Current and Old Mixing setup - Gearspace.com
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Current and Old Mixing setup
Old 22nd September 2015
Gear Addict
🎧 5 years
Thumbs up Current and Old Mixing setup

Hi Dave, I had never searched who mixed Remain in Light, but it is for sure one of the records I like the most both sonic and musically. Amazing stuff..

The percussion in The great curve is a sort of benchmark to me totally exciting and hypnotic sounds. It's great to be able to ask you some questions. This time some curiosity about your tech side of making records.

Would like to ask about which is your current mixing setup and how it was back then when you mixed that record, in terms of routing, grouping and bus processing, did you do lots of rides during mixing and tracking? Do you work or do some stuff ITB with plugins?

I always loved the dynamic range of those records, the music sounds solid but not compressed and the sound has some kind of air to it, the drums hits have impact and you never feel the volume is fighting the music, my favorite kind of mixes.

Do you monitor at high levels, multiple speakers?

How do you approach and plan the dynamics of a song to keep the groove going but make them explode in the chorus and still get competitive levels during the whole song? Do you use bus compression?

And well, finally, to take everything out of this opportunity, do you remember how did you record and mix the percussion on The Great Curve?

Thanks a lot for your time, sorry for the big question.
Old 22nd September 2015
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DaveJerden's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Hi Ignacio and thanks for the great question! My mixing style has not really changed although I of course (because of Pro Tools ) do things a little different today than i did when I mixed
Remain in Light. First of all, I mix at much lower volumes than I did back then . Back then i would use big main monitors whereas today I use small speakers. Today i mix at about 85db SPL
and I use several different speakers. I use NS-10's, Adams, PMC's and little KRK rockets 6''(my favorite ).When mixing (and here I am going to quote the great engineer Bruce Swedien ) I go
for "The Primitive" . Basically this means , what is the basic emotion in the mix am I REALLY TRYING TO ACHIEVE? I ask myself "What do I need, really need in the mix to make this mix work?"
As for myself, I never try to over record but try to figure out when recording what basically to I need to elicit the desired goal of the song.This is all, I know, philosophical stuff however for me
music production is 90% cerebral. The actual tools I use , albeit important , are secondary to whatever skill I have.
I do use master buss compression and always have. When I recorded the percussion on Remain in Light I used two 421's on the congas and two 421's for his hand held instruments.
I also had an 2 U7's (for stereo image ) overhead. I told the percussionist to feel free to play what he felt. I did several recording passes of percussion per song then I "bounced " the tracks
together in stereo. I never moved the mics to maintain the stereo image . When mixing songs that have a lot of dynamics I must plan my mix as to keep the low parts loud enough and not
"Blow out the mix" on loud parts of the mix. I do this by going between loud and soft parts of the song until I get a proper "average". Buss compression really helps also.

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