A few of you who have enjoyed the SACDs from Analogue Productions have recently asked about my mixing technique on the stereo SACD/DSD/CD mix of LOVE IS THE THING I did for AP in 2008 with the master of the master Kevin Gray. The album was recorded in December of 1956. Very early stereo for 10 songs, the other two, mono only. For the stereo songs: We used Capitol ZD/11 "Edited A Takes" 1/2 inch 15 ips work parts. They are dry so the first thing was to get the proper echo. Echo was fed to the two orchestra tracks with some LA2A on the echo returns (only) and a nice treble cut to get that Capitol Vintage Reverb sound. The echo level on the vocal was different than on the orchestra since the band had many loud/soft passages, the 'verb has to stay somewhat constant and not vanish when the music was at a low level. Tricky but it's how they did it in 1956 as well. Nat's echo was not EQ'd nor compressed. I matched both by ear. The all important vocal to music ratio I also matched by ear, no compression or limiting was used, playback was an Studer A-80 mastering deck with a special custom three track head stack made just for this project. I always made sure that Nat was the star of the show, not the orchestra which (if left unchecked) would have overwhelmed the vocal many times for each song. I constantly was moving faders to keep this from happening, basically reproducing the same vocal/music ratio style of the original monaural versions of the songs (which are also on the SACD/CD so you can hear the mono "hit" version of this #1 album just the way they heard it in 1957). The Neumann microphones and mic pres used originally in 1956 had a wicked peak around 12k on the vocal microphone and 8k on the orchestral mics (not heard on the old Altec monitors). I smoothed both out around -2 db to get a more balanced sound, same as I did in 1996 for the DCC Gold CD version, same as the original Capitol engineer did when mixing the stereo LP tape (but he went way over the top) and same as the engineer did when mixing the mono version live in the studio. You'll notice that "WHEN I FALL IN LOVE" sounds a bit "sharper" than the rest of the songs. I tried to compensate a bit for that but basically left it. The low frequency anomalies on Nat's vocal microphone I left alone. Gives your subwoofer a workout. This and "ST. LOUIS BLUES" are the only two Nat King Cole albums that feature an "unsocked" Neumann microphone. That is basically it. Each song was mixed for the disk (and 45 RPM vinyl version) strictly by ear. The mixes for digital and vinyl are close but they don't match exactly, since they were done on different days. I always appreciate the beautiful recorded sound the Capitol engineers got back in the brand-new Tower Studio. By 1957 they were dumping TWICE AS MUCH reverb on their recordings ( to keep up with the over-the-top HI-FI craze sweeping the LP market) so this is one of the last big Capitol albums to have a reasonable amount of mono reverb on the full track version. For the DSD capture we used the Grimm Audio DSD recorder. The analog version was captured by the lathe. Hope this helps you enjoy this great #1 album from December, 1956 even more. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.