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Best way for final mix to stereo.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bigdaddybluesman, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Being new at recording I know some of you are going to laugh. Just don't hurt yourself laughing please.... :lol:

    I am just finishing my bedroom studio and will start to record within a few days, if I'm feeling better since I am a little under the weather so to speak.

    To do a mix down into stereo, there seems a lot of ways to do it and no set standard from what I have heard over the years.

    Everything from really cool effects on Hendrix, Zep and a lot of those spacey albums from the 70's to just plain almost everything center but with different EQ on each side, it must have been a mono recording made to sound stereo.

    So what is the best way to do it?

    VOX centered, snare center, major lead break centered, little fills on one side or the other? Bass on same side as kick with cymbals and more of a highend in a rhythm guitar on the other?

    I have even heard a mix of different techniques, like using a centered lead guitar but with the highs and lows with mid scoop on one side and all the mids on the other. Like I said they used to do that with mono recordings to make them seem like stereo.

    So what is the industry standard now if there is one, or what is the prefered way for professionals to do this?

    Any help is appreicated, thank you guys.
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Here's the standard mix I do:

    Starting with drums (mixed audience perspective, for drummer's perspective, pan opposite direction).

    Kick - Center
    Snare - 10% Right
    Hat - 20% Right
    Tom 1 - 50% Right
    Tom 2 - Middle
    Tom 3 (Floor) 50% Left
    OHL - Hard Left
    OHR - Hard Right
    Bass - Center
    Rhythm Gtr 1 - 50 to 100% Left
    Rhy Gtr 2 - Same as above, opposit direction.
    Lead - A few notches left or right.
    Vox - Center
  3. That sounds like a great starting point...thanks!!!

    In other words make it sound as though you are in front of the band that's on stage. Good concept, especially for my music.

    What about EQ on each side, should they be different? It seems that's what I have heard, even though it done as you say one side seems mid scooped and the other high and low end attenuated.
  4. brentalous

    brentalous Active Member

    Nov 19, 2007

    Just out of curiousity... if you were using an electro set.. can you still edit certain toms and snare separately? Isn't it just one output from the brain??

    P.S. I didn't think it was too off topic, but the EQ post above made me wonder.. :)
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    hi bigdaddybluesman! I have for about the past 24 years, after I began working in television, I began mixing more as how they appeared onscreen. You have to for television stereo since if you were to mix drums from the drummer's perspective, it would all be backwards from the audience perspective. So, nearly identical to what bent is describing. I know a lot of us used to mix from the drummer's perspective years ago to literally put you into the band whilst listening.

    But one of the things I frequently do is start pushing my drum mix up in mono. I'll get a nice sound and balance first in mono and then begin the stereo spreading process. From that point, I'll then add my dynamics processing, EQ then followed by whatever kinds of reverb/ambience to place the drum sound into an "artificial room", digitally created/faked, if the actual room offers no acoustic benefit.

    I'll then start pushing up the bass guitar and then start adding my fun 4 button mash on the 1176. Once I have the bass guitar rocking with the drums, it's time to tackle the lead vocal. More compression and EQ if EQ is desired. I'll then push up the rest of the rhythm section of guitars both lead and rhythm, keyboards and any other ancillary percussion. From this point, you will have a better feel for what's going on with the mix. Then to start making things sit properly, you may have to start tweaking some EQ and/or more dynamics processing.

    If you are having problems with certain raucous instruments blaring out, it's time to start reaching for those limiters/limiter plug-ins. This can also pertain to the lead vocal.

    When all is said and done, you should have a product with plenty of big round punch and smack with a crystal-clear vocal that rides front and center, in your face.

    The rest is just the nuance changes and enhancements you feel might further engage the listener with additional delays and ambient effects to create an acoustic space and performance on many of the other instruments. Keep tweaking things until you begin to jump up and down and screaming at the top of your lungs " THIS SOUNDS GREAT! DAMN THIS SOUNDS GREAT!"

    This means tonight is kind of special. The beer you pour must say something more. Let it be Lowenbrau.
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    By the way, did you get those pictures I sent you?
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    If you are taking the stereo outs into two tracks, the answer is... kinda...(very, very tedious work).

    If the drum brain has separate outputs (most that I've seen do) then you want to take as many separate tracks as possible - some may have to be submixed (i.e., all cymbals mixed and panned to outputs 7 and 8, all toms to 5 & 6)...
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    I imagine that would feel pretty lopsided.

    No, I mean, as Remy said, starting with the overheads (the drums are the glue that binds) I try to make them sound as even as possible via gain and eq, and try to create the backbone for the song with them before I ever unmute the other 'dedicated instrument' tracks. If the overheads sound great, then those other tracks become the little extras - an extra punch in the mix, ya know?
  8. Yes I did, I sent you an email Remy, never heard back. That's OK, I figured you are a busy person. I just sit around all day taking pain killers..:roll: believe me, this is a day I need them.

    I do not have real drums, I have a Roland hand pad(the expensive one) and Yamaha DD-55. I have experimented with them through speakers and have been able to get close to real drum sounds. It's amazing what EQ and compression can do......I also have an Apex 204 I'm going to try and get those fake drums as real as possible. So I will be doing it one track at a time and a lot of experimenting.

    My neighbors thought I had real drums..he he he....they all know me and don't complain when I turn it up, they actually like it, even the old ladies.

    That means figuring out all the drum beats part by part and just doing one or two tracks at a time. I don't really want virtuoso drums, my music doesn't warrant it. Just solid roots basic blues/rock drumming. No Bonham, just plain old solid time keeping with some basic fills and interesting beats. It's were you put it not what you play.

    In fact everything but the vocals will be direct.

    The first stuff will probably be lead guitar, bass, rhythm and maybe a slide guitar or Steve Cropper type rhythm which is a little different than your basic Chuck Berry, Keith Richards stuff.

    I have to find a place that host recordings so that you can all tell me how much I suck.... :lol:
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Soundclick, quick and easy registration.
    Easy to upload your tracks!

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