Start to Finish: Vance Powell - Episode 12 - Mixing Part 3

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The vibe is there, the tones are amazing, it's time to put the final polish on the mix.

In the final episode of mixing "Sweet Beast" from "Illiterate Light", Vance irons out the fine details and adds the last bit of flavor to the mix.

Watch as Vance:

  • Explains SSL Console Automation
  • Automates the vocals to create the feeling of falling off a cliff in between sections
  • Rides the guitar faders to build energy and focus on highlights in the parts
  • Uses the absolute automation mode to add personality to the mix
  • Automates a rotary speaker at the end of the solo for a massive exit
  • Explains the extremely rare SSL screen that happened to come up while the cameras were rolling!
  • Write this one down… "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should"
  • A/Bs the output of the SSL desk to the output of the 2192 A/D Converter so you can hear how the A/D affects the mix.
  • Cleans the heads on the ATR-102 tape machine used for printing the mix
  • Explains his favorite tape formula

Once you've seen how Vance mixed it, download the full session that Vance and the band created over the past 12 episodes and mix it for yourself!

Watch the rest of the series here

Exercise files
Equipment & Software

  • ATR-102
  • Universal Audio 2192

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Vance Powell

Vance studied electrical engineering in Missouri and started his career in live sound as a front-of-house engineer. In 2002, he moved to Nashville in order to become studio manager and chief engineer at the legendary Black Bird studios in Nashville. In 2006, he co-founded Sputnik studios along with Grammy-winning engineer Mitch Dane, still in Nashville.

Vance Powell has won 6 Grammy awards working with rock artists such as The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and more.

Powell's domain of expertise is definitely mixing and producing rock music. As shown in his pureMix videos, Vance likes to experiment and create new fuller and exciting sounds using all kinds of pedals, echos, analog outboards and plug-ins. Vance was used to recording to tape and definitely has an analog approach that makes him commit to fewer good sounding tracks rather than piling up takes in Pro Tools.

His goal is to make something new and warm that fits the band's vision with upfront snare drums and powerful guitars. Rocking.


Jack White

Chris Stapleton

The Deadweather

The Raconteurs

Arctic Monkeys


What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2021 Jul 06
Vance slays. I could listen to him all day. I might book a day down in his studio just to hang out!
2021 Jun 19
Mega gut!!!
2021 May 15
Excelente serie, te abre la mente a infinitas opciones y te deja claro que mezcclar es mas que equipos.... Gracias Puremix
2021 Apr 04
2021 Feb 05
It's amazing how every single step keeps adding a bit to end sounding super great, Vance has a really worked out method, really nice to watch. Es increíble como cada paso va agregando un poco para terminar sonando groso, Vance ha trabajado su método muy bien a lo largo del tiempo, es genial poder verlo
Castor X
2021 Jan 26
Vielen, vielen Dank für diese großartige Reise und den super Song.
Scott McKay Young
2020 Dec 06
Really great to see someone elses different and very creative work flow.. But really it's ArtFlow... Thank You Vance for sharing years refinition ...
2020 Sep 07
Great series. How cool it must be to record with Vance? He's positive, keeps the session moving, and gets great sounds. What's not to like?! Great job guys!
2020 Jun 26
please subtitles in Spanish
2020 Jun 10
I just wish this year could've been as awesome as these Puremix classes we had so far...
2020 Jun 08
Stupéfait du talent créatif artistique de Vance Powel que je découvre. j'ai pris un plaisir immense à regarder le travail fourni par ce groupe de musiciens talentueux mis en lumière et en couleurs sonores par ce grand ingénieur qu'est Vance .. Merci à L'équipe de PureMix beau travail j'ai encore beaucoup appris ..encore encore de belles vidéo avec tous ces grands du monde de la musique ..impatient du prochain tuto take care, love you Denis
2020 Jun 06
Thanks to all of you for freely showing warts and all - we could all aspire to that openness and generosity. Vance, as always your drum sounds raised the track big time. I also particularly liked the quasi retro, almost 60's yet modern dimension of the chorus; also the little highlighted " feedbacky" guitar pieces are very cool amongst others. If it was my band I'd be rapt with the finished product. Cheers guys, Ross
2020 Jun 06
Absolutley outstanding series. Congratulations with this winner song.