Mixing & Mastering

Making music sound great is an art form - not only for the creators and talented musicians who play it, but also for those that capture it.  Whereas the technical process to capture sound with great microphones is one part of the process, the ability to take what can often be hundreds of different "tracks" or recorded components and blend them together requires skills more like that of a great chef - being able to know how to combine ingredients together and produce a Michellin star meal.

Today's listeners have been spoiled with so many great recordings because of the evolution of technology.  Every day over 90,000 new songs are uploaded to Spotify.  And yet of those songs a handful will have some impact on a listener.  The balance of understanding and respecting the art of sound & music and being able to know how it should sound, is something blessed only to a small group of artisan mixers.  And Troubled Clef Studios is a part of that elite group and available to help you sound the best you can possibly sound.

Stereo Mixing

We have two ears, so it makes sense to mix things for our left & right ears.  Although this is changing with technological advancement and the advent of "immersive mixing" (through such technologies like Dolby Atmos), those that still wish to produce music for physical media such as vinyl records or CDs will still need a solid and mastered stereo mix before they send it off for pressing.

This also means that traditional stereo mixing still has a lot of value.  This is an area that Troubled Clef Studios has decades of experience in, and has crafted a "mix bus" technique that ensures the end result will be perfect for stereo.  Add to that in-house mastering facilities and we can produce release ready content quickly and affordably.  Our product sounds like it should - like a radio release would sound.  You can be confident that your recording will stand up there with the best of the best.

We use Focal speakers from France, to ensure that we hear exactly what the listener will hear - in every detail.  The fidelity is incredible and it is no surprise why Focal is the #1 choice for audiophiles.  But in the studio world, we needed exacting standards and clarity and that's why we made a significant investment in Focal for our mixing.

Immersive Mixing

Our control room was designed around Dolby Atmos immersive mixing from the start.  We designed a 7-4-1 speaker system and employed the best audio acousticians in the business to ensure our room would not only meet and exceed the exacting standards of Dolby for certification, but it would also allow us to control the sound so we could trust what our ears were telling us in the mix.  Atmos mixing is the future and we embrace it at Troubled Clef Studios.

Artists know that these days in order to be playlisted on Apple Music or Spotify, they want an immersive mix uploaded.  In this incredibly competitive world of trying to get attention from listeners, artists are now realizing that the ONLY way to get the success their music deserves is to produce it as an immersive mix.  So Troubled Clef Studios invested heavily in this area to ensure that we can produce a world class Atmos mix for our clients that they can be proud of.

It doesn't just stop there with music, however.  Our clients also include leading film directors and game designers.  They understand the importance of giving their audience an experience - not just a product.  And that experience comes with being immersed in the middle of a story.  So for our film director and game designer clients, there is no alternative other than to do Atmos mixing.  Combine that with our talent pool of great composers, sound designers and foley personnel, and Troubled Clef Studios can deliver at a level that will meet or exceed the expectations of even the most discerning clientelle.

Outboard hardware and software plugins

Sometimes you just need hardware to make something sound great.  So we have a lot of it.  Our outboard racks are designed to compliment our mixing process with the best pre-amps, EQs, compression & limiters, reverbs, delays and effects, along with hardware bus processing from SSL and Neve.

But additionally we have matched almost all of our hardware outboard gear (and some) with software plugins.  Pre-amps, EQs, compressors, limiters, reverbs & effects, and some "voodoo" plugins that do things that sometimes we don't even understand.  And we can combine both the software with the hardware to ensure you get the best sounding mix ever.

But it is really about the human behind the console

Myles Wakeham has been mixing since the 1980s and his unique style to bring energy and vibrance into a mix has been in demand for decades.  Even if it wasn't recorded at Troubled Clef Studios, we'd love to mix and master it for you.  It is easy to get lost in the world of technology and theory, but what it really comes down to is delivering an experience to the listener.  Something that will give them goosebumps.  They don't sell hardware or software that gives goosebumps.  That's all about us humans and how we interpret emotion and that really needs a qualified human at the wheel.

We play well with others

Mixing can be a very isolating experience.  Even some of the most skilled mixers have issues with clients being in the studio with them during a mix, or giving the client the "stems" (the individual tracks that are a byproduct of the mix).  Not so for us.  Our control room was designed to be inclusive of clients.  Sure, you probably don't want to sit in there for hours and hours while the mix engineer painstakingly goes through each channel to get it just right.  I mean that can take days, but if you want to, you are welcome.  We take our client's needs and input seriously.  We don't tell you to go away and just present you the end product.  That said, some clients just want that, and that's ok.  But if you want to be a part of the process, we've got a chair with your name on it waiting for you in the control room.