How Do You Mix Today?

Discussion in 'Mixing' started by Dave McNair, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    dumpster - FMR INTEGRATION DEVICE.JPG

    ummm. it's audio. not video. use your ears. those things on the side of your head.

    throw the monitor screen in the dumpster along with the RNP.
     
  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Next we will be mixing by braille :ROFLMAO:
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    I think what he is trying to say is he listens more and reacts less with digital technology imaging (eye candy)? At least I'm hoping that is what he is saying?
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:

    Personally, I didn't get that from his statement. When we mix, we are painting a sonic "picture" of sorts. Audio can be a sort of imagery, too. When we hear a song, we can often visualize certain things - such as instrument placement and direction, or the charisma of a performer... not to mention the visual memories a piece of music can bring to our minds...

    Not to wax too philosophically here, but I "see" things in my head when I'm arranging, recording, mixing, too ... for me, it's one way for me of determining what works - or what doesn't - in a particular mix.

    We also rely on metering all the time, which is also visual. If we hear something odd level-wise that we don't like, one of the first things we do is to check the gain structure, to see what the audio is doing in regard to the levels of each gain stage.

    We edit with our ears first, but we also have to see what we are editing, too... right?

    Anyway, that's what I think. IMHO of course. :)

    Just as an FYI... the "AIR" in my old screen name ( not pronounced "air" as most people do online, it just wouldn't let me abbreviate with periods between the letters online) actually stood for Audio Images Recording... which was the name of my studio and production company for over 20 years. It just became too much of a mouthful to say when answering the phone at 9 am, before I'd had my obligatory 6 cups of very strong, percolated coffee. LOL...

    So eventually, instead of answering those morning calls with, "Audio Images Recording, can I help you?", I just started answering with, "A. I. R., Can I help you? ", and after about a year of that, the abbreviation just kinda stuck.
    After a year or two, even my clients who had recorded at my studio when we were still using the previous original name, eventually began referring to my studio simply as "A.I.R."

    ;)
     
  5. John Santos

    John Santos Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Sean G, I don't get how you can't understand what I'm trying to say. I'll just break it down to "simple and easy to understand for you" (not intended to offend you here).

    What is Visualization for me:

    *audiokid said it right less eye candy and more of own vision and feeling. Although looking at the faders and such helps to make sense of it all like Donny is saying right there.

    *Indeed painting a visual picture: You must understand that listening to music is a psychological process. I won't go deep into the psychological part cuz I'm no expert on the human mind. An example: When listening to a piece and you hear the drummer playing from the right side what does tell you? It gives you a different perspective or visualization of how the band was setup. Normally you would hear the kick drum from around the center.

    *Another fact is that human memory works in magnificent ways: Visualizing an object or picture and linking it to a sound makes you remember the perspective that you associate it with faster. Hearing, Seeing, Saying, Writing, Tasting, Feeling... are all things that help remind something, I bet there is more.

    Sean G, maybe you misunderstood me or maybe i wasn't clear. But why not use these techniques to get you to the level where you need to be? That's why i'm doing it.

    Thanks for reading, please tell me what you think.....
     
  6. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm still calling BS...

    I suppose if I visualise a million dollars it will help me make it sooner?

    Sounds like you have been reading too many of Oprahs' books of the month ;)
     
  7. John Santos

    John Santos Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Well, to each his own I guess. :)

    It just helps me simplify things when it comes to workflow and getting a clear feel on the right end mix I want to have.
     
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    If it works for you, then so be it. I'm not trying to give you a hard time.

    Personally, I use my ears, not my eyes, or my "minds eye" for that matter...after all, we use our ears to listen ;)
     
  9. John Santos

    John Santos Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Fair enough. :LOL:
     
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    You've never pictured in your head a stage layout, or an orchestra, and have visualized the placement of certain instruments? Or have thought about ( seen in your mind)certain things you should do with an arrangement or a mix?

    You've never visualized something like a particular EQ setting - particularly in using a plug that you've grown accustomed to - in your head? I visualize things like that all the time.

