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  • Are you good at mixing?

    I hate mixing, I suck at it.

    I just recently completed an album... as in real long album with lots of songs.

    I spent the last 2 weeks "mixing" the tracks.

    Today I put everything together and finally listened to all of them with a fresh ear.

    They ALL suck. They're horribly mixed. Things are all over the place. They sound like ****************.

    I have to start all over.

    Bummer.

    *sigh*

  • #2
    Yep been there done that. The second go around seems to be quite a bit better though.
    www.nerolstudio.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I hate mixing, I suck at it.

      I just recently completed an album... as in real long album with lots of songs.

      I spent the last 2 weeks "mixing" the tracks.

      Today I put everything together and finally listened to all of them with a fresh ear.

      They ALL suck. They're horribly mixed. Things are all over the place. They sound like ****************.

      I have to start all over.

      Bummer.

      *sigh*


      I feel your pain.
      Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Dj Facebook Tumblr

      Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

      -Coco Chanel

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      • #4
        If I can I try to mix as I record.

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        • #5
          Sympathies from me i find it realy frustrating ,recently i have started reading up on it and i can hear an improvement in some of my mixes even just letting the bass and kick reside alone in the 30htz to 250 htz region and not letting any of them go below 30 htz,and putting an high pass filter or shelf on most everything else from around 250 htz has drastically helped. check out this vid he gives some good advice, if you can understand his accent,



          and check out some of this http://www.audiorecording.me/how-to-mix-instrument-frequencies-for-best-sound.html
          Consternoon Aftable

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          • #6
            If I can I try to mix as I record.


            I know this works for a lot of people, but if I do this it ends up with a totally alien sounding record (as in each song doesn't sound like they belong together). Mixing is to creative for me to involve it in the technical side of recording.
            www.nerolstudio.com

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            • #7
              Mixing is a nessasary evil. I've litterally mixed at least 6000 or more recordings
              and its still just as big a ball buster now than it was when I first started many decades ago.
              In fact it was easier when I didn know jack and just thought it was my gear that was at fault.
              Surely some of it was the gear and some was knowlege. I think all those years working with cheap
              consumer gear and squeeking every ounce of audio quality out of it taught me plenty of tricks I still use today.

              Still mixing is not everyones bag. Anyone who thinks mixing is just a matter or tweaking knobs to get a pro sounding recording has very little experience
              To a musician its like handing a guitar to someone whose never played before. The one playing may think it sounds professional, but to anyone else
              its gonna sound like fingernails on a chalk board.

              You learn to appreciate the pro engineers more and more as you try to acquire the skills yourself.
              You learn you may get luckey in the beginning but you realise it does take years to learn the skills and use of tools
              to shape the sound. Then when you think you got something hot, someone will come along and blow your doors of with
              a great recording. You got to like doing it to learn and excel. If you dont, have it done.

              Comment


              • #8
                I love mixing, in fact, I love it more than the performance or the songwriting. Because the song is DONE. Whether I mix well or not, I like to think so, but perhaps for my purposes/intents. ( http://bryssis.bandcamp.com/track/eros I think the verse guitar clips though )
                Design http://www.jade-raven.com
                Music http://www.bryssis.com
                Biking http://wakethetread.blogspot.com
                Facebook (let me know who you are from HC!)

                "I have a man that I go to speak to and he's very wise and very old. And tells me, he says to me very quietly,
                "So David, are you finished suffering?" and I say "I'm not sure, what do you think?" and he says "you only
                suffer as long as you want to"." -Dave Gahan

                Comment


                • #9



                  and check out some of this http://www.audiorecording.me/how-to-mix-instrument-frequencies-for-best-sound.html


                  That was a great video. I only wish there were more like this.

                  Maybe I should go to college and take some sound engineering classes or something...

                  The problems with my music are the following:


                  In most songs I have too many tracks at once. I love layering. But the downside of it is that it always ends up in a acoustic mess. And then when I decide to take an instrument out I feel like the track is incomplete without it, so I put it back in. But I can't sort out the mess. I understand the idea of clashing frequencies, but none of the sounds really have just one specific narrow range. You can't take just leave 1030-1080Hz and cut everything else... The sounds WILL clash. Replacing sounds is NOT an option, sometimes I have to dig through 2000 sounds to find one that fits.

