IRON MAIDEN - Maiden's Man Of Mad Motion Speaks Page 2
by Martin Popoff
Janick gives clue to the source of this album's crunchy stepped-forward live sound, unarguably one of Maiden's most lively production jobs ever. "Well, this was the quickest, definitely. Because the other ones were ready similar in time. But this was quick for the very reason that, on the last album, Kevin Shirley wasn't fully happy with the mix that went out; he wanted a slightly different mix. And that's because he had done a mix, and everyone - well, Steve - had felt he was happy with it, and then he'd done another one, and he was happy with both, and then there was a bit of an argument about which one was going to go out. And for this one what he did was, he actually recorded then mixed, which we've never done before. We would always record all the songs live, go and do that, and then go overdub what we need to overdub, and then they'd take everything away, they'd bring it back, and they'd re-EQ everything, and then do a remix, which is the basic mix. And that's how we'd do albums. That's how we've done them for the last 20 years. Well, what Kevin's idea was on this one, which I suppose gives him a little bit more control, is, as we went along, we mixed it. So as we were finishing the overdubs for the guitar or vocals or whatever needed doing, as we finished that track and went on to the next track, he would finish the mix at the same time. Which sounds a bit strange, but it actually works fantastically well, because once you pull the whole thing down and you have to put it all back up again, it never sounds the same. Even though the computer says it does, it never does, so when we finished it up, which is literally sprinkling the fairy dust on, he would put the mix together, and that was it. And you know, he basically did the mix as we were overdubbing it. Once we did overdubs, it was complete."
"The thing with mixes is, it's like a painting, once it's finished, it's purely down to the individual. And that's where I stay well away from it. Because that's like, you throw purple into a pool and the whole pool changes. If you bring the high end up, it affects the guitars, you bring the snare drum up, other things disappear, so you bring them up so the snare drum disappears a bit, and someone might like their guitar slightly louder, someone wants it quieter, someone wants the drums up. You really have to say, hang on a minute, who is going to do this mix? Because who's got the hearing, that we want to hear? Because everyone has a slight variation; it might just be tiny, but everyone has a slight variation on how they want the songs to sound."
"And that actually saved about a month from the album," continues Janick. "Because instead of taking them away and bringing them back up again and started mixes one at a time, he's done, he's finished it. You've got to be a very clever engineer to do that, to understand what the band is about to do that. And that's the kind of producer Kevin is. He's very hands-on, very particular about his sound. He's always thinking about how to separate the guitars and make them sound subtly... interweave them with each other so that they can enhance the song. And it worked great, and I think the album sounds very fresh and spontaneous."
IRON MAIDEN - Maiden's Man Of Mad Motion Speaks Page 3