Mixing

Unfortunately, mixing is somewhat of a dying art. While, over time, one can learn the basic skills for recording and achieve genuinely good results, mixing is an area that requires a unique and highly specialized body of knowledge.

Mixing is more ‘musically’ creative than most people realize. When we mix at Atlantic Sound Studio, we use it as another form of production; another chance to refine the arrangement of the song and do everything possible to ensure the song reaches it’s highest potential. This requires a very good technical knowledge of equipment, a musical ear, and perhaps most importantly, ‘objectivity’; a mixers best friend.

An important characteristic of our mixes is the purpose behind them. After a song has been mixed, it inevitably sounds more substantiated and more convincing. This comes from ensuring that every individual part is there because it needs to be there. This also comes from our use of ‘automation’ - one of the most underrated, misused and misunderstood techniques available. Automation, when utilized correctly, will propel the mix and ultimately bring it to life.

A studio is much more than simply the equipment it houses. When mixing, using all the best gear in the world in a manner that does not serve the song, will not only achieve nothing, it will degrade the song. Determining exactly what a song needs is much more important. Nobody listens to a song and hears the compressor, or the equalizer, they hear instruments. However, using the correct compressor or equalizer in a musical way that brings out more emotion or meaning in an instrument, which in term helps the song, does make a difference, and does effect the the way a listener hears the song.

One piece of gear that does make each mix sound more musical and emotional is the Ampex ATR102 ½” tape machine. This is used almost exclusively for mixing. Widely regarded as the best ½” tape machine of all time, this machine is found in very few recording studios and even fewer mastering studios. A ‘secret weapon’ of sorts, it is used to retain the detail of our analog mixes, which when recorded digitally, is lost. Recording to tape not only helps retain that detail, it adds a certain musical sonic quality to our tracks, helping them stand out from the current crop of bland, digital mixes.