Mixing Contest: All You Got
All You Got is the final song to be released by my band The Break Mission. We recorded the drums, guitars, and keyboards for this song at 3 Egg Studios in Brooklyn, NY with engineer Brian Penny in July 2011 going through their gorgeous Neve console. We then overdubbed bass, guitars, percussion and vocals later at Smash Studios, NYC. I mixed the song at my home studio using Pro Tools 9 with my HD|Native, 192 converters and custom summing and onboard gear.
When you first open up the session be ready for a surprise, the vocals were recorded in the stairwell!! We did this on purpose to capture a really distant and haunting vibe that echoes the story of the song (Check out my blog post about this). I'm a huge believer in recording things as close to how they should sound in the final mix as possible, which is why we chose to record the lead vocals for the song with no safety net (aka a close mic).
The song's arrangement is very unique. It starts off simple and small, just guitar and vocals, then slowly adds more and more layers until it finally explodes to the refrain, "Is it all you got?" Of course we couldn't stop there, so we took it one step further with the instrumental break featuring both a badass organ and guitar part, finally arriving at the big finale with everyone playing full force! It's a very delicate yet powerful song and when producing and mixing it, every choice I made I tried to reflect that sentiment.
Jeff: "All You Got was written in remembrance of Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith. I wanted the song to feel uplifting as it developed, even though the idea behind it was rather somber. The work of these two men inspired me beyond words. This tune is an homage to their enduring talent and legacy."
Mixing this song presented quite a challenge. Having to make the beginning sound beautiful yet haunting and then transitioning to intense rocking-out for the ending; all without jarring the listeners, was not an easy task. I started this mix by first getting the loudest section at the end sounding huge and powerful, then jumped back to all the way to beginning and worked on the soft and delicate opening. After I had those two areas sounding good came the real wor: bridging one vibe to another without feeling jolted. Needless to say this involved lots of delicate care and automating.
I sincerely hope you enjoy mixing this song as much as I did, it's an amazing song and fantastic performances that are full of energy and emotion. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to allow the song to speak clearly and viscerally and at the same time give it the character and power that it needs to deliver its message.
Congrats to jroye82 who won a Softube plug-in