Michael Kunkes recently wrote a nice feature article on Scoring Mixers for the Editors Guild magazine. Here are a few excerpts:
“In truth, the scoring mixers have one of the most complex, pressure-cooker jobs in post. Officially, their charge is to capture the composer’s original music in the live atmosphere of the scoring stage and, in the process, hopefully make it sound even better than the composer imagined. Part engineer, part recordist, part creative problem-solver, the scoring mixer is the interface between the director, composer, orchestrator/arranger, music editor and the dub stage, helping to determine how best to make a composer’s intent fit the director’s musical vision.”
“The job a scoring mixer performs is a lot more than just recording an orchestra and mixing a score,” Townley says. “You need an amazing set of ears, and be able to remain cool under pressure. The score is the last new thing to be created at the end of this multi-year process of getting a film made. The amount of money being spent every hour can be quite large; the list of technical aspects you need to oversee is extensive.
“You’re the person in charge, standing at the console in front of the orchestra with the composer, the producer and the director all relying on you to bring their musical visions to fruition,” Townley concludes. “To survive in this environment, we all have to be bulletproof.”