                  I have no idea how to EQ each particular sound. Right now I work mostly with Omnisphere and the damn thing has almost all its sounds designed with +20dB boost in the most unpleasant frequencies (500-800), 2000-5000. They're all extremely resonant/boomy and require at least twenty -20dB sharp notches to get rid of resonant frequencies. Just EQing out the part of the range simply destroys the sound, or brings out another ****************ty range... you take out this one too and... you're left with wimpy sound that has no character or presence. As a result, almost ALL Omnisphere pads are boomy. I do my best to EQ the **************** out of them, but I succeed only partially. I know its omnisphere poor sound design problem, because I used a lots of VSTis that have massive, rich beautiful pads that have very little mid-range boost and somehow work just fine without being boomy.

                  I know a real pro would make ANY sound sound ok. I just can't get anywhere close. For example I have some shaku-like sound. I heard tons of variations of this sound - in commercial records it always appears smooth, fluid, well balanced with plenty of mid range (not thin at all), but not a trace of hollow boom. I get the best, cleanest sample out there... and end up with sibilant, boomy mess or lifeless dull one. No EQ or reverb can make it that fluid and smooth. I just can't! I cut this and that, experiment with all frequencies, combinations of thereof, and I know what's wrong with the sound, but I don't know what to do about it

                  I don't use compression. I don't know how. When I try they make the sound weird, one way or another. I'd rather have a quiet recording that a messed up one.

                  I don't know how to program reverb. I agree with the guy in the video - Cubase stock reverbs are BY FAR the best I ever used. I tried all those $2000 Lexicons, and other fancy ****************, but in the end I found them to be worthless, and stick with Cubase ones. They're very musical. But again, I don't know how to program them right to get the best out of sound.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, I'm good at mixing... been making a living doing it for almost 30 years now
                    Keep the company of those who seek the truth, and run from those who have found it.

                    -- Vaclav Havel

                    The Universe is unimaginably vast. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.

                    -- Carl Sagan


                    Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.

                    -- Joseph Brodsky

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                    • #11
                      I have an actual Moog and done many recordings with it alone.
                      The best way to use them is to think of each part being a separate instrument that is EQed
                      to a separate frequency range. Then of course you have to have a musical arrangement.

                      You can get lost in the sounds using a synth, and if you go so far, with so many tracks
                      and ignore the fact that all those parts still need to be mixed, the outcome wont be pretty.
                      This is where you seem to be at.

                      We all love the fun of tracking, We all love the fun of listening.
                      When you mix you have to make hard decisions where you're going to use the
                      most important element in music which you havent been focusing on which is the silence between the notes.
                      Silence is the background of the photo, the white canvas someone paints on.
                      The white of the canvas is a key element to mixing your paints.
                      Red paint mixed with the white color of the canvas is what gives that red all its shades from pink to the deepest red.

                      When you layer your sounds like layers of paint you have to use those colors wisely of you apply layer after layer till
                      theres nothing but an ugly brown or gray. This is the problem you are having and you have to make hard decisions
                      on what elements in the music are excess, and what elements are essential. Noone can tell you what elements you need to
                      keep but you cant wow a listener if you have too many elements occuring at once. You can hear them because you're the artist,
                      or I should say half artist because you havent learned to use your sound effectively yet.

                      You need to use your silence between the notes effectively. It may need to be your #1 focus until your work is complete.
                      If anything distracts that concentration on the background silence of the music it needs to be dealth with.

                      I suggest you first make a copy of the project and work from it. Keep the oroginal in case you have to start over from scratch.

                      Next evaluate eqach and every track solo and the piece in its entirety.
                      Have a pad and pencil and keep your eye on the counter.
                      Draw the tracks like musical staff paper. If the song is a normal 5 minutes long, break up
                      each staff and add bars to the staff that represent minuites so you have 5 sections, then cut those in half so you have ten 1/2 minuite sections,
                      then continue to devide down you have 15 second intervals or less. That should be good enough for now.

