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The 45 minute mix

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The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:28 am

Instagram alerted me to an article from 2018 about Nashville mixer Billy Decker. Totally fascinating read. He does a complete mix in just 45 minutes on average, from loading the raw tracks to delivering the finished mix. And these are proper modern recordings with well over 50 tracks per song. It was so refreshing to read an SOS interview with someone who swims so stridently against the current of mixing practices, viz: he mixes entirely in the box, no outboard gear whatsoever, he uses basic cheap plugins like Waves Renaissance and Trueverb stuff, he uses presets in these plugins (virtually a crime according to many in this business), he uses the same template and plugs for country and metal!
Top top bloke and a total inspiration for anyone like me who’s sick to death of being told you have to a rack of valve-filled antiques to make a hit record (13 number ones at time of interview). Oh, and his microphone of choice for any overdubs he needs (sensitive artiste engineers look away now) is the At 4033. I wish I had room to add him into my signature!
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dave B » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:59 am

Nothing wrong with an AT4033 - when it came out Alan Parsons was a huge fan and championed it for a good while. It was my first 'proper' mic and was bought on the principle that it would still hold up against more expensive ones that I might buy subsequently. Good mic.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Kwackman » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:01 am

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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:02 am

Nothing wrong with an AT4033

Absolutely not. The 4033 has been my main all-purpose mic for many years. Others on this forum spit at the very mention of anything costing under a grand and not made in Germany. (People who haven't had 13 number ones, of course.)
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:03 am

Here's link to the article..
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... sing-sleep

Cheers, I should have done that! :oops:
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:28 am

Another really inspiring thing is that Decker's main monitors are a pair of humble Mackie 824s. And this is a man who can have anything he chooses at any price.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Luke W » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:38 am

I saw the same post yesterday. I think I remember reading it at the time but I'm going to go back and have another look.

Very refreshing as you say, it's almost like talent has more to do with the results than the gear :lol:
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:47 am

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:Another really inspiring thing is that Decker's main monitors are a pair of humble Mackie 824s. And this is a man who can have anything he chooses at any price.

This is quite common, normal, you will see pictures of certain musicians/producers sitting behind massive consoles and racks full of exotic gear, but in reality, they could and probably did, make their classic albums on a laptop or some other computer.
I had an engineer friend who was asked to do a photo shoot for a magazine, the photographer was very disappointed when he didn’t have a big desk to sit in front of.
If I were a zillionaire I wouldn’t have anything that I don’t have now, I just happen to prefer hardware, but have two computers, and it depends what sort of music you’re involved in, not all music is recorded and mixed in the way you describe, my experience, including my own music, is mostly straight to stereo, it’s recorded and mixed as it’s played, the mix time is the length of the piece! I make multitrack mixes of my own sometimes, consisting of about 90/100 tracks, that take days to mix.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:57 am

it's almost like talent has more to do with the results than the gear

As if!!
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby VOLOVIA » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:00 pm

We discussed the time 'needed' to mix a track fully in a recent thread. To me, and I echo myself again, it's the old beaten cliche of 'how long is a piece of string'.
Mixing a wonderfully well-recorded, tight band, AND being asked JUST to balance the levels, panning, and tweak the EQ "for sonic space", can be done in 45 minutes, for sure.
Also, an 'electronic track' can be so nearly fully mixed and produced by the time it reaches the mixing stage, that very little work is required.
However, it all changes for modern recording methods, i.e., "let's throw anything and everything in the DAW because we can" (most 'amateurish' recordings). As I type, I am driving my engineer crazy because I decided to record the guitar parts 'DIed' with just a basic plug-in to make it sound 'real'. Thus, now he needs to produce the sounds and, rightly so, hates me. In short, I am effectively asking him to produce the song.
Thus, five tracks of guitars fighting for space (on chords, one chops, one effects, etc.), then keys galore because "you have an amazing MOOG plug in". A bit of arpeggiator, three loops and some live percussion recordings etc. Add some out of tune vocals since "it's going to be fixed in the mix", etc. And then I challenge any mixing genius to bring it to anything resembling a professional level in less than 10 hours' work. But I have not watched the "45 mins. Max" Master at work, so I leave it at that.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:12 pm

Mixing a wonderfully well-recorded, tight band, AND being asked JUST to balance the levels, panning, and tweak the EQ "for sonic space", can be done in 45 minutes, for sure

Read the interview. He does considerably more than this!
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:45 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj3f39H8FSE

Here's an interview with Decker. Seems like a very down to earth chap, too.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:08 pm

I actually think the whole concept of mixing, in the traditional sense, is unfashionable at the moment, maybe in the types of music we’re interested in here it’s still relevant, but in mainstream pop/dance it’s all done very simply as you go, a Midi set-up, or a few loops in Ableton, by people in bedrooms, or on laptops on the way to work!
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:39 pm

In the rawer forms of hiphop and pure edm, yes perhaps, but in mainstream pop, absolutely not. Have you seen a typical session for Billy Eilish or Beyonce etc? Jaw-droppingly complex.
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Re: The 45 minute mix

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:43 pm

The basic principles of mixing are very straight forward though there is an inordinate amount of complexity available. As Decker says:

“At the end of the day, we’re not putting men on the moon, we’re just trying to put them on the radio. So don’t take yourself too serious and spend all day on your mixes, and as a result miss out on the finer things in life.”

One can argue that endless hours of pearl clutching agony over the the EQ on the 23 pad in the pre-chorus, is required to achieve the perfect mix, but given that playback devices and listening environments destroy that delicacy immediately, my question is why bother?

Also, he has massive practice in critical listening and has an internal baseline for what sounds good and that'll get you a lot further than time spent twiddling knobs on gear. I'd be happy if I could get a usable track in 45 minutes!
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