|By Julian (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 01:59 pm:|
wHAT DID THEY DO WHEN THEIR EARS GOT TIRED? i CAN'T IMAGINE THEY MIXED FOR EIGHT HOURS SRTAIGHT, OR MORE.
|By Ralph (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:06 pm:|
you do reach a point where it doesn't make any sense to continue. If you have been reading the excellent Deke Richards saga you may remember the rude awakening he had after mixing Love chid all night long. Or how my brother Russ was appalled at a Jackson 5 mix of his he heard on the radio that was done when he was reaching the point of exhaustion. Fortunately on that one, Berry took Russ' advice and recalled the entire album so Russ could re-mix it
with fresh ears.
|By Bob Olhsson (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:10 pm:|
It was often a LOT more than eight hours straight!
One difference was that for the most part we worked really fast rarely spending more than a half-hour to 45 minutes on any one tune. QC frequently had us mixing it again with changes the next day and this could go on for weeks but there was rarely the kind of time spent on any single tune in a day that typically is done today. You also don't get nearly as tired when the music is really great.
|By cleoharvey (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:19 pm:|
I know producers and recording engineers who have almost committed suicide over record executives and "powers that be" remixing an album after they thought they had a finished product. I remember some years ago when Diana Ross did the album with Chic-Nile Rodgers and B. Edwards. There was a great fight because Diana did not like the mix and had the album remixed. If I am not mistaken Rodgers and Edwards even launched a lawsuit about what had happened to the album that they had produced. Diana went on to have two of her biggest hits from that album, so what was the fuss! However, a couple of years after that I had the great fortune of hearing the original mix on Upside Down and several other cuts from the Rodgers/Edwards produced album and there is no doubt that their mix was superior to what was eventually released. It had a much cleaner, fuller sound with the background vocals "higher" and Diana's voice floating over the arrangement.
I know that there are many stories like this. And frankly, I would love to hear them.
|By Livonia Ken (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:35 pm:|
Did anyone in Detroit ever get pulled into the whole quadrophonic thing in the early to mid 70s? If so, I would be curious about how the mixing rooms were modified to mix and monitor that kind of stuff. That whole fad seemed to be roughly coincident with Motown moving west, but what about the studios like United Sound?
I was thinking of this because I was just listening to a SACD of the O'Jays "Ship Ahoy" that features the original quad mix re-purposed for 5.1 surround sound. They don't mix 'em like that anymore. It sounded like Bobby Eli was jumping from corner to corner all over my family room.
|By Livonia Ken (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:39 pm:|
Hey Cleoharvey. Care to hazard a guess as to who did the released non-Edwards/Rodgers mix for the "Diana" album? For the record, I very much like the released mix, but it would be neat to hear both on one of those Deluxe Edition CDs like they did with What's Going On.
|By cleoharvey (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:51 pm:|
LOL!!! I forgot where I was. LOL!! It would be great to put the mixes together. I think what matters most is that the Diana album was a hit, no matter what the armchair quarterback tin ear people like myself may think.
|By Ed Wolfrum (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 03:36 pm:|
Part of a good mix is the monitoring environment itself. Many a great mix has been ruined because an artist heard it on poor system and made changes based on errors in that system.
Now, (in my old age), I use an SPL meter and mix at 85 dBC SPL where human hearing is reasonably flat. I refuse to mix longer than about 3 hours as after that it is a matter of throwing the clients money away. This way, I usually get good, compatable mixes.
After one cuts his teeth doing straight ahead mixing to stereo on live Jazz and Classical sessions, you learn to get good, natural mixes quickly. Most all of the Detroit mixers had that ability, probably because of the production mixing we had to do for film and commercial music. We did not waste time.
(This is what you can do when you are an ornry old man!!! Right Russ?)
|By Bob Olhsson (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 08:24 pm:|
I'm pretty sure our Electrodyne 16 track mix consoles had quad mixing which woud be '68-69.
The only producers who were involved in the mixes I remember were Norman Whitfield and Brian Holland. On the other hand both of them were very involved with the quality control department which supervised all mixing. This experience gave them an enormous advantage in their productions. Billie Jean Brown and Berry Gordy were also both very skilled mixers.
|By Ralph (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 09:17 pm:|
I seem to remember some quad mixng going on for a while in the mixing rooms. Maybe it was experimental? I can't quite recall what was going on.
|By Livonia Ken (188.8.131.52) on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 10:00 am:|
I have read stories in various places about Brian Holland liking to mix while monitoring very loud. Is there any truth to that? Some of the mixes sound like they could have been done that way, but I can't believe that anyone would put as much bass on a track as, say, the single mix of "Love is Here and Now Your Gone" if they were monitoring at excessively high levels.
|By Ed Wolfrum (184.108.40.206) on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 01:36 pm:|
Brian and LaMonte mixed at VERY high levels when I was at Motown. Mike lamenting about the blown out midranges was a direct result of that.
Hopefully, by the time that Bob Olhsson got there they had pulled it down a bit, by that time they were using 604E's and they were capable of VERY high levels without much damage.
Thinking again, by that time they were at their own facility, at HDH, and were using the modified AR3's that Dave Clark had built.
Next time I talk to Bob Dennis I will have to ask him about the HDH monitoring levels.
I know that Artie Fields used to mix a reasonably high levels too.
Regarding Quad mixing. United, when I was there, did not have the capability but I believe the Flickenger board that was there before the Neve board did have "QUAD" monitoring capabilities.
Perhaps, Jim Vitti can answer that question as he was the next in line. Jim where are you?
|By Livonia Ken (220.127.116.11) on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 02:53 pm:|
Thanks, Ed. Most producers or engineers who I have heard about having a reputation for monitoring loud when mixing or mastering seem to wind up with bass-shy results, so I was curious since that is not always the case with HDH tracks.
|By Eli (18.104.22.168) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 01:42 am:|
With regard to the Ojays mix and my guitar parts it was probably the coffee I drank that morning!!
|By John Lester (22.214.171.124) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 02:28 am:|
|By Back to mono (126.96.36.199) on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 04:14 pm:|
I do my mixes at "normal" to low levels because if it sounds good at low level it will sound great , in perspective when you crank it up.
Always get your vocal placements at low levels and also your bass and snare and kick placements. So many people are fooled in the studio by "overhyped" playback and in my opinion it is only an ego stroke or the result of imbibement or use of various substances.
Also sometimes some engineer/producer types get too "persnickity" and lose the heart and soul of the song. Give me feel anyday, even if there isa "mistake" or two. The only one who can recognise that "mistake" is you and the average listener would not even care for they would not even know anything about it.
|By M.McLeanTech (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:27 pm:|
By Bob Olhsson (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 08:24 pm:
This is absolutly correct.
Motown spent a lot of money on QUAD. I was the fool that approved it.
|By Davie Gordon (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 11:11 am:|
I'd no idea Motown got involved in quad - were there ever any quad releases or did the tapes just end up stored away ?
|By M.McLeanTech (18.104.22.168) on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 08:25 pm:|
This is the 64 Dollar question.
My answer is that no artistic person ever did anything with the QUAD capability that Motown paid dearly for, thanks to my bad judgement.