Best mixes you've heard

el-bo

Senior Member
Not orchestral, but the song "Reckoner" by Radiohead is probably one of the best mixes I've ever heard. Everything has its own space but it's all glued together masterfully. The mix was done by Nigel Godrich who was the producer for "In Rainbows".

It's strange, because when I hear more recent (Let's say, 'In Rainbows' onward) Radiohead material, I think that the mixes aren't what would be traditionally thought as great. Far from it, in fact. I don't really hear glue. I hear disparate elements that occupy much more of the stereo-field than apparently we are supposed to, these days.

Listen to that tambourine in the left-speaker - Rough as hell (Not a whiff of quantise, audio-tidying etc.), and I'd venture - way too loud. But it's great! Feels real and live, and these elements tickle me even more when I listen in headphones, as I mostly do.

I think this direction was definitely informed by Thom's first solo album, which is so beautifully raw:


Takes me back to the four-track days. Really feel like I'm in the same room as him.

Yesterday, I sa saw an interesting video which seems to turn the idea of balance somewhat on it's head:


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Anyway, to circle back to the topic at-hand, here are a few examples that come to mind:

Still one of the best sounding albums I've heard is 'Mind Bomb' by The The:


Then there's 'Secrets Of The Beehive' by David Sylvian; this gem, in particular. Pretty dense mix. Lot's of stuff happening, and yet they still manage to capture and reveal the depth of David's voice. Liquid/Sonic gold, I tells ya:


And lastly, no mix list would be complete without a proper schooling. Trevor Horn demonstrating that a great mix starts with a great arrangement:

 
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bill5

Senior Member
Steely Dan was what immediately popped in my head, Aja especially. Fleetwood Mac's Rumours also comes to mind. And while people gush over Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (again just speaking production-wise), I thought Animals never got its due. Also several of the Beatles' later albums weren't exactly chopped liver.

Edit: good grief. How could I forget Alan Parsons. e.g. Turn of a Friendly Card.
 
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Locks

Penguinologist
It's strange, because when I hear more recent (Let's say, 'In Rainbows' onward) Radiohead material, I think that the mixes aren't what would be traditionally thought as great. Far from it, in fact. I don't really hear glue. I hear disparate elements that occupy much more of the stereo-field than apparently we are supposed to, these days.
I would agree with that. It's an LCR style mix (where everything is either centre or hard-panned left/right) so definitely a non-traditional approach. One of the biggest issues with this mixing technique is that they have pretty poor mono compatibility because all the hard-panned parts lose 6 dB when mono summed so a lot of elements can get pushed to the background.

But I think it really works well for this track. The stereo spacing of the percussion sounds great and the mixing is done so well that it still sounds great in mono even though a few elements get pushed back a bit.
 

el-bo

Senior Member
I would agree with that. It's an LCR style mix (where everything is either centre or hard-panned left/right) so definitely a non-traditional approach. One of the biggest issues with this mixing technique is that they have pretty poor mono compatibility because all the hard-panned parts lose 6 dB when mono summed so a lot of elements can get pushed to the background.

But I think it really works well for this track. The stereo spacing of the percussion sounds great and the mixing is done so well that it still sounds great in mono even though a few elements get pushed back a bit.
Not ever tried listening to these in mono, but I might try it. I do most of my music-listening on headphones, these days, so that already gives a skewed perspective of the mix. I might try listening to the last albums on speakers, to get another experience.

Cheers!
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
It's strange, because when I hear more recent (Let's say, 'In Rainbows' onward) Radiohead material, I think that the mixes aren't what would be traditionally thought as great. Far from it, in fact. I don't really hear glue. I hear disparate elements that occupy much more of the stereo-field than apparently we are supposed to, these days.

Listen to that tambourine in the left-speaker - Rough as hell (Not a whiff of quantise, audio-tidying etc.), and I'd venture - way too loud. But it's great! Feels real and live, and these elements tickle me even more when I listen in headphones, as I mostly do.

I think this direction was definitely informed by Thom's first solo album, which is so beautifully raw:


Takes me back to the four-track days. Really feel like I'm in the same room as him.

Yesterday, I sa saw an interesting video which seems to turn the idea of balance somewhat on it's head:


---
-----

Anyway, to circle back to the topic at-hand, here are a few examples that come to mind:

Still one of the best sounding albums I've heard is 'Mind Bomb' by The The:


Then there's 'Secrets Of The Beehive' by David Sylvian; this gem, in particular. Pretty dense mix. Lot's of stuff happening, and yet they still manage to capture and reveal the depth of David's voice. Liquid/Sonic gold, I tells ya:


And lastly, no mix list would be complete without a proper schooling. Trevor Horn demonstrating that a great mix starts with a great arrangement:

Whoa. I have all of those albums. The Sylvian one is indeed mixed to perfection. His live act around this time (well, one year later - 1988) had one of the most incredibly good bands you’ll ever hear. I used to have a cassette bootleg of a gig. Mark Isham, David Torn, Ian Maidman, Steve Jansen, Richard Barbieri. With Torn on fretless guitar, it was really sounding HiFi and polished yet raw. Their live mix equalled the record’s so to speak haha. The entire thing is on YT now of course in reasonable audio quality. The very last song they play (off of the 1986 Gone To Earth album, the title track) is the best one of that set. Mark Isham and Torn are doing solos that still give me goosebumps every time I hear them.


