Mixing with Gil

Gil Eva Craig is another person from the Fatcat & Fishface family. She usually brings her cat Jimmy along to work but he’s recently been in the wars so we miss his furry presence.

Gil works on the same floor as husband Andy’s business supplying amplifiers and sound gear for the big acts who come to Wellington, be it locals Fat Freddy’s Drop, or the Pink Floyd Experience. When you step out of Gil’s little corner studio you are in a world of concrete and huge metal boxes that transport everything necessary to bring sound from the stage to the audience.

Gil has been mixing music for 20 years and her specialty is working with acoustic music. She also works on sound design for theatre shows (she won the 2010 Outstanding Award for Sound Designer of the Year at the Chapman Tripp theatre awards).

Gil says that to be good at mixing you have to be very musical, be good at solving problems, have good technical skills and also good people skills. She starts out by listening to a rough mix of all the tracks to get the overall picture. When working on each song she initially checks out the structure, the sonic qualities, and listens out for ‘the juicy bits’. That means things that jump out at her – both in a good way and not such a good way (as Gil diplomatically puts it).

Then she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work, starting with the key rhythmic elements, placing the vocal, and then building the track up.

Working with Gil usually involves eating lots of sushi and enjoying genial conversations about life, the universe and everything. But the most important bit is listening.

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