#PWYM Module 3


Aaaaaaand we’re back. I promise we haven’t given up yet. We’re a little behind, but we’re finally back with the Play With Your Music course.

This module was a way to introduce actually mixing. The first goal was to first reverse engineer Bradford Swanson‘s mix of Clara Berry and Wooldog’s “Air Traffic.” This is where I became very pleased with the PWYM team (not that I was anything less than happy with them in the first place).

First, we got to see an interview about the making of “Air Traffic,” which was helpful for us to get an idea of where the artists were coming from and the general idea and feel behind the song from the creators. Brad also walked us through the online mixing tool we would use for the assignment.

With support like that, how could we go wrong?

With the mix I tried to reverse engineer, I listened to the song a few times with Brad’s structure graph opened. Based on that graph, I started by working on the volume of each stem. After a few more listens of switching between Brad’s mix and the stems I was working on, I took yet another look at the structure graph while listening to the original mix and worked on the pan for each instrument.

Which resulted in my reverse engineered mix.

After this accomplishment, the next assignment was to use the same tool to create our own mix. As you may remember from my first post regarding PWYM, I wasn’t a fan of the vocals in “Air Traffic.” It’s just a bit too breathy for me, the focus in my mix is on the instrumentation and upping the bass a bit. Plus, I really like the timpani and baritone guitar, so I wanted to bring that out more as well. That way Clara Berry’s vocals are kind of in the background through the entire song until the outro. By that point it is solo vocals, but I’m not tired of them.

My overall feelings about this module are very positive. The online mixing tool was a small dip into what engineers use without being overwhelmed by a full board. We’re getting in a little practice with baby steps, which is what I needed after feeling like I couldn’t count measures.

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One Response to “#PWYM Module 3”

  1. Sally says:

    I think all music from the 80’s needs a remix!

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