Mixing Contest: Howlin
We met Amber Skye while working on EMW Music Group's charity album Shuffle last year. Our first meeting took place at Flux Studios and after chatting for 30 min we grabbed an acoustic guitar and sat around the piano altogether. After jamming on a couple ideas, we wrote the basis of her song 'Bury Me Deep' in 30 minutes. Thanks to our astute manager who is the greatest voice-memoer we know, we produced the entire track based off that impromptu session and rough recording.
A little background on Amber Skye (courtesy of IMDB):
Amber Skye Noyes is a New York based actor, singer, and songwriter who gained an early start in the business with brother and fellow actor Tyler Noyes, appearing in commercials, voice overs, and television roles. Amber continued to pursue her love of performing through her music career, releasing an EP entitled "Secret" and placing as a finalist in the Billboard Songwriting Contest and the International SongCircle Competition. In April 2013, Amber landed the role of "Michelle" on the relaunched soap opera "One Life to Live" and in November 2013 Amber premiered as "Tori" on the CW drama "Beauty and the Beast" as the show's first she-beast and was a series regular.
Fast forward a month or so following the release of Shuffle, Amber, Doug and I were all in the studio, ready to start the process over again. The inspiration for Howlin actually started from a joke (about werewolves of course) but the concept struck us and we ended up writing this fun uptempo indie-pop jam about mystical love.
For Howlin the songwriting and production came together simultaneously. Amber was about to leave to go film Beauty and The Beast for the summer so we wanted to get the song together as quickly as possible. The main drum groove was taken from an old track I had made a couple years ago, my production partner/cowriter Doug Larsen laid down the piano and then found the high gated synth while I created the chorus bass synth sound on the Moog Subphatty. A couple simple acoustic guitar lines and crazy eBow electric guitars and the track was basically done. Together we all wrote the chorus vocal topline and had some verse ideas that afternoon. When Amber came back the next week to record vocals, the whole song was finished. Part of the magic of this song is how organically and quickly it came together. By not stopping to overthink things, we allowed our inspirations to guide us and kept things fresh and simple.
My mixing process for this song and many of the songs that we produce and write on was very evolutionary, meaning, I was working on the mix while the track was being formed. Simultaneously tweaking the sonics while still having the freedom to add and remove production elements is one of the luxuries when working on projects where I'm both producing and mixing.
I mixed the song in the box using Pro Tools 11 with my analog mixbus chain as an insert on the 2-bus. For plugins I primarily used Universal Audio, Sonnox, Softube, Flux and Soundtoys. If you want a more in-depth look into how I mixed the song be sure to check out my forth coming full length mixing tutorial here on Puremix.
There has been over 800 mixes submitted. YES, we listened to every single one of them. It was a fun.
After much deliberation, here are the 3 winners we picked from the list.
#1 - Congrats to Jornarild who won a Sonnox Essential Bundle
#2 - Congrats to kelman100 who won a Sonnox Essential Bundle
#3 - Congrats to Whitemore who won a Sonnox Essential Bundle
#4 - Congrats to ObiWanKnobby who won a Sonnox plug-in of his choice
Thank you all for your participation
The pureMix Team.