Preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew today, I listened to the pre-remastered version of Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin for the first time in a long time.
Let’s put aside how amazing the songs are, as well as how great the playing and singing and recording and everything else are, and talk about the mixing and mastering.
It’s not mixed and mastered nearly as loud as the recordings we hear today (including the superbly remastered reissues that dropped in the last year), but it retains all of those delicious analog dynamics that just blossom as you turn the volume up and don’t disappear when you turn it down (why you would turn down the volume on Physical Graffiti is an entirely different, “what’s-wrong-with-you” discussion).
When mixing and mastering music at Magic Ears, I always look for ways to bring analog warmth to everything I touch. There are so many remarkable and effective plugin emulations of classic analog devices that it is possible to get pretty close to retaining the recording dynamics and depth of the sounds GenX and earlier generations listened to while growing up.
But it also takes a conscious effort to mix and master musically, rather than simply for volume.
People in 2016 want LOUD, so it is a bit of a dance to find the right balance between dynamics and volume. With all the cruddy, overly compressed music streaming services out there, as well as the awful earbuds and tinny little speakers on which people listen to music, it is challenging to keep the flames of dynamic audio fidelity burning.
Every day at Magic Ears, I work to stoke those fires! I look forward to bringing that philosophical approach to your music.
Check out some of the results HERE.