The Art Of The Mix

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Audio | No Comments
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Mark Makoway, Brian Moncarz, Shahab Mobasher, Dan Weston
Saturday, 13 July 2013
10:000 am to 4:00 pm
Society of Sound
1444 Dupont Street, Suite 41
Toronto, Ontario

Corner of Campbell and Dupont Street. Go to east entrance doors of Building D, (Centre Building). Second Floor, Suite 41. On site free parking. All spaces, except for in front of loading doors, are available for parking.

This month’s meeting will NOT be available live on-line.


This event is a joint effort between AES Toronto, Indieweek and Revolution Recording. The initial idea came from a panel AES Toronto presented at the Pal/Miac show called eStudio, or Enterprise Studio. We had assembled a number of mix engineers to discuss various approaches and workflows in their work.

My thought for this event was to give each of these mix engineers the same set of tracks and let them sculpt their sound from the same raw materials. Then have a meeting where they could break down their creative and technical process. The event would highlight the specific skills involved in bridging the world of art and science where artistic vision is translated through a technical medium.

I enlisted the help of Daryl Hurs at INDIEWEEK to source the deserving talent and Joe Dunphy of Revolution Recording to provide the winning band the best possible recording experience (no) money could buy! Needless to say, this event would not be possible without the support of both INDIEWEEK and Revolution Recording as well as all of our talented mix engineers.

The featured band is from the UK and is called Leading Armies. The track, Thinking About, will be featured on an upcoming recording and the band is excited at the prospect of having to choose between multiple mixes of their song.

– Rob DiVito, Chair, Toronto AES


Mark Makoway

Mark Makoway is a Toronto-based mixer, songwriter and multiple Juno award winner and nominee. One of the leading mixers in the country, Makowayʼs mixes are on the charts both in North America and abroad.

With credits covering a spectrum of artists including Evans Blue(Hollywood Records), Elias (Wax Records), Crash Parallel (Sony Music), Sarah Slean (Warner Music) and Buck 65 (Warner Music), Makoway displays great versatility; mixing for the demands of different genres and radio formats. Mixing highlights include: Evans Blueʼs “Cold (But Iʼm Still Here)” that held steady in the top 10 for months on American Active Rock charts and David Usherʼs “Black Black Heart” (EMI) that topped Pop charts in Canada and Europe.

“Mixing is my first love,” says Makoway. “The challenge – particularly with projects that were recorded on a shoestring – is that they have to sound as good as big budget albums by multi-platinum artists. I get a lot of satisfaction when my mixes leave the studio sounding world-class.”

In addition to established Major Label and Independent artists, Makoway develops new talent. Makoway has written with artists ranging from Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter (SonyBMG) and Chis Stoppa (Hollywood Records) to Kyle Riabko (Aware / SonyBMG) and Alana Levandoski (Rounder Records)

In 2002, Makoway was nominated alongside industry heavyweights Daniel Lanois and Bob Rock for the Producer of the Year Juno. That same year the Makowayproduced and mixed album Morning Orbit by David Usher garnered the Juno for Pop Album of the Year.

Makoway is also author of the best-selling music industry guide: The Indie Band Bible. Now in its 2nd printing, TIBB offers a comprehensive look at all aspects of forming a group, performing, recording, marketing and signing industry deals. With contributions from industry leaders including Terry McBride (Nettwerk Management), Denise Donlon (MuchMusic, Sony Music) and Mike McCarty (EMI Music Publishing), TIBB has become an essential resource for musicians. In addition to its use at music industry seminars and forums, TIBB is also used as a textbook in several college courses and is recommended by Canadian Bar Association.

As a member of the Canadian rock band MOIST, Mark Makoway wrote and coproduced smash hits, toured worldwide and sold over a million albums in Canada alone.

“I feel lucky to have such a varied and interesting career. I managed to give my day job a long time ago,” muses Makoway. “But the common thread is the music.”

Brian Moncarz

Based out of Rattlebox North Studios in Toronto, producer/mixer Brian Moncarz lives to record top rock bands including Circa Survive (Atlantic), which landed a billboard modern rock/alternative #1 hit, Neverending White Lights featuring Hot Hot Heat (MapleMusic), Moneen (Dine Alone/Vagrant), The Reason (Warner/Anthem), The Jimmy Bowskill Band (Ruf) and The Junction (Universal).

Moncarz is most proud of his association with legendary producer Bob Ezrin and Grammy-winning producer David Bottrill. Through years of working side-by-side with both masters of their craft, Moncarz has definitely honed his craft: making great records.

Most recently, Moncarz produced/mixed a project for Bleeker Ridge (Universal) and mixed a single for Poor Young Things (Bumstead); both are currently charting on active rock radio in Canada.

Dan Weston

“It started when I was a kid, just seeing that guy in front of the giant console – even though, at the time, I had no idea what he was really doing,” begins Canadian producer, engineer, and mixer Dan Weston about the initial spark that ignited his ongoing passion for the record-making process.

The man’s come a long way since tinkering with cassette recorders, putting anything to tape he possibly could. Since entering the professional world of record production, he’s had the chance to work with some of Canada’s most celebrated and exciting young acts through to veteran recording artists from a slew of different musical styles, earning many accolades of his own along the way. After graduating from Recording Arts Canada & Fanshawe College as well as a stint interning at the iconic Metalworks Studios, Weston dove into work with an array of artists, amassing as much experience as possible. His recording and production credits currently include work with JUNO Award (Canada’s equivalent of a Grammy) winners like rapper Shad and velvet-voiced singer-songwriter City and Colour, as well as nominees including MC and producer Classified and rock outfit Ten Second Epic. Other notable collaborators include Living With Lions, Rosesdead, Paper Lions, The Reason, Attack In Black, and others.

When it comes to choosing which projects he takes on, Weston says it comes down to sincerity: “Whether it’s a rock song about a damaged relationship or hip-hop track full of bravado, I’m attracted to people that are genuine in what they’re doing.” Fully aware of how weary some artists may be handing over a sacred set of songs, Weston aims to initiate as positive and productive an environment as possible at the offset.

Despite his celebrated work as a producer and engineer, lately, Weston has been focusing predominantly on the mixing process. “That’s really the component that can separate a good record from a great record,” he explains, emphasizing the excitement that’s elicited from bringing a fresh perspective to a project – guiding listeners to focus on the fundamental components of a given track and uniting those tracks into a cohesive unit greater than the sum of its parts.

Having worked with acclaimed producers like GGGarth Richardson (Rise Against, Nickelback), Greig Nori (Sum 41, Hedley), Rich Kidd (Drake, Busta Rhymes), and Walter Schreifels (Hot Water Music, Title Fight) and mixed everything from country to hip-hop to metal to dance, Weston has a wide pool of experience from which to draw and is comfortable in pretty much any musical setting. Considering the respectable list of records already full of his fingerprints, don’t be surprised if you see Dan Weston’s name in the liner notes of your next favourite record.

Shahab Mobasher, B.A., M.A.
Instructor, Producer, Recording & Mix Engineer, Avid Certified Pro Tools Expert

Shahab holds a M.A. in Sound Production from Edinburgh Napier University. Shahab also currently holds five (5) Pro Tools Certifications including the Avid Certified Music Expert for Pro Tools HD 8 & 9.

Currently a freelance engineer based in Toronto, he is responsible for the maintenance and functionality of two studios. Shahab has been involved in location recordings including Folk Alliance 2013, feature and short films, television series and various albums (jazz, hip hop, dance, pop, rock, folk).

Last but not least, he is currently the Pro Tools Instructor for the Audio Production Program at Harris Institute.