Mixing & Mastering Tips - Making a song sound professional with basic equipment.

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by casperwhitworth, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. casperwhitworth

    casperwhitworth Active Member

    I am currently in the works of creating a video series helping guys like YOU out!

    I want to offer you my tips on how I make my songs sound professional, with minimalist equipment. No need for all this expensive EQ Equipment, just a decent guitar and FX pedal will do!

    check this out

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I applaud your willingness to help others...

    However, there are some things you are doing in the video that aren't necessarily correct.

    The first thing was your suggestion that to make recordings sound "professional", that the gear doesn't matter, and, well, it does matter.

    Secondly, you might want to research EQ. I think that if you do, you will quickly rethink and correct your suggestion that adding 3 to 4db of 63 Hz on the rhythm guitar track is advantageous...

    The third thing is your statement that "there are no rules". While experimentation is fun, and great things can result from liberal approaches to creation, when it comes to engineering, believe it or not, there actually are some rules, and if you are going to bend or break those rules intentionally, it's best to know what rules you are breaking and why you are breaking them...

    Fourth, if you are going to instruct people in audio, you may want to improve the audio on your instruction. The audio on the video you posted was muddy, lacking clarity.

    Fifth and finally, you may want to change the title and description of your video. You were mixing... not mastering.

    I'm not trying to tell you to not do your instructional video, knowledge is always a good thing, and imparting that knowledge to others is also good, and admirable... but you need to be sure that what you are instructing others to do is correct, and not misleading those who are new to the craft and who are looking to further their own knowledge and skills.

  3. casperwhitworth

    casperwhitworth Active Member

    wow.....wow!.....I was trying to help people who don't have a lot of knowledge and no money for expensive equipment to actually make a song sound pro without all that stuff, i'm self taught, and you want to slate everything i've done in the video? thanks a lot dude...all I was doing was trying to help people I didn't expect such a ****ish reply from someone who obviously has all the best equipment and could master songs for big artists...let me educate you a little of my background.

    i'm poor as hell
    I have minimalist equipment
    i'm self taught
    My views are generic - meaning I believe when it comes to mixing and mastering there's no right or wrong...which there isn't! if people want to set levels to stupid volumes, that's their idiotic approach of mastering, that doesn't fall under the right or wrong categories, that falls under neglect of self ambition.

    You said my voice recording was muddy, of course it was! where's my £300 condenser? I used a webcam combined with audio from hypercam 2 I recorded the video at the same time through my webcam and the screen recording programme, I did my best to make it sound half decent. If you have a better way of teaching people how to mix and master with cheap equipment then please, repost a video to this one, but don't reply just to bash my hard work to make yourself look better i'm helping beginners not pros!

    and about me not mastering, I beg to differ! Mixing a track is putting all the tracks in time mastering is EQ effects and limiters. So if you have an instructional video that's 10X better than mine then feel free to respond that's fine with me! I'm just a guy trying to make a living I have no money what so ever not a single penny to my name, so thanks for the pick-me-up (Y) thanks a lot!
  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    It was hard to listen to the video, lots of silibence . Try a de-esser.

    Don't take it personally, just keep refining your skills.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I wasn't "bashing" you. I didn't insult you personally, nowhere did I say anything even remotely personal or offensive. I was merely pointing out that there were some things you could have done better to improve your instructional video. Apparently, you just wanted everyone to jump in with a "Hey, that was awesome!" response.

    These may be your views, but it just ain't so. There are rules. And while the gear does matter, in this particular example it's not about the gear. It's about using what you have, and some of these processes are exactly the same regardless of whether you are using a $40 EQ plug or a $4000 outboard unit. For example... boosting 60 hz on an electric guitar track is pointless, and could actually harm the mix, because you are adding frequency that doesn't even exist in that particular instrument's bandwidth/frequency range. Adding this frequency or frequency range to an instrument such as you did can actually cause a lot of problems in the mix, including subsonic artifacts.

    You don't need a $600 dollar condenser to get good results. A $99 Shure dynamic mic would suffice just fine in this situation. You may have considered taking the outputs of your audio I/O on your PC and running them to the audio line input of your camera, along with your voice over. I was merely trying to point out that if you are giving instruction in audio mixing, it might benefit you to have decent audio on the video.

    The veterans here on this forum help beginners every single day with advice and suggestion. We don't get paid for it, we aren't compensated in any way, other than the satisfaction we get from teaching others, from helping others, from passing on our years of experience to those who are new to the craft. I don't need to "bash" you to make myself look better, because my goal isn't about "making myself look better". My goal is to help beginners get off on the right foot with helpful ACCURATE advice. Search out responses from people like audiokid, Kurt Foster, KMetal, Space, PC, Boswell, Mad Max, Bouldersound, myself, and many, many other industry professionals and veterans that frequent this forum, and you will find a truckload of helpful advice to beginners.

    I've obviously touched a nerve with you, so I won't comment again. Although my final advice would be for you to at least take into consideration my advice - along with the other veterans here - and stop being so personally offended by the comments or suggestions from those who have years of professional experience and who are merely suggesting ways in which your video might be better.

  6. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Here are just a few of the rules...

    NTSC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Radio Broadcast Rules in 47 CFR Part 73 * * * * Audio Division (FCC) USA
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Well, suggesting people double track guitars rather than copy/nudge/pan them is good.

    Changing the eq on the monitors will lead to less consistent mixes as you will tend to compensate in the mix for the different overall response. Your monitors should be: A) accurate and B) consistent.

    I agree there are no rules, but there are certain technical constraints. You can't have signal going to +10dBFS just because it's your creative preference. And there are standard methods that have been worked out by trial and error over the hundred or so years of sound recording. Knowing those standard methods thoroughly gives you a solid base from which to experiment. After all we are dealing with physics here, and physics is not subject to creative preferences.

    You've got the meaning of "mastering" wrong. Everything you do before producing a stereo file of the mix is mixing. Mastering is creating a master (tape, disc, file) from which a finished product is produced. For CD that means bin/cue files or DDP files, or a properly authored CD-R. Technically, mastering does not even have to involve any audio processing whatsoever, though audio finalizing of the stereo mix file is traditionally thought of as part of the mastering process.

    Did you use some filter on that video? It has sort of a Vampire Diaries look.

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