Mixing for “Vibe”
“Vibe” is a huge buzz word in the mixing world. It’s hard to text-book define it, but Thaddeus gives some advice on what we think are the two main ingredients: dynamics and bass.
When people talk about the vibe of a track, what I think they’re getting at is the human element of the song. It’s the part that moves you, it’s not locked right onto the grid, it’s maybe a little sloppy, but you feel it. It can be the way someone is performing on their instrument, it can be the way someone manipulated a sound or sample, but behind it we hear the “someone.”
As a mixing engineer, our job is to take the best parts of that someone’s performance, and accentuate it. We usually aren’t in charge of creating it (or at least not in the mixing stage, unless you are also producing the song) so we do our best to not get in the way of the song.
In the video below, Thaddeus talks briefly about the two main ways he hears people killing the vibe in their mixes, and how to avoid it.