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Offline mickbrit55

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Yep. Good stuff.  :)  I'm already looking through it. It seems no matter how much I think I know I still know very little.  :P  I find these sites quite useful.

Same here Dave. I read a lot of stuff on mixing every week too and I still feel like a beginner :)

Mick.
Very funny Spok ... now beam down my trousers.
SoundClick : http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=816080


Offline Studioplayer

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I thinks that's half the fun Mick. Always learning whether it's playing an instrument or doing the mixing. A constant learning curve.  :)

Started watching '5 Minutes To A Better Mix' http://therecordingrevolution.com/5minutes    That's got some cool stuff so far.  8)  Visual helps me a lot. I'm really thinking I need to move to Pro Tools. I wish I had a better setup now.




Offline mickbrit55

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I thinks that's half the fun Mick. Always learning whether it's playing an instrument or doing the mixing. A constant learning curve.  :)

Started watching '5 Minutes To A Better Mix' http://therecordingrevolution.com/5minutes    That's got some cool stuff so far.  8)  Visual helps me a lot. I'm really thinking I need to move to Pro Tools. I wish I had a better setup now.


Yes, every one of those 31 vids is a gem, lotta good info. Pro Tools? You may want to look at other options before you go shelling out that kind of cash, Dave. What are you using now?

Mick.
Very funny Spok ... now beam down my trousers.
SoundClick : http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=816080


Offline Studioplayer

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Acid Pro & Sonar 7. I tend to fall to Acid Pro because I'm familar with it and use it for most of my recording. Sonar is better for mixing. I have a really good soundcard which makes all the difference in the world.


Offline mickbrit55

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Acid Pro & Sonar 7. I tend to fall to Acid Pro because I'm familar with it and use it for most of my recording. Sonar is better for mixing. I have a really good soundcard which makes all the difference in the world.

I use Sonar Producer 8.5 and I was looking for an upgrade price for you. Seems Cakewalk isn't even selling it any more. I can't advise the Sonar X1 because I haven't heard anything good about it, although they just released the X1c which is probably a bug fix for everything they got wrong. Glad you have a good card though, that's half the battle right there :)

Mick.
Very funny Spok ... now beam down my trousers.
SoundClick : http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=816080


Offline CosmicDolphin

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I do find it useful to see how others do the job, but there is no silver bullet. EVERY mix is different, and there is no recipe that can be applied to the same instrument in different songs. Trust your ears and make sure you have a room with good acoustics. And NEVER reduce or boost frequencies unless you HAVE to! Your ears will tell you when that's the case. Don't do it just because you saw somebody else do it.


+1

I was about to post something similar but you already said it all Steffen

CD
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Offline mickbrit55

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I do find it useful to see how others do the job, but there is no silver bullet. EVERY mix is different, and there is no recipe that can be applied to the same instrument in different songs. Trust your ears and make sure you have a room with good acoustics. And NEVER reduce or boost frequencies unless you HAVE to! Your ears will tell you when that's the case. Don't do it just because you saw somebody else do it.


+1

I was about to post something similar but you already said it all Steffen

CD

If we never did something because we saw someone else do it, how would us beginners learn anything? Cutting out inaudible frequencies at the top and bottom end doesnt effect the sound at all, but it does free up some headroom on the master bus.

Mick.
Very funny Spok ... now beam down my trousers.
SoundClick : http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=816080


Offline CosmicDolphin

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I do find it useful to see how others do the job, but there is no silver bullet. EVERY mix is different, and there is no recipe that can be applied to the same instrument in different songs. Trust your ears and make sure you have a room with good acoustics. And NEVER reduce or boost frequencies unless you HAVE to! Your ears will tell you when that's the case. Don't do it just because you saw somebody else do it.


+1

I was about to post something similar but you already said it all Steffen

CD

If we never did something because we saw someone else do it, how would us beginners learn anything? Cutting out inaudible frequencies at the top and bottom end doesnt effect the sound at all, but it does free up some headroom on the master bus.

Mick.

Just saying never automatically 'do' anything just because you saw it in a video / article.  Everything affects everything else, and it's all very much dependant on the material you're working with.

The only thing I would 'always' do to improve your mixes is get the best monitors you can and then spend at least as much on acoustic treatment. All the other tips are irrelevant if your mixing enviroment doesn't translate well elsewhere. 

