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Chris Lord-Alge Mixing Lifeboats

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01h 38min

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Watch CLA Mix His Version Of Lifeboats

In Episode 2 of our Lifeboats Series, Legendary Mixer, Chris Lord-Alge, loads the multitrack for Will Knox’s Lifeboats onto his SSL console and takes us all the way from hearing the song for the first time, to a completed powerful and energetic mix with his signature sound imprinted upon it.

Learn How CLA:

  • Decides when it is appropriate to use drum samples
  • Sets up his stereo bus processing chain with his famous Focusrite Red 3 compressor and Pultec EQs
  • Approaches Bass DIs and Amplifiers
  • Deals with excessively dark tracks
  • Pockets vocals to tighten the groove
  • Works with creative effects to add a sense of space and movement to the vocal

Watch Chris Lord-Alge's episode of our exclusive Lifeboats series, only on puremix.net

Learn More About The Lifeboats Series Here

Exercise files
Chapters
CLICK_HERE
Transcript
CLICK_HERE
Equipment & Software

Software

  • Avid D-Verb
  • Line 6 Echo Farm
  • Sans Amp
  • Sound Toys Echo Boy
  • Sound Toys Filter Freak
  • Waves CLA Guitars
  • Waves CLA-76
  • Waves L1
  • Waves SSL E-Channel

Hardware

  • Eventide H3000 Ultra Harmonizer
  • Focusrite Red 3 Compressor
  • Neve 2256x Compressor
  • Neve 33609
  • Pultec EQ
  • SSL 4056 E-Series
  • Urei 1176
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Mentors
Chris Lord-Alge

Chris Lord-Alge is an American mixing engineer based in LA where he owns the studio Mix LA.

His extensive use of compression earned him the name of the "Lord of Compression". His impressive collection of compressors were modelled by plug-in companies such as Waves Plug-ins with whom he collaborated to create his own line of plug-ins.

Chris is one of the most renowned mixing engineers in the world and his style can be heard on records from legendary artists such as U2, Aerosmith, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, The Who, Green Day and dozens more.

Chris mainly mixes analog on his SSL console. Chris uses Pro Tools as a playback engine in the back of the room then focuses on what he hears, sitting at the console, patching vintage pieces of gear, making SSL EQ and compressor moves and pushes his levels through the console for great sounding results.

On pureMix, you can see how Chris mixes Daughtry on his SSL, explaining every move he makes.

Credits

U2

Green Day

Smashing Pumpkins

Muse

James Brown

Bruce Springsteen

Featured Artists and Musics

Will Knox is an alt-folk troubadour from Hammersmith, London. Knox has supported artists such as Art Garfunkel, Pete Francis (of Dispatch), and Tyrone Wells. His visionary melodies, hooks, and intricate arrangements create a stunning world where songs may hold shadow and darkness, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Lifeboats

