audio production

Mixing Call Me Maybe

I love reading stuff like this interview from Dave Ogilvie about mixing the song “Call Me Maybe.” Here are a couple of parts that jumped out at me.

Dave Ogilvie mixing “Call Me Maybe”:

Back at home in Vancouver, Ogilvie is well known as a top mixer and producer, although he is more strongly associated with electronic and industrial music than breezy, catchy pop. He has worked with Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, the Birthday Massacre, Marilyn Manson, Einstürzende Neubauten and many more…

'Call Me Maybe' thus conceals some darker elements beneath its radio-friendly surface. At first listen, it's a rather fluffy, lightweight, bubblegum pop song, but closer inspection quickly reveals another dimension, which is most apparent in a hypnotic four-to-the-floor bass drum that becomes monstrous in the choruses and a muscular string hook. The song also comes across as a genuine representation of Carly Rae Jepsen's character.

"The main thing that Josh wanted me to do during my mix of 'Call Me Maybe' was to make the kick drum really prominent and punchy. He wanted me to do everything I could to make it super-special. I think I spent a good couple of hours on the kick drum alone, and kept pushing myself to create the ultimate kick drum, and have it super-loud and driving the track. When I finished the mix, I thought it really was very, very loud, and I was a little apprehensive about the power of the bottom end, wondering whether I'd gone too far with it for a pop song. But Josh and I looked at each other and said: 'This is what we are shooting for.' So we printed it like that and when I later heard it on the radio I was like, 'Wow, this is awesome.' It seems to work because of the space in the track, which I was careful to leave, which means that you can hear the punch the kick drum is intended to have on computer speakers and in cars and in stores, in fact pretty much everywhere.