Before the music emerges from your speakers....


I thought it might be instructive (perhaps interesting) to have an insight into one engineer's thoughts and methodology into assembling what we listen to.

This young lady details some of her thoughts before, during, and after she 'tracks' a session (or 'X' number of) with her 'rig' on site, followed by 'the real work' creating the master.

There's a lot of 'trade tricks' going on 'twixt the artist(s) and your ears.  It's good to be not only aware of this (which may already be the case for most), but to acknowledge that it's all going into the 'comp'.

It may be played analog...but it's all going direct to digital.

https://reverb.com/news/shani-gandhi-on-recording-bluegrass-and-metal?utm_source=MarketingCloud&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20200112+Sunday+Content

Note her comments on the use of compression; done with a 'light touch' it seems a standard practice to 'sweeten'/'dial down' certain elements of a recording.

This is also one reason I have no qualms about using 'pro gear' within my equipment.  What's good for the goose...;)
92702c26 8d1f 48e6 a5fb 845692a8dfe3asvjerry
...one should also note the $ spent on the equipment employed to allow her to do her job....
...and How she listens to the 'product' in her car...

You might hate and squirm at the 'Low Common Denominator' factor in that.....but that's the market.

Your tastes....are secondary....in the long $ run.....;)
It's sad but true that us audiophiles are the smallest segment of the market so our wants and desires are not very high on the priority list for music producers. The music has to sound "ok" for people listening on $5.00 ear buds, bluetooth speakers car stereos etc. High end audio systems reveal all the compromises that are made to meet those lowest common denominator requirements. If only they could do multiple mixes and let us choose which ones we want to buy. But that's not likely to happen.
I thought it might be instructive (perhaps interesting) to have an insight into one engineer's thoughts and methodology into assembling what we listen to.

Engineer!?! Lol! Did you read the article? She's a glorified mouse-clicker! Several paragraphs about what she uses and what she likes and I'm not making this up, its all colors and how it looks. Not one word about how it sounds. She is literally using mixing software (not a board, software) based on how it looks. In her own words. Read it, if you can.

Engineer. Good one.
Her resume is impressive.  I like her selection of microphones.  Thanks for posting.
*G* Well, I didn't create her title; it goes with the trade after all...

And 'mousing' is pretty much SOTA these days, since the software is doing the 'heavy lifting; (such as that is...).

Yes, I do read BTW.  *S*  I opened this forum to see the range of responses to the methodology and the software applied to music 'processing'.  This includes the various and varied equipment used to do so.  The (presumably) nice young lady just happens to be the one interviewed.

I'm not going to a personal stand on this; no interest in supporting/defending the article's content.  It is what it is, and likely is what is pretty much SOP....
Note her comments on the use of compression; done with a 'light touch' it seems a standard practice to 'sweeten'/'dial down' certain elements of a recording.


Compression can work both ways.  A small amount of compression can be beneficial in that it can bring out low volume details that would otherwise be lost in the noise floor. Even when listening with a good system. Unfortunately it is now commonly abused to the point of making modern  releases unlistenable.

"When we had finished a song, we'd take a drive and listen to it on the car stereo to give us that extra objectivity. When you are working so intensely you can lose that objectivity. And when you're in a studio you're listening to the absolute best reproduction of the sound. But most people won't hear it in that environment. So we'd go for a drive – the car test."
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/leonard-cohen-out-of-the-monastery-a...
@glupson...and now, the 'ear buds' are likely part of the testing. 

Welcome to the New World.  The 'natives' may not have 'rituals' you like...;)

@delkal...*S*  It's like soup....Too much salt (or any other seasoning) screws it up..unless it's what may be called for, under the circumstance or an intentional 'tweak'.

We're not 'there' to make the call...we just get to love/hate the result. ;)
@sonicjoy..."In a Perfect World"....Absolutely; that would be the answer for 'our market'....

As you point out, not very likely....unless one knows 'someone' close to the 'process' and they gift you with a copy.  Which would likely be a digital file...and would disown you if it left your possession...

@onhwy61 ...That's what got my attention as well....the selection of the instrument(s) to apply to a given 'source'.  The comment about mic placement about an instrument's amp was revealing....a subtle 'trick' that I wasn't aware of, but it makes sense.....

"Live" doesn't mean some 'applied skill', meant to enhance, or compensate, hasn't been introduced.  I've always been fascinated by knowing what's 'upstream' of what I enjoy. *S*

BTW, you're welcome. ;)  
The recording of Ms Jarosz' "House of Mercy" is a treat for me.  Spare, simple, and capture of acoustic guitars in a way that reminds me of sitting next to one being played in a quiet room...

Having been in that situation, it invokes memories of days gone by....*S*
Thanks for posting this . This type of info can shed some unexpected light on audio in general .Keep them coming 
ASV, don't take offense at Miller, he can come across as sarcastic in his posts and I'm not sure if this is intentional or he's unaware how he presents himself.
I thought the comment...


