Tips & Links

Mastering The Mix – Tip 1

Once you have a good basic balance in your mix, step outside your mixing room with the door open, and listen to the mix from there. It gives you a very good fresh new perspective on the balance, and is especially helpful in checking whether the lead vocal (or instrument) is properly balanced with the rest of the track.

 

Bookshelf recommendations

Behind The Glass – Howard Massey

This fabulous book features many interviews by Mr Massey with prominent and legendary record producers and engineers (yes, we mean the likes of George Martin and Geoff Emerick!). They include many tips from the mouths of the men who created popular and rock music from the 1960s, to the 70s (such as Tony Visconti for Bowie and T.Rex) to present day. Invaluable for both practical advice (who could have predicted that more than a handful of these pros recommend the same piece of Behringer equipment for professional productions!) and sheer inspiration, this book is a definite must for any level of recording musician, engineer, or aspiring producer.

Mixing Audio – Roey Izhaki

This is another fantastic tutorial book, and an absolute must for anyone wanting to learn the dark art and science of mixing modern music. It actually covers an awful lot of the theory of sound learned during my BBC training, but in a much more accessible way. The accompanying DVD has a wealth of excellent audio examples of the principles that Roey explains, and this really helps you to train your ear and listen out for the important elements of the mix. It’ll take you quite a while to work through the entire book, and it’s the most in-depth single volume on mixing that I’ve found to date. Very highly recommended.

Behind The Glass, Vol. 2 – Howard Massey

I’m very pleased to be able to say that, as of July this year (2009), there is a second volume of Howard Massey’s wonderful interviews with major record producers. Great discussions with some of my heroes including Mark Ronson, Daniel Lanois, Simon Climie, Gus Dudgeon, as well as some, cough, erstwhile colleagues such as Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Hugh Padgham. What I really like about these chats is the variety of producers from the totally veteran right up to the contemporary crop. This time around, the talk seems to be a bit more about the ‘soft’ side of production, i.e. working with artists and performance, rather than the more technical ‘I always use a U47 and 1176 on a female singer’ type comment. Invaluable advice on almost every page.