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making a mix big... not loud

Discussion in 'Recording' started by cakewalkr7, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. cakewalkr7

    cakewalkr7 Guest

    I'm working on my own project right now and I have one song almost done. But when I compare it to a reference CD, the reference CD song just seems much bigger. I panned my rhythm guitars hard right and left and tried to create stereo seperation, bass and lead down the middle and drums panned somewhat wide. Even doing that doesn't seem to make it sound much wider. I'm not so worried about the loudness of the song, I just want mine to have more of a real big stereo sound. And I don't want to resort to stereoizer type plugins because I don't want to introduce weird phase problems. What can I do? Thanks!
  2. vladlv

    vladlv Guest

    Cacewolk 8

    Sorry it seems you have recorded Crap:)
    it si not possible to make bigger.

    It is because of mentioned Phaze Problems fofr Example:)))

    What makes Sound not that Biig and Fat:

    Limitation Of Bandwidth
    Spectrum anomalies
    Phaze Cancelation
    Nonlinear Distortion (All Kind of Noises)
    Wide Dynamic Range

    Changes are inreverseble
    So, It is not Possible to make it bigger(except Dynamic Range), so just relax:)
  3. cakewalkr7

    cakewalkr7 Guest

    Thanks for that. No, I have not recorded crap. I've spent a ton of time with mic placement and so forth to insure that I'm getting the tones and such that I'm after. The sounds are fine... it's just getting it to jump out and sound more live than it currently does that I'm having a problem with. It has more of a centered focused sound right now.
  4. aaronlyon

    aaronlyon Guest

    Consider reverb. A quality reverb, carefully applied, will really open up a musical space and improve the perceived stereo image.

  5. cakewalkr7

    cakewalkr7 Guest

    Okay, that's the hard part. I have Samplitude 8.2 and it comes with the room sim and tons of decent IRs. But I have a hard time finding the right reverb for the right instrument many times. I mean, don't you normally want a plate type reverb for a snare? Well I look for that and it just doesn't quite sound right. When I try to add reverb (eventually some amount to most tracks), it starts to muddy things up a bit. So, I've always tried to stay as minimalistic toward my effects approach as possible and try to capture most of the sound at the source. However, I do realize that you need to use the predelay in reverb to position things farther back or closer.... I've just never gotten great results with it. I guess I'll just keep trying. I'll work on it tonight and try to post some clips tomorrow of my piece and the reference piece. Thanks!

    BTW, what would you consider a quality reverb? Like I said I've got the room sim in samp, but like any other room sim, it's a resource hog. So, a purely software plugin would be good... I just don't want to spend a ton.
  6. Nothing is normal in recording. I usually use just a touch of a room reverb for snares, or if I am doing a ballad I might run it through my Accutronics spring reverb. I mostly use plates on vocals, but every now and then I like a hall. And 99% of the time I apply a small amount of plate to everything just enough to lock it all back together.

    And another thing about plate a reverb: NOTHING compares to the real thing. I use a homebuilt plate unit and I own various spring reverb "pulls" from older guitar amps. I want to see you make a digital "spring" reverb bottom out or a digital "plate" reverb warp, hehe.... There's really no good halls around here; the best we have is a couple of 200-300 seater churches.
  7. CaptainMark

    CaptainMark Guest

    Are your rhythm guitars "doubled" and panned hard right and left? If so, you may be suffering from "Big Mono Syndrome": you have a lot in the middle, and the other stuff is doubled right and left.

    The cure to this is to experiment with some more radical panning, try stuff like muting one side of the rhythm guitar in the verses. Try putting the solo guitar a bit to one side. Try getting everything out of the middle apart from kick drum and lead vocal. Take some of the reverb/delay returns in mono (!) and pan them off centre. That should open things up a bit.

    On the subject of reverb, some nice subtle impulse responses at noisevault.com can give some life without sounding too reverby. I recommend a Lex960 plate called, errrrr, "A Plate" rather sweet on vocals, and a Quantec preset "Tight Snare" nice on, errrr, snare.

    Also, consider the dynamics of your arrangement, try muting some stuff, if only for a few bars, bass, guitar, anything. Just try, it may hurt to lose some of the stuff that is so important live, but the occaisonal mute can really bring some life back.

