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The follow up stage required me to head for the “Diving Bell Studio” Glasgow. The Studio is owned and run by Marcus, the process of mixing the tracks is necessary to ensure the final sound is balanced and of good quality. The sound is not altered during the process but volume levels can be adjusted so that all the instruments have their own space within the sound. The process is rather technical for me but I am able to provide advice on the finished sound.
Marcus (control room “Diving Bell Lounge”)
The Control Room is spacious and has as you can see, panels around the wall and ceiling this is to absorb and prevent sound waves being reflected, thus enabling one to hear only the sound coming from the monitoring speakers. Studios today work with digital technology although when Marcus started he used reel to reel tape machines, he says digital is great and makes the process faster but it lacks the warmth of sound that occurs with reel to reel.
Looking around the studio control room several pieces of equipment for general use are seen, one such is a keyboard that I purchased in the early seventies and was used for many gigs during my time in Caithness.
Vox Continental Double Manual Organ
This is a great sounding instrument but unfortunately it is not a very good traveller. It suffered from contacts breaking mainly caused with travelling in the back of a vehicle. It’s been refurbished and works fine in the confines of the studio.
Back to the task of mixing, here Marcus is busy studying the Mac Monitor to see what is going on within a track.
Marcus (Control room action)
The nineteen tracks were given an initial mix which took about six hours. After that I took a CD copy of the mix back to Inverness and apart from me all the other players were given the opportunity to comment on the content. After this comments were passed back to Marcus for him to make minor adjustments.
The next stage requires the making of a CD Master Copy, this involves making sure the running order, titles, and gaps between tracks are set up. Once this has been done the master was sent to Birnam CD for duplication.