December 8th, 2004

toothybear

mixing rawk

I'm mixing and mastering a CD for this guy and it has turned into quite the project. I think he's an interesting songwriter, with an interesting voice, but what I've gotten from him are Cakewalk Bundles of all the tracks on the album. He doesn't record anything in time to Cakewalk's temp, and he doesn't label any tracks, and there are some occasional super-bad edits, but it's remarkable that someone who is completely cut off from the Internet Music Production culture can do something that sounds good, mostly.

I find myself after making one pass through all the tracks having to go back and fine tune the reverb amount and overall level on the vocals. It doesn't help that he's a baritone and a lot of his guitar parts overlap with his vocal range. But there's this magic point where the vocals are right -- in front of, but still a part of the whole track, not too boxy or wooly, not too reverb-washed, but sounding like they came from a real volume of air.

The biggest obstacle for me is having to do it in Cakewalk Sonar. Sonar is pretty much a functional equivalent of Cubase, and certain things (like bussing and routing in the mixer) it probably does a little better. But I'm A) not used to it, and B) It seems to be less efficient with the CPU, and it can't handle as much messing around while you're playing. And it's retarded about remembering settings -- every time I export a mixdown, I have to tell it to write out a 24 bit file.

I don't think it's what I want to spend the rest of my life doing but mixing an album is interesting thing to try.

PS If you want to pay me a good wage to mix and master CDs for the rest of my life, I'd give it a shot.