.
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby narcoman » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:07 pm

I'd like to see you reviewing some other stuff other than middle of the road! How about one chart track and one "out there" track - after all.... the money ISN'T in chart music.....
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby JamesSimpson » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:12 pm

Want to put your neck on the line narco?

I'd be interested in this too, plenty of fantastic mixing and not so much, in more leftfield area's.
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby narcoman » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:12 am

well - yup. So far, more than half of the mixes that have been reviewed are pretty bloody poor.

Quality and success are not hand in glove. Kesha, for example - distorted toss. Pretty good song, but it isn't a good mix.

So come on - let's see some meaningful reviews.... criticise issues... clarity is not brightness, for example. The BEST mix work out there is NOT in the charts - lowest common denominator drives many respected names to shoot for punch and volume over sonic excellence... I know - I've had to go there (fek it - you pay the money, I'll go where you like) but that's no reason to praise it. This is a pretty good mag, so let's get to the roots of it....
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby RitchieM » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:03 am

As I have posted before, the Matt Cardle review by Mike inspired a blog post by me(not that I have had time for THAT recently), and I love that series in the mag, but I think doing older or less mainstream songs would be such a good idea!

I was driving back from a rehearsal last night (or is it the night before last, it is 1:48am???!!?!?!? Anyway, I digress!!!) and me and the other guitarist were listening to stuff on my cars hard-drive, flirting between Queen, STP etc... and went onto REM, Automatic, and its the first time in ages I have listened to it NOT on ear buds, and then Frequency, Strange Currencies and Tongue from Monster. We talked production and it was the same for him, having only heard it on the shady iPod buds that come with it for such a long time. Driving back from his place, I just forgot how much space and quality there is on albums like that (irrespective of if you appreciate Georgia's finest (worksong)! Ha, a pun in parenthesis!!!!) and how much detail that you can hear.

I would love Mike to dissect something like that, a track where the quality of the production shines through. I know there is Classic Tracks and Secret of the Mix Engineer, by that is more of a anecdotal piece.

I remember being in my friends studio, a proper commercial jobby, not like mine in my garage, and he got the multi-track masters for Queen, Bob Marley etc... that had been floating around and he said that by studying those, in about a week he had learned more about production than he had in the 15 years previously.

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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby BigElectricCat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:40 am

RitchieM wrote:As I have posted before, the Matt Cardle review by Mike inspired a blog post by me(not that I have had time for THAT recently), and I love that series in the mag, but I think doing older or less mainstream songs would be such a good idea!

I'd love to see a bit of rock n roll in there. How about the Slash album from last year? To my ears it has great production.
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby Mike Senior » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:01 am

narcoman wrote:I'd like to see you reviewing some other stuff other than middle of the road! How about one chart track and one "out there" track

I can see where you're coming from here, and I like the idea in principle. The column is in its early days at the moment, and is proving a tricky balancing act already. The initial reason for going with this article concept was to increase the magazine's coverage of current high-profile productions which (for better or worse!) many SOS readers are trying to emulate, and in that context it makes sense to focus on the productions which appear (from the charts at least) to be successful commercially, and will therefore have the broadest appeal. However, I am also conscious that we need to maintain a bit of a balance of styles within this context too, so I have specifically favoured things like Adele, Ellie Goulding, and (forthcoming) Noah And The Whale to try to shift the bias a little away from the current electronica saturation of the charts. There's also the issue that some tracks seem to have clearer lessons to teach than others, and therefore tend to suit the format better than others, irrespective of their quality or commercial success.

All that said, though, I imagine that the column will continue to evolve, and I don't have anything in principle against including more in the way of 'worthy but obscure' tracks as long as there's still adequate coverage of the mainstream -- love it or hate it! One angle I'm currently toying with is grazing more amongst the album charts, simply because more high-quality work tends to achieve success in that forum than in the singles arena.

The main thing to say, though, is that we're certainly taking these comments seriously, although (publishing lead times being what they are) it may take a few months for the fruits of any discussions to begin filtering through to the mag itself.

RitchieM wrote:I love that series in the mag, but I think doing older or less mainstream songs would be such a good idea!

Reviewing classic tracks from a Mix Review perspective is something that has certainly been on my own mind, and it could be a great learning resource, but I think that it might be better to do that kind of thing in a separate article from time to time, rather than within the regular column. There'd be more scope for meaningful comparison that way, I think.

Mixedup wrote:I think this is less about naming and shaming and more about critical listening and analysis.

Oh. Oops. Maybe I should've been nicer...
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby narcoman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:10 pm

Sure - but I suspect the problem there is most people AREN'T involved in commercial styles. Even those that are are thinking waaay outside of the Katy Perry's and Ke$ha's of this world. The fastest selling aren't the biggest selling and most muso's know that - whether they're in hip hop, RnB, rock or jazz....
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Re: New 'Mix Review' Commercial Production Reviews...

Postby turbodave » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:48 pm

I think one of the issues relating to this particular area of the mag is whether to express technical changes or creative changes ( or both?). Some of the tunes I would completely redo as they don't float my boat , but is that relevant?...or does the forum section want" this up, that down, this re eq'd "etc.? Dave
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