Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mixing As A Hobby

Looking to fire up Pro Tools again soon to deep fry some new mixes. More volumes of Summer Reading Music I suppose, taking advantage of multi-tracking and adding dashes of subtle ambiance. Mixing for the hobby of it. Like knitting. Like bird watching. This is how we relax these days.

Got a few compilation ideas brewing--one highlighting South African Jazz, another taking an off-the beaten-trails focus on 80's alternative--you know, releases from the 80's that haven't ossified into the U.S. pop-culture cannon--not the Pretty In Pink soundtrack (not that there's ever been much wrong with that compilation other then it's a wee- bit played out).

Anyway. What else? Other mix ideas:

Another volume of Summer Reading Music accompanied by the subtle undertow of crickets and leaning toward a focus on late 60's, early 70's English folk, so much of which has always reminded me, sonically at least, of the English countryside at its July ripest...moments after a thunderstorm. More Joe Boyd then Bronte, though. It's definitely of its time, this strain of English folk, and all the better for it. More light then darkness, though some of its best songs are practically bursting with autumnal melancholy. Nick Drake lives large here.

I'm pretty sure that music mixes are made for fiendishly selfish reasons. Well, that's not entirely true, because of course we want people to listen to them. But they're also a chance to immerse yourself in the music, right? To really give something a good, honest listen. Lately, I've found that the best close listening I get is driving to and from work. The Prius has a decent stereo and when driving alone I've gotten pretty good with quickly balancing the front and back, left and right speakers so they practically caress my ears. The only thing messing with my equilibrium are Chicago's potholes, an ungodly amount of which harass my route home. They're a double-whammy, these huge ass potholes, causing who knows what kind of unfortunate damage to the undercarriage of our car while adding an unwanted percussive element to my carefully calibrated mix. Our city is coming up short on resurfacing dollars. Tent cities are appearing in the larger potholes.

I call this route home "developing country roadways." DCR for short.


Anonymous said...

So that's why the stereo is always on so loud when I get in the car!

Chris Breitenbach said...

Did I mention that I do it all for you and the children?