Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mixing


Right now I'm mixing a Graven EP. Bands always talk about mixing like it's some kind of mystical process and they spend weeks at it sometimes trying to get the "right mix". Since I was once mystified about the whole process, I thought I would sit down here and share a little bit about it with you.

Mixing is the process by which you take the tracks that have been recorded during the original session (a process known as "tracking") are mixed and produced so that they are all at the volume that they need to be at so they can go to be mastered (which is a process that I still don't entirely understand). It's basically the part of the recording process where you get to decide if you want the guitar to be louder or if you want reverb on that vocal track. It involves a whole bunch of little decisions to make minor tweaks to the sounds that you generated during tracking.

This means that I'm spending 4-5 evenings a week sitting down listening to the same song 10-20 times while trying to make sure that all the individual tracks work well as a group. I also have to make sure that the tracks aren't peaking out (where their output level is higher than the level of output that sound hardware can handle resulting in ugly distortion and the loss of some audio information) and add fades at appropriate times. This results in a lit of repetitive tasks and sitting around listening to stuff while going crazy. It can be a very lonely process.

As I'm writing this post, I'm waiting for my main mix to finish recording for the last song I'm working on tonight. This is my 4th pass at a main mix so I've listened to this song all the way through 4 times in a row now and it's started to drive me a little crazy. I like listening to music I'm recording but sometimes these things drive me a little crazy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

About Today....

Some days I have a huge thought to hammer out here in my blog. Today is not one of those days. Today was a very long day. I think I'd just like to relax now.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Series of Short Thoughts

-There are three types of friends. Friends with no awkward silences, friends with awkward silences, and friends that you only wave to and say hello. It's ok to be the last kind. That wave is kind of like a mental pat on the back.

-I'm really sick of having people try and shove things about Christianity down my throat. I grew up in the church. I think I have a basic sense of right and wrong and how that plays out for me. We don't need to argue about it.

-Sometimes I worry about how I'm going to sell my loft bed when it comes time that I don't need it anymore. There are a hundred problems in my life right now and this is what I worry about, how to sell a bed I've had for 6 years...

-A little while ago I discovered that music can feel a lot like working. It's enjoyable work but recording and songwriting are absolutely exhausting processes. I have more respect for working musicians now.

-I wish people would be ok with showing a little immaturity now and then. I'm not talking about the kind of immaturity where you are a jerk to people, I'm talking about the kind of immaturity where you sit down and build lego for twenty minutes because it reminds you of being a kid.

-Somewhere back along the line I started to develop hermit-like tendencies. I have only just recently begun to break free of these. It's very difficult to change your living style though. It's a bit like trying to change handedness or how you write. It takes forever and you're never really great at it.