"She is literally using mixing software (not a board, software) based on how it looks."
was cute given that the only two illustrations/photographs in the article show the engineer with what appears to be......a mixing console.

EDIT: There is a third (actually first) photograph under the title and it is the engineer in front of the....again.
@tuberist ...No offense taken, but thank you for the concern.  It takes a lot more than print to ruffle my feathers. ;)   I'm not totally aware of how I 'come off' when read, so I tend to be generous in interpreting what gets posted.  focus on what's being said as opposed to how.

Works for me. *G*

@glupson ...yeah, how 'bout that...;)  Mix boards still seem to be the 'weapon of choice' for multi-channel work. 
When I go to concerts where there's a 'pit', you'll generally find me nearby..or as close as is practical.  My thought is to hear what the 'show runners' are, since they're in charge of what's going out of the arrays.  And (if I can get close enough) it's interesting to watch their screens to see what the 'comps' are doing.
The 'modern concert experience' is basically driven by programs that control the staging of the lights and 'what's hot and what's not' at any given time throughout the performance.
Even the 'curtain calls' are 'pre-sets' to some degree.
After all....'overtime' for the staff is generally avoided...Right? ;)

@maplegrovemusic   ....Thanks, and I'll add to it when I spot something pertinent to the scope of the subject(s) entailed. *S*

We spend so much time and 'treasure' optimizing our home equipment for our personal experiences.  I find the knowledge that the same regard for 'selection' of microphones, placement of same, and the spaces for the intended 'sound' of various instruments is just as subject to the same level of care on the 'input'.

Just the selection of the microphone type seems a analog for what we do with speakers.  And the same applies to equipment and SW choices...

IMHO....(and that's only how I view it, FWIW...)  It's only analog anymore at the very beginning (and that can be debated)...and at the end, in our homes.

One can take the stance that physical tubes only act as a version of EQ;  there's 'tube sound SW' and equipment that mimics it. 

(Now there's an 'A-B, behind the curtain' test I'd like to witness...not that I want to tick tuberist off, mind you.  I'd like him to be there, to help make the call...)  ;)


Thanks for the link it was informative and an entertaining read even though I didn’t quite follow some of the insider lingo. Yes, it  looked like a lot of equipment for someone who just clicked a mouse 😮
*L* djones, it seems nearly any trade has it's own lingo....

I look at the NWS pages for their weather info, maps, radar, satellite imagery because we work outdoors as much as in shop.  Reading the 'forecast discussion' is where the 'real meat' is, and it's taken me a year or so to 'follow the breadcrumbs'.

More abbreviations than you've ever seen....;)  Typ. for a gov't. agency, tho'...

Yes, a lot more going on than mousing around...if that was the case, at least there would be a reasonable rationale for lousy studio output.

If anyone likes twiddling knobs, switches, plugging and unplugging, tweaking this 'n that.....all in the pursuit of 'the Perfect Sound' (...in their case, the 'mix'...)...

Arise, off one's tush, go back to skool, get a degree, learn how to 'do' what they do....

Stop complaining...and Fix It! *L*

And then...we can blame YOU. ;)

(Yes, sometimes I fall out of bed on the 'wrong side'....actually, either one.*L*  Just....stand back....)
...like Spot from "Isle of Dogs"....

"I bite."

*L*
In some applications (machines) what used to be buttons and knobs fifteen years ago is not even a mouse now. It is touchscreen. So "mousing around" may easily be the same thing as "knobing around" done on a more up-to-date technology.

Who needs fancy fuses and expensive mousepads disguised as "tweaks" when it can be done more elegantly by clicking?
*L*  G, it's becoming a real 'touchy/feely' kinda world....which does give rise to thoughts of 'odd scenarios'...

-Exclaiming "Oh, F...!", and your digital assistant cues up some 'company' for you....!!!  (Explain THAT to your spouse...Good Luck.  What sort of flowers should I send to the funeral? *smirk*  Highly likely in NV....)
-Your self-driving car misunderstands you after a dental appointment that leaves you with a mouthfull of Novocaine.  Or anything else with voice recognition....that doesn't....
-A sneezing fit when your finger's on the touchscreen; or the one in full sunlight that you can barely read (that's not a familiar one)....
-That marvelous new remote you've finally sprung for...(you know, the one that can do EVERYTHING)...has a 'bug' that you've just discovered....and DOES...all of it....at once....all volumes to 12 on all that can...orders food you don't recognize...services you didn't even know existed.....
-The new 'aerial taxi' that decides that today is the time to engage 'Stunt Mode' when you were just trying to 'impress' by arriving 'au courant'..

*L* We've already been subjected to a certain amount of 'beta testing' in our Real World....we just weren't told about that 'program X' hadn't been around 'other programs' much....;)

Don't get me wrong...I like the future.  On the other hand, I do understand that I'll only get to be subjected to a limited amount of it, given one's 'mortal nature'....

And, I'm OK with that....one should only be expected to tolerate a certain level of 'progress'. ;)
"Off topic", but....being the OP ought to have 'benies'....*L*