    Another trick, try taking some part, guitar, vocals, anything really, and either compress it like mad or distort it, then take the volume down and pan it somewhere. It'll still cut through because of the treatment you gave it, and will open up the stereo image.

    Finally, sometimes it's better not to pan hard right and left. Bring stuff in from the edges, it might sound more "natural". Or vary it with the arrangement - eg pan rhythm guitars "10 to 2" in the verse and "quarter to 3" in the chorus or vice versa.

    I hope this has been of some inspiration at least.

    My compliments,

  8. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    think of the mix not as left right and center, but it also has a forward and back dimension. You can use like a medium room reverb and put it heavy on one guitar, and it won't get washed out, it'll just put it behind other stuff in the mix. Think of the mix as a stage. Things are heard left to right as well as front to back. Drums are kinda square in the middle.....guitars are about even with the drums but to the side. Bass is kind sitting on the kick drum, lead vocals are to the front and too the middle, keys are on the side midway back, percussion is to another side and maybe all the way back. Envision how you want the mix to sound, and where you want the different parts, and then use panning, reverbs, delays, etc. to make it the way you envision it.

  9. vladlv

    vladlv Guest

    Ok now I will give you advice which really will help:)

    Never return Reverb in Mono.

    Use Haas effect on Vocals.
    Use Lexicon:)
    Use Layered Reverb, listen just reverb returns and make them live together with EQ.

    USE PREDELAY on Reverb!!!! as big as POssible!!!!!!!!!!

    and turn off Early reflections, on Farest Reverb layer.

    Use gate on drums, before sending to reverb.

    Thats all folks:)))
  10. gootnBFF420

    gootnBFF420 Guest

    about making something BIG

    cakewalkr7, here's the deal. Whoever it was that sayed you recorded crap, don't listen to them. I had to struggle with this problem for years but someone in about a 1-2 minute time period changed my whole perspective. Duplicate all of your tracks about 4 or 5 times, make sure that after you duplicate dump each one as a mixdown or as some kind of send on a stereo or mono bus. Then EQ each track, add reverb, compression, whatever you need(don't forget to normalize if need be) and then send each track through a Sonic Maximizer. Another thing that is going to make a REALLY REALLY BIG difference, get a digi002 if you can afford it and a mac. Trust me on this one because the sound quality will make your jaw drop. I used to use cakewalk myself, but with pro tools you can't go wrong. I am sure you have heard that a million times at least, just trust me, I love mine and I won't go back because i used to use cakewalk myself. Anyway, that is about all I have for what it is worth.....no offense to cakewalk, it is still a good program but Pro tools is so much easier to work with.
  11. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    ggoten must be a friend of walters to say such silly things

    you can get depth from reverb if your mix bus has the space but most mix buses don't have the sapce. analog mix buses have way more space by you need converters that will give you great space in your mix then the reverb can come throught
  12. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Hi , my two cents.

    you said when applying reverbs, it started getting muddy....

    did you calculate porper reverb times based on tempo? i tried to find the formula, i'm sure someone can chime in,

    i did find this link on " ambience"

    hope it helps you solve some issues

  13. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Actually, the formula is in this artical

  14. freaky

    freaky Guest

    That was a great article, SI. Thanks for the link!


    just a thoguht, i was listening to dr. hook (cover of the rolling stone) and i love how they have the panning on it

    it sounds huge to me

    for example:

    the song starts and there is hard pannin of the vocals left and right(2 diff vocals)

    and then when the chorus starts, they seem to be just above the main vocals...

    i guess i "see" the song with my ears kind of like a protractor...

    like the first vocals are at 0 and 180 degrees, then the chorus comes in at 40 and 140 degrees, and i think there is another main vocal right at 90 degrees

    i dunno, it just sounds awesome
  16. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    moving parts around, can/will help. you should also try to apply your effects differently to the doubled parts. Accent your mids on the left guitar part, bring the lows up to the front on the right. bury a sustained(pad-like) guitar part, stuff like that.
  17. perfectwave

    perfectwave Guest

    analog summing seems to help out when it comes to depth in a recording. I analog sum everything including my efx buses, in doing this, it seems I have more control to portray my vision of depth on the audio canvas. Im all for analog summing. night and day difference IMO.

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