    CLICK_HERE
What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
Rollsroyce2011
2019 Oct 31
Are the Multitracks available for me to do and try to mix this song?
hummarstra
2019 Oct 14
Fascinating. But, CLA is not a good teacher. Tip: turn sub titles on to get some things you might have missed. I did get a lot of this video, however, but it took some "decoding" on my part to figure out what the hell CLA was talking about sometimes. I love his New Yorker personality, though. I lived in NYC and "get it."
Rip0702
2019 Oct 12
So much reverb! An amazing mixer but it's a bit hard for me to listen to this particular mix. I definitely learned a lot, regardless. Thanks for the video!
chazz.h
2019 Oct 02
hahaha the indie comment was amazing! Great call.
shaman
2019 Aug 20
Oh well, CLA is doing his thing. Nothing surprising. Lots of sauce on anything. Makes me want to go vegan really. Ouch - Iam allready...
Pipezeta10
2019 Jul 22
Reading through comments some people don't get that CLA already has a signature sound, so the drums of course are going to sound huge, first thing I noticed was how the Distressor in the back was working while he was treating the drums so everything is already set up, it just works for him. In other videos he kind of explain his workflow. Another thing. He's done tons of tutorials just youtube some, so don't expect him to teach you how to mix. In this video he is doing his thing, not teaching you. He is a great engineer.
dmytro.schneider
2019 Jul 05
CLA definitely nailed this song!
Window
2019 Jul 04
Best Mix to date
Stunny
2019 May 11
keep shooting his finger.DIZZY
Sajin7
2019 Apr 02
3348 as a front end going into the SSL? God I miss "Go To Mix Ex". I smiled when I saw him entering cues!!!! YEah nostalgia!
Sajin7
2019 Apr 02
3348 as a front end going into the SSL?
Zavala
2019 Mar 02
I thought the point was to learn to mix, he can certainly say what he is working on and what he is applying, not hard to do, otherwise this is a wast of our time. Fab, you should know better.
sonicdiscovery
2019 Feb 23
Lord Chris is awesome. He is not going to hold your hand, but he will open your ears if you listen... It's a tough room, I learned a lot, and laughed a lot..........all the inside references.......made me miss Los Angeles.
Wido9
2019 Feb 21
Sorry, but this has not educational content. It's nice to see him working, but just for fun, not real learning if he doesn't explain what he's doing and we can't see it.
david.fa
2019 Feb 21
Is it me or did CLA completely change the feel of the track? I fee It moved from being an intimate indie track to a kind of conventional radio smash ballad. Who mixed the one that's on itunes anyone know?
reddirt
2019 Feb 19
Chris , is so decisive and incisive on a massive desk which could have him hitting wrong channels all over the place. His speed is fantastic - I see a person at the top of his game and salute . Others are right that he doesn't explain all the ins and outs but the view into how a top mixer works is enough for mine, not to mention the final product is very cool and sounds finished. My only criticism is that last bass note could do with a little taming but that's small change. Great stuff. How lucky we are. Cheers, Ross
mojoboy
2019 Feb 13
@jerboythegreat yeah . . . it took me a while to see past through this initial impression. The Italian-American NYC background certainly "helps" hehehe. It is quite the contrary however, not at all what you got. It's part of the show . . . he is an AMAZING mixer and a great and very funny dude!!! ("back to Romania" - dark, dracula - comment, c'mon!!!)
Gabri Marmondi
2019 Jan 28
Italian subtitles please!!
jerboythegreat
2019 Jan 21
Gee what did i learn? Arrogance. Condescension. Self rigorousness. Great mixer terrible teacher and worse personality.
demixstudio
2019 Jan 21
This guy is a SSL virtuoso!
jimmydooley81
2019 Jan 21
The indie references are hilarious! My favorite part of the video
rulletryne
2019 Jan 19
Sounds bad. Way to much reverb
dana.pars
2019 Jan 18
Geez , a genius at work. His total command of all the outboard gear is mind blowing. I love how he goes with his outboard gear settings and uses a piece just the way it's set or doesn't use it. Basically he likes those settings and knows which type of vocal or instrument works with it. I am however disappointed in the video as far as instructional quality. He gives very little info as to what he's using or what the settings are. In the beginning he is flying thru the drums and gets them pretty much there and never once clues us in to what it is he is doing. And so on thru pretty much the ent
Aethertapcreative
2019 Jan 14
I found it interesting that CLA's mix was the only one where I felt the last chorus (immediately following the STOP) was not a slight let down. I actually felt excited there listening to his version. Great lesson to see the slight (and not-so-slight) differences possible between the mix approaches.
Antonio Robbins
2019 Jan 12
Unbelievable ! You can see that he has been mixing songs for the last 30 years and crushing it. Everything he did enhanced every bit of the song. My ears don't really like the written song and after CLA put his fingers on it (Yes with the help of his assistant) ----- It sounds like a Radio ready song. Just totally unbelievable how fast he works and how polished he makes it sound.
Window
2019 Jan 10
Already watched this one twice. I will be visiting this one again and maybe again. The effects Chris chose are so tasty. AND the submarine-ish sound was so clear and perfect. At the end when he played the finished mix - I just had to dance with my wife while it played. Beautiful Song - Great Mix!!
