We finished a demo project in class this week – the mixing session of our four week (24 hour) project in the Neve studio at SAE Melbourne. What really set this mixdown apart was our decision to do our automation on the desk as we printed the mix back into ProTools. We had a group of six people, twelve hands (with all fingers attached) and about twenty faders and channel strips to mess with.
What I really enjoyed about the mix was how we mostly used our ears to automate, rather than clicking, dragging and highlighting gain lines in ProTools. Similar to an artists’ inflection while playing, we all stood around the console and tapped our feet along to the music and punched our tracks in and out, pushed and pulled the faders and created delay and reverb throws with the returns of effects sends. This may seem like a ‘normal’ way to do a mix down but it’s not something I’ve ever really done before, nor seen the merit in doing it like this. ProTools can automate to the grid – why would I?
Well, now I know.