Seattle (December 16, 2005)–Mix It Like A Record, an interactive mixing course authored by Grammy-winning engineer, mixer and producer Charles Dye and produced by Kagi Media, has been added to the curriculum at several well-known recording schools and colleges across the country, and is garnering endorsements from music industry educators as “an excellent resource to teach the subject of mixing, a craft that at one time was seen as un-teachable.”
“For years books and magazines have tried to convey the art of mixing,” said Chris Davie, director of SAE Institute in Miami, engineer and mixer (Vince Gill, George Strait, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood). “Mix It Like A Record‘s format goes one step further by bringing the viewer directly into the mix with techniques, discussions and practice sessions. In our educational environment it’s the perfect resource.”
SAE Institute in Miami is a branch of the SAE Institute, the world’s largest recording school with 46 campuses in 22 countries, as well as a Digidesign Sponsored School, and is using Mix It Like A Record in their advanced level audio production courses.
Mix It Like A Record also plays a key role in teaching mixing at The Art Institute of Seattle. The college offers an AAA degree in Audio Production, and audio production is taught at three of the other 30 Art Institutes in North America. According to Steve Barsotti, academic director of Audio Production, the school uses the DVD to bring together the concepts of mixing that are dissected throughout the course of a term so that students can experience a professional result in one sitting.
“The students really get a lot out of hearing the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle!) changes that occur within Charles’ plug in chains,” said Barsotti. “This is a field that has a history of learning from observing the masters and our students have benefited from the experience of Charles Dye by using this DVD presentation.”
Barsotti’s colleague at the school Tom Pfaeffle, who teaches several Audio Production courses in addition to his numerous mixing credits with acts like Queensryche, The Black Crows, BB King and Heart, uses the DVD video portion of Mix It Like A Record as a tool to teach students how to compensate for the inherent differences between digital and analog mixing platforms. “The focus on plug-ins and harmonic content are very well presented and leave the mixing engineer with a greater sense of understanding and motivation to create a more harmonically pleasing and musical mix.”
In a different approach, pioneering pro audio educator and founder of Future Rhythm Pro School, engineer, producer and composer Bruce Tambling teaches a mixing course at Foothill College in San Francisco, also a Digidesign Sponsored School, based entirely on Mix It Like A Record. The required “text” is the DVD which students purchase from Foothill’s book store. Tambling breaks up the video chapters over 8 sessions as the curriculum for the class, and installs the accompanying Pro Tools sessions on the 35 student Pro Tools LE / Mac G5 systems to support the very hands-on approach he feels is vital in learning mixing.
“The type of information in Mix It Like A Record was previously available only to people that were fortunate enough to receive an apprenticeship at a major recording studio,” said Tambling. “It would literally take years for a student to gain this much knowledge on their own through trial and error in their own home studios trying to re-invent the wheel.”
Los Angeles based AudioGraph International, the first Spanish Pro Tools Certified Training Center in 1994, is the first English and Spanish, as well as one of the best, Pro Tools Pro Schools in the United States where top engineers, composers, producers and musicians from around the world come to update their knowledge and learn new techniques in digital recording, editing and mixing. One of the school’s central courses, “Mixing with Pro Tools”, uses both the video portion of Mix It Like A Record for in-class support as well as the Pro Tools sessions for practice assignments.
“Mix It Like A Record is an amazing audio/visual learning tool,” said José “Chilitos” Valenzuela, founder of AudioGraph and author of The Complete Pro Tools Handbook and The Complete Pro Tools Shortcuts, engineer and mixer (Keith Emerson, John Waite, Colin Hay, Tony Kanal). “I use it in a way that allows my students to more easily comprehend and apply specific lessons from class,” said Valenzuela. “I explain it, they watch the chapter on the DVD, and then they do it. It really works!”
“This DVD is much better than a textbook,” added Tambling. “The production quality is excellent and our students find it very engaging, exciting and inspirational. Combined with the included Pro Tools sessions that allow our students to explore every element of the mix for themselves, Mix It Like A Record is by far the best curriculum available for teaching practical mix theory and techniques.”
Check out the following links for more info on Dye and the audio schools mentioned above.
SAE Institute in Miami
The Art Institute of Seattle
Foothill College in San Francisco