Chris Lord-Alge on mixing (an interview from

I found this AMAZING 40 minute interview with one of my all-time favorite mixers.. Chris Lord-Alge.  He is interviewed by Nigel Jopson.  This video is courtesy of

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Chris Lord-Alge is one of my favorites (or favourites as Nigel would spell it)… who is yours?


  1. A quite interesting video. I’m not a big fan of extreme compressing (I’ve almost hated it with passion since the loadness war started) but must admit that the sounds that’s coming out from Chris Lord-Alge sounds great.

    I’m a big fan of Hi-Fi, instrument details, dynamics and transparency, that means that mixers like Roger Nichols (R.I.P) and Bruce Swedien are more like my favorites – they manage(d) to be heard despite their very gentle use of compression. The last 20 years compressors has been the main weapon in the loadness war, Nichols’ and Swedien’s was EQ, timing and great productions and an almost unhuman engineering capability.

    I realize that almost nobody are willing to – or can – pay for recordings like the Steely Dan’s and Michael Jackson’s anymore but that don’t stop me from dreaming of a audiophile pop and rock word again and try to strive to that direction.

    In the meantime, let’s continue to make shortcuts with compressors 🙂 I use them by my self, but I hope that proper noise cancellation techniques (for mp3 players and so on) and that taste and demands among busy people (that probably means most people) leads to great sounding stuff again.

    1. Thanks for the insightful comment Jostein. You know, I’m embarrased to say this, but I didn’t realize that Roger Nichols had passed away.

      I think that if you talked to those guys (Roger and Bruce), an a host of other engineers, They probably use more compression than we realize. I think Chris just uses compression to color the sound.


      PS I love those Steely Dan records too… and ToTo… and Journey (do you consider those hi-fi?)

  2. You are not the only one in the business that missed RG’s passing, so you are in a very good company. 🙂

    Bruce and Roger has been teaching the world for years how they use compression, so I’m aware that they use it on most stuff, but not close to that degree that has been in use the last 15-20 year (i believe). This two guys also had the luxury to have almost anything perfectly recorded and could also follow many projects from start to end, maybe it was wrong of me to use them as an example, but it’s what I like.

    I consider SD to be Hi-Fi. I love Toto, but the sound is to slick and “undangerous” in my opinion (if I have to mean something about it), so very “west coast Toto sound” is not really natural and can’t be Hi-Fi 🙂

    I have not heard much of Journy, but I really love the sound of the little that I have heard, but Hi-Fi? No, I don’t think so (IMHO), the voice and instruments are to altered with EQ and effects.

    I think that a good example of good sounding non classical music Hi-Fi anno 2011 is most of the tunes from Lee Ritenour’s 6 String Theory.

    As I’ve said: I do use compression myself, in fact two or three on vocals sometimes, but I really hope that popular music in general can be slow food and something people can just sit and listen too.

    Perhaps Harrison Mixbus – which sounds fantastic, the increasing (?) use of tape saturation and stuff like the K-meter can change it?

    Your questions about Toto and Journy makes me think that Hi-Fi perhaps is not what we think it is, everything – even a classical orchestra recording is compressed and altered in some ways, thanks 🙂

    I hope I don’t step on someones toes by writing what I do here and apologies if so.


  3. I’ll be glad to! I’m working on a project (writing/komposing) and will possibly start recording in a month or two, but you might be disappointed – as I said: -I do use compression, but I may do a “Hi-Fi”-version of the album. I’m looking for suitable singers and a textwriter for the project so it may take some time.

    Before you do get to high expectations from me: -I’m not a proffesional Mixer. I have played guitars since the mid 70’s and have recorded some guitar tracks on a fistful tracks – you can say that I’m a very skilled person in many recording related topics and also a complete idiot on many other topics. As many musicians, I have recorded many demos over the years. So right now, I’m a wannabe producer/mixer/composer, but that does not stop me from having a vision of how I like music should sound.

    Right now I’m also in Joe Gilder’s “Mix With Us” project and have finished 4 tracks, you might go there and listen or I can send you the links to the MP3s if that’s ok by Joe? After all, it was you that told me about him in a recent newsletter 🙂


  4. I’m a big fan of Lord-Alge, but a mix engineer I think gets very little love is Ben Grosse. I think he’s phenomenal. JR McNeely (one of Kevin’s friends) is amazing, as well. I’d like to think I model myself a little after these three guys. (Can you tell I love rock?) I also like Neal Avron, Randy Staub and David Bendeth along with some lesser-knowns like Josh Wilbur, Jeff Schneeweis and Luc Tellier.

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