Song starts at 55.10. Worth every minute of your time.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Weird. My original YT link was changed?! Now it has a link to Orpheus? It was a link to a concert called In Praise Of Shamans, 1988.
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
I still think Gladiator is one of the best recorded & mixed scores of all time.
+1!

Trivia: I seem to remember Alan Meyerson mentioning the fact that this was one of the last "true" analogue mixes he did (... talking about scores of that size, that is).

... but then, the sound he achieved for the "Inception" score isn't flimsy either! 8-)
 
that last Demi Lovato track.

seriously, nowadays most pop tracks are well mixed. think Dua Lipa... I don't like EDM mixing so much though...

don't like 80s and 90s pop rock mixes neither. but current pop stuff is usually well done
 

J-M

A glorified bedroom composer...

This one is on my list of things I struggle to find fault with.

Other than that, I think the last jedi is probably my favorite orchestral score mix at the moment.
I generally struggle to find fault in Adam "Nolly" Getgood's mixes. I still remember the days when he was just a great guitar player. Then he just decided to get good at lot of things (pun intended)...
 

stefandy31

Member
Whoa. I have all of those albums. The Sylvian one is indeed mixed to perfection. His live act around this time (well, one year later - 1988) had one of the most incredibly good bands you’ll ever hear. I used to have a cassette bootleg of a gig. Mark Isham, David Torn, Ian Maidman, Steve Jansen, Richard Barbieri. With Torn on fretless guitar, it was really sounding HiFi and polished yet raw. Their live mix equalled the record’s so to speak haha. The entire thing is on YT now of course in reasonable audio quality. The very last song they play (off of the 1986 Gone To Earth album, the title track) is the best one of that set. Mark Isham and Torn are doing solos that still give me goosebumps every time I hear them.


Song starts at 55.10. Worth every minute of your time.
first time i heard david sylvian is from merry christmas mr lawrence which a collaboration with ryuichi sakamoto, also i'm suprised he's doing ending music for anime called monster. i like his voice, very calming and relaxing. btw here's the track
 

storyteller

Senior Member
i just added a pair of Auratone 5c monitors and it has really been an fun adventure in hearing good mixes versus bad mixes on them. Even mixes I thought were good show their warts with them. That said, I think the best mixed modern pop song I’ve listened to recently is Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons. I think there is a bit too much parallel compression between the kick and bass, but the mix is really REALLY well done. For all those that think Radioactive sounds good as a grungy modern rock reference track, you will have your eyes and ears opened between the two tracks. The video is pretty cool too!

 

Morning Coffee

Active Member
The Beatles, Yellow Submarine album (Side B is more orchestral focused.). I still like it after all these years!




Adele, 21 album. (great all-round, contemporary pop, organic sounding album mix.)

 
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el-bo

Senior Member
Whoa. I have all of those albums. The Sylvian one is indeed mixed to perfection. His live act around this time (well, one year later - 1988) had one of the most incredibly good bands you’ll ever hear. I used to have a cassette bootleg of a gig. Mark Isham, David Torn, Ian Maidman, Steve Jansen, Richard Barbieri. With Torn on fretless guitar, it was really sounding HiFi and polished yet raw. Their live mix equalled the record’s so to speak haha. The entire thing is on YT now of course in reasonable audio quality. The very last song they play (off of the 1986 Gone To Earth album, the title track) is the best one of that set. Mark Isham and Torn are doing solos that still give me goosebumps every time I hear them.


Song starts at 55.10. Worth every minute of your time.
Haha! We've had this conversation, before ;) A timely reminder, however, as I didn't listen to the whole of that gig. It sounds great. And because of the quality of the recording, it takes very well to some eq'ing :D

Cheers!
 

el-bo

Senior Member
first time i heard david sylvian is from merry christmas mr lawrence which a collaboration with ryuichi sakamoto, also i'm suprised he's doing ending music for anime called monster. i like his voice, very calming and relaxing. btw here's the track
That Sylvian/Sakamoto collaboration is actually on the same album that the track I posted is from (Secrets Of The Beehive). I'd definitely recommend the whole album. And thanks for that track...Never heard it before.