Every now and then I stumble across something that not only changes the way I work, but my entire outlook.
I remember the first time I used an “air” band on an eq. It was 2003 and I had just started the masters program at McGill. Amongst the units I had only dreamed of using was the famed GML eq. And to the right edge of the front panel…the elusive 26 kHz setting.
Humans can only hear up to 20 kHz, so why bother boosting above that? By centring the EQ above 20k, you can affect the audible band with…
Tom Elmhirst, Amy Winehouse and Vocal Resonances: How To Fix A Common Mixing Mistake
In 2007, I read a Sound On Sound article about Tom Elmhirst’s work with Amy Winehouse. He was talking about his mix on “Rehab”.
One thing in particular caught my attention. He spoke about notching out vocal resonances, and was aggressive in doing so.
While it “made sense”, I didn’t fully understand the concept. That is until I started mastering.
Vocal resonances are a common issue I see and can wreak havoc in the mastering process.
Vocals are often recorded in small rooms or booths. Smaller…
Bottom end is tricky.
It’s one of the most common issues I see in mixes. If you don’t get the bottom right, the track will never have power.
I’m going take you through a technique I use to get the sub-bass slamming. And it doesn’t require a compressor — just EQ.
Powerful bass is an issue of balance — balancing the fundamental frequencies with the upper harmonics. In other words, the sub bass (60–200Hz).
Many mixers tend to over-emphasize the fundamental. Since lower frequencies take up more headroom, this can be an issue when trying to make a track loud.
This morning, I had a lesson in trusting my ears.
I spend every morning working on my skills. I’ll take a track that I’ve mastered before and try to improve on it. My entire morning practice routine will need a full blog post, but the idea is to get better every day. Even if only by 1%.
This morning was one of those groggy mornings. You know the ones — mornings where you’d prefer to stay in bed all day. I had a valid excuse…it was Monday!
I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. But I dragged myself to the studio and…
I missed the mark the other day. I swung for the fences and failed. A track I mastered wasn’t what the artist was looking for. It happens.
These are tough emails to get. I might be an engineer, but I’m also an artist. And human.
I’ve been working in the music industry for over 10 years. Yet, the time between sending a track for approval and the client’s feedback still makes me anxious.
I’m not sure if this will ever change. I’m not sure if I want it to. …