Our founder and lead audio craftsman Alex Gregson was chosen as artist of the week for the online community Share Your Mix and was interviewed by composer Alex Wallace. They discuss how to approach a mix, future plans for 344 Audio and why seminal British gangster film Snatch is Alex's favourite mix of all time.
You can read the full interview below.
How did you first get involved in mixing?
I first got involved with music and sound design as a young teenager where I would make electronic music in my bedroom and experiment with designing sounds on synthesisers using Reason and other DAWs. Later on, I studied at university where I discovered the art of sound design and post-production sound for film, at which point I had a transition into doing that instead.
What is your favourite film mix?
My favourite mix of a film is the film Snatch because there are are so many elements of sound design, with concepts that combine and tell the story really effectively. Some good examples of that are the ‘I’m Coming To London’ scene where you’ve got a character who demonstrates his journey to London in a really quick montage, and the sound design and mixing really help accentuate that process of the speed of travelling across the pond. Another example of an interesting mix in Snatch is where the dog swallows a chew toy, and the toy is in the dog’s throat - you can hear it as the dog’s diaphragm is moving, and I thought that was such an interesting use of sound, along with foley and mixing to make it sound realistic. There are lots of nice bits like that in the film. There’s also the famous Desert Eagle .50 scene with Vinnie Jones where the sound design and mix really sell the fact that Vinnie Jones is in control of the situation, which is why I like the mix on that film.
How do you begin a mix?
When I’m mixing a film, the mix really starts from, what we call in post-production sound, the ‘tracklay’. We’re thinking about the mix from the very beginning, so when we’re bringing in a new sound effect, we’re already balancing it out with clip gain in Pro Tools to get it sitting at the right level compared to everything else, so that when we come to the final mix of the dialogue, music and effects, we have already fought half the battle, and we’re happy with the level, roughly.
What are you working on right now in your mixing skills?
I’m working on creating a more mature mixing process in the films I mix, by that I mean taking a step back and actually not applying as many effects, for example, I do a lot less EQ than I used to, as well as a lot less reverb, and I really try and get there instead with perspective EQ, for example, to make something sound further away, you might apply a high shelf perception, rather than lots of reverb, which can really build up in a film when you’ve got hundreds of track going at the same time
Where would you like to be in five years time?
Well, you’ve got to think big, right? So in five years time, I’d like to be running the UK’s leading audio post-production studio, preferably from Manchester with other branches located around the UK or internationally.
Chosen film mixed by yourself: The Last Dance by Chris Keller
We hope you enjoyed reading this interview!
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