Mixing it up
After a few weeks of deliberation, we returned to Swanfield Studios to finalize the mix of the upcoming EP. In truth, there wasn’t much to do. We went in with the simple remit of ‘turn up the bass in Cut Free’ though I also had a small tweak for Kojak in mind (ever the perfectionist).
Interestingly enough, the Swanfield guys (William and Alex – top guys, by the way) told us that with the last mix they did, they actually had turned up the bass, despite it sounding quieter to our ears. Something to do with the fact that it was a very low frequency bass and acoustic reponses of ears and all sorts of scientific stuff… Anyway, they came up with a great suggestion of kind of shaping the sound of the bass, rather than just turning it up. Not gonna get too technical (I think the term ‘saturation’ was used), but it worked a treat. Certainly seemed more prominent in our ears. Hopefully, in Jan’s absence, we managed to be as objective as possible and giving his groovy bass rumble the prominence it deserves.
Then, onto Kojak. It was a simple suggestion (in my head) to compress the vocal at one point in the song so it doesn’t leap volume-wise and also to shape the guitar sound so it was a bit less…muffled? I find it very hard to describe sounds in my head. I felt it was a bit too…bassy and needed more…’growl’, ‘snarl’, ‘grit’. Less Metallica, more Stones. Anyway, William did wonders again (and with him being a guitarist, I think he knew what I was on about). At first, it was a bit too much at the expense of the vocal – but we managed to dial it back to find the sweet spot. As Gareth put it, it now had ‘a menacing udercurrent of rumbling sleaze’. And don’t worry Jan-fans, we made sure his grooving was preserved, too.
Amy also had on her perfectionist hat and we spent a bit of time fading out the last crash of the song with just the right timing without it sounding like a cat had just jumped on the volume control. Kudos to William – as an engineer he really knows his stuff and we managed to get this and everything else done in less than an hour!
So, I’m picking up a mastered CD tonight. I’m hoping it’ll be in one of those metal briefcases with a handcuff.
Peace out, Aliboys and Alibabes