POUR SOME MAGIC ON ME
In Southside Café, we do the best we can to handle all aspects of the music making process by ourselves; from the writing and recording of songs to the design of cover-sleeves and logos. This is sometimes time-consuming (to say the least) but also an inspiring and unexpected learning process. When we started the band, I was well aware of all the hard work and time it would take to understand how modern studios work. However, I did not realise that I also had to embark on a long journey into the mysteries of web-page design, the art of photography and this strange thing called social media (but I admit that I still haven’t figured that one out).
Nevertheless, there are things we happily leave to the experts. One such thing is the mastering of our songs. Mastering is the final step of mixing. It´s a process in which you balance all the sonic elements of a stereo mix and make the song ready to be distributed to Spotify, radio etc. This is no task for amateurs. Therefor, whenever I have finished a mix, I give the tape to mastering engineer Martin Ankelius at Cutting Room – one of northern Europe's most renowned mastering studios.
Martin is important for two reasons. Firstly, he makes sure that all our levels are correct. I have a tendency of prioritizing guitars before vocals and drums. Martin has the ears, speakers and experience to detect all such mistakes (although guitars can hardly be too loud). Second, he sprinkles magic on our mixes. This is difficult to explain but fascinating. I always try to attend when he is mastering our songs and most of the time I just watch Martin work furiously at his mixing console without me noticing any difference at all. And then suddenly the mix becomes clearer, louder and just better. The song has transformed from a demo into a radio-ready song. Martin is undoubtedly one of Southside Café's secret weapons.
Today I'm going to take on the final mix of our next song, Imagination. Then I am off to Cutting Room for some magic.