With David Glenn
1 – What was the inspiration for The Mix Academy?
David: As my tutorials began to take off, I wanted to create a place where anyone serious about learning to mix could have a place to see the entire process. From receiving the files through to a finished mix. Add in the community, interviews, monthly coaching call and forum and I’m proud of how we’re able to help aspiring mixers through the site.
David: Absolutely. I have been pretty careful about which projects I take on due to the demand and success of The Mix Academy. Mostly, I work on singles nowadays. Smaller EP’s are a blast too. Not many album projects anymore though.
3 – You’ve stressed the importance of your mix template to your workflow. How has it evolved over the years, and what things you’ve stripped away from your template?
David: I’d say it evolves every few weeks. I’ve become an “accidental teacher” but really, I’m a student first. I’m always learning, so as I find new techniques or talk to other mixers, I will add to or remove things from my workflow.
I’ve added a few things recently… I hardly ever remove. I like having the multiple routing options, and effects sends ready to go so at any moment I can just activate them and get to the creative tasks. Waves ADT, Softube Spring Reverb, and proper gain staging are all recent additions. Lol
Experimenting to find what works for you is critical in mixing. There are so many ways to reach the end goal of a great mix. I try to teach options so that anyone following my tutorials can get a feel for the different paths and decide what works best for them.
4 – We’re always evolving as mixers. We’re always re-evaluating ourselves and mentally charting our progress to see where we need to go next. At this point in your mixing career, what do you view as your biggest deficiencies and how are you working toward overcoming them?
David: Great question. Without sounding cocky, I feel great about where I’m at as a mixer. It’s an incredible feeling to wake up each morning and go into the studio with some confidence. I’ve worked hard at this for many years, and I’m just now starting to feel like a real mixer. Haha
I recently began to get all of my tracks set to around -18 or so at the beginning of the mix (in mix prep). That and paying more attention to level matching as I EQ and compress has made a big difference for me as of late. An even more significant influence to my confidence has come by way of a plugin. Yep… I said it! Sonarworks’ headphone calibration plugin and speaker correction software have made HUGE improvements for me. I use headphones to mix quite often because we have a big family, and my studio is upstairs near the kid’s bedrooms. Speakers aren’t a good option for me, so I tend to use my Sennheiser HD 650’s. Sonarworks has a fan in me. Lol.
5 – What was the most valuable lesson you had to learn the hard way?
David: People skills. I struggle with teaching clients how to treat me. For example, for the longest time, I would edit, tune, re-record or do whatever it took to make the record sound great. My clients almost always loved what I would do, but I didn’t get paid to do those extra tasks because I didn’t manage my business or communication well. Life can get tough if you don’t learn how to manage your business. I made it easy for even good people to take advantage of me. (To clarify, I’m not talking about tuning a note here and there. I’m talking about full on Melodyne for each vocal part, full on drum editing, recording guitars, etc. You know, the time-consuming parts of making a record. Haha)