iann72
2019 Jan 07
Best funny Part at 17:50.-- Dearly beloved we all come here together today for the union ...OF THE LIFEBOATS ( at same time looking up the air) loll
Finnius
2019 Jan 05
Interesting that Chris picked up on the "fix the timing" guitar and piano not being tight and fixing it. At least in my world that something I find myself addressing for clients, more than I want to admit.
carlossoler
2019 Jan 05
I would like to know more details on how he eqs the drums. The choice of song is great as it is not the tipical rock cla is known for. I love that he sounds like himself without the samples. First Cla mix I see without samples and it is great too. But I miss a camera on the ceiling or something, following is desk moves...
lordmusic
2019 Jan 04
Furthermore all are top of the line mixers. I´m impressed with CLAs fast workflow. WOW. Thats something I also would like to experience, but I see... without a console its always a bit slower.
lordmusic
2019 Jan 04
super interesting series. thats the reason I renewed my subscription. CLA: song sounds like a rock ballad. Fab: song sounds like a singer songwriter Guzauski: song sounds like a rnb track Each mixer has his own vision and style, thats great! Also interesting is, that some mixers seem to give a song an imprint due to their genre work, they are known for. I would have thought they might adapt more. I mean, its obvious that lifeboats is neither a rock type ballad nor a drum heavy rnb beat. Fab hit the style best imo, but you should also mention: Fab knows Knox well and produced a lot for him
Eric Kerns
2019 Jan 04
The only reason i rated as good and not great is the missing information that the others hear in this thread have mentioned. The Idea to do this type of video is great !
joethecomposer007
2019 Jan 03
For me it would be nice to hear what is going on at times. Not like a ton because it anitCLA style but be nice to know what he does to get the drums the sound that way etc . Its like watching a mad man mix and I'm thinking WHAT ! Thanks if this happen in video's to follow , Joe
LemonAudio
2019 Jan 03
Insteresting point @StudioSaturn!!
StudioSaturn
2019 Jan 02
I'm confused here I watched the Fab video you know buy like forwarding faster. Finished the tutorial and came here. All of a sudden without Chris touching a single knob just playing the snare Oh my I just heard what it could be done in Fab's mix. What is going on? are they having the same stems? or are you telling me that the SSL console gives that much amount of body and warm?
pete.j
2019 Jan 02
As always: CLA has it's very own way to treat drums and they instantly sound like "Hollywood". Beside the outstanding work he does it'll be great if there where some more inside views like the type of echo he uses on vocals to create some depth (I see Line6 Echo pro and Lexicon PCM42 in use), also some of the verbs he used (I guess there was a Bricasti M7 involved, but he also used some other stuff in Drums, Keys and Guitars). It's not about copying his style (which will always be unique and outstanding) but to learn more about he approach to fx.
audio911
2019 Jan 01
Great video. This really captures what an engineer and an assistant do as a team. I've seen a couple of CLA's videos, and it would be nice to know if there are any pre-patched inserts on the console to any outboard gear. He mentions the master bus and the drum bus, but I see a Distressor doing some work in the background without much explanation to the settings. Also, maybe a close up of what's happening on the SSL console channel when the instrument comes up such as compressor/EQ settings. Maybe these are CLA's secret! Anyway, this is a great start to the series. Thank you Puremix!!!
rickdrumss
2018 Dec 31
Sr C.L.A. you are the kind of person that i really can say "master of masters" and the mentor that everyone would want to have. My respect Sr. and thank you infinito!!
pearlpassion
2018 Dec 31
Wow...Great job with this...Learned a lot with your vision & ears to detail that you were striving for....Really nice work...Thanks
LemonAudio
2018 Dec 29
Can we please have the finished filed? Just to compare better. Thanks!
sircletus
2018 Dec 29
Can you please add a list of outboard reverbs he's using in the "Equipment & Software" section? He addresses the H3k, and we see him change decay time on a DRE-2000 and tweak a Bricasti. Are there any other boxes in play?
mike.lu
2018 Dec 28
Very interesting, especially comparing back-to-back with Fab's mix. It's every time stunning to see CLA adds his signature flavor to a song. However, I would have left the "honey jumper" untouched as I guess it happened on purpose. I get the idea of aligning both vocals, but in this case her voice was set up to kick in differently - just like a flam on a snare. And interesting to see how Fab treated the whole vocal section differently. Can't wait to see the rest of the guys mixing this one.
lamab@msn.com
2018 Dec 27
Dark - Dracula
LemonAudio
2018 Dec 27
Does anybody know why he says: "Back to Romania"? at 18:55? Don´t get it.
chris.massa
2018 Dec 27
From me what can you say it is CLA and there is always something to learn from his workflow.
MarcoPolo
2018 Dec 26
I don't want to cross-post, but I just watched Fab & Chris' videos back-to-back and really enjoyed the differing approaches to production. Thanks for letting us watch you work, Chris! Great series, so far.
Stephen Moniz
2018 Dec 26
Good vid. No NS or CLA-10's? Or did I miss them.
pmlogin