You are here

Mix Rescue: Changing The Feel Of A Recording

The Travis Waltons
Published March 2017
By Neil Rogers

SOS regulars the Travis Waltons, pictured here playing at the Louisiana in their native Bristol, are centred on the talents of songwriter Daniel Flay and drummer Danny Watts.SOS regulars the Travis Waltons, pictured here playing at the Louisiana in their native Bristol, are centred on the talents of songwriter Daniel Flay and drummer Danny Watts.

Re-focusing a recording: having set out to capture a live-band feel when tracking, our engineer is tasked with steering the mix in a more polished pop direction.

Regular readers will know that I’ve written a few times about my recording and mixing adventures with Bristol-based band the Travis Waltons, and I’ve worked closely with the band’s songwriter Daniel Flay on a number of albums over the last few years. While I do worry a little that they’re in danger of becoming the SOS house band (I prefer to think of us as ‘long-term collaborators’!), I want to return to them here, as there are a few useful points of discussion to draw out of their latest project. This had started out as a reasonably straight-up indie-rock affair, and I described in SOS September 2016 (sosm.ag/sn-0916) how we tracked the drums for the album over a single weekend. The intention was that this album would be much more ‘raw’ than previous offerings, and that it would more closely reflect the band’s live shows.

But ideas evolve, and as the technology we now have at our fingertips allows us to change the course of a project with frightening ease, we ended up experimenting with various approaches to fill out the band’s sound. And, eventually, we found ourselves heading towards a much more lavish, layered and ‘produced’ sound. This month, I want to write about a few of the techniques that I employed to achieve this, and also to reflect on the issues this sort of ‘reinventing’ work throws up for engineers. While it puts us in an increasingly influential position, how do you decide where and when to stop?

All Change!

There was one song on the album, ‘Bright...

You've only read 10% of this article, so to continue reading...

Option 1: Login to read this article if you have a Web Subscription or Industry Controlled Circulation account

  • To read the full article online (in HTML browser format), please LOG IN at the top of this page.
  • Note: Your Web subscription does not include downloadable PDF articles free of charge.

Option 2: Buy a Web sub from our shop

  • A Web sub can be bought from our Shop and used immediately, or contact our Subs staff to discuss an upgrade price to add Web access to your existing subscription.

Option 3: Buy and download this SOS article in Adobe PDF format

  • Buy this article now and immediately download the PDF file to your computer.
  • PDF articles look identical to the printed magazine layouts (but exclude advertisements).
  • Note: Some shorter articles don't always have a PDF version.
Published March 2017