Another well written mix note is discusses that involves the depth and space of a sound being fed into a reverb, and how changing the amount of send to that reverb affects the volume of both dry and wet signals.
- [Instructor] Here in this volume chapter I want to address another subject that's a rather difficult one, and I chose this because I thought the note was very well written. It's written by the same producer that wrote the very good note in the EQ section about snare body, and how specific he was. And it's a good lesson for anyone writing notes to mix engineers to be as specific as possible. So, we're in a different song now. It's the group, Waterparks. The producer's Courtney Ballard, and the song is called It Follows.
And he writes "the background vocals "should just accentuate the lead, "and not be the focus. "Turn down the post chorus vocals and harmonies. "Also, in the quiet parts in the post chorus, "you need to add more reverb". So, all very specific. Not necessarily in amounts. He gives me my freedom to discover the right amount of change, but he's very specific about the changes he'd like to have made.
So let me take the second verse, and all the way through the second half of the repeat of that chorus, just to give us some room. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) So there's obviously the lead vocals. So it's a lead and two doubles. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) There are the background vocals. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) That yell, by the way, is part of the lead vocal.
So now let's look at those level changes he's asked for. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) This is where I ended up. Moving both the dry and wet together. Let's go down two D, two and a half dB. Two and two and a half dB. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) To me, that sounds like the vocal's too all by itself. That's where I settled on it. That's good, if I go up from there... Let's wait for it to cycle around.
("It Follows" by Waterparks) Let's go up a little. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) So he probably thought that, that's probably where I had it. Courtney felt that there was too much focus on the backgrounds. But what I really want you to notice is how changing the level of the background vocals affects the apparent volume, or apparent loudness of the lead vocal. We talked about this earlier. And these relationships is what mixing is all about.
The relationship of one element of a mix to another. Changing one thing, in effect, changes everything. So here's again where we settled. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) And where we ended up afforded just the right amount of focus on the lead and background vocals together. ("It Follows" by Waterparks) What a lot of people making notes on mixes don't realize is how much one thing changes another, and they become blind to the overall effect of a move because they're too focused on something specific that they're looking for.
Join multiplatinum producer, engineer, and mixer Brian Malouf as he covers the many terms that musicians and non-musicians use to describe music. Brian explains the meaning behind the comments and also demonstrates techniques that can be applied to a mix in response to the notes. He covers lo-fi mix techniques, EQ techniques, changes to levels, adapting the ambience, making vibe and energy adjustments, working with compression options, and revising the placement location of elements in the sonic sphere.
- Lo-fi glossary
- Volume glossary
- Ambience glossary
- Location glossary
- Attitude adjustment glossary
- Compression glossary