I know asking what is your favorite is always a very unfair question. However, I would like some help here. What I would like to know is, if price was not an object, what would be YOUR ideal mix room in Nashville? Also, I hate to start a brand debate, but would you rather mix on a Neve or SSL if price were not an issue. I also know that rooms that are used for tracking are often not used as mix rooms due to the higher cost and the redundancy of the live room when mixing. Yet, they often have great boards. In commenting, I would greatly appreciate it if you could kindly say a line or two about why you have made that choice. Thanks!
Happy New Year, All!
Not exactly the answer you're looking for, I'm sure, but I think the mix engineer has more to do with the outcome of the mix than the gear. I know it does. I'd say, pick the right engineer, and let him/her mix wherever they want. Even if it's their home studio. 'Cause they'll know that room better than any other. The room or gear, well, it matters a little, but only in the hands of the right engineer. You can't pick a place, and then pick the engineer. Other way around. The best mix engineers will tell you where they want to mix.
As for the console, to me, it matters not. I'd just as soon do it at home. The outboard gear available would influence my decision as a mix engineer much more than the console. When it comes to tracking, that's a different issue. And the answer depends on the project I'd be doing, and the sound the producer wants.
Like I said, not exactly the direct answer, but I hope it helps.
Thanks, Pete! I do agree with you. I totally agree that it is the engineer, rather than the gear or room, that makes a great mix. You are totally right that a great mix can be done at home. Nonetheless, if one did have a choice, outboard gear, room, and board taken into consideration, where would folks really like to mix? There obviously must be some preferences, and reasons for those preferences. For instance, the room, the monitoring, the sound of the board, the automation, the outboard gear...all these may help in making a decision. For instance, I know lots of engineers who do not like the Neve VRPs. I know it is a difficult question to answer, and I very much value what you have said. And, maybe price would take second fiddle to quality and flexibility:-)
Also depends on WHICH Neve or SSL. I've seen some really bad ones in my time, and I've seen some really great ones too.
Is this more of a philosophical question you've asked, or are you planning on making decisions for mixing here?
But to add to what I said before, if it's ME mixing, I prefer to do it in my space, whrere I know my system, my monitors, my room, my outboard gear. If I need something I don't have, which would be rare, I'd rent it or borrow it for the time needed.
I'd personally work a lot slower in a mix situation if I were mixing in someone else's studio. Again, the console matters not to me. I know a good friend of mine did some extensive A/B testing using summing amps and consoles at THE studio in town, and no one could discern a difference in quality over the mixes he'd done at home totally in the box even.
Now, if I were tracking, different story. The room, console, gear, etc. makes a huge difference for me. But again there, it depends on the project as to which room/console I'd want.
OK, no one seems to want to step into this too deep. It's going to be tough for any of us to "name names" here. And that's probably good. I will state only my observations, being somewhat of a statistician (geek).
Being a studio owner and in this industry for decades, and not being a "big" engineer myself, I've learned to only observe which records I like, and figure who and where and on what console were they created. Statistically SSL's win hands down for mixes, on # of huge hit records in all genres worldwide. Go get ya one.
I do totally agree with Pete that the engineer is "the mix" and that is who really creates our "Nashville" sound. In today's available mediums, in the box can work. Any format can work. If you're asking this question to figure out what to put together yourself, it's a terribly difficult time to buy big. I think we'd all agree with that. On that note, anyone know of a Neve tracking desk available?
Most mix engineers have their own mix rooms these days. It's the only way to compete. That being said, I have my ideal mix room. Great monitoring, Harrison Series 12 console and all the outboard I need. The best part is that no one messes with my stuff.