Brooklyn MixCon is coming up on December 6 & 7! Five workshops & Q&A’s organized by genre, at the Living Room in Brooklyn—Presented by SonicScoop and the Deli Magazine.
Each day this week, we’ll take a closer look at the mixers who will be sharing their secrets: Matty Amendola (Indie Pop Mix: Focus on Drums);
Marc McClusky (Indie Rock Mix: Focus on Distorted Guitars);
Kevin Killen (The Sparse Mix: Ballads/Clean Instruments);
J. Chris Griffin (Mainstream Pop Mix: Focus on Separation);
Ariel Borujow (EDM Mix, Low End and Loudness)
Come experience this mixer’s tips, tricks and hard-won wisdom in person at Brooklyn MixCon! Visit here to RSVP. A limited number of free tickets are available for this panel thanks to our sponsors at iZotope, so act now to reserve your seat!
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Clients/Credits: Mac Miller, Prinze George, Chromeo, Madonna, Claude VonStroke, Puff Daddy, Chiddy Bang
Currently: I just finished an amazing EP by pop singer Catey Shaw; wrapping up Dirty Bird Records Justin Martins sophomore album Hello Clouds and quite a few other projects from here and abroad that may be too early to mention yet, but will be keeping me busy for the next few months.
My Mix Angle: For one, I believe that there are no hard rules when mixing. I treat every song different and since I’m constantly working on multiple genres it’s hard to have one specific formula.
What you learn when you first are learning to mix is “what to do”…later on you learn “what not to do.” Less is more. Also, since going completely ITB, I’ve been able to be more attentive to my clients without necessarily having to go into the studio to make changes. I’m very neurotic when it comes to mixing so being ITB has helped me not only work in the studio, but freedom to work anywhere. Whether i’m at home or traveling, I can do anything at the drop of a hat.
It’s been a gift and a curse, but this is a client-based business: They depend on you and ultimately my job is to see their vision through.
TKDJS “Rolling” featuring Chrissy Quadros:
Prinze George “Upswing”:
Chiddy Bang “Mind Your Manners”:
Catey Shaw “Walks All Over You”:
At Brooklyn MixCon, I’m Focusing On EDM Mix: Low End and Loudness Because: EDM is a genre that the producer takes quite a bit of time to tweak and perfect their sound, which is done during the “Sound Design” phase. As a mixer you have to really keep that in mind and respect their ear.
As mixers, we sometimes think that pulling all the faders down and starting from scratch is the way to go. With today’s tools, producers and engineers have access to the same thing so being able to play as a team rather than just a new set of ears is important.
Before I mixed the song (https://soundcloud.com/tkdjs/rolling-feat-chrissy-quadros) that I will be demonstrating @ MixCon, I was in touch with the producers and made sure that I received the files in the state that they were completely happy with their sound. We made the decision as a team whether certain sounds should have the effects printed or not.
Sneak Preview: The main thing I will cover is how to get the low end right and make sure that your headroom is on point so you have room to play with the Master Bus. I like to use quite a bit of plugins on the master, which is part of my sound.
I Love Leading Audio Workshops Because…: Education and mentoring has played a big part of my life starting from the time I was an assistant engineer. Some, but not all, engineers were willing to share secrets at that time. I made a promise to myself that when I was in a position to help, I would.
Seeing some of my former interns who later became my assistants now engineering themselves (Mike Kuz, Leon Kelly, Keith Parry) makes me really happy to know I had a hand in helping them gain knowledge. Also, I was teaching at Dubspot for a while, which was an amazing experience.
Anything Else? Too many up-and-coming “mix” engineers are too focused on mixing and it’s becoming a bit oversaturated. What they are missing is being in the studio and learning on how to deal with clients. That is becoming a lost art.
There is an art to knowing how to handle people because you are dealing with such a delicate matter, their work. You have to know how to make them feel comfortable and trust your judgement and that comes with time and experience. Learn all facets of engineering, not just mixing. I can say that I’ve been able to do many aspects such as broadcast mixing, post production, sound design, etc. I just love sound!