Sound and me.
Going deep into my musical past isn’t very interesting.. all you need to know is I have been mixing music since I was 14. Badly to start, then after thousands and thousands of hours spent making and mixing music I now I can say I’m good at it and have been for a while. I’ve not made my mixing life easy though, I have always experimented with sound and want to push further, make things bigger, sound louder than the next guy etc etc. That’s how I made mistakes in my mixes and learned from them. I started mixing other people’s tracks around 10 years ago and what has happened as a result of all this mixing and production is my ears are finely tuned which is what enabled me to become a mastering engineer, I don’t think you can be taught how to do this job, it’s all about experience over time.
The majority of mix problems are a result of mixing on small near field monitors in acoustically challenging rooms and/or inaccurate headphones. Bass is hard to judge unless you have accurate monitoring and if you can’t hear what’s happening low down then your judgment of the entire mix will suffer. I have a pair of custom built 3 way monitors which go from 22hz - 22000khz, if there is something out of place or causing problems I will know it in an instant. My monitoring chain is clean and there are very few reflective surfaces to avoid unwanted reflections to my ears.
I use a combination of hardware and software. Software can be as precise as keyhole surgery and very flexible but it doesn’t do ‘character’ as well as hardware, yet. I chose my hardware very carefully - since any clinical EQ work is done digitally I chose a hardware valve EQ which is gentle and warm even when adding larger amounts of gain. The Elysia compressor I use is very flexible and gives extra punch if needed then last in the chain is the HCL Varis compressor which effortlessly cleans out the low end, refines transients and improves the stereo image across pretty much any material. I didn’t really believe all that hype that the more experienced guys would go on about with high end compressors [ clarity, 3D, refined and clean low end etc.. ] but when I took the plunge and bought the Varis it turned out to be true. That illusive magic touch.. The latest addition is The Thermos - a dual-mono four band parametric mastering grade solid state EQ.
I want your masters to be as good as they can possibly be, if I think there is something you can easily tweak in the mix I will say so, free of charge and then we can head towards a better master. If I think your mix isn’t ready for mastering I will recommend you mix down the track again, I can give detailed tips and tricks specifically for your track for a small charge.
Feel free to email with any queries.