Getting Better All The Time


If my writing output has seemed irregular over the last few months, there’s a reason for that: I’ve been keeping busy. I recently passed the 1 year mark in my new adventure, and it has been a very interesting year for sure. In addition to the training and mixing I’ve been doing in and out of my studio lately, I’ve also been in the process of tweaking and refining my mixing workshops and seminars based on my experiences over the last year. With school back in session, the Fall is a great season to invest in yourself and/or your team before Christmas, and I want to let you know about a new training opportunity I’ve been developing focused on Essential Mixing Techniques.

This new opportunity is about the equipment we have, why we have it, and how to use it effectively within the context of any mix. The aim of these training sessions is to arm engineers with essential techniques along with a way to continually hone and develop their skills beyond the time spent in training. Specific examples will be used in discussing these techniques, but the goal is to develop approaches that may be applied on any instrument in any mix whether the engineer is familiar with it or not.

Content may be tailored to best suit you and/or your engineers where you’re currently at so this opportunity is available as a 1 or 2 day event. Subjects may include: Mic Technique, Gain Staging, EQ, Dynamics Processing, Spatial FX (reverbs, delays), and Advanced Techniques (ex. multi-band compression, parallel compression, using distortion, etc.).

What’s the difference between Priority Mixing and Essential Mixing Techniques?

Priority Mixing is about the big picture of mixing and going for the big wins with the mix. It’s about prioritizing and balancing everything together. Essential Mixing Techniques is about the specific techniques we use as engineers within that process.

I began developing the Essential Mixing Techniques training based on my experiences over the last year. What I’ve discovered is many engineers really need a better grasp of essential techniques along with exercises they can use over time to continually refine their skills.

I believe that mixing is a musical discipline. In order to play an instrument, there are essential performance techniques that must be mastered. For example, when I learned to play guitar I learned how to hold the guitar, finger the chords, and strum and pick the strings. Then I learned more techniques like hammer-on’s and pull-off’s and bends. As I learned each technique, I needed to focus on practicing it repeatedly in order to master it, however, simply knowing techniques didn’t necessarily teach me the way I could perform a song. Each song required practice, too, and, it was much harder to learn to play songs when I didn’t have a firm grasp of the essential techniques required to play the instrument.

Mixing is very similar. We have things like equalizers and compressors and reverbs that we have to learn how to use, and then we need to intentionally practice using them. Essential Mixing Techniques is essentially about learning to master our tools. Armed with this, we still need to understand how they fit into the big picture which is where Priority Mixing comes into play.

So should I start with Essential Mixing Techniques?

Not necessarily. Priority Mixing is about putting techniques to work to create a great mix, but it’s also about building the right foundation so you can focus on what matters most. Anyone who has taken music lessons will probably attest that while they were learning the basics of playing their instrument, they were also working on songs in the process. So I see these two training offerings as complements to each other. However, the area where you and/or your engineers should focus right now is going to be unique since the nature of what we do in churches often has our engineers mixing every week regardless of where they’re at in their development.

Engineers grasp mixing concepts and techniques in different phases. Some engineers start with a good grasp of what a great mix balance should be, however, they may struggle with things like tone and EQ. Essential Mixing Techniques would be a great opportunity for one of these engineers. On the other hand, some engineers get a handle on the technical side of things first and get great sounds, however, their mixes lack musicality and the balance of instruments may seem off. Priority Mixing would help them out. Then, of course, there are many engineers still in both camps who may benefit from both offerings.

If you’re interested in finding out more about these training opportunities and discussing which of these would best fit you and/or your team right now, I’d love to talk to you. Just click HERE or the Contact link in the menu above to drop me a line so we can set up a time to chat and put together a plan to take your team to the next level.

12 Stone - Hamilton Mill

David Stagl

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