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See You Again

by Wiz Khalifa
feat. Charlie Puth

The first thing I noticed about this single was the poor mono–compatibility of the opening piano, the mid-range frequencies which seem at least 3dB quieter in the stereo Sides signal than in the Middle signal. The most likely explanation for this would be that they used a wide–spaced stereo mic technique during recording, and then panned those mic signals hard to the extremes at mixdown. Mind you, it’s hardly the most imaginative piano part, so I don’t reckon single–speaker listeners are losing out too much…

Moving on, the interaction between the main beat and Khalifa’s rapping is also worth noticing. The drums almost have a hint of Big Beat to them, and the crunchy snare details funnel quite a lot of energy into the 3–4kHz ‘presence’ zone, which gives the beat as a whole a hard–edged, forward sound. This kind of spectral emphasis on the drums sometimes causes people mixdown difficulties by masking the presence frequencies of lead vocals, thereby dulling the vocal tone and pushing the singer unacceptably far away from the listener. To avoid that here, the rapper’s vocal tone seems to have been designed to rely more on upper–octave ‘air’ frequencies for tonal clarity, rather than hitting the 3–4kHz area too heavily, while his position in the mix balance remains secure because of a commendably solid contribution around 1kHz.