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Author Topic: No drums in the mix  (Read 7962 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2014, 04:21:54 pm »

  It's somewhat of a curse to be in the mixing business when attending events. Like mentioned above, you have to find some things to enjoy about an act, mix or event sound. The bottom line? It really doesn't matter as much as we think if the mix is off a bit. Sure, grossly whacked out, feedback, super harsh... OK< low tolerance. "No drums" worth a rant?

We're sitting ducks at most events for anyone to voice their opinion, and people do. Soundmen do too. Sometimes it's obvious when someone wanders up to your FOH position with the subtle "hey man, hows it going, I mix for my church... I think you need a little more/less ____" .

On the same thought instead of telling someone how to do their job and regaling them with your experience do a little schmoozing.  Make sure you know what kind of system he is running or some trick piece of gear he is using, complement him (or her) on something you liked in the mix and maybe a comment like I see you have the new Acme technologies desuckifier in your rack, how is that working out for you?  You may make a contact and once in a while you will score credentials then how big an ass you make out of yourself is completely within your control.

One more thing not to do, if you are not working a show don't wear your credentials/ AKA resume on a rope.  Nothing says wannabe faster.
In what other line of work is it OK to voice your opinion about someone else's performance? We're like Umpires, when it goes well, we don't get credit, if something is perceived wrong, we hear about it!

You know what the easiest thing to do is? To wander into someone else's event/mix and pick out what's "wrong".  You're not invested in any of the work or challenges involved in the particular event. You've instantly discounted or overlooked the countless other aspects that go into a show, a mix... not even aware of other factors that may have contributed to what you perceive as incompetence or mistakes. The same challenges we face at our events.  A number of things contribute to why a show sounds like it does, no? If I've learned anything from mixing a zillion shows for 30+ years, it is to be a little more empathetic about what may be contributing to my perception of something out of whack.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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kel mcguire

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2014, 04:49:34 pm »

Scott, you've camouflaged a comment in there! I agree.

it comes with the job. Commentary. criticisms, suggestions.  Once in a while they are valuable, wake you up to something you may have overlooked.
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Alex Rigodanzo

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2014, 06:02:21 pm »

Sometimes, sometimes not. It depends on the player and the style. A jazz drummer will sound different from a rock drummer and I'd mix them accordingly.

I agree completely, but I believe this discussion revolves mostly around "popular" music styles.

As far as criticizing a mix, when you've been at a festival for three days and have heard how good the rig can sound, then a bad mix stands out.
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Roland Clarke

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2014, 06:33:36 pm »

We've done a couple of shows with Rucker and I don't recall that much of an imbalance.  I found the mix to be very 'vocal-forward' but the band mix wasn't bad at all.  Perhaps the guy he had back then got fired for over-mixing the band, or artist management got involved - we know what wizards of music and technology most of them are...

Two or 3 times a year we have a run on "I was at the XYZ show and the mix sucked" threads.  I don't hear as many terrible mixes as I did 6 or 7 years ago; pre-recession it seemed like every support act (no matter if they were the 4th support on a 4 band bill) carried a mixerperson.  A few of them were tragically terrible and a few were pretty good, but the bell curve of mediocrity was stuck at the lower end of middle.  These days I hear better mixes, the bell curve seems to be at middle or maybe a little higher.  Up the food chain there are some really good guys and gals mixing and the quality of middle seems better.

I agree with Jay B.... it's not easy to separate the professional from the personal.  It's taken me a long time to ignore audio issues I'm not in control of.

I agree with Tim here, I certainly don't hear so many bad shows these days as I did a number of years back, and at the top end of the game, pretty much all shows are decently mixed.  I also recommend that people keep an open mind as there can be a hundred reasons why a show may not sound as good as it could, for many reasons, everything from bad acoustics/room to monitoring problems to player problems.............
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2014, 10:30:40 pm »

  It's somewhat of a curse to be in the mixing business when attending events. Like mentioned above, you have to find some things to enjoy about an act, mix or event sound. The bottom line? It really doesn't matter as much as we think if the mix is off a bit. Sure, grossly whacked out, feedback, super harsh... OK< low tolerance. "No drums" worth a rant?

We're sitting ducks at most events for anyone to voice their opinion, and people do. Soundmen do too. Sometimes it's obvious when someone wanders up to your FOH position with the subtle "hey man, hows it going, I mix for my church... I think you need a little more/less ____" .

In what other line of work is it OK to voice your opinion about someone else's performance? We're like Umpires, when it goes well, we don't get credit, if something is perceived wrong, we hear about it!

You know what the easiest thing to do is? To wander into someone else's event/mix and pick out what's "wrong".  You're not invested in any of the work or challenges involved in the particular event. You've instantly discounted or overlooked the countless other aspects that go into a show, a mix... not even aware of other factors that may have contributed to what you perceive as incompetence or mistakes. The same challenges we face at our events.  A number of things contribute to why a show sounds like it does, no? If I've learned anything from mixing a zillion shows for 30+ years, it is to be a little more empathetic about what may be contributing to my perception of something out of whack.
Agreed.

And to add to this, sometimes I critique someone's mix without understanding what their sound source(s) are like. If you don't know what they are given, you also don't know what they are doing with what they have been given.
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2014, 10:31:14 pm »

Agreed.

And to add to this, sometimes I critique someone's mix without understanding what their sound source(s) are like. If you don't know what they are given, you also don't know what they are doing with what they have been given.
And by critique, I mean silently in my head. I don't tell people their snare sucks for example.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: No drums in the mix
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2014, 10:31:14 pm »


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