TRASCENDENTAL QUESTION #1 for CHRIS LORD ALGE
MIX considerations vs MASTERING LEVELS
Reading time : less than listening a full song, analyzing it and give feedback.
The songs/albums you mix, tends to become the loudest masters on this planet. That’s not a problem per se, even if I personally got ear fatigue quickly after listening for a few songs with such low crest factor.
We all know one important factor for getting “loud & proud” masters is getting an excellent balance. What are your thoughts about mix balance on songs intended to be loud masters? What frequency range do you recommend to get in place as a mix priority for such goals? What frequency range (or instruments) tends to be the most problematic?
Considering you are quite methodological in your mixing approach, and you are quite consistent in your deliveries, in which ballpark (LUFS and peak) do you tend to deliver your mixes to the mastering engineer?
Alongside the Red 3 and SSL bus comps always living in your 2bus, do you momentarily use any other limiter or comp, crushing it, all in order to see how your balance and dynamics would react (or suffer) before printing your mix to the mastering engineer?
You have been the mix engineer of some of the biggest albums and names in the industry since ages. So your statements and visions are law… do you discuss with the mastering engineer on the final sonics aspects* of the songs you mix beforehand? Do you provide suggestions/warnings to the mastering engineer? Or do you leave it completely to the mastering engineer own criteria instead? Or to the artist? Or to what requests the label?
*aspects such as: “Hey! Don’t crush it!”, “Hey, leave my beloved Snare intact”, “Please make it happen but with some breathing!”… or “Here we go, make it loud & proud!”.