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Common Mistakes
Old 20th December 2010
Gear Head
Hawkeye's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Common Mistakes

Hi Ken! It's an honor to have the opportunity, and thank you for being so generous with your time.

After reading through many of the Q & A topics here, I'm noticing a common theme... It seems as if many of us are over-thinking or over-analyzing in our questions, and your responses tend to be much less dramatic, simple, and "common sense," if you will...

That being said, what do you think separates many of the mixing greats (such as yourself), and the rest of us??? How much of a role does proper mindset have in our results, and does this apparent "over-thinking" that many of us have displayed do more to hurt than help our results?

Thank you again for taking the time!
Old 22nd December 2010
Special Guest
Ken Scott's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Hi, For me mixing is totally intuitive. I have got most everything I want during the recording and then it's time to put the icing on the cake, to show what we have achieved in the studio as best as possible. Well, in what I consider to be the best way at least. To that end I strive to get a feeling of depth, dimensionally not sonically, out of everything. On most things I hate everything in your face. There has to be some distinction between everything. The bigger one thing is the smaller everything else will sound. I was working on Jeff Beck's There And Back album and recorded Simon Phillips all alone in Studio 2 at Abbey Road. I got his kit balanced and then brought up the distant mics and it was the biggest drum sound I had ever heard, absolutely amazing. As we overdubbed everything it became very apparent that if this was Simon's record I could maybe use about half the level of the distant mics. It wasn't and so in the finished recording there is almost none of those wonderful distant mics, they just overpowered everything else.

I really can't comprehend the use of computers to determine if a mix is right or not. The whole thing of checking frequencies to see if there is too much of any given frequency is complete BS. If you have good monitors you know that when the guitar solo goes up to the high part there may be a slightly excessive amount of high mids, but that guitar sound and volume is what works there and so who cares. Those early reggae records wouldn't have been anywhere near as good if someone had "seen" there was too much bass and removed it. If it sounds good, it is good. Mixing is an art, or at least it used to be, and being overly technical will often remove the soul.


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