So I’m currently working on a track where a lot of its characteristics come from the actual final output, which is the SSL SiX in this case. The way the EQ and drum compressor handle the input (a 1010 Blackbox), and the g bus compressor at work with the total sound (synths and stuff through the other SiX inputs).
Now here’s my dilemma, knowing next to nothing about mixing, summing and mastering, going by ear and gut all the time -
So I can get something to sound good within the 1010 Blackbox, together with the synths through the 1010 input. Balanced, frequencies where they should be, all that jazz. Not great, but as good as it can get, in that limited context.
Then, I run it through the SiX. Obviously, it sounds even better then. However, because of the way the SiX handles what you run through it, there’s stuff I wouldn’t do within the Blackbox to make it sound good there, knowing full well that if I pull back on certain parts and push others forward, they’ll sound better through the SiX, but not so great in the Blackbox. Essentially, on purpose creating a Blackbox mix that’s not perfect, because I know it will be even cooler through the SiX because of the way the SiX handles what goes into it.
Some tell me, I should always make stuff sound as good as they can within each stage. Following that philosophy, I should stick to getting the track to sound great in the Blackbox before I move it to the SiX.
Others tell me, this is an organic process. Work with the instruments and the mixer together, do it coherently and not isolated, if you’re looking for that sound. Eventually, someone always says “Like Daniel Lanois”. I love all his records, except the one he made with Venetian Snares.
So what approach do you guys use? Is there a right or wrong here? I know I’ve raised this point in the SiX thread, but I feel it deserves its own topic, which is why I bring it up here.