    Not trying to give you a hard time, bro, or to be argumentative... my question is sincere.

    After all, Beethoven was deaf, and he was able to compose some pretty incredible sounding music simply by seeing it in his head. ;)
     
    John Santos likes this.
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    I think some would say he was hearing the music in his head, not seeing it. This is what some won't accept; Suggesting the possibility of seeing an image that represent music.
    But that's ok, we all have our ways to understand things. The end result is what counts.

    I do this exercice all the time when mixing ; I close my eyes and just listen. I imagine the instruments in a band formation not the image of it but the sound of it. I've done live sound for so many years, I know how a band sound like when you are in front or on stage with the musicians. Depending on the music style, I often try to reproduce the soundscape of a real band. This is my thing, what ever is yours is your own ;)
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Quite a few guys I know including myself will turn the lights down low so we are less distracted, more focused on what works for us. So I guess, eyes can be distracting.

    Then there is Bruce Swedien as an example. He hears/ see's music through colour.
    http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/mixing_in_colors_with_bruce_swedien/
    http://www.voicecouncil.com/recording-the-human-voice-bruce-swedien/
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  13. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Some people link audio to visuals..

    http://www.globerecording.com/virtualmixer/vm.html

    For me I think of a Mix like a canvas.. Frequencies are vertical Lows on the bottom..highs on the top. Panning is using the space from left to right.
    Each colour you paint goes somewhere on the canvas,.. If you put too many things (or) colours in the same spot you get a muddy brown to black image.. The same thing happens with a mix..

    Volume is opactiy vs transparency.. Space via room or reverb/delay is the creating a 3d image using shadowing..

    Each moment in time is a new picture to a degree but the same principals can apply.
    EQ and compression etc are used to make the image more or less lively..
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i went to recording school at David Gibson's California Institute of Audio. He was my instructor. He was always talking about that visualization thing. It never caught on. Old stuff. 20 years ago.
     
  15. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    It's not for everyone.. Works for me inside my head.. Not sure how a video screen with images would work in the real world. It depends on how your brain works.. Some people are primarily Audio based, some are Visual and some are Tactile. Some are a blend of each.

    Out of curiosity, were his mixes any good?
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    He came from Atlanta. His claim to fame was he did some recording for James Browns band. Not James Brown, his band. He never mixed for us. What mixing that was done (not much) was all student mixing. The course was mostly lectures and tests.

    David was ok. A nice guy. He helped me get a grip on compression techniques. He visited a studio I built for a guy, that i was currently working at, and was very complimentary. He even mentioned it in class one day. "These guys have one of the best home studios I have seen." thanks Dave.

    The classes I attended were at Music Annex in Menlo Park CA. David later opened a school in SF but they went belly up pretty fast.
     
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    As far as the visual thing goes with Bruce, during the mixing of Billie Jean, I think somebody slipped in a Linn drum when he wasn't looking LOL.
     
  18. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    Synesthesia:
    http://www.ryot.org/photos-synesthesia-music-what-sound-looks-like/757165
    It's legit, I've had it all of my life. Just sayin'
    ~Jeff
     
    DonnyThompson likes this.
  19. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yep, and if you've never experienced it you don't understand. For me sounds have always spontaneously generated imagery, and not merely literal depictions but geometric analogs. It's an extremely useful trait. I grew up surrounded by modern art. That's given me a vocabulary and aesthetic sense that transfers directly to music. Another handy thing, I tend to grasp graphic displays almost immediately, though I need them less because I already have fairly passable ones in my head.
     
    DonnyThompson likes this.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    me too. only i see studio spaces, high ceilings, heavy drapes ... this started when i was a kid and had never seen a studio. i would listen to Drifters records ad visualize the studio where Ben E King was singing. i loved the reverb even then.

    when mixing i visualize instruments placement, front to back relationships but never floating circles of flashes of color. not saying it's bad just it seems a little out there to me. ( visualize the twilight zone theme here).
     

Share This Page