One of the most popular reality TV singing contests The Voice is already gaining a huge fan base in South Africa, where it is currently in its first season. As a rule, such kind of TV shows operate within very tight deadlines, which puts a lot of pressure on the whole production team and often makes its members face serious challenges. This is exactly what happened to Robin Walsh, a seasoned mixing engineer, twice nominated for The South African Music Awards (SAMA).
A week ago Walsh got a call from the musical director of The Voice South Africa, asking him to record and mix 13 singles for the next week show. This meant he was supposed to record the vocals on Monday and Tuesday, and then mix the live tracks, recorded by the band during a rehearsal, until the end of the same week. “Not exactly enough time, but do-able nonetheless,” admits Walsh.
Having already planned everything, Walsh started working on the project when suddenly it turned out that the live band recordings wouldn’t be available before midday on Wednesday, while the final deadline moved to Thursday, 10 am. Walsh’s calculations showed that he would have approximately an hour and a half per song.
As if this was not enough, another curveball has been thrown at him. Walsh has been asked to mix another track with the same deadline, this time for The Voice Nigeria. “To cut it short, I uploaded the Nigerian mix at 04:30 am and the rest 13 tracks by 08:00 on Thursday morning,” says Walsh. “The result: Not one comeback on any of the mixes. In fact, the record company, the musical director, and the Voice people were ecstatic,” continues Walsh.
By all means that not only the tech people were satisfied with his work, but the audience as well – two of the tracks are #1 and #2 on iTunes South Africa charts and the whole album is now sitting at #3. These top chart positions are achieved in competition with all international artists selling on the iTunes South Africa store.
Robin Walsh admits that he would not have been able to complete this project if there were not the Amphion monitors. About 80% of the mixing was done on the Amphions only. “The confidence in having to make such fast decisions was a lifesaver. No other monitor that I have ever worked with would have helped me achieve such fast results,” shares Walsh. He says that his body and mind were completely exhausted, while his ears felt totally rested. “After 14 songs mixed and mastered in 20 hours, I could have just carried on working. The combination of the One18s, Amp500 and BaseOne25 was sublime,” concludes Walsh.