April 25, 2023
Kenny Fan is an award-winning mix engineer. He has many decades of experience and is well-known in the Taiwan music industry.
To me, mixing is like a journey. We give our heart to the song. We built emotions for that particular moment. If I had to pick out any highlights from my work, It would be that pure joy I have when immersed in the music I'm mixing.
As a mix engineer. My main role is to sculpt the sonic emotion and bring the artist's and producer's vision to life.
My dad likes western classical music, and my mom loves Chinese opera, so I grew up in a family filled with music and western-eastern cultural conflict. That forced me to learn to embrace different music cultures at a very young age.
During my high school years in US, I started playing music with friends and discovered my passion for the technical side of things, like sequencing, sampling, and recording. That opened a door for me and slowly paved the way for my music career.
When I was young, my uncle introduced me to the world of audio technology by demonstrating the difference between stereo and mono audio. That changed the way I listen to music. I started to pay attention to the small details in songs, trying to locate the different placements for each instrument. With the graphic EQ on an old radio, I started to play with frequency and balance. Those experiences were influential when I made decisions on my future career.
I get frustrated when I can't make the track sound like I wanted it to. I used to spend hours on instruments to get them to perfection. As I got more experienced, I focused more on the song's feelings. How does it feel? Does it move me? It took me many years to realize that not every song needs to sound perfect. Sometimes perfection is built from imperfections.
Never stop learning, be humble, and be true to yourself.
I’ve been working with headphones since the early 90s. I use them as a second reference when I’m mixing or tracking.
After using the LCD-5 and MM-500 for a while, I found they're very revealing, particularly in the midrange area. They remind me of a pair of very good monitors.
When mixing, I can quickly make decisions on the instrument placement and it’s super responsive when I’m EQing and doing automation. It’s also a great tool to check the binaural fold down when working in Dolby Atmos.