CD
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Offline mickbrit55

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Just saying never automatically 'do' anything just because you saw it in a video / article.  Everything affects everything else, and it's all very much dependant on the material you're working with.

The only thing I would 'always' do to improve your mixes is get the best monitors you can and then spend at least as much on acoustic treatment. All the other tips are irrelevant if your mixing enviroment doesn't translate well elsewhere. 

CD

I completely disagree. "Do" everything you see in a video ... "do" everything you read in an article. That's the only way you will learn if it works or if it doesn't. It's not some kind of mystical power that is bestowed on a chosen few, it's a craft that can be taught and learned. Most of the things we learn are taught to us, like from people that produce videos and articles, and then by trial and error on our own account. Really isn't difficult stuff, it's the ususal human process.

Mick.
Very funny Spok ... now beam down my trousers.
SoundClick : http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=816080


Offline Benny

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There are no magic solutions, but I agree with Mick about trying these tips out and seeing what they do to the sound. Learning more possibilities to pull out of our bag of tricks when needed. 8)


Offline CosmicDolphin

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Just saying never automatically 'do' anything just because you saw it in a video / article.  Everything affects everything else, and it's all very much dependant on the material you're working with.

The only thing I would 'always' do to improve your mixes is get the best monitors you can and then spend at least as much on acoustic treatment. All the other tips are irrelevant if your mixing enviroment doesn't translate well elsewhere. 

CD

I completely disagree. "Do" everything you see in a video ... "do" everything you read in an article. That's the only way you will learn if it works or if it doesn't. It's not some kind of mystical power that is bestowed on a chosen few, it's a craft that can be taught and learned. Most of the things we learn are taught to us, like from people that produce videos and articles, and then by trial and error on our own account. Really isn't difficult stuff, it's the ususal human process.

Mick.

I defend your right to disagree  8)  .....and of course you are right that any skill can be learned up to a point and natural aptitude will place people at different places along the learning curve..but ( you knew there was a but coming right ? )....my point was not that these skills are unlearnable or magical. Just that many of the people attempting these advanced techniques are being misinformed by the acoustics of their mix enviroment, so no matter how many of these things they try it'll only sound any better in their own studio and nowhere else.

There's a good article in this Month's Sound on Sound  'Top Ten Mixing mistakes and how to avoid them' .....if you don't get the magazine these are the 10 below.  They were culled from years of listening to demos and their Mix Rescue column and also the 100 mixes of the same song the poor guy ( Mike Senior ) had to plough through and give feedback on to judge a competion on Mixoff.org ( Vincent , Argle & Myself all entered )

At least 3 of these are mainly down to the untreated room not telling you the truth ( 2,4,7 maybe 10  & 6 too) 

Three of them are not really down to the mixer ( 1,5, 9 )

1: Dodgy Timing/Tuning   
 
2: Mix Tonality Misjudgements
 
3: Phase Misalignment
 
4: Mix Mud
 
5: Unhelpful Arrangement
 
6: The Wrong Reverb
 
7: Harshness
 
8: Buried Details
 
9: Weak Payoffs
 
10: Inappropriate Processing on The Mix Buss

So I guess I'm saying Mick is right, nothing mystical about it but trying to do all the things the Pro's do before all the other stuff has been addressed probably won't lead to better mixes.

I'll get off my soapbox now  ;D

CD
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Offline stoman

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Mark, did you remove the links you posted today? I saw them at work, but they seem to have disappeared.

@Mick:
What I meant to say (and I think Mark's intention was the same) is: Don't do things just because someone told you it has to be done that way. Try and decide for yourself what works and what doesn't.

Low cuts, for example, are something very dangerous IMO. If you overdo them, you will end up with a sterile, cold/artificial sounding mix. Low cuts are a bad habit anyway. If you have to get rid of some of the low end, better use a shelving filter. If you use low cuts the corner frequencies will pile up.

Low cuts will also remove the lower frequency harmonics that are an essential part of the natural sound of a specific instrument.

Another bad habit IMO is master bus compression. It may certainly work well for some music styles, but it is not a splendid idea in general. Again: Try things, but trust your ears!

LCR panning is another poor practice (again IMO, of course). I listened to a couple of songs at work today, and some of them were mixed that way. They sound really strange and unpleasant on head phones. I would not recommend doing that at all. Your mileage may vary.

