Mixed by Chris @ Mix With The Masters 2014 with Michael Brauer and David Kahne

Mix with the Masters, as many of you may know, is an intense week long seminar that takes place at Studio La Fabrique on the south side of France. Here audio engineers from around the world get the opportunity to learn from, observe, and hang out with, big name mixing engineers or producers. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to go this last August, and it was an incredible experience. The seminar I attending had two different “masters.” Mixer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Ben Folds, John Mayer, Grizzly Bear) and Producer and Engineer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sugar Ray, Lana Del Rey, Sublime). Both of these guys have an incredible discography, and know the business extremely well.

This was one of the coolest but intense weeks of my life. They basically put you in the studio for 10 hours everyday and you learn everything from Recording techniques, production secrets, crazy mixing signal flow, and a ton of knowledge from two greats. The studio is a whole other story since it is inside of a massive french style mansion that has the title for the largest classical vinyl collection in the world. The studio houses a 64 channel Neve 88R console which sounds incredible, and enough outboard gear to make your mouth water. It is basically an audiophiles dream. They had barefoot canons and a couple other pairs of monitors that we listened on which all sounded awesome. Anyway enough about gear…

These dudes were awesome. Besides having endless stories to tell about working with artists that I have idolized my whole life, they were both great teachers. I picked up so much in just one week from Michael and David. It really makes you realize that even though they are these big name guys that have their names on the back of hundreds of records, they are still regular dudes that are nuts about audio just like I am. Very crazy experience. Here is a couple major things that I learned on the trip:

  • The Brauerize Mixing Method –  If you are an audio engineer, and you haven’t heard of Brauer’s multibus compression technique, look it up. There is so much information about it online and it’s really is fun to play with.
  • Automation – Do it A LOT and do it with faders. Do be scared like I was to get really nuts with it. Thats what usually stands out the most.
  • Head Space – You have to be in the right mind set in the studio. Everything you mix is a reflection of your mood and you’re more likely to kill it if you’re feeling good.
  • Production Tips – Use a lot of layers. Think about emphasising groove instead of adding everything you can think of. Make sure the you or the artist is well rehearsed at whatever you’re recording.
  • 3 Element Concept – In every section of your song, there should only be 3 elements that are overwhelmingly prominent. Maybe that is kick, guitar, vox. If you get too many things blasting, the listener won’t know what to listen too.
  • Lead the listener through the song – This could be on the mixing or mastering end. Be really obvious about what you want the person listening to focus on. The better you do this while producing, the easier it will be to mix.
  • At the end of the day everyone in this industry that is successful, does it because they love music too.

Thats just a very small amount of what we covered but it was some of the bigger items that I took away from it. Beside all the learning and gear, the food was awesome. It was like eating at a 5 star french restaurant everyday. If you want to know more, then just hit me up. I’d be glad to tell you more about it. Check out pics of Studio Fabrique below, and a big thanks to Max and Victor for putting MWTM together.

Michael Brauer: http://www.mbrauer.com/
David Kahne: http://mixwiththemasters.com/kahne/
Mix With The Master’s: http://mixwiththemasters.com/