News from Elsewhere, Article VII

“Making a Recording: Mixing and Mastering This Christmas with Night Is Alive

Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

It has been a very long time since our last News from Elsewhere. There are the usual excuses: I have Covid, I am busy with other musical responsibilities, I forgot about writing these (that’s the best one)…and anything else I forgot to use as an explanation. With all that in mind, I am going to start with today: August 11, 2023. Here I am in New York City one of my favorite places in the world and it is always a joy to record here and finish the product for your enjoyment.

Today I spent the day in Bass Hit Studios in New York, New York recording Night is Alive’s newest holiday album, This Christmas With Night is Alive. The studio is owned by Dave Darlington. He is the master and mixing expert and one of the best in the business.

Joining us in the studio was saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, who is producer of This Christmas with Night is Alive. Wayne can be heard on quite a few of Night is Alive’s other recordings, including Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be, Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue, and My Ship. You can learn more about him by visiting

Recording an album is so much more involved than just showing up and playing into microphones. Our day began around 11:00 a.m. and finished up around 7:00 p.m. Hours are spent mixing and mastering the music for all of our listeners to enjoy the most perfect sound possible. This is a long day, as we listen to every note and take special care adjusting every song. This means paying attention to the smallest details, including:

  • Are individual instruments too loud? Too soft?
  • How is the balance with the rhythm section – especially the drums?
  • Is the vocalist in tune?
  • Where is the bass?
  • Okay, let’s listen to the entire CD again and make sure the sound is cohesive.

This continues until we are happy with the overall sound of each tune. After that, we need to decide on song order, especially the first and last tracks. The length of each tune is also important – we do our best to keep each track under 5 minutes 30 seconds. We managed to accomplish this goal today! Keeping the tracks from being too lengthy is good for DJs, who are always looking for that one tune to fill a certain play space.

One of the fun aspects of recording is working with the musicians and experiencing how much they care about every song they play. We at Night is Alive are very excited about this new Holiday music. As always, we are committed to bringing you the best and hottest musicians and providing the greatest listening experience possible.

Be sure to keep an eye out for future News from Elsewhere articles, which will focus on my memories of the past few years. Make sure you don’t miss an update: subscribe to News from Elsewhere so you can receive new articles as soon as they become available. Just send us a message with the comment text, “Sign me up for News from Elsewhere emails”.

For more information about This Christmas with Night is Alive and our world-class musicians, please visit our web page ( or contact directly via phone.

Article by Kathy Salem, Producer & Managing Director, Night is Alive

Revised and transcribed by Elizabeth Carney, Principal Editor, Night is Alive