Videos and recommendations (like mine too, of course) are good to extend your view, but we must never forget that there are no rules that cannot be broken. What sounds good is good. And different people have different ideas of what sounds good and what doesn't.

The big guys don't all agree to each other either. And for a good reason.

Regards,
  Steffen

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Offline CosmicDolphin

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Mark, did you remove the links you posted today? I saw them at work, but they seem to have disappeared.


They were only up for a few minutes because they didn't seem to work and I had to get back to work !

CD
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


Vincent

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I found a recipe that works for me (for now)...I can get my mixes sounding pretty similar to one another.

Highpass and lowpass instruments...vocals will sit in mix better once thats done...everything sounds cleaner with less mud.

Boost or cut freqs if needed

Only have 4 to 5 elements (maybe 6) playing in a song at one time...To many elements can make mix muddy. (most important tip)

I use compression and effects like outboard gear...I send receive to it.

I get creative with echo's to create depth and to have something interesting that will catch the ear...also use chorus,flanger and phaser as well to make mix interesting to listen to...Its nice to have a nice clean and clear mix however if it doesnt have anything ear catching its a bit boring for me.

Bass guitar is a big part of my mixes...Bass in general is what should fill in the bottom end... (another reason to highpass other instruments)

Drums are always a work in progress...I would say drums,bass and vocals are the toughest part of mixing.



Offline CosmicDolphin

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Bass guitar is a big part of my mixes...Bass in general is what should fill in the bottom end... (another reason to highpass other instruments)

Your mix got referenced in the article a couple of times Vincent  8)  Yours is mix number 23 in Mike's website. Mine is 38 and get mentioned near the end, I couldn't find a reference to Argle's though. I think most of them get a mention at some point !



2. Mix tonality Misjudgments

" Example Mixes: There is a huge tonal range to the competition mixes, despite the band having provided a detailed list of commercial reference productions. Compare the HF crispiness of mix 43 with the stifled highs of mixes 35 or 58, for example, or line up the powerful low end of mix 32 with the slimline low frequencies in mixes 23 and 29. Mixes such as 19 and 43 have over-prominent mid-range, while others, such as 12 and 48, are recessed in that region. All that said, it's worth pointing out that even the mixes that feel most successful to me in this respect (mixes 04, 20, 31, 61 and 63, for instance) there is still a good degree of tonal variation -- every mix doesn't have to sound exactly the same to tick this particular box, and there's certainly some room for personal preference. "

6. The wrong Reverb

" Example Mixes: Mixes 17, 23 and 27 all have long reverb treatments that are rather too prominent in the balance, presumably in an attempt to gel the instruments and vocals together -- a task that's usually more successful carried out with shorter, ambience‑style patches. (The reverb tails are also quite bright in these three mixes, which only reinforces the sense that the effects are being artificially generated.) Mix 16, on the other hand, has the opposite problem, in that it's using too much short reverb to try to enhance instrument sustain and to create the illusion of a larger space. Here, a few longer delays or reverbs would have been more effective, allowing the blending treatment to assume a more natural‑sounding background role. Mixes 06, 10 and 23 also use too much reverb for me, and I think that stronger use of compression would have been a better alternative, not least in fattening the drums and keeping the mix as a whole clearer and more upfront."

9. Weak Payoffs

"Example Mixes: Managing the long‑term dynamics of this particular mix was probably the greatest challenge presented by the competition multitracks, the crux of the matter being that the middle section, with its strident additional guitar overdubs, tended to make the onset of the subsequent final chorus feel like something of a letdown -- as in mixes 21 and 64, for instance. Increasing the chorus vocal levels is the tactic taken by mixes 17 and 28, but this isn't actually that successful, as it makes the band sound rather small by comparison with the singer. Mixes 22 and 33 thicken the chorus texture using additional distortion and widening effects respectively, but fall slightly foul of harshness and mono incompatibility into the bargain. More successful, to my ears, are mixes such as 38 and 46, which seemed to deliberately restrain the middle‑section's guitars (so that the chorus can still trump them in some way) or those which surreptitiously inflate the final chorus with extra textural layers -- mixes 03, 07, or 20, for instance. There is also some excellent lateral‑thinking from mixes 20 (in its second version), 27, and 58, all of which use edited‑together arrangement drops as a means of partially side‑stepping the whole issue."
We never finish a mix... we simply abandon them.
You can't polish a turd, but you can always spray paint it GOLD
Great songs are not written, they are re-witten


 

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