So after the weekend’s panic we have agreed to try to mix one song and revise another for the next few days. This is tiring, but we have Champions League after we finish…
Tuesday – Silver Lake is the simplest song on the record with only a guitar, some strings and a treated guitar, so the balancing is easy, but the decision making becomes more pertinent. We decide to keep the drums quite strong – more r’n’b, less country. The treated guitar (Mark Schwaber played, mandolin style) was treated twice and luckily… we like the Sound Toys treatment (plug in filter) at the start of the song (it sounds almost like a Hammond pedal) and then the Toppobrillo Multifilter (analogue lowpass filter – part of my modular synth) in the second half… on…
Big work is a complete revision of Blue Like Mars and this takes a while but my issues with the original mix are confirmed by Olaf and he is indeed able to make the drums big and powerful without being harsh in the mid range, and my rhythm guitar does work better without being brightened… From there it is just a case (not quick, but relatively simple) of re-balancing the other instruments, making sure the solo guitars are as loud as possible, and making the vocal slap back effect work, without being overstated… I think we have this song now, but must listen more to be sure.
I catch the second half of Bayern thrashing Arsenal. Good times.
Wednesday – Kids today – another simple song with not many instruments and again the drums are key. I have been listening to them, in the rough mixes I’ve made, rather quiet and snare light and thought this was ideal. Olaf has other ideas… and he has a point. We find a sound which is a little punchier and I’m happy with that, just not quite as punchy as Olaf was thinking. Then it is case of placing the detail parts, the percussion, the flute sample, and then I’m happy and we almost print it but Olaf thinks the vocal is too loud. After years (80’s early 90’s) of asking for my vocal to be quieter, these days I’m of the belief that it is almost impossible to have the lead vocal too loud. But Olaf is right this time, down a little and it is STILL loud. All good.
On to the Myrtle & Rose revision. Olaf, somewhat reluctantly admits that maybe the song would be better with ‘softer’ drums, even if he is against the idea! Once this is ‘agreed’ he gets a new sound and it is much better. Then we need to address my strum guitar which used to sound (in a cool, strange way) like a piano, but no longer does. We re-import the original file and, yes, it was the 200 Hz which was removed (usually a good idea on a rhythm guitar) which took away the effect. We keep the guitar flat and re- balance the details – the ring mod guitar and the Nashville guitar. I’m very happy. We will check it in the morning. That was a long day. Two longs days, and tomorrow will not be short.
Quick tapas and then to the Schalke bar to watch Galatasaray vs Schalke. Very entertaining.