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The Chris Lord-Alge Secret of Simple Mixes


Chris Lord-Alge, if you haven’t heard of him, is one bad-ass mixing engineer.

He has over 750 credits to his name. He’s mixed artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Deftones and Avril Lavigne.

He’s generally known for his hard-hitting and loud mixes. They’re punchy and compressed but still clean and pristine.

But his secret isn’t his use of compression.

Besides, you would go bankrupt in a matter of hours if you decided to buy the gear he uses.

Outboard gear and console mixing.

$*Ka-ching!*$

Talk about flat broke.

No, that’s not the mixing secret I wanted to talk about.

His secret is the way he approaches his mixes. He simplifies everything. I’ve never seen so much comping, grouping and bussing going on.

For example, in one of his mixes with My Chemical Romance he took a recording of 159 tracks and comped it down to only 44 tracks!

That’s a crazy amount of simplification.

But there’s a great lesson in here.

Essentially, he’s grouping together tracks and bouncing them to stereo tracks to use as stems.

Like he says himself:

“There were 26 Pro Tools tracks of huge marching snares and rooms and ambience, which we called the March. It’s comped down to a stereo pair.” (Sound on Sound).

Simplifying your mix by creating a ton of submixes can help you navigate your mix easier.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin with 159 tracks. At least 44 sounds doable.

If you do this you end up with a more manageable mix. And all the same principles of EQ and compression apply. Just think of it like a cross between a mixing and a mastering session. Because you’re making all the submixes sound great on their own as well as together using buss EQ and compression.

That’s the secret. That’s his professional approach to his mixes.

And wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what I teach you in the first chapters of Mixing Strategies.

Check it out here:

www.MixingStrategies.com

Image by: Dennis AB


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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  • Max Cherry

    One of the best tips I’ve read on gain staging is pretty simple. The signal should be loudest at the first point and only get quieter. EQ boosts are fine but for things like compression the best way seems to be not to add make up gain and instead make sure you have plenty of signal to start with.

  • Max Cherry

    One of the best tips I’ve read on gain staging is pretty simple. The signal should be loudest at the first point and only get quieter. EQ boosts are fine but for things like compression the best way seems to be not to add make up gain and instead make sure you have plenty of signal to start with.

  • Kelly J. Seager

    Of course… it doesn’t hurt that he likely gets projects that are expertly recorded from pristine studios. I think it might be hard to go wrong in those cases… 🙂

  • Kelly J. Seager

    Of course… it doesn’t hurt that he likely gets projects that are expertly recorded from pristine studios. I think it might be hard to go wrong in those cases… 🙂

  • Dangenoir

    He never comped anything, nor busses anything. You’re mixing CLA with his assistants.
    And I agree with Kelly J. Seager.
    The recorded material he gets, just needs to be preped by his crew, And does his lead vocal trick, invented in the 50’s, and prints it.
    Another recipe radio-friendly mix done.

    And brag and brag…..What else can he do ? He’s close to 60 body-wise but he’s only got the brain of a 13 year old kid ?
    He’s not even able to describe music complexity as simply being (BOOOORING) or (EXXXCIIIITING), maybe he’s words comping ? That’s as deep as it gets.
    CLA=zero subtility. CLA is a Fast Food Mixer.

    How can you say that after following Ian’s Class ?
    And lie about being an audio-engineer. You can’t even EQ a Kick drum ? And to top it off, you’re also the world most unknown best-selling AUTHOR ?
    Are you lying to people little boy with the little dog ????

    Do you like my jokes ???

    Graham is praying for your mental condition. I’ll pray for you as well.
    Take care now. Say hi to wee-long !!!! Remember ??????

    Cheers now my mate xxx

    E. D. (El del foolo)
    I still have your ……want it back.
    Next summer I go pay tribute to you and drink to odl cold days nights in our Iceland !!!

  • Dangenoir

    He never comped anything, nor busses anything. You’re mixing CLA with his assistants.
    And I agree with Kelly J. Seager.
    The recorded material he gets, just needs to be preped by his crew, And does his lead vocal trick, invented in the 50’s, and prints it.
    Another recipe radio-friendly mix done.

    And brag and brag…..What else can he do ? He’s close to 60 body-wise but he’s only got the brain of a 13 year old kid ?
    He’s not even able to describe music complexity as simply being (BOOOORING) or (EXXXCIIIITING), maybe he’s words comping ? That’s as deep as it gets.
    CLA=zero subtility. CLA is a Fast Food Mixer.

    How can you say that after following Ian’s Class ?
    And lie about being an audio-engineer. You can’t even EQ a Kick drum ? And to top it off, you’re also the world most unknown best-selling AUTHOR ?
    Are you lying to people little boy with the little dog ????

    Do you like my jokes ???

    Graham is praying for your mental condition. I’ll pray for you as well.
    Take care now. Say hi to wee-long !!!! Remember ??????

    Cheers now my mate xxx

    E. D. (El del foolo)
    I still have your ……want it back.
    Next summer I go pay tribute to you and drink to odl cold days nights in our Iceland !!!