Stems mixing on the SSL and Re Amping using the live room and Iso Booth

Paul Scott came in on a weekend to finish mixing 7 songs he had been working up in his own production suite and a collaborative track that had been mixed in Los Angeles. Most songs ran to around 12 stereo and mono stems each so a lot of pre mixing work was already done. The USA track just needed the vocals matched to the pre mixed backing track.

Marshall and Paul decided to do more than just the standard thing of summing the stems through the SSL and the Bus Compressor. They spent time setting up 3 different “Re Amp Worlds” to fire tracks through and mic’d up thereby using the capabilities of the live room and amazing vintage mics at the same time to take away the ‘In The Box’ digital sound of the stems.

The main set up in the live space was a Left Centre Right config of the 3 Neumann U47 Tube Mic’s running Omni with the centre mic right up close to the Kawai Piano Frame for some adding resonance (an old trick we learned at DG’s Balmain (see pics). We used a pair of JBL 15 and Horn EONs to fire the drum stems though and basically added a ‘Room’ sound to the drums.

Secondly as we have the new Guitar Iso Booth always ready to go we used the 1964 Fender Bassman and its Duo Cab as the ‘amp’ and mic’d it with an old AKG D19 ‘Beatles’ mic and a more modern sounding Sennheiser Original M409 (see pics). We used this for piano stems, bass guitar and baritone guitars, usually just one at a time.

Finally the 3rd re-amp was found in the tech room where the old 70’s Tannoy Like speakers and Phase Linear Power Amps reside. Since there was no one else around all day we mic’d up one speaker with an EV RE20 and tried it out on the vocal – magic – it just sat all day with the comped lead vocal stem running through it.

The warmth and analog sound all of this created feeding back into the SSL along with the original stems made the mixing a pleasure as everything just sounded great quite quickly. 7 Songs were printed in around 6 hours. We’ll certainly be trying this method in the future.

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