Sunday, November 21, 2010

The whole mixing thing

I remember years ago reading an article in Musician magazine about how Camper Van Beethoven mixed their albums. They would do a mix and then create a cassette and pop it in their boom box and listen to it. They knew that most of the people listening to their album would be listening to it that way instead of a nice fancy stereo.

So when I mix my stuff I listen to it first on headphones. Then I put it in my boom box. Then I listen to it on my nice stereo. Then I listen to it on my car stereo.

My car stereo is important to me because it's the only thing I've got that has the "boom". Sometimes I listen to stuff on it and hear things in the low end that I just don't hear on my other stuff.

I make my mix in Garageband and burn a CD, rip it to iTunes, and then transfer it to my iPod.

I decided tonight that listening to it in the car stereo was the best thing because I really wanted to make sure the bass was booming in this track.

I listened to it the first time and thought the bass was too loud. Some of the tracks sounded a little distorted also. But it sounded great! and then to my surprise one of the older versions I had recorded of the song came on next. So I listened to that as well. There were some things I forgot about. Some good stuff, and some really bad stuff.

I had been trying to decide if I should keep this song an instrumental or not. I really liked what I did in the chorus in the older version I listened to. So I decided to try to add it to the new version.

I went down to the basement and tweaked the levels a bit and added a vocal track in the chorus. It only took me about 10 minutes. I burned another CD and went out to the car to listen to it again. I thought it sounded fantastic! It was so good that I started to sing along. I thought the sound of the double vocal sounded really nice.

So I went back to the basement one more time. I added another doubled up vocal track in the chorus part and burned one more CD. I thought it sounded amazing! I think I have my track. I think it's done for the month. I'm going to listen to it a few more times over the next day or two but I really like it.

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