Mixing Tragedy

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Haamilton, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Haamilton

    Haamilton Active Member

    Hi guys, this is my first post to this site; and thought it would be a great place to ask for some help on a recent problem.

    So here's the story:
    I've recently moved to another city for school, but prior to that had been making decent mixes that i had been fine with.
    It wasn't until the first semester of school, that i started becoming incredibly picky with my mixes, and Now i've come to the problem that it seems that every time i start or restart a mix, i start disliking it, and then redoing everything, and then repeat, till i give up the mix and move to another song.
    I work as a part-time mixer right now, and my mixes always come out fine (prolly because they're all rap music, and my 'care' factor really drops low - but they still come out great enough to get paid ;] - no offense to anyone who's a fan).

    So i was wondering:

    Where can i start a mix? and why does everything eventually get too muddy or thick, even when everything is passed around the lows.
    GAHH. I'm a cubase user with some pretty good monitors, and a good collection of recording equip i've been stock piling. For drums i'm using EZ btw. everything else is mic'd. i Z-noise a lot of the tracks to deal with some noise, (still waiting for the second box of acoustic foam)

    - much thanks for any help!
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Start with what you want dominant and work around that. If you want the bass to be big, start with that and mix to the bass, then Vocals next. Then HPF way more than you are doing. If its too muddy, its because of two reasons,

    1.) the source is too muddy and poorly recorded etc
    2.) You have too much information in the low mids and bottom end of everything , tracks are competing too much there.

    Lets hear your mix? Can you post an example?
  3. Haamilton

    Haamilton Active Member

    This is what i have so far: i think the arrangement of the right stereo field's viola is too low, so i'm correcting that right now.

    Mix by killtheking on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    cool song.

    My first impression is:

    Snare is killing the mix. Turn it down and lift the vocals up at least 3db.
  5. Haamilton

    Haamilton Active Member

    Thank you for taking a listen!
    nevertheless, i tweeked the snare down, and up'd the lead vox;
    But there seems to be like a cloud of sound during the chorus; is that something i can fix?
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Is this the new mix:
    Mix by killtheking on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    If so, the vocals are getting buried
  7. Haamilton

    Haamilton Active Member

    This is the second mix, still trying to carve some space,
    How do you know when a vocal is loud enough? I used to have a habit of making the vocals too loud. D:

    Mix2 by killtheking on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Vocals still to soft for me. The snare is dominating the mix so I can't even get past it to help you. Its a bit dry too, try adding a touch of plate reverb to give it some distance. Won't take much.

    How do you know the VOX are too loud? Well thats a great question. Sometimes you just need another set of ears. But, we all have our habits and yours may be that you like a very close sounding snare and distant vocals.
    Your monitors could be messing you up a bit too but I think its a habit more so. So, if you know your habits, your turn them up to where you know they are too loud and that's probably just right.

    Turn down your monitors to where they are too low for your enjoyment and leave them there until your ears correct themselves. When I do this, the snare is dominant over the mix. And the Vox's are barely audible to where I can understand them. And I am the audience so thats not a good thing. I hear them, but they aren't the lead sound in the track. Right now the snare is.

    Try again.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To help you I always try and listen to songs that are successful that share a similar sonic texture or styles. Your song is very similar to Blue Rodeo style so I would listen to this and take note of the sound and special attention to where the VOX and snare is.

    This band has sold millions of CD's.

    You have a very promising sound here! You are very close. The snare sounds too electronic ( meaning programmed) for the mix.

    Use other CD's to compare your mix too. It really helps.

  10. Haamilton

    Haamilton Active Member

    I do appreciate your help on this mix, quite a lot.
    and the listening to other music seems to be helping;
    I'm doing my best on the vocals,
    would you agree with adding gain through he compressor?
    as well as pushing back a little with some reverb once it's 'bigger'? or is that adding to a problem?
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    hmm,, don't think so but you know how music goes... its right when its right. I would get that snare more relaxed sound. Its just too forward for a song like this.

    Just turn to Vox up another 3db and lets hear it again before you start on another area. Sure, add some gain but I don't think you need more compression. Just level.

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