Previously, when we have done mixing projects, the mixing has been done on the computer, and the music has stayed in its digital platform. Today, on the other hand, was a different method of mixing, one that I personally find to be my favorite way of mixing.
To get a different sound from the mixing process, we mixed the songs to tape, using a two channel tape machine, each channel being for the left and right side of the stereo respectively. We mixed the songs on the laptop, then sent the finished mixed version of the song to the tape, recording it there. Then, we played it back onto the laptop, where the song has made a full circle, but has changed in the process.
By sending a song through tape, the sound becomes more rounded out, and in a sense, becomes more human, rather than just staying in the digital atmosphere. The songs that we mixed included violins and other stringed instruments, and the artist and his band, who were in the studio as well, felt that it was necessary to mix this way to preserve the human element.
While all of the mixing was going on, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to the band that had recorded the songs, and have some laughs. I also got another day of familiarizing myself with tape machines and some more hands on experience working with one.
The process of mixing was still a bit tedious at times, but the added element of the tape machine added some depth to the process, and kept the mixing interesting.
Here is a picture of the tape machine used for the mixing process today.