                      Next you solo track one. Watch the clock and mark down the coolest, most notable part of the track, and mark the worst area.
                      You should leave the ho hum areas blank.

                      Do this for every track and mark the elements that have to be kept, and areas that suck.

                      Next get a yellow and red highlighter. Fill in the boxed on each track staff timeline. Mark the keeper areas as yellow,
                      and mark the suck parts as red.

                      Now go back and use your envelope tool and envelops the wave areas in red down to silence.
                      This is surgery and you may not know what the results will be, but you have to cut the cancer out and free up some silence.

                      When this first step is done, you may have to write some new tracks for the missing elements, but lets leave that aside for now.
                      Work with what you got using EQ. If a part has low notes, roll off the high frequency using a low pass filter. If a part has high
                      notes roll off the low frequencies using a high pass filter. If the notes are in between, roll the high and low frequencies off and leave
                      the middle frequencies. Keep it simple. If the notes are high, solo the track and roll the lows off till the part is just beginning to degrade
                      from the loss of lows then stop. If its a low part roll off the highs untill you start to get down to the root note and the sound starts to become
                      muted then stop.

                      How much you cut you need for each will depend on how many tracks you have.
                      If you have allot of tracks, you Have to trim more away. If you have less tracks you can leave more frequency band width.
                      Do this cutting first solo then when playing back as a full mix.
                      You need to realize, a solo part may sound suck assed by itself. Thats not important. What is important is how that part
                      sits in a mix and is heard in a mix. Like single notes in a song that creats a phrase, single parts in a mix create a soundscape.
                      Think of the separate tracks as colors. in the color spectrum a prisum shows you Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet.
                      Infared and ultraviolet cant be seen even though they are there.

                      In music you have Bass(Red) Upper bass(Orange) Lower mids(Yellow), Upper mids(Green) Highs(Blue) and upper highs(Violet).
                      Sub Bass (infaread) can only be felt, not heard and Ultra Highs(Ultraviolet) can only be heard by Dogs.
                      Both can be reproduced by a sound card and eat up Power in the converters, plugins etc. You should be eliminate them to free up the
                      CPU from wasting its time and processing power Reproducing things that cant possibly be heard.


                      Next, Before you EQ, go back to your staff paper, and color the tracks with a highlighter that match the color spectrum.
                      This will be a target for your EQing. If you have really low notes, target them as Red and remove the other frequencies in the color
                      spectrum from Violet down to maybe orange or yellow. Dont lop all but the red because notes have overtones and can sound unnatureal
                      if you lop too much off. If you have middle notes, remove the reds and Violets. Reds being frequencies below say, 250hz and violets above 10K.
                      if it still sounds too wide, remove the orange and blues. Midrange will wind up being in the 1K to 5K hz range of Yellow or Green. Remove the colors below
                      and leave a little color above for overtones.

                      Thats an example of what it takes to mix. You have to listen with a critical ear, Make a plan on what you hear, implement the plan wisely a little at a time,
                      then listen to the results, preferibly a day or two later when you have fresh ears. Big thing is you listen as a casual listener does hearing others music and
                      not as an artist performer listenening for every note and mistake you ever made. Listen for the silence between the notes, if you looss concentration
                      on the silence, you have too much going on and need to perform more surgery to limit the destraction, even if it requires removing something you
                      though was essential and wanted to keep. Keep in mind most listeners are only capible of hearing one or two parts at once max. That might be the melody
                      or the words. The rest to them is backwash that hits them subconciously. Use the Rests/silence in music wisely. Drop parts out and in using envelopes or
                      volume automation and leave the parts playing you want highly soloed.

                      Thats about it for now. When you get to that point, you can start thinking about using other creative tools. You may have a break where you want a part to trail
                      into the distance with reverb or echo. Do that kins of stuff, "After" you get the rest of the cluster under control. Surely write those ideas down on
                      your score sheet as they pop up.

                      Audio score sheets do have to be used. You'll often find engineers of old kept those track sheets, with every setting written down like notes in an orchestration.
                      Every pot setting, effects setting, edit, solo timing etc was weitten down in the engineers hand writing so he had a record of how the song was mixed.
                      He could reuse the basic setup again for another song to get his signature sound, He could study it to make improvements on the current mix or the next mix,
                      plus its a historic document for the work. Maybe 20 years later they want to do a remix. The basic setup is there.

