Live sound is really teaching me a lot about studio engineering and mixing, which is my main focus and passion. I’ve got zero experience in live sound, nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m enjoying messing things up and experimenting in class without the pressure of a real band on stage. Something that struck me this week was how we approached a rough mix of Madeline Leman and the Desert Swells.
We started by throwing high-pass filters over almost everything, and panning where necessary. We gated a few things and compressed a few things, and I quietly stood back, convinced we’d need to gate the kick drum to keep it punchy and tight, as I’m so used to doing. The kick In/Out mics remained unprocessed as far as I can remember, besides mixing the two tracks with the faders and to my surprise they sounded great. A little slap from the inside mic, plenty of presence from the outside mic, and no mud in the FOH mix because we hadn’t gated or heavily correctively EQ’d. This has already changed my approach to how heavily gated/edited I’ve been mixing kicks for the last few days (well, Thursday night). Admittedly, in metal there’s a lot of (sometimes 100%) triggered kick so it’s a completely isolated signal, but in the studio I love having a solid acoustic kick sound and using the triggers mostly for the ‘click’.
We’ve got a band sorted for our gig in a few weeks and I’m really excited to be a part of that, it’s been a pretty steep learning curve so far but nothing worth doing comes easy!