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  #1  
Old 04-28-2000, 09:59 AM
dBHEAD dBHEAD is offline
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Default How long do you take to mix a song?

I'm wondering about how long most of you take to mix a song. I have mixed them in as fast as 20 minutes and have also taken over 20 hours.

I really do find that if I take a VERY thorough approach to mixing a song it goes through about 7 or 8 phases and takes at least 12 hours. But if I really want my work to have a sound approaching major label quality, I find I have to put in that amount of time (at least).

There is, of course, an economic limitation to how much time you can put in on a project in most circumstances, but when I do pro bono work I really go for the gold medal.

How much time (on average) do you put in on mixing a song?
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2000, 11:38 AM
Barnabas Barnabas is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

Sometimes more than 100 hours. It all depends on budget, Producer (or lack of Producer), quality of musicians, and many other factors. I've worked with Producers who are very anal about the tiny details and spend a lot of time mixing. The extra time usually pays off with a better recording. I've worked with others who like the rough mix I do and ask for very little. I worked with one producer who liked the stero pair I set up for backup and used very little of the individual tracks, so it mixed real fast.
I really like working with experienced producers who have realistic expectations about what they can get out of a mix, and then stop when they know it can't get any better. There's no point in beating a mix to death if it's really not going to get any better.

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  #3  
Old 04-28-2000, 01:16 PM
juneaudio juneaudio is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

more than 100 hours????!!!! Did I read that correctly? Anything over 8-10 hours seems like too long.
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2000, 01:28 PM
Black Frog Black Frog is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

Are we talking with a HUI or ProControl? Without having the luxury of neither, I guess we're averaging about 15-18 hours per song.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2000, 01:34 PM
Rocco Rocco is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

How long does it take to mix the perfect martini?
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2000, 01:37 PM
Rocco Rocco is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

Furthermore, if one of you´re musicians happens to be Rubén González (from Buena Vista Social Club) it can take you 48 hours to track and mix not a song but the full album. It´s just as using the right gin for the martini.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2000, 02:04 PM
Oli P Oli P is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

If it is mixing an album with aprox. 10 - 12 titles, I usually spend from a week to 10 days.

Depending on if it is cut with a band, or if it is a midi based project (they usually take more time to mix)
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2000, 03:48 PM
editor editor is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

dBHEAD,

It depends upon the project and the level the artist is on. Michael Jackson's production team made 1000 mixes of that tune, Edward VanHalen played guitar on. As usual when ya' go over board silly stuff happens...they chose mix#3.

I tend to take 3 days per song for a major project with a budget. Listening with fresh ears, each day, almost always taking out mix components each day that do not drive the mix forward. As far as a mix I always ask myself at the beginning of each song; what instrument or vox propels each song and it's overall energy. I then mix with that inst. in mind as a point of reference to balance all other mix elements around. I always over track instrument components and strip the song down keeping only what is essential to drive the song, to keep it clean. Sometimes, it takes me a few days to find the key element, to each song, I always tend to mix in too many instruments on day 1, yet I cannot see it as clearly on day 1, as I do day 3.

I also keep 3 songs at a time ready to flip back and forth between songs when I get stuck on a song mix, this also keeps album continuity. I never fight the mix process, when it is right there is a feeling for me that the song is mixing it's self.

Trevor Horn, whom I respect greatly, sets up a basic mix, then leaves his engineers mixing and peeks in the door every day or two making tweek suggestions (always with a doobie in his mouth, sorry Trev) in this way he can remain objective...and not go "Mix Crazy". He once told me some of his greatest mixes are mixes he didn't do...a humble lad for his level of skill and success.

Anybody else ever get "MIX SICK"? On the final day of mixing a major project on the Warner lot, studio time running out. I went in at 6:00 a.m. and started mixing the final song, I kept tweeking and tweeking the same song, my hand seemed to be drawn to the auto-locator over and over again, I couldn't stop. Around 2 A.M., going non stop all day, I suddenly had a strange feeling as if someone had dropped acid in my expresso, the room started swimming, I felt insane and ran to the can and puked heavily...Listening to the same song over and over and over made me physically ill, I now avoid doing that, at all cost...avoiding the dreaded Mix fever. I mean that's how the CIA tortures people; they lock them in a darkened room where they have no conception of day or night, blair the same song at them through headphones that are duct taped onto their heads...and then question them a few days later when they are in a more "cooperative state of mind" ...

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e

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  #9  
Old 04-28-2000, 05:56 PM
Jules Jules is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

Was 3 songs in one grueling 16 hr day (demos) and one song in 1 & 1/2 days (Release)
now with going all PT in internal PT / ProControl, I really dont know how it's going to pan out, I'm still on that curve. I need a patch bay to really rock. Just trying to get level with my old methods before zooming ahead with newfangled ones...

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  #10  
Old 04-30-2000, 06:55 AM
georgia georgia is offline
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Default Re: How long do you take to mix a song?

Interesting thread

I can nominally nail a mix in about 12 hours. Then i go home, hotel, backroom, couch in the studio...and just chill out, do a little reading, get a solid nights sleep (or day depending on whether or ont this is a 'vampire' mix or a day job.... then then next morning I listen fresh and do any final tweeks.... This approach has generally saved me heartache, the band from agony and the producer for spending pointless dollars.

But I think everyone is right in this thread. I've seen 'em take minutes to make a masterpiece and weeks to end up with polished dung...

go figure.

Normally, from my experience i would say the "Average" time would be 10-15 hours.

..for what it's worth...


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