During the summer I posted an instrumental version of a song called “Curse of My Desire” on my Facebook page. Immediately, my friend John McJunkin commented that he thought the drums were a little overbearing, but that was something that could be tweaked with mastering. John is a platinum award-winning engineer… so… One thing led to another, and John offered to mix the whole track for me. Awesome! I’ve never had anybody mix anything for me before. Every single song of mine was started and completed in my studio (minus the mastering of the Roadstar cd in 2001). But nobody has ever mixed for me. I stripped the song of compression, eq, and whatever effects I could, then sent a DVD of the 32-bit wav files to John via snail mail.
John said PreSonus hooked him up with the 2.0 version of their Studio One software . He was going to set up the layout and initial sketch, then mix the stems through Devo’s old Maxcon console and then decide whether to go to analog tape or not (weighing warmth vs. noise). John’s studio is outfitted with some really nice outboard gear, including Avalon, 1176s, and some sweet tube stuff.
This blows away the gear that I have in my studio. First off, I don’t have any kind of sound reinforcement in my room, so I’m subject to reflections, dropouts, and other wild beasts. I have Mackie 624’s for monitors that have a 6″ woofer which doesn’t offer a whole lot of bass response, so essentially, I have no idea what’s going on in the bottom of the mix. This accounts (partially anyway) for why my mixes are a little muddy sometimes. Since I didn’t want “Curse of My Desire” to sound totally inconsistent with the rest of the Kid Ghosts EP, I decided to ask some other people for help with mixing the rest of the tracks.
The song “Quiet Whales” is a nautical half-ballad with plenty of atmospheric elements. I have the opportunity to mix one song at Kingsize Sound Labs, so I’m choosing Quiet Whales because of its sheer density. It’s imperative that all the different layers work well together, and it’s not straightforward rock like the title track, so it’s going to take a little more care. The co-mixing credit for this track will be Mr. Michael Hagler.
I have another accredited mixer on-board for the project, but we’re still working out scheduling differences. When I know, you’ll know. But suffice to say we’ve got some pretty great ears and gears working this album. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from these kind peeps.