Mixing Tips

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by BlackTalon, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    ok, I basically halted where I was at mix wise cause I didn't really know what the hell I was doing :) ..I went to a whole load of sites and read all kinds of tutorials on mixing and eqing, these are just a few things I can remember offhand. It'd be great if you guys could give your input on these and offer some of your own tips, rules of thumb, or tricks.


    - When eqing always subtract rather than boost the levels.

    - There is no right way to eq. or secret forumula.

    - Kick and Bass always stay's in the middle and is never panned ( how come one of my favorite songs has the kicks and snares panned to left and right and a big fat bass in the middle :)

    - Use reverb to place things closer or further back, using wet and dry reverbs.

    - Try to use the same reverb for most of your effects and have the percussion linked to it's own reverb.
     
  2. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    Another thing, about the negative eqing, most of the sites I went to say not to boost levels. I was playing around with some eq plugin presets to see what they use and most of them are boosted in levels usually half and half.
     
  3. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Well, if boosting, either/or:

    1) Make sure you know exactly what you want to boost: The exact frequencies produced by the beater to get more kick drum attack, for example.

    2) Very low Q, very slight boost.

    For medium and high-Qs, cutting is a lot more forgiving than boosting - There are many more instances in real life where a substance damps a specific frequency range than instances where a substance boosts it, thus cutting sounds more natural.

    Never boost with shelf characteristics. (Can anyone give me an exception to this rule? I really want to know)
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    - When eqing always subtract rather than boost the levels.

    -This should say whenever possible, subtract rather than boost the levels

    - There is no right way to eq. or secret formula.

    -Correct

    - Kick and Bass always stay's in the middle and is never panned ( how come one of my favorite songs has the kicks and snares panned to left and right and a big fat bass in the middle :)

    - It's hard to say. Could be that these are samples or any other number of reasons including whoever mixed it was a moron. This is a rule of thumb but rules are broken for a number of reasons. Nothing is written in concrete.

    - Use reverb to place things closer or further back, using wet and dry reverbs.

    -Wet meaning long/big reverbs, dry meaning short room sounds. Long verbs impart a sense of distance, dry makes thing feel close and intimate.

    - Try to use the same reverb for most of your effects and have the percussion linked to it's own reverb.

    - Correct ........... Kurt
     
  5. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Speaking of panning drums, I know the basic rules for the toms and hi hats are not to have them absurdly panned - at 50% at the most. (The analogy of the drummer with 20' arms comes to mind). What about cymbals? If they're way back in the background, would it really hurt to have them panned further? It really does help seperate them when you want to provide the image of the drum set having like 15 different cymbals.
     
  6. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    Anybody else have any secrets or tips to add? I was really looking for some more ideas to try out and play with. With all you engineers around here i'd figure you'd come up with something. :p
     
  7. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    1.FAST: Hire me or another qualified engineer to mix your stuff
    2.Medium: Hang around with others that do it for a living.
    3. Slow: Do it your self and learn from trial and error

    The famous triangle:
    A. You can have it fast.
    B. You can have it cheap.
    C. You can have it great.
    ...Pick two....
     
  8. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon Guest

    Well i'm not really looking for some quick solution to my mixing like your suggestion just trying to learn some building blocks from different sources to try out and experiment that way. Turns out I wasn't all that far off, was just missing a few things, which I found on a tutorial site.

    http://www.audiomelody.com/Tutorials/MixingIntroduction.htm

    Theres the link for anyone looking for a few things to try out.
     
  9. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    recorderman you rock you want it to sound its best pay me lol you want it to sound ok pay me to teach you you want it to suck do it yourself nice logic lol
     
  10. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    In response to the general question - tis always better to start off in the mix and try to lower rather than raise...... as far as your drum mix goes - if it sounds good stand alone - but you lose it in the rest of the mix - try adding one instrument at a time - in a lot of cases you'll find that the bass takes out a lot of the low end of the drums unless you play with the eq.... do it slowly - work the eq until you hear both the drums and the bass clearly..... and understand - all of your mikes are picking up something of the rest of your kit - working with them and making subtle eq changes on even a cymbal mike can make a tremendous difference.

    Once you have the drums and bass - add another instrument - start with lower levels and raise it slowly..... listen to see how it blends in - if you find a guitar and your brass getting lost together - try raising the mids on your guitar

    Understand something along the way though....... you and i for that matter) are not professionals - and what looks so easy when you watch a trained tech is in fact years of training in exactly what you and i are going to fight with. But if you take it one step at a time - understand that after a few hours your ears have changed - (try taking a break for a while) and don't allow yourself to become frustrated with the process - you'll end up wqith a very nice mix - with everything clean. Then you can go for mastering.

    Good luck

    Rod
     
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Not to be argumentative, but none of my mics in the drum mix picks up any other drum sounds....oh wait! thats the drum machine!

    Theres 'good' bleed and 'bad' bleed.....choose one......mix to taste.......

    really, if theres way way too much noise floor going on between the drum mics, its time to get serious about gates....we're not talkin 'ole Bill' here either.Gates were very popular at the turn of the 70's cause every freeekkkiinnn drummer showed up with 75 different things to whack on.They were a necessary evil.Theres good gates and just passable gates and then theres Kurts 4 channels of Drawmer....oh and the Valley People stuff....these are real good.In fact a person can actually use these little babies to create an attitude with that sloppy stick flingin ape creature behind the skins....SO...when the drummer refuses to give up some plumbing for the sake of the track, you just snicker a bit and tell em"go ahead, hit em all!!" and really mean it.................

    In getting those LOW frequencies to play well together, theres two schools of thought that work consistently.
    ONE: at the tracking stage, take the time to tune the drums so that the bass and the kick and the lower toms fit well...this requires only time and a six-pack for the drummer.
    TWO: Rent a pultec.Or an old Orban Parametric.Or some kind of eq that is non-destructive in its ability to divide and conquer those offending Hz's..Primarily from the bass angle..Carving out a nice niche for this instrument to stand on its own can go a long ways to making a mix sound professional.Unless the bass player sucks....then bury his ass in 100Hz.and never look back.
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Actually Dave, I have 2 DS404's for 8 channels of Drawmers and then I also have a Valley People Dynamite that gates/expands as well as compress's. So, I have 10 channels of gates. Plenty for even the largest drum kit! oink!oink! snort!snarf! grunt! Kurt
     
  13. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Kurt Foster

    Member # 7869 posted June 09, 2003 05:59 PM
    Quote

    Actually Dave, I have 2 DS404's for 8 channels of Drawmers and then I also have a Valley People Dynamite that gates/expands as well as compress's. So, I have 10 channels of gates. Plenty for even the largest drum kit! oink!oink! snort!snarf! grunt! Kurt


    Kurt buddy,

    i think i like you more every day - i play a 19 piece lit with 8 cymbals - and you describe drummers heaven in a recording studio.

    I'll let you know the next time i'm in your area.
     

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