Mixing artists who have a "sound"? - Gearspace.com
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Mixing artists who have a "sound"?
Old 3rd February 2007
Gear Addict
Reggie Love's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Mixing artists who have a "sound"?


First of all, thak you for taking time out of a busy schedule to talk technique.

Your mix and single mix credits include such a broad variety of atists:-

Talking Heads... Los Lobos... Roy Orbison... Elton John... Bon Jovi... to mention but a few. With such bankable names, including the Big O himself, it must be quite a daunting task to work on the tracked material when there is a public perception of each artist's sound.

How do you handle this issue?

Old 5th February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar
🎧 10 years

Thats a really interesting question.

While most good mixers are aware of an "artists sound" they do not want to be pegged in by past accomplishments. Otherwize why would Paul Simon work with Tchad Blake, surely he did not want him to sound like Roger Nichols, or U2 hire Brian Eno and Dan Lanois to sound like Steve Lillywhite.

My honest belief is that artist (conciously or subconconciously) chooses to work with a differnt mixer to force change. There may be some resistance but at the same time its like being in the candy store, its just so tempting to grab that bar of Lindt chocolate. Once the trust has been established it frees up the artist and engineer to work to their strenghts. (There is nothing worse that been asked to sound like "so and so".) My answer to that would be, " If you want that, hire that!"

We all have our methodologies, I like to mix from the top down, others a different way. So when presented with that sceanario I lock into the key elements and focus on those. Having a candid conversation about their expectations is also helpful. The fans expect change, artists demand it of themselves, at some point we all get brave enough to take the leap.


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