I often work closely with students learning the skills and more of the audio engineering world. This was an email I recently shared with a student I felt would be useful to more than just them. Hope it helps. :)
To a student I wrote:
"Sounds good. :) Did you hand in the mix already?
Automation is a valuable tool to use. Often the difference between a Semi-Pro mix and a PRO mix is automation in a variety of ways. I use a medium amount of automation and most mixes I do will have at least 30-40 different automation moments throughout one of my mixes. All I’m saying is don’t discount the value of automation. It is such a useful tool in a mix.
Here are some examples of automations I would use in a mix.
I recently had a text conversation with a home studio guy on vacation, and he was surprised that he'd never recorded a vocal and acoustic guitar at the same time. He asked my advice, and this is what I sent him. :) Thought it was a worthwhile share.
"First, I hope the performer is decent at controlling their own dynamics, better at singing, and a good guitar player. It’s a useless endeavour unless you can check off those boxes.
Sometimes I answer emails in a way that explains exactly what I want it to so easily, I want to share it. Here is a recent email to a new home recording artist about trying to solve hi hats being too loud in overheads.
"... here are a number of things you can try. (in order of what I would try based on what I hear…)
A (mostly) analog recording studio specializing in alternative rock. We offer online music mixing & mastering, voiceover & podcast services, and recording for small & medium sized music projects.
Generally Available for Sessions:
Sunday - 10am to 7pm
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - 6pm to 11pm
Wednesday - 6pm to 11pm
Thursday - 6pm to 11pm
Friday - 6pm to 11pm
Saturday - 10am to 7pm
Times vary to suit client needs. Please email or call for an appointment.
A 20 year industry veteran, James specializes in producing alternative rock.