Probably the simplest way to chart a course while mixing is to form a mental picture of the ensemble (whether acoustic or electric) as if they’re set up on stage in front of you, and then try to recreate something akin to that experience from the loudspeakers. This production, however, proudly eschews that in favour of serving up an audio confection that would be very difficult to imagine happening acoustically. The drums are wonderfully punchy, but also bone–dry and tonally understated in a way that still leaves the mix wide open for us to fully appreciate the heavy vocal effects–tails, trippy background atmospherics, and supporting tambourine and piano layers. The present–sounding double–tracked acoustic guitars nicely bookend the stereo panorama too, from their hard–left and hard–right positions.
The prominent fret–buzzes on the acoustic guitar parts are another ear–catching feature. Although engineers often try to minimise mechanical noises like these, here they perform a useful function, constituting a pleasant additional percussive element which fills in the high–frequency bracket vacated by the drum kit’s non–existent cymbals. In other words, that’s more than enough reason for any aspiring mix engineer to take a punt on the Grammy–winning album Morning Phase that this track appears on — although if you still need persuading, check out the glorious high–feedback through–zero phasing on the piano in the sixth song, ‘Unforgiven’.