In reflection of the professional production standards, I recollect here the readings and methods used in recording the Bart Stenhouse Jazz band. The band is a five piece professional jazz band which we had the privilege of recording in the SAE Neve studio. On embarking on this recording project, the many stages of production and recording processes were discussed many days prior to the studio recording. In consideration, Zager (2010 p124) describes it clearly by stating that “mixing is the penultimate of the recording process. After all of the tracks have been recorded, the producer and the engineer begin the long and arduous process of creating the final sonic image – the mix. Just as a film director and sculpt the final film during the editing process, the music producer and audio engineer create the final album during the mixing process. Bands position themselves in a variety of ways, but an orchestral setup is mostly traditional. When producers and engineers are trying to recreate a live performance in the recording studio, attentative listening will help them develop a realistic sonic image. What is the album going to say to the listener? That is the question that should be asked at the beginning of production. Did the producer and the artist remain true to the original creative and sonic concept? A music producer’s goal is to enhance an artist’s creative vision and must be the primary objective of producers and engineers during the mixing process.
Each stage of the mixing process is essential to the final sonic picture. Is the the album supposed to sound intimate (as if the artist is performing in a small club)? or live (as if he or she is performing in a concert hall)? Is the album supposed to sound like a studio creation, with the help of technology for the purpose of creating an electronic soundscape? Can the sound of the final mix be reproduced during concert performance? That might be of concern to the artist. Each scenario must be taken into consideration before mixing.
Most of the considerations have been addressed for the pre-recording stage, but the concepts must once again be discussed. Mixing is the blending of technology and art, and art is ever changing. Accidents constantly occur during the mixing process, and many of them remain on the album.The actual creation of the album continues throughout the mix. It is relatively easy to physically describe the elements of a mix, but it is not easy to describe the art of the mix. Obviously,a producer’s knowledge of recording technology must become second nature, just as music theory is second nature to musicians” Zager. M 2010 P125 Music Production; for producers, arrangers and students))
((to be continued))