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Linden Studio Mixing and Mastering.
Producer & Mix Engineer Guy Forrester
Guy Forrester has been recording and producing artists for many years, and since the growth of digital, more and more people are bringing or sending their recordings to be remixed or mastered at Linden Studio.

Guy is renowned for achieving mixes with all the excitement, punch & tone together with spacial qualities that artistes want in their recordings.

Mixing In Pro Tools


Most digital music recordings are made on some kind of computer platform nowadays, so by naming & "stemming" each audio track, exporting as Wav or Aiff files, they can be sent to us and loaded onto our Pro tools system, incorporating high end eq's, compressors and spacial processing components. Most of these have their origins in the vintage world, where classic audio units were used to add colour energy and vibrance to musical sounds. Famous mixing consoles gave music a certain character and tone that became iconic in the industry, and acheiving that character is still much desired in the digital world. Nowadays, most of these Iconic sounding components have been modelled and created as software plugins, allowing the use of them in Pro tools in any combination, in exactly the same way as they were originally used.


Our Mixing & Mastering Tools

With our advanced graphical Audio Processors, you actually see clearly and touch what is happening in real time. The frequency patterns give many clues as to how to shape things tonally. Most basic eqs only allow you to hear what's going on as you make changes, but this leaves even experienced engineers with a lot of guess work. Very Bassy sounds can be difficult, unless you can see which bass frequencies need filtering and which don't. High frequencies have their own problems also. to be able to see where they are and control the spiking or dull areas is essential. Our eqs enable you to spot problems and set complex curves, to equalise the source and then add particular amounts of desirable musical tone or dynamics using other processors.

Adding More Colour to a Mix


There are special techniques for adding colour to musical instruments, especially when using Digital Audio. Top of the list are Tubes.

Tubes or valves are renown for adding 'Warmth' and 'Air'. This is confusing to many people... That is; until they hear a great recording made using tube amplifiers.
Even when at the mixing stage, we can send an already recorded instrument through our Art Tube Pro pre amps, and add much desired colour to perhaps an otherwise dull sounding instrument in a track. Bouncing the processed instrumentto a new track, means that you can use this technique on as many instruments as you like.
So what exactly do tubes really do?...Whilst solid state or transistors are extremely good at what they do, valves are different. As gain is increased, they begin to generate harmonics so the sound becomes richer as they combine together, the instrument if spiky will be smoother as well, as it crushes the loud spikes. Increase the gain more and the electrons in the tube start to scatter in all directions. 1st, a pleasing saturation of the sound occurs and then as more gain is added, distortion builds up, but it's very smooth and full of audible harmonics. Great for guitars etc!... But, using valves on acoustic instruments without adding too much gain just makes them richer, more spacious and airy and much more pleasing to the ear without being excessively bright brittle or harsh. We use The Art Pro even when Mastering. I have sent entire mixes through this unit and found the results extremely pleasing. Where some lo mid bass parts have sounded lumpy or boomy in the mix the effect of smoothing is remarkable without losing any punch.


Monitoring

Mixing to very a high standard also depends on good monitoring, large and small with an acoustically treated room to avoid lo frequency resonance occuring which causes bass frequencies to be louder than they really are and harder to judge. The control room and monitors here are perfect for mixing and mastering.

Tips for sending us your tracks to Mix and Master

Naming & Stemming Tracks
1st, name your tracks, ie Kick Snare etc. Then by selecting an individual track from the very start of a song all the way to the end and then using a consolidate command, most music programs will do this, creating new audio files for export, thus making all the tracks the same length. Export them all to a new folder which can be put on a flash drive/dvd etc. Programs like Pro tools allow you to select all tracks and stem them all in one command. Consult help forums on line.
Notes on Tempo
Giving info about the tempo of a song is helpful
Midi Parts
If you have midi parts in the song then it's a good idea to record the sounds that the midi tracks play as audio tracks. Also export the midi tracks as midi files in case better sounds can be used in the new mixes.
Include Your own mix
It's good to send your own mix of a song for reference.
Send Us the Files
A complete song can use up to 5 gigabytes or so. A Flash drive or dvd is a good way to save and send your audio, but also there are services such as dropbox.com that allow large files to be sent securely.
How Long does it take ?
On average a day for a song, but some complex arrangements could take longer. Good communication via email or phone is essential for any issues to be dealt with.
Mastering
After mixing, the finished song or track may need to have the final playback volume to be set and possibly some correction of unwanted amounts of low sub end, or perhaps some refinements elsewhere in the frequency bands. This is where Mastering comes in. Bringing out warm tones in the mix or reducing harshness or brittle frequencies, and applying special types of compression to help 'glue' the music together as well as perhaps widening the stereo image. Ultimately the goal is to ensure that the music sounds good wherever you play it.
Loudness - How loud should the CD playback volume be ?
Some Music does sound better with the type of compression and limiting applied during part of the mastering process. Specifacally the part concerned with raising the final playback volume. Conversely some music such as classical, acoustic, or maybe Jazz or prog rock etc may not. Making the track volume higher causes squashing of transients, and pulls elements that are lower in the mix up higher. On the other hand, a really punchy track will sound fatter and airier. This is something you would have to make a judgement on after hearing both with and without. When a track plays at higher volume it can be deceivingly impressive, so it's important to scrutinise the actual effect of applying loudness processing, by listening at the same room volume before and after. Whether you wish to make the CD Loud or not, mastering your song is still worth doing.

Rates

The cost of mixing and mastering is always dependant on the time it takes. The Mastering of tracks however does not take a great amount of time and is based on our hourly rate.

for more information email us
guy@lindenstudio.co.uk

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