Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Mixing Outside the Box - how and why

I know I keep banging on about this month's thrill - coming out of the box for the Sons and Daughters record. So I thought I would explain my thinking (and feeling). The project was beautifully recorded onto "One Inch" 16 track Analogue Tape. I wanted to integrate my usual "In the Box" mixing method into the whole process. I have fallen in love with the working method of setting up mixes and adjusting them later after input from Band, Producer, Record Company. Letting the mixes grow and be inspired by different tunes and mixes across the album is a method I really value, as a way of navigating the route to the best possible result, especially when I am not mixing the whole time with the band.

So I put together a "white room" for a month at Strongroom, initially with my rig, Apogee Ensemble and Metric Halo ULN-8 convertors, and a rented Fat Bustard. This has enabled me to work alone, and with Scott from Sons and Daughters and Keith (the producer). Recall on the Fat Bustard is very simple (most of the controls are notched), and everything else is recalled with the session and so the album has been taking shape nicely.

Finally I have rented an Ampex ATR 102 for a day at the very end of the session, so when all the mixes are approved I shall be able to print the whole album to half inch tape at 30 ips, as well as back into Logic at 96k.

ATR arrives in my Mixroom

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Monday, 20 December 2010

Adding SSD to my Mac Pro

I have an old (3 years) Mac Pro and I was chatting to Hasan from macxperts about what a great machine it has been and is for audio. He suggested a very cost effective upgrade for my Tower - SSD drive for System Apps and Audio. So I bought one from OWC

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Aggregate Audio Issues in my World - a simple solution

I came out the box for the Sons and Daughters LP Mix, and it was a new experience for me. I have successfully tracked in the past with my ULN-8 and my Ensemble at 44.1k so I was hoping for a simple and stable solution again - though this project was 96k. I had quite a few problems - interfaces not being recognised, terrible glitchy audio, no audio, Logic complaining about wrong sample rate and more. I had to replace the firmware on the ULN-8 and the Ensemble although both were already at latest firmware and latest drivers when I started the project, it seemed they became corrupted. Shutdowns did not always solve the problem, and though I was enjoying the project, the music, the audio and the challenge I found it very frustrating at times, and wondered if my system would be more stable with 2 Ensembles or 2 ULN-8s instead (though I would still have to aggregate). I also considered (and am still very interested in) a non aggregate 16 output system using an Aurora 8 hooked up to my ULN-8.

After reinstalling the firmware on the Ensemble I followed the instructions exactly and switched on the computer before powering up the Interface. This made me think that switch on order might be important, so from then on I booted the computer before switching on any Audio Interfaces. This seems to work very much better, and now my system seems to be stable and very useable.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Sons & Daughters mix

Starting mixing in Strongroom 11. LP is 16 track Analogue and beautiful that is too. I have come out the box at 96k into a Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard. Having fun so far.IMG_0954

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Settled into Strongroom 11

I set up my pop-up studio in Strongroom 11 for a little while. Mixing "Emmy the Great" and then "Sons & Daughters" Nice to be back in Shoreditch. I've been coming for 30 years :-)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Figure of Eight mics

Throughout the recording of the new album for Emmy the Great I have become (re-) enamoured of the sound of Figure of Eight mics. And I don't just mean ribbons - thought the ribbons have been a substantial part of it. I have also been using my Schoeps Collette MK8 on the Guitar amps with a Royer an SE or a Shiny Box Ribbon, and my wonderful 30 year old Schoeps CMTS 501 (the first microphone I ever bought) as a classic Blumlein pair in many different recording scenarios. I have been loving the sound that I am getting from these beautiful mics. The sonics of this record is all about the Figure of Eight.

Friday, 12 November 2010


I write about my attempts to get a great sounding mix (in German). Here.

Mixing LP for Noam Rotem

Had fun mixing an LP for Noam Rotem at The Crescent. Stormy in London, Sunny in Tel Aviv. Communicating with Dropbox and Skype.

The Producers - Red Bull & VBS 6 part series

I take part in the series. Trailer here

Verklärte Nacht

I was listening to Schönberg's arrangement of his own Opus 4 for String Orchestra on Radio 3 this morning when John recommended the poem to me. The poem is wonderful too. Here it is. Thanks John and thanks to Dehmel for a beautiful sharing.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Looking forward to listening to this. Must choose the right moment.

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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Guillaume de Machaut

Looking at the Cathedral form the Seine on Sat. night with Irmin Schmidt, he recommended this music.

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Saturday, 19 June 2010

Wild Palms LP

Recording Finished. Pop Up Studio dismantled. Mixing next month.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Wild Palms LP

2 weeks into recording and everything sounding fresh and exciting. Next week - vocals, acoustic guitars, strings and final percussion plus a couple of electric guitars. Then mix!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sunroof support Recoil in Rome

Really enjoyed our set in Rome. We tightened things up a bit and the room and the PA sounded great. What fun.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Alphaville: Interesting afternoon in the studio with Marian and Martin working on arrangements and vocals for a new song. Replacing, reducing, editing, enhancing, focusing. Enjoyed supper afterwards in Teddington. Followed by a good phone conversation with Pete, (who is currently in NY) about ideas and ways of working. .

Friday, 12 February 2010

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Mackintosh Braun Mixing

Mackintosh Braun Mixing is now underway. Uploads of multitracks to iDisk working fine. Laying out songs into Logic.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Berlin meeting at Universal

Pete and I having a meeting at Universal in Berlin tomorrow afternoon with A&R

Small update - we had a great meeting. This is a view from the building.


Vantage Point

Had a fun and productive afternoon in their beautiful studio with dEUS.


More pics here