                      Those are just some ways of "Getting There" You'll find you develop your own methods over time, but
                      learning others methods as building blocks can save you decades of time over having to rediscover these things
                      on your own.
                      you want to be highlighted

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                      • #12
                        I'll add this Quote I found some place.
                        I printed it up and keep it on the wall in my studio.
                        You may want to do the same and keep it as a reminder.

                        As Sun Ra Once Said, "Space Is The Place
                        The Less Music you play the more Weight each note has
                        Less notes Creates more Spaciousness for a Bigger overall sound
                        and what is left to be heard is remembered".

                        You'll find this to be true in just about everything important communicated.
                        Every great work from the Gettysburg address to your greatest works of poetry
                        use the least amount of words (or notes) to convey the purest thought or emotion.

                        If you are having to use 50 tracks to say something that can be said with 5, you
                        wont be heard through all the other conversation going on. It will simply be noise
                        to the casual listeners ears. Saying things using complex methods takes great arrangements
                        and composition, not babbeling all over the place. Even a complax orchestration,
                        has a main theme that may move from intrument section to section.

                        A flute may start a melody, the melody moves to the woodwinds and the flute moves to a harmony or echo of the melody.
                        Or it may not play at all for awhile. It shared its stardom of being the front guy with all the other instrments to make the
                        orchestra look great as a whole. This gives the listener a deeper appreciation of all the parts being played by expanding their
                        appreciation of all the players. Go to any great concert and you'll see how the individual players are soloed. This brings attention
                        to the single elements that comprise the whole, and when the next sound is played, the listner will be absorbing all the music
                        and not just a single player.

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                        • #13
                          I hate mixing, I suck at it.

                          I just recently completed an album... as in real long album with lots of songs.

                          I spent the last 2 weeks "mixing" the tracks.

                          Today I put everything together and finally listened to all of them with a fresh ear.

                          They ALL suck. They're horribly mixed. Things are all over the place. They sound like ****************.

                          I have to start all over.

                          Bummer.

                          *sigh*


                          I've spent my entire life doing just that

                          Have you heard of Bob Katz's K-System method of monitor calibration? I recently calibrated my monitor system in this way and have been getting much better mixes since doing it. The first thing I noticed is that I tend to spend less time reaching for plugins to fix this that and the other, and more time simply mixing. You can start to trust your ears when you know that the overall level is just right for any playback situation.

                          Also, I tend now to mix until it's done and say 'that's done, that's what it sounds like'. Even when returning with fresh ears a day, or a week, later, it's still a case of 'well that's what that track sounds like, next track please!'.

                          Mix at K-20, and master at K-14 or K-12. It's a very simple method that puts your ears and monitor system 'in the zone'.

                          Katz recommends calibrating to 83dBSPL at the listening position but in a small to medium sized mixing room, 79-80dBSPL is just fine. 83dBSPL is far too loud for music mixing sessions longer than an hour at a time - you'll get ear fatigue really quickly.
                          flip the phase

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                          • #14
                            Reminds me, I did an interview with Katz years ago, might have some insights http://beyondthenotes.blogspot.com/search/label/Bob%20Katz%20%2F%20Mastering%20engineer
                            Design http://www.jade-raven.com
                            Music http://www.bryssis.com
                            Biking http://wakethetread.blogspot.com
                            Facebook (let me know who you are from HC!)

                            "I have a man that I go to speak to and he's very wise and very old. And tells me, he says to me very quietly,
                            "So David, are you finished suffering?" and I say "I'm not sure, what do you think?" and he says "you only
                            suffer as long as you want to"." -Dave Gahan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Trusting your instincts I think takes time to learn ... from experience and repetition.
                              Like learning to play the guitar very good and proficiently, ...it doesn't come over night or just in a couple years.. just lots of doing it over and over and learning from your F up's.
                              Having a good sound system and a good listening environment is half the battle.
                              High Quality Affordable Online Mastering
                              www.waltzmastering.com
                              www.waltzmastering@gmail.com

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