This month’s band threw down the gauntlet for our engineer — could he improve what was already a decent mix?
This month’s Mix Rescue was unusual in that we began with a good mix of a good recording! In these examples, you’ll hear how the raw sound of the various tracks was enhanced or developed at the mix.
There was a lot to like about the original mix, by Mike Stoodley and the band, but I felt that it it was to be improved, the drum sound was the most likely starting point.
The acoustic guitars were well recorded and needed little by way of EQ other than trimming the low mids. The band had also recorded amp tracks for the acoustic guitar, which I didn’t use in my mix.
Mike had recorded separate DI and amp tracks for the bass guitar. In the first of these examples, you can hear them in turn, then together. The second example is the combination of the two tracks as it appeared in my mix.
In these examples, you can hear each of the important drum mics in turn — kick, snare, overheads — followed by the mix of all of them. Notice how the unconventional drum miking has produced quite an unusual stereo image on the raw overheads, part of the reason for mixing the drums almost in mono.
The 12-string electric guitar sounded a bit too bright, so I used EQ and multiband processing to tame the upper mids.
Two separate vibraphone overdubs had been recorded in stereo. In my mixed version, I only used one mic from each take.
Rachel Bailey’s vocals were recorded through a Sennheiser MD441 dynamic mic, and the raw track sounded very smooth but a little too rich in the low mids. A combination of EQ, reverb and stereo widening was used to give it more presence in the mix.