Part 1: Mix Preparation
Green Day, Orgy, Savage Garden and Hole are just a few of the platinum artists mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. One of the leading mixing engineers working today, Chris talks to Musician.com about the equipment he uses, the way he edits for radio and live television, and how to become a mixing engineer.
Musician.com: Why do you enjoy mixing?
Chris Lord-Alge: I think the best part about mixing is that there is always a new song. There is always something new to be creative with. I love music and I love taking a song from scratch to its final mix. The most fun for me is the surprise element of hearing something new and then pulling it all together.
Musician.com: Do you do any mix preparation?
Lord-Alge: A lot of times I'll get a song that's on multiple reels. It may be spread out over 80, 90 or however many tracks it has, and that actually helps me learn the song. And I will crop it down to a size I feel will make it work. And once the song is all copied and cleaned up I will actually start to mix it. It comes together a lot quicker that way.
Musician.com: How long does it take to do mix prepping?
Lord-Alge: If I see that I have a mix coming in that has a lot of tracks I 'll try to prep it the night before so when I arrive in the morning it's all ready to go. The whole point is to make the song sound good, and there are some simple things I can do to help that along. For instance, there could be a lot of different guitars that need to be weeded through and put in the right places, or there may be a lot of tracks for strings or backgrounds that are really spread out, and I'll try to place them because the less faders it comes up on the more control I have over it.
Musician.com: Do you speak to the producer while doing the mix prep?
Lord-Alge: Absolutely. Sometimes I'll put a phone call in to the producer of the project and make sure that all the elements I'm choosing are ones they want in the song. Sometimes they have a tape that has a lot of excess elements that they may have decided not to use, but haven't yet erased. And at that point we'll pick what we need.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3