To accommodate a variety of projects, working methods, and budgets, I offer two main types of mixing services:
Attended Mix Sessions in a Commercial Studio
If you would like to be present during the mix sessions to guide the direction of your mix, and you have an adequate mix budget, I would recommend an attended mix session in a commercial recording studio. This can be an exciting way to mix a record, as the best-equipped mix rooms will have a spacious control room, a highly accurate monitoring system, a large-format analog console, and racks of fun tools for shaping and exploring your sound. There are a number of great mix rooms around the SF Bay Area I am happy to work in; my preferred room is Studio A at Prairie Sun. With the client in attendance to direct and approve mixes, I will usually choose to mix “out of the box” (OTB) – relying more on the console and outboard equipment than the computer and plug-in effects. I feel this approach can be more interactive & inspirational for the client and engineer, though it has it’s benefits and drawbacks:
- Analog consoles and outboard equipment tend to have strong sonic imprints that will help provide the broad strokes of shaping your sound.
- You can attend the mix session and we can communicate directly about what you want to hear on each song, and explore ideas together. This process can be a lot of fun.
- Recall of OTB mixes, though available, can be expensive and time consuming. Because of this, the preferred method when mixing OTB is to move in a linear fashion, mixing one song until it is done, and then moving to the next song.This linear approach to mixing can foster a very focused atmosphere.
- OTB mixing favors creative types who feel their first call is the right call and prefer to make decisions in the moment
Unattended Mix Sessions & Online Mixing
If OTB mixing sounds like the wrong creative process for your project, or if your budget restricts your ability to book enough time in a commercial studio to give your songs the consideration they deserve, I am happy to offer unattended online mixing services from my private digital studio. In my private studio I mix mostly “in the box” (ITB), which not only offers high quality without the overhead of maintaining expensive analog equipment, but also offers instant and 100% accurate recall of a mix at any time – a feature that opens up many creative possibilities. Some of the benefits of unattended ITB mixing include:
- The ease of recall frees mixing from being a linear process. I can mix a song to my satisfaction, email a reference file to you, and start working on the next song while you audition the mix. You can wait until I’ve mixed all of the songs to send me revision notes. If you decide a few weeks later you want to turn down the background vocals, you can. The linear process and “in-the-moment” decisions of OTB mixing are replaced in ITB by an iterative process of gradually honing in on the desired sound with revisions.
- For as many artists may enjoy attending a mix session, many others find the process dull. It is the results, not the process they are interested in. ITB mixing does not require their attendance to approve mixes. Many artists find that listening through all the technical minutiae clouds their judgment of the big picture.
- Instead of listening to the mixes on a set of studio monitors that sound like none of the speakers you’ll encounter in the outside world, you can audition the mixes in your car, on your home stereo, on your laptop, your smartphone earbuds to make artistic decisions about the mix.
- This is the Digital Age, we’re no longer tied to location or each others’ schedules. We can work together even if you don’t live in the Bay Area; I can mix your record while you’re on tour; etc.