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    “However two wrongs rarely make a right so it is prudent to tame the room and give yourself a bit more confidence that what you hear is actually what goes down on the mix.The ideal way to do this is by measurement as there are too many variables to consider unless a supercomputer is available and somebody can write the algorithms! There are some decent spectrum analyser programs available and there are basic rules to follow that will give a good indication of the accuracy of your system. By system, I mean the whole thing; room, treatments, furniture and monitoring. Start by setting a reference point. Measure a good quality monitor speaker of choice, using 1/3rd Octave bands of Pink Noise from a good test CD source, at a distance of 1m, with the microphone in the position you intend to sit. This is the ideal ‘nearfield’ setup. Take a note of the sound level in the 2KHz octave as this is the band least likely to be affected by the room. Every other lower 1/3rd octave band can be compared to this one and if the level at any frequency is too high or too low then action can be taken. If the lower frequencies are gradually rising then LF absorption will be required and conversely a gradual roll off indicates some should be removed. This appraisal is best done in conjunction with measurement of reverberation times but I will come to that later. As already mentioned deep notches can be caused by standing wave patterns or reflections or both so patience is required to ascertain exactly what is going on. Moving the microphone about will shift reflective notches to a different frequency whereas modal notches rise and fall but stay at their fundamental frequency. Low frequency absorption requires tuned absorbers that cover specific bands and these are not that easy to come by.” -ANDY MUNRO
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    A film mix can get really intense and heated. Do you find yourself in such situations and how do you calm yourself down? This would be a very relevant question for many of us! Like everything, a mix can be a very enjoyable thing and a very exhausting thing at the same moment. You would sometimes find yourself working towards the deadline not knowing if you would make it. I keep reminding myself that it would be ok and we would make the deadline without compromises. I let the adult talk to the inner child in me. This is very important. As a creative and technical person, you can undergo massive amounts of pressure. These can just be from people trying to meet deadlines or changing timeframes because of things not in our hands. It doesn’t help to be stressed. I try to breathe and calm myself in situations like this. I also call up and talk to friends that I trust and rely on for advice, or just a chat to calm down. It’s also good to be silly sometimes as that can take your mind off the load and reset it to go back to working in full capability. We all have that time, to be honest, but it’s also about how we manage it and manage it with the client. I also try to take breaks as often as I can between mixes. But that too is mood dependent. If I am in the zone, I mix as long as I can because I usually forget to take a break and I also don’t want to break my creative flow. I then end up remembering my back hurts and I need to get up and stretch or so. And remember, stretching is not breaking your knuckles!
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    What are some things that can, or should be done during mixing to make the mastering process more productive for the mastering engineer? I think the best thing that I can recommend is very very simple; translation. Get out of your ivory tower, stop mixing all alone in your own little studio, and number one, take your recording around and listen to it on as many different systems that you may be familiar with, or maybe unfamiliar with if possible, and see how your mix is translating. If it’s not translating, generally go back to the drawing board and try mixing again to deal with that problem. That will solve almost 90% of the issues that could happen when you get into mastering, and save a heck of a lot of money too. The next thing is communication. If you’re thinking of mastering, and you have a mastering engineer in mind; as soon as you’ve finished your first mix and you think you’re happy with it, send it off to that mastering engineer for his or her criticism and judgment of how that mix is sounding to see if it’s ready for mastering or if there are further things that can be done in the mixing that would make an even better master. If you can take care of these two areas, you’re going to have an excellent master. The rest of what I could say is relatively specific to equalization or problems in different frequencies and more common issues that occur. But if you yourself as a mixing engineer do those two things I described, then almost all the other problems that could arise will become evident.
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    “I have always had a strong passion for music which was my biggest motivator to work in this industry. I began as a DJ in 1972 and loved connecting with the audience on such a personal level. It was when I started sound engineering at a Club Valtur resort in Greece that I began to develop a stronger interest in the technology aspect of it all and that’s when I transitioned from artist to engineer.In the 80s I moved on from working in resorts and took a job with a small rental company in Rome. I was put in charge of engineering local concerts in town squares, pretty basic work. But with every show, my passion grew and so did the industry’s trust in me. I was hired by larger rental companies which meant bigger artists. I went from working with relatively unknowns to more famous Italian artists like Umberto Tozzi, Renato Zero, Antonello Venditti and Pino Daniele.“They told me was a Serie B sound engineer!”Serie B is the lower-division soccer league in Italy and the phrase is used as an insult in this sport-crazed country.Honestly, I wanted to get out of the world of live sound, change career paths completely even, but it was a bit unrealistic given my background so I settled working for a local rental company. I didn’t have much experience in the commercial aspects of the industry, but it was a welcomed change. The owner of the company approached me to work at Out in the Green festival where Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel and Rod Stewart were headlining. I was worried I would be disgusted all over again by the tension and stress that I was used to working FOH, but he convinced me that it would be different, that I could run a smaller second stage by myself. And he was right; there was such a calmness and professionalism. I did everything – monitoring, instrument setup, system tuning – and when the festival was over after three days, a colleague looked at me and said ‘Wow, that was impressive’. The moral of the story is that I had to accept that this was my true calling.”-Klaus Hausherr
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