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Author Topic: Some questions on mixing for you mix mastas  (Read 3636 times)
BassPlayer
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« on: April 10, 2006, 01:44:58 AM »

What sound levels do you mix at? Normal listening or cranked or both?

Do you check the mix at different levels?

Do you notice that the mix sounds slightly different after you've exported to MP3 even using hight bit rates?

How much do you rely on panning.  I'm just learning about that and it's really added space to my mixes.

Do you use surround panning? Does it help?

Is there any particular goal for you strive for prior to sending to master or just what sounds good to you? 

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Zap
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 07:37:05 PM »

What sound levels do you mix at? Normal listening or cranked or both? YES.

Do you check the mix at different levels?  DEFINITELY.AND CHECK THE MIX BY WALKING INTO THE NEXT ROOM.

Do you notice that the mix sounds slightly different after you've exported to MP3 even using hight bit rates? OF COURSE.

How much do you rely on panning.  I'm just learning about that and it's really added space to my mixes. IT'S AN ART UNTO ITSELF. JUST MAKE SURE THE MIX WORKS IN MONO. IT'S A GREAT WAY TO HEAR IF THINGS ARE OUT OF PHASE.

Do you use surround panning? Does it help?

Is there any particular goal for you strive for prior to sending to master or just what sounds good to you?  DON'T USE TO MUCH COMPRESSION. IT CANNOT BE REMOVED.


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Producer / Mixer

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NickT
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 08:00:11 PM »

What sound levels do you mix at? Normal listening or cranked or both?

I aim For 85db. It is comfortable and the right level for the Normal Equal-Loudness Level Contours (Flecher-Munson Curve). This is where the percieved eq and loudness start to come together.

Do you check the mix at different levels?

Yes! And as Zero states, I walk out of the room and listen.

Do you notice that the mix sounds slightly different after you've exported to MP3 even using hight bit rates?

Yes. My biggest nit is the phase distortion of the high end (Cymbals). An added feature is that it will smooth out a harsh mix! Smiley

How much do you rely on panning.  I'm just learning about that and it's really added space to my mixes.

Next to eq and compression, panning is very important in my mixes. Not only to create space , but to make room for things. Phase cancellation can be a problem..so check in mono as Zero again states. Also check your DAW panning laws. they are not all the same!

Do you use surround panning? Does it help?

I do not....yet!

Is there any particular goal for you strive for prior to sending to master or just what sounds good to you?

This is a sticky point. I will answer with this in mind. If you are mixing to a 24 bit file. leave plenty of headroom (I aim for -3 to -6db peak /  -18 RMS) for the master tech to eq. At 24 bit that should be plenty loud and clean. Do not compress the main or master buss. Compress your tracks and subs...but have the main at about -3 to -6 db Peak with no compression or limiting. You will get great results from the mastering engineer.

Hope that helps!

« Last Edit: May 13, 2006, 08:44:46 PM by NickT » Logged

 
Gerk
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 09:50:37 PM »

Mix Level: I second 85db.  It's pretty much the defacto standard.

For MP3 encoding that's one of the biggest issues with any of the lossy formats, they all give somehwere .. but also good to know is that not all encoders and/or presets are equal.  LAME has a ton of options, and I find that some of their presets (like studio) are a pretty good tradeoff for encoding time / filesize / sound quality.  If you want high fideilty you really need to use a non-lossy format.

Panning: There's another trick that someone taught me a while back to check the spacial properties of your mix.  Always check it in mono as suggested, but another neat thing to do is to flip one side of the stereo pair's phase and then check it in mono again.  Try this on some commercial music mixes as well.  It opened my eyes to the uses of phasing as well as panning as a tool quite a bit Wink  Be careful though, this can be a very slippery slope .. too much in the way of "phasing tricks" can be bad, while a little one here and there can really bring things out.  This is paricularly important when you're using any sort of mid/side micing techniques as well.  Being subtle is the key here.

Surround:  I've done a bit of surround but not a lot (and not on my rig, I'm not setup for it -- as nick said -- yet hehe).  If you're not going out to a surround medium for the final mix I don't think this would gain you much of anything in the end except headache.

The Master: As nick said about 24bit outputs for masters (you should ALWAYS USE THESE IF YOU CAN) ... but it is potentially different than you would approach with a 16bit outputs.  There's not an easy explanation for why, you have to read up on the differences between 16 and 24bit audio and that can get pretty convoluted depending on your sources!  Moral of the story, use 24 bits to output for master if at all possible.

Just my $0.02 Smiley

Mark
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luisma1972
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2006, 06:34:06 PM »

I second all the suggestions above, and I also make emphasis on phase. Phase is not only something to be aware of, but also a good tool, if used carefully. It does wonders widening the stereo image of a mix and can be used to create space for individual instruments. For instance, using a duplicate of an instrument track and sliding it a few ms (always check in mono). Multiband mastering processors use phasing in the upper freqs to widen the stereo image.


Just a few thoughts.

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Luis Manuel Aguilar
 
Symi Rock (ex Pleasuredome)
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2006, 08:34:40 PM »

Interesting stuff guys............eye-opening!!

Nick, please modify that blue text to yellow and save my rapidly deteriorating eyesight bro!!

It's going quickly enough by itself without the Mensa test of colour schemes! ha-ha!!!
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NickT
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2006, 08:45:38 PM »

Fixed...I did that before we went with the new color scheme!

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Symi Rock (ex Pleasuredome)
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2006, 09:13:58 PM »

Thanks Nick,

Speak to you soon bro.
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Bassic_Soul
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2006, 04:38:23 AM »

Ok, I use panning to get seperation of a stero mix, but I've never listened to it to check for phasing problems.

1st question: I don't know of a switch in n-track that changes a mix to mono, do I need to render the mix down into mono.

2cd question: If I have phase problems, what would it sound like? (I know someones gonna say "it'll sound out of phase". Is that the type of effect you get when you pump something through a phase shifter)?

Nick, have you ever checked any of my mixes for that problem or is it something you would even think of doing in the matering stage.

Good topic. Cool
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Preston
 
NickT
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2006, 04:38:15 PM »

Preston,

Panning in general will not create phasing problems. Most phasing problems will occur when you clone a track and time shift to create a stereo field.

The other  most likely problem is when mic'ing something with the microphones cancelling themselves out. I don't think you fall into either of those camps!

When mastering...I will check  mono just to make sure there isn't cancellation...but nothing I can really do at that point.

Nick
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Bassic_Soul
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 03:26:00 AM »

Ok Nick, cool.

Thanks for the explanation. Smiley
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Preston
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