There is a saying which goes “challenges are great opportunities for success”. Today I did get challenged to a one hour mix challenge. I saw this as an opportunity to improve my abilities as a mix engineer. I did as best I could within that timeframe as practising for industry standard achievement. With all honesty the final product at the end was pretty much worse than I expected.
What I did first was to try and balance the music by critically listening to what was more important and that was main vocalist. Remember there is no reference track to get the idea from. The vocals did fit nicely in the mix and had the backing vocals well balance without overriding the main vocal. I also thought the reverb did sound nice on the headphone but come to the speakers it was like a wake up call on me. There was just too much wet reverb.
Time management surely is of great importance. Because of lack of it I did not spent it well on mixing drums. Instead I spent more time on adding compression which at the end was the biggest downfall the the Kick drum was over overcompressed. The lesson learnt was that, compression is not always the answer to everything. I could have left the drums uncompressed Im sure the could have sounded much better.
I do need to spent a little bit of time on EQ just to sweep either high frequencies or low depending with the need. This could have solved a couple of things like low end on acoustic guitar and lead guitar. The bass guitar sounded good but would have reduce a bit of the low end to balance well with the kick. I do need to learn bit more on EQing guitars a little bit more to just get clean sound. Once thing I did not put across my mind was that what I was trying to achieve would go to a mastering engineer. With kind of mixing I had done, the client would not have been amused as the mastering engineer would tell him or her to go back to the mix engineer to redo. I will endeavour to practise more these one hour mix at least on a daily basis if I really need to up skill my levels.
The one hour mix definitely is a great learning tool for me as it challenged me to think about what is most important to overall effect the mix, which is a skill which is a must have for a mix engineer. I need to prove myself that I can raise the standard to meet the criteria for the industry. It is essential to be challenged by such circumstances as I would become a better mix engineer now and in future.