AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - December 4, 2019

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Special guest Michael Pearson-Adams, the Director of Education and Training for Waves, visited the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences to conduct a Waves Master Class followed by a Mix Critique with CRAS Instructor Sam Beckley. During his introduction for the Mix Critique, Adams went over a brief company and production history of Waves. 

Michael transitioned into a song he had written and prepared to mix specifically for clinics such as this one. "When you start mixing a song, make sure you have an idea of how you want the finished mix to sound." He centered in on the piano, calling it the backbone of the song. He turned all of the plug-ins used on the tracks off, then one by one began explaining why he was using those certain ones. He began with the MV2 plug-in, a high- and low-level compressor. From there he threw on a one-band EQ, saying "I like to take out what I don't need with a one band EQ, then later, add what effects I do want." Lastly, he explained that one doesn't want the piano to be too top-heavy while mixing.

Adams stated that it doesn't matter what speakers you are listening to your mix through, because "a large percentage of the audience listening will be listening through the free earbuds that come with a phone." He then added, "So if you can't make it sound good through those earbuds, you're failing miserably." Adams went on to say that it's better to capture the performance, rather than perfection.

Throughout the critique of his own song, and those of mixes submitted, Adams reiterated his views on soloing. He was adamant about the length of time to spend on soloing while mixing. "Solo for a couple of seconds, but don't forget to keep going back and see how the edited or mixed audio sounds with the full mix." Adams finished off saying "Make your DAW work for you, not you work for it."

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