Super Clean Sound

MIX/MASTER


The mixing process starts as early as pre production. 

Through our discussions and the development of the songs, a rough image of the finished result starts formulating in our minds. So, we start looking for references of other known and unknown productions that sound similar to that image. 

This way we create a “sound target” and a goal we are trying to achieve. We are not trying of course to simulate the reference productions but to use them as an objective point to which we can compare our progress throughout the process. 

For example the reference tracks may point out the choice of guitars, amps and effects, the choice of the snare and cymbals, maybe a different tuning for the drum kit etc.. All these are mixing decisions done way before the mixing process. 

And during the mixing and mastering process, we can compare the tonal balance of our mix and the instrument balance to the reference tracks so we don’t get carried away and think we’ve created a masterpiece only to find out it sounds like shit everywhere else but our imagination and our room.

Also during the recording process we are constantly working with a rough mix.

When we record guitars for instance, the guitarist plays to a mixed drum and bass track. This way he/she can perform a lot better because he/she hears everything balanced and exciting. Accordingly, when it’s time to record vocals, usually the last thing we do, the singer sings to a mixed backing track.

This method achieves multipurpose goals: apart from the better performances it stimulates, it allows everybody to spend more time visualising and refining the end result.

If, for example, the drummer completely dislikes the drum sound of a song, we know it and discuss it and work on it from early on and don’t wait to the frustrating long hours of the final mixing when we are all tired from the whole process. 

The mixes we prepare for every stage of the recording process may be “rough” but they are done with the “sound target” in mind we have preset from the beginning. 

The way we build the mix, leaves everybody with a very clear image of how the songs will sound like by the time we start recording the vocals. There are no surprises after that since the core of the sound is more or less there. Only improvements. 

And of course no “we’ll fix it in the mix” excuses, which never happen anyway.

The songs are 99.9% sonically finalised in the mixing process.

You won’t get any “we’ll fix it in the mastering” excuses either.

When we say “mastering” we don’t necessarily mean further audio manipulation. 

Very slight changes may be performed but the core of mastering consists of: listening in different rooms with different speakers, the car and laptop test, song order (if it is an album), preparation of the CDDA premaster to be sent to the factory or to the client, spacing between the songs on the CD, format preparation (HD, CD, MP3, AAC, VINYL), text and ISRC encoding, and lastly and more importantly, double and triple checking that everything is OK.

For more technical information on mixing, we are Logic Pro users, we mix about 80% in the box using FabFilter plug-ins almost exclusively. For the other 20% we use ourTC Electronic Finalizer 96k for various purposes and our TC Electronic Reverb 4000. The signal gets in and out of the external units digitally to avoid any unnecessary AD/DA conversion.

We mix mainly through our Genelec 8030A monitors and do further and critical listening with the Genelec 1022B mastering speakers.

Also, we mix in a different room than that we record and on a different computer.