Adding the color
When it comes to mixing the song is king. After I listen to the song a few times I begin to start adjusting faders until find a general balance. I then brainstorm what combination of equipment I want to use to enhance the song. I use a hybrid style of mixing 95 percent of the time. This means all of the audio is going out of the DAW and eventually ends up hitting my 16 channel analog summing mixer. In between this path I use different outboard compressors, eq’s, FX’s, to shape the sound of different group busses or individual tracks. Often times before I get into the final mix I may choose to do a couple treatments to a few tracks. This means I will record a print of various tracks in the session through my outboard equipment to sonically bring a new element into the equation. This could be to enhance a vocal, to do some parallel processing, add FX, distort some drums, etc... After the mix hits the summing mixer it then runs into my 2 bus chain where additional sonic enhancements are added by hardware compression, tape emulation, and 2 bus pultec style EQ. I then record the final mix back into the computer. The result I get using the hardware mixed with plugins gives the music more dimension, harmonic content, and an overall warmer sound with character.