I sang in a friend’s wedding over the weekend.
The wedding took place in an absolutely gorgeous church here in Nashville. The sanctuary looked like a massive, upside-down boat. (You know what I’m talking about. Pointy ceiling. Giant wooden beams.)
Anyway, I was talking with the sound guy before the wedding, and he was telling me that this particular church sanctuary is actually quieter (and has better acoustics) than the fancy Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville.
The place sounds amazing.
The groom’s sisters sang a duet without microphones, and from the back of the sanctuary, at the top of the balcony, I could still hear them perfectly.
I played piano (hello fancy Steinway!) for my song, and I sang with two other female singers.
We had microphones, since the song was pretty quiet and intimate.
When I started singing, I noticed something. First of all, the sound of my voice echoing around that massive building was really cool. (I felt so…powerful.)
But another thought came to mind, too.
When you sing in a normal venue, and you hit a wrong note or go a little flat, you move on. Pretty soon everyone has forgotten it.
But in a huge cathedral like this, the sound echoes around for days. If you sing a wrong note, the room continues to remind you and everyone else of that wrong note.
The lesson here?
Part of our job as mix engineers is to creative a great sonic environment for the tracks we’re mixing. But even the most perfect environment can sound bad if the performance sounds bad.
In many ways, your mix is only as good as the tracks themselves. (That should relieve you of a lot of pressure.)
But it should also put a lot of pressure on you during the recording phase. Gotta get it right there before you move on to creating an amazing mix environment.
Getting the recording part right, that’s up to you.
Getting the mixing part right? That I can help with.
It’s what we’re all about over at Dueling Mixes:
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