day 07 – mixing by distance

July 20, 2018

Today I applied myself to the mixes from yesterday’s recording sessions, working first from the courtyard, and then the much warmer dinning room of the B.A.H.

The Ov Pain sessions were a lot of fun to work with. My methods for mixing are unconventional, being as they are uninformed by institutional training. My first step was to multiply the combined mono signal of Renee’s two synthesisers, panning two copies hard L & R and applying a filter to isolate the mid- and high range. With the centred copy I applied an inverted filter so as to be able to treat this middle track as “bass”.

image day 07, Ov Pain sessions

Multiplied takes [3 x synth (L, R, C) + sax] from Ov Pain’s two sessions

I’ve found in the past that this method allows for a degree of flexibility while also giving the whole track a fuller, spatilaised sound. Here, when I say ‘flexibility’, I mean balancing the melodic runs of Minilouge, existing mostly in the higher end of the track, against the sinister rumbles of the MS-20, existing primarily at the low end.

image day 07, Ov Pain snyth filters

Filters applied to the synth tracks from first session [L, C, R]

Tim’s saxophone was recorded using a room mic, meaning that within this track there was also an amount of Renee’s playing present. In order to privilege Tim’s playing within this track, I applied another ‘soft’ filter, however I did not multiply the track as I had done with the synth takes as there was no need to separate two distinct signals from one combined recording.

image day 07, Ov Pain sax filters

Filter applied to the saxophone / room mic from the first session [note dial in top right is at roughly 30%]

These steps were more or less repeated for their second session, though of course the nature of the filtering and relative levels of each track differed slightly (pictured above).

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When it came to mixing the session with Tim and Lily, my approach began in similar fashion, though ended up being rather more complicated due to the limitation of having only two inputs on the soundcard I was using. One of these channels I used to mic Lily’s violin. The other I used for Tim’s saxophone, which also allowed a slight delay to be applied at his request. With no inputs remaining to record my digital signals following their post-computer manipulation within the EQ, this meant relying on some, ahem, ‘creative’ post production, trying to isolate the computer sound as it was in the room within the recordings of the violin and saxophone (in addition to the pre-EQ signal which I was able to record within Reaper).

Hack-y mixing methods notwithstanding, the result is rather beautiful and I look forward to releasing the effort into the wild in the not too distant future…

Image day 07, Longmore, Player Tait

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