Resident Evil comes out today!! I mixed this one for composer Paul Haslinger. This was my first project with Paul, who I really admire as a composer. His technical abilities his need for sonic clarity gel well with mine and we clicked right away on style and direction. Track 4, “The Turbine Sequence” was a blast to mix and is my favorite track on the album. The emotion of trying to get away from that damn turbine really came through with the way Paul built the track. Even though the sound fx of that turbine are really loud in the film, the music comes through loud and clear thanks to Paul’s writing and copious EQ automation. Check it out!
Director Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” comes out today. I mixed this one for composer Rupert Gregson-Williams whom I love working with. The orchestra played supremely on this one! Everyone did. It’s rare I get to mix with virtually no sample instruments these days, so this one was a really pleasure. Rupert’s melodies are gorgeous, and just enhance the emotion without “telling” the audience how to feel. There is enough emotion in the film that they don’t need to be told anything. I think you will like this one!
Arrival comes out today! It’s always nice working with Johann. The vocal performances by Theater of Voices and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe that represent the “visitors” are haunting, etherial and beautiful. I love putting Johann’s music in 5.1. I so which everyone could experience what I get to experience when mixing these cues. While in stereo, it’s beautiful and mesmerizing, in surround it’s just a whole other experience. I get to move things around, use the subwoofer to really make the hits come alive, and create waves that pass over and through you. I love my job and so wish the listener could experience this music the way I get to everyday. Maybe High Definition Audio will make a comeback one day. I for one would like to see that day.
This one was a long time in the making! I first got hired by composer John Graham to mix the trailer for this movie much earlier in the year. Came out pretty good I think…
Being able to use the composers music in the trailer is very rare, so this was very special. They loved John’s music, as they should, so it got used from the very beginning of their promotion of the game and movie. Once John finished writing the actual film score we headed to Nashville to record the orchestra at Ocean Way Studios. We had a fantastic time and the players were outstanding. We spent a week recording over 100 minutes of music. It was a blast!
Back in L.A. I mixed for 2 weeks or so then another few days on the soundtrack album. It was a super fun experience for all involved.
Anatomy of a Mix-What A Wonderful World by Esperanza Spalding
84th Academy Awards Album – Celebrate The Music
This is one of my favorite mixes that I’ve done. Hans Zimmer composed the music for the 84th Annual Oscar awards in 2012. I was honored to be part of the mixing team that one an Emmy for “Outstanding Sound Mixing” that year,
The In Memoriam, was going to be “What A Wonderful World”, my favorite song of all time!Needless to say, I wanted in on that one. I’m not sure if Esperanza ended up picking the song or if she was just chosen to sing it. Either way, it’s one of my proudest moments.
Nick Glennie-Smith did the most beautiful vocal arrangement for the song I’ve ever heard. We recorded the choir at RCP one night and I started the mix the next day. To say there were a few tracks is an understatement. We recorded all of the parts separately, multiple times so I could have control in the mix. There are so many intricate parts to Nick’s arrangement that I didn’t want anything to get hidden. The interplay between the sopranos, altos and tenors is something that should be taught in an arranging vocals class 101. As well as live choir, there are programmed voices which were done just to add a different quality to the sound, so it didn’t sound too perfect and well… choir-like. If you listen closely you can hear something that sounds like an odd vocal echo in the background. Those are the tucked in programmed bgv’s. Very cool idea on HZ’s part I thought.
Mixing Esperanza’s vocal was pretty easy. No tuning or timing involved. The track she sent us from New York was pretty amazing. I recall just putting her lead vocal through an LA-2A, for sonics more than compression, and used a bit of Waves REQ 6 to brighten her up.
My only direction from Hans was to make it sound like the ocean.No problem!
Sonically, the ocean equals filters and flanging in my vocabulary. Or at least it did that night.
For the choir, I had a lot of fun. I arranged all of the sections, sopranos, altos, tenors and basses into their own groups, than ran each group into it’s own set of a Sound Toys Filter Freak, Waves Flanger, and REQ 6.Than I automated the filter frequency, the flanger mix control and the highs and lows of the EQ of each set and rode them each differently to get this kind of wave like motion to happen. You can really hear it during the breakdown section when it’s just choir and no lead vocal, my favorite part.
It was a long 2 day mix, automating every vocal part separately, plus each filter separately so that you could hear each and every note clearly, but man it made the emotion just ooze out of the choir. That’s what mixing is to me, just amplifying the emotion. If you do that, you have a great mix!
If you’d like to hear the mix in it’s entirety, buy it here on iTunes. It’s certainly worth the .99 cents!
I took a break from movie mixing to go back to my roots and mix a rock album for the band Random Ninjas. It was great to mix a record again. I mixed this one at my home studio in L.A. Check it out on iTunes today!