Mixing: Heavy Metal

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Gertok, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    What is the starting point to mix all this stuf?

    We are done with recording guitars and drums, only bass left(me). WOHO!
    Both guitarists doubled their guitar track with a different effect. So We have total of 4 guitar tracks. They sound really heavy, but little muddy, because there are 4 of them and they are not equed at all...

    So the questionis where to begin mixing process, and what are the main features for heavy metal as far as 3d instrument placement.
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    First record the bass. You can't really start mixing until everything is recorded, especially the bass.

    I generally start with the kick and bass so not having that recorded would stop me from the get-go.
  3. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    When mixing heavy metal I keep the light stuff off to the side for last. LOL
  4. I expected this thread to be about alchemy.

    Like Pr0gr4m said, the bass is critical in metal. It would be foolish to spend a great deal of time EQ'ing guitars until you've settled on a bass sound.

    Don't expect that you'll need the double'd guitars. Keep an open ear to the idea that a single track from each guitarist may be enough.

    I'd say typical, well-produced American metal positioning goes something like:

    Bass: center, up front
    Kick and snare: center, up front
    Toms and overheads: in a determinate manner 85% Left - 85% right, with tasteful amounts of room ambience or reverb
    Guitars: panned hard, up front

    Interestingly, it's with vocals that recordings may vary the most. Safe "metal" (i.e. Disturbed) will probably have vocals completely dry, double'd, and centered. But if fitting, feel free to add room ambience, pan stuff around, and just play with it, especially if the vocals are more ancillary to the meat of the song.
  5. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    I was not going to mix with out bass. I was just asking how to mix it later :cool:
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Make sure that when you do mix you get the bass and kick to complement each other - you don't want them to fight each other in the mix.
    Most heavy metal is in your face without a lot of verb - intro's and slow parts excluded.

    Take 'Aces High' by Iron Maiden, for example. It starts with a big verb on the snare, then when the song kicks in the only intentionally apparent fx are on the guitars (chorus / phaser) and the vox (verb / delay). The bass trots right along with the kick.

    The low end should be tight, the guitars smooth, the bass well defined.
    You should be able to make out each piece of the drum kit, each note on a distorted guitar, and be able to zero in on the bass without trying too hard.
    Good luck!
  7. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    Thank you Bent,

    I was listening to MoP and could not zero in on the bass though. I could hear uts compressed(or distorted) sound from time to time....
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Just push all the faders up full.

    Hello? Hello? What? You said what? Hello?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    Oh Remy.... Remy...

    Yeah everyone wants to be upfront :cool:

    BTW I just finished 10 broand band absorbers and put them in my controll room... Room sounds f-ing GRATE!
  10. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that there are a ton of guitars on those tracks, and Cliff played along the same lines as the rhythm gtrs - he was good at playing chords with distortion on his rig; take a listen to his solo "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)" on Kill 'Em All for a good dose of that.
    And don't bother listening to "And Justice..." because the bass on that is way down in the mix.
  11. Gertok

    Gertok Guest

    I can play Pulling teeth :cool: And yeah and justice is not a good reference for mixing, even though a good album. Well we will try our best :cool:
  12. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Right on!

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