Chicago Music Mixer: Sweet Home Chicago

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Sweet Home Chicago


Music Mix


Gary Fry

A “Mix” is the process of taking all recorded and edited audio and “mixing” them to obtain one complete sound.

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!  

“Props to the man behind the music mix.  What a fun challenge of a mix to combine the on-location recordings of so many great street artists.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack Productions).

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is Sweet Home Chicago. In one day, twelve Chicago street musicians, at eight different Chicago locations perform “Sweet Home Chicago”.

When watching a film, viewers don’t usually notice the mastery of the mixing behind the sound.  That’s why we chose to EXPOSE the talent of Music Mixer, Gary Fry.

Gary Fry is an Emmy-winning Chicago-based composer, arranger, producer, conductor, and music educator.

In order to blend all of 12 performances together, Gary created a guide track using ProTools with a slow and steady tempo for the musicians to listen to and perform along with on location.  He then lined them up creating a “sound collage” from the source materials and created the final mix on a Yamaha DM2000 console.

Once the final mix was completed, it was given to the editor in order to piece together the footage to match the music.  Gary provided precise notes on the time code locations of the phrases so that they could then piece the film together.

When I asked Gary about his experience he stated, “It’s kind of funny that I actually had nothing to do with the actual filming!  As I recall, the guide track was originally going to be the extent of my involvement.  Once the filmmakers had the footage and the raw audio, it became evident that someone would need to structure the mix, so I was asked to do that.  I gained a healthy respect for how sophisticated some of their musical ideas were!”

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our new blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!