Audio Mixing - An Art or Science?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by kevinlimse, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. kevinlimse

    kevinlimse Guest

    hmm.. Can mixing for Live, recording, and sound production be perfected? Or its an Art where there is no right or wrongs, good or bads... Can the best results be obtained through math formulas?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    What do you think?

    Since the quality of the results is a subjective thing there is no way to make a "perfect" mix.

    What one person things is the best sound possible another person might think has too much high end.

    There are some right and wrongs, but they are not absolute. For example, in a live dance song, you may want the bass drum to drown out everything else. Generally in music that bad or wrong, but for that, it's perfect.
  3. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    It's both.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Actually, I think math formulas is the answer? Specializing in live production and recording, I like all of my notes to be on lined yellow legal pads instead of single pieces of white printer paper! If you use the single pieces of white printer paper and place it on the console top, you will poke holes through it when trying to write your data, which makes it much harder to interpret. Of course it's hard to play it back that way.
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    If it sounds good to you, leave it alone.

    If it doesn't, fix it.
  6. kevinlimse

    kevinlimse Guest

    Do you guys mean there is a technical defination for Good (sound and setup) which is some kind of standard which can be "calculated", and that kind of standard can be anything as long as you like it...
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    In a live sound situation especially in large arenas with a multitude of wattage, calculations can be important. But not necessary.

    In a studio, mixing a record is all about the feel, vibe,groove,the attitude....essentially the ART. But be sure there is rocket surgery involved.
  8. burlap

    burlap Guest

    I think that any art has a bot of science involved. Even painting requires a basic knowledge of the materials being used.

    Because so many people learn a craft through experimentation and trail and error, I think that a lot of the science is learned without the craftsman being aware of it.

    That being said, a lot of hardline tech guys make terrible recordings, and a lot of novices come up with some of the most original sounds.

    I would have to say that it's neither art or science but talent.
  9. burlap

    burlap Guest

    Please excuse my typos. I think that it's time for me to go to bed.
  10. CharlesDayton

    CharlesDayton Active Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    I say give some deaf person a calculator and let them mix your show. Math or Art? It's a craft that requires a certain set of skills and talents. And Math is an art too when you get past the basic stuff and start getting into the more esoteric stuff. However, I tend to use my ears and my taste to mix, and leave the numbers to the mathematically minded.

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