Mixing Contest: A Chaque Fois
One of the great perks of making music for a living (besides the loose women, the money and the fame of course) is that there is potential for everyday being different. So when Quebecois producer Greg Bonnier called and asked me to mix the Clément Jacques record I said "yes" after hearing 4 bars of one song. I had never worked on anything quite like it before. I could not wait to get started.
The production process was quite unusual because somehow along the way it was decided that the record was going to be recorded in the great Canadian wilderness, in a cabin away from everything. Very very far away. So far away that they had to bring everything they needed with them. They had to bring the instruments, some of which they bought on the way, the mics, preamps, speakers, interface, computer, food, drinks and...electricity.
Since there was no electricity on site, they had to bring a generator along, so they bought one. After getting there and unpacking the overloaded car and trailer they set out to turn every bit of the cabin (and attached nature preserve) into a makeshift recording studio. Then they realized generators make noise, lots of noise, so they had to isolate it somehow. You can only imagine the fun. Apparently birds make noise too but they are difficult to isolate so you can hear them on some tracks.
So, here you are: two very creative guys stuck alone in the middle of nowhere for an extended period of time with the agenda of creating a great record from scratch, writing, producing and recording everything themselves. Clement Jacques’s previous record had done very well so they had the added pressure to come up with something great to follow it up too. The results are quite wonderful. Raw and heavy at times. Always inspired. A little bit insane. Just right. Sonically, the final result belies the conditions they had to work in. I was quite pleasing when I started listening to the sessions in detail.
Once the editing was done, they drove down to NYC from Montreal with their computer in the back. We started going through Greg’s premixed tracks in Logic Pro as he had prepped everything ahead of time so we could mix the whole album in two days. The setup was unusual. To avoid the grief of exporting and re-importing from DAW to DAW - which always creates problems - we mixed in Logic Pro on his computer, through a Universal Audio Apollo with analog summing (but limited outboard because of the pace required us to mix so many songs in only two days) and we printed everything through a Universal Audio 2192 A to D on a different computer running Pro Tools.
For this Zelab, you get the raw tracks, birds included. No pre mix, no sub mix, no stems. Your mission is to make a great rock record with it.
This contest is now over. You can click on the Winners' tab in order to listen to their mixes.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the winner for this Zelab contest is:
Congratulations for winning a pair of Focal Alpha 50!