Solid State Logic sponsored the recent Nail the Mix contest, presented by Unstoppable Recording Machine and featuring Swedish producer/engineer Jens Bogren. Out of hundreds of mix entries, Gil Andrande of Mexico City won an SSL Native Studio Bundle, valued at $1999.
“I’ve been a member of URM and Nail the Mix for just over a year,” says Andrande. “Before joining I already was doing mixing, but these guys and all the instructional videos they have put me on the right path. Plus, the positive vibes and attitude of the online community helped me become a better mixer, producer and musician. Watching how the pros do it and interacting with them in real time is really informative. Also, they have awesome prizes every month.”
URM Academy co-founder Eyal Levi, best known for his work with bands such as Chelsea Grin and The Contortionist, comments, “I’m always excited about the guest mixers we get on Nail The Mix, but having Jens Bogren is a personal milestone for me because of what a huge fan of his work I am. He first came on the metal scene 13 years ago with Opeth’s ‘Ghost Reveries’ and further cemented his place at the metal production table with Opeth’s ‘Watershed,’ which we have a track from for this month’s contest.”
“Jens has produced and mixed a who’s who of metal bands and really helped define the modern European Metal sound,” Levi continues. “Part of what makes this appearance on NTM so special is that Jens has basically been a mystery/enigma to all his fans. We’ve all wondered about how he got the sounds he did, but until now there’s been very little info. This Nail The Mix is a true look inside the work of one of metal’s great producer/engineers.”
“I’m thrilled and a bit terrified to finally join Nail The Mix and reveal every single card I have up my sleeve,” says Jens Bogren. “I got lots of great questions, and some fun days revisiting an old darling of mine. I’ve been in the service of music since around ’99, and for the last 16 years I’ve been running Fascination Street Studios. Apart working for bands like Opeth, Kreator, At The Gates, Amon Amarth, Sepultura, James Labrie, Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, Marty Friedman and Paradise Lost, I’ve also been doing some lecturing at the Örebro University over the years. I’m doing both productions, mixing and mastering. Fascination Street Studios employ four full time staff members, and a few part timers.”
Nail The Mix is helmed by producers Joey Sturgis (Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men), Eyal Levi (Chelsea Grin, The Contortionist) and Joel Wanasek (Machine Head, Vinyl Theater), who get together each month with fellow top music producers to talk shop. They provide information, inspiration and most of all actionable insights in every episode.
June’s Nail the Mix contest featured the band Opeth and their song “Heir Apparent.” Each student at URM was given the raw multi-tracks that were used on the released album by the band and submitted their own mixed version of the song. The URM community then voted on mixes that are given a number, to keep it anonymous, and then a winner is announced at the end of the month. Gil Andrande was one of hundreds of other entries in the contest. At the end of the month, URM hosts a live stream after the mix contest ends with the engineer or producer that worked on the album for it’s release. In this case, Jens Bogren, the mixing engineer did a step-by-step demonstration of how he took raw multitracks that the students downloaded, and made it what it was on the finished album.
Don Wershba, Solid State Logic’s senior VP, explained, “URM is a community of producers and engineers that has the feeling of a classroom setting, with dedicated teachers working closely with a group of enthusiastic peers. Eyal, Joel, and Joey are extremely easy to work with and are doing a fantastic job.”
Fadi Hayek, SSL’s VP music products, added, “Through Nail the Mix and other courses, the guys at URM give aspiring producers and engineers the necessary tools they need for success on many levels. It is really gratifying for SSL to be a sponsor and donate these new tools of the trade.”