How to Open Up Space in Your Mix

It’s got me meditating on how to “open up” a mix — to allow things to breathe and move while still being full and textured.

The reality of getting a mix to sound “open” is that it’s not one single thing working. Most people will attribute openness to the instrumental arrangement and the way the sounds are captured and EQ’d. And this is true. But it’s also the space and dynamics. And the front to back perspective of the soundscape. It’s sort of the sum of everything.

Instrumentation

Most obviously and most accessibly, the actual instrumentation of a song will define the openness of it.

Some things are meant to be more sparse and other things are meant to be fuller. Often times, it’s the change from sparse to full or full to sparse that gives a song momentum. Solo banjo will invariably be “open sounding” whereas a heavily layered synth orchestra a la Stargate (like the chorus of “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa) is going to be “dense and full.” Neither is necessarily good or bad. However, there are instances where you find fully orchestrated records that still have a very open sound. It’s rarer to find the opposite: a sparser record that is still dense and full — but engineers such as Young Guru and Mike Dean have managed to make that work.

The Live Recording/Studio Expandable Rig

Eight channel mic inputs - More than likely you will need to record a considerable measure of sources. You will require mic inputs.

Line level inputs - Being equipped to catch keys and a live sustain from the blender can just manifest in a  live circumstance. Be ready!

Ready for - Sometimes you may wind up being the blender! Having the capacity to add impacts to the  screen yields is an extraordinary reinforcement if the entire blender goes out from a rebel brew. Studios  with short of what competent workstations will profoundly profit from ready for the musical performers.

Integration - Usually you will require anywhere in the range of 16 to 32 channels to blanket a live show.  This implies joining more than one sound interface. Having S/MUX, MADI, or uncommon conventions  (MOTU firewire daisy-affixing for instance) makes everything much less demanding both live and in the studio.