This section features a demonstration of audio samples made using four different mixing techniques as discussed in my Mixing Philosophy article. You can click on any links provided below to listen to and compare these four concepts side by side.
Since MP3 compression examples below will eliminate a lot of subtle details, I highly recommend to download the original uncompressed WAV files above for the best listening experience and easy comparison. Lastly, make sure to have a descent headphones or good speaker system setup as computer speakers have limited range and therefore are not recommended for A/B testing and audio comparisons.
MixA, digitally mixed inside ProTools HD3 using the best RTAS and TDM plugins available (aka in-the-box or via DAW).
MixC, an analog mix via D/A Prism converters eliminating most plugins above and incorporating our favorite outboard gear in their place such as Studer 901 console with its fully parametric EQ on board, Sontec solid state parametric EQ, Tube- Tech SMB-2C tube multi band compressors, and a pair of vintage Neumann U473 compressors on the main bus recorded back to ProTools via Prism converters at 24bit/44.1kHz.
Bill Molenhof Drumming Masterclass audio excerpts above had been recorded at Coulter Recital Hall, campus of Western Carolina University, NC on December 5, 2016.
Bill Molenhof playing Ludwig custom drumset and his own cymbals was recorded with Beyerdynamic M130 and M160 using Mid-Side technique for overheads and modified AKG D12E on the kick drum. Zack Page playing his acoustic bass was recorded with AKG D12E dynamic mic. Pavel Wlosok playing a Steinway 9-foot piano was recorded with Neumann SM69 tube stereo mic using Mid-Side technique.
All tracks were recorded onto Zoom F8 portable recorder at 24bit/44.1kHz resolution using its on-board preamps.
All audio tracks discussed on this page have been RMS-level matched within 0.1dB for an easy listening comparison, so there are no differences in the volume when listening side by side. If any tracks sound louder or bolder to you, it is because of the mixing technique used, natural compression and saturation of the reel to reel tape, or mix bus compressor. Also note that in order to match the RMS loudness levels of all these tracks to assure an easy listening comparison, I had to bring the volume of all analog tracks processed (MixB, C, and D) down to match the digital one (MixA), which had the most transient peaks and would have clipped way before any analog tracks did otherwise. The difference between digital mix and analog mix was as much as 5dBs at times, given clear advantage to analog mixes which were noticeably louder and bolder sounding that its digital counterparts before any processing took place.
Lastly, to get the MP3 tracks, I had to down-sample the original 24bit/44.1kHz tracks to standard CD format of 16bit/44.1kHz using Saracon software and applying its HPDF dither and then using iTunes to convert these to MP3 320kbps VBR, which is what you can hear on this webpage. Again, I strongly urge you to download the original 24bit WAV files and use your own DAW to compare these at the listening environment you are used to and most comfortable working in. If you plan on using quicktime or any other WAV players to play these original WAVs, please remember to set your computer sound card for 24bit 44.4kHz playback first.
To hear the sound of various other projects I have worked on in the past decade, please visit my YOUTUBE channel.