Listen to the audio examples that accompany this month's Mix Rescue.
In the main Mix Rescue article (www.soundonsound.com/techniques/mix-rescue-new-fools-martine), I describe how I approached mixing the song 'Martine' by The New Fools. I explained how I struck a balance between keeping some key parts of the mix simple and controlled, alongside some more creative mix processing and expansive plug-in choices.
The track 'Martine' is by Cambridge‑based band the New Fools, which comprises songwriter/singer Tony Jenkins, guitarist Drew Keen, bass player Dave Seabright and Pete Carter on drums. They're currently putting the final touches to their latest album, which will include 'Martine'.
The band have kindly given me permission to supply a few short 'before' and 'after' clips to demonstrate key aspects of the mix. As well as the processing of the individual tracks, it's important to point out that the 'mixed' examples are also running through my master bus, on which there's some gentle brightening EQ and compression. I made a point of bypassing these plug-ins for the raw examples.
This a short clip of the final un-mastered mix of the song 'Martine' by the band 'The New Fools'.
The acoustic guitar was a key part of the song's production. This is how it sounded without any mix processing. If I remember rightly, it was recorded with a single AKG C451 small-diaphragm microphone pointing towards the 5th fret.
This is an example of how the 'mixed' acoustic guitar sounded. It had a few dB of gentle compression to help firm it up a little, along with a touch of EQ for definition. This involved high-pass filtering up to 100Hz and a broad 2-3 dB boost just above 3kHz.
The drums, with no mix processing and just a quick balance of levels.
This is how the drums sounded when mixed. I explained in the article how I deliberately reduced my drum options down to the key close mics and a stereo overhead, and focused on making the drummer's performance feel a bit more consistent.
This is an example of the raw lead vocal. It was recorded with a Neumann U87 and a Neve 1073LB preamp. It was compressed at the recording stage with my Grove Audio Liverpool Altec-style vari-mu compressor. Despite being a good clean vocal recording, notice how the 8kHz region is quite pronounced on any 'ess' sounds. In hindsight, I should have swapped to another mic that sounds a bit softer around that region.
I explained in the article how I captured some effects at the recording stage, and this is an example of what I recorded alongside the raw lead vocal. The vocal was running through a Roland RE-201 Space Echo, a tape delay and spring reverb unit. I would have fed some of this to the singer while recording, and it would have been the only effect on the lead vocal for the remainder of the tracking stage.
Working on the sound of the lead vocal was by far the most time-consuming part of the mix, and I explain in the main article how I approached creating quite an effect-heavy final result. If you listen carefully, you can hear the longer delay — the level of which I controlled via a side-chained compressor — becomes more audible as each phrase finishes. One of the very last things I did in the mix was to use a Kush Audio Clariphonic EQ to add some extra brightness and clarity.