Robert Schwartzman mixed and mastered the newest Rooney album, Washed Away, three times with three mastering engineers. The final version, mixed by Dave Trumfio at Kingsize Soundlabs, is first rebalanced with him adjusting Schwarzman’s plug-ins, then run through Trumfio’s outboard gear then printed into new Pro Tools sessions. What Schwartzman (lead vocals, guitar) comes away with is stereo stems of all the parts, which he can rework in his own studio, Beachwood Park Recording.
“A big part of mixing Washed Away was letting it breathe for a long time and going back to it after many months, rethinking it and challenging it,” says Schwartzman, who has a Quad Eight Pacific console he runs the mix through in order to give it color on the final output.
“I have to rebalance when I’m mixing in the box because things are going to be louder and hit the master bus harder,” he says. “I have a master bus channel in my session with specific plug-ins: L3 Multimaximizer and Phoenix EQ. I’m listening through the same master bus settings as I track to get a better perspective of how things will end up sounding, and constantly mixing, tweaking, and balancing before summing through the Quad Eight when I do my mixdown.“
The Quad Eight changes the levels coming back into Pro Tools. Schwartzman sends it back on a new track so he can print a new stereo track, then exports it into Pro Tools through the master bus. The level goes down a lot, adding headroom to the mixes, which gives space for the mastering engineer, Dave MacNair, to work.
Says Schwartzman of the Quad Eight, “I can hear the difference in the summing. Once I have my mix, I create 10 aux channels in stereo for the different parts. I route out of Pro Tools putting all the outputs at zero. That gives me the same mix I made in Pro Tools, but playing through the board. I do my rides and make my changes digitally because I don’t have Flying Faders and I like to recall my mixes 10 times. If I want anything louder, I’ll bump it in the aux channel on the send to the board.”