Mixing without eq. and comp.

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Assis Rosa, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Assis Rosa

    Assis Rosa Active Member

    Hey guys !!

    I'm from Brazil and this is my first time in this forum
    I produce mainly brasilian jazz projects. I tried to make one mix (protools) without eq. and comp. (sometimes some Hi pass filters for the botton and a bit comp. in Kick and overs) only one room for everybody (plugin renascence Rev). The mix sounded good but low level of course. The level is not my problem, rather the quality. In the mastering process (DAC Crane, AVAlon (eq & comp.) and sonic solutions) I could use finally some analogic eq and comp (avalon). I was trying to get the best result as possible without plugins. I
    boosted the Hi frequences and it started to sound much better, but the final result is like a demo, lifeless. Good but not for comercial purposes. There is a shadow in front of the speakers. My questions is there somebody trying some experience like that? Is it possible? To get a good final result with the original sounds recorded with good mics and preamps using the comp. and eq. only in the mastering process? Have I forgotten something in
    the process?

    Of course I made two versions of the mix and master. One for my experience and other for the client.

    Any help or tips on this is greatly appreciated,


    Assis Rosa
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    welcome to the forum. by reserving your processing to the mastering stage, you are limited to what you can do. If you tweek one thing, you are tweeking everything. That's why it's split into several stages. recording, mixing, mastering. The goal for mastering it prepping it for manufacturing and translation. It would be better and easier to apply your processing during the mixing stage.
  3. Assis Rosa

    Assis Rosa Active Member

    thanks, Michael
    I just reserved the equalization and compresssion processing to the mastering stage because I don't have a good analogic or digital racks for mixing. Actually, my objective was to avoid the plug-ins.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I understand, but a little bit of tweeking in the mix stage even if you're confined to plugin's, IMO would be better than trying to 2-bus mix. (mixing with processors on the 2-bus). Once you've got lots of mixes under your belt, you can then apply this knowledge to tracking. You'll begin to see certain patterns during the mix stage that you can address during tracking. Then when you do get to the mix stage, it's more a placement thing. If you've ever seen an old school engineer at work. All of the work is done during tracking. During the mix stage, they bring up the faders, maybe add a bit of reverb and bang, their done.

    If you use plugin's wisely, there is no reason they can't sound good. You have to learn what their strength and weakness is. Same goes with outboard gear.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Dear Assis,
    Welcome! What you're describing is essentially what I have done for over 35 years. Starting with nothing more than a microphone mixer. This is old-fashioned record making in the purest sense. Obviously without any good audio tools, you must begin by riding the volume controls and perhaps miking the room for some ambience, or room tone, if you want to stay away from the plug-ins. So your primary concern then is microphones and their placement and the mix. Then you want to take your two track recording and add some stereo compression and/or limiting and some equalization in postproduction. I have made fabulous recordings in the past this way and still love it! One of the best times I had with this scenario was when I was contracted to make a recording in New Zealand! I was introduced to this beautiful singer who had a jazz band in a small pub. I had only 2 API 3124m, 4 input microphone mixers, with one half-dozen microphones, 2 direct boxes and a lexicon PCM 60 reverb and a DAT machine. This was only part of the system that I could easily transport in a Taxi between days of recording the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Mixing is difficult with only a pair of headphones especially when you're cabling is short and you are behind the bass player. Still one of the best on location recordings I've ever made especially when you get stoned with the club owner! I love mixing to 2 track especially when the musicianship is superb!
  6. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Welcome to RO, Assis. I roger Michael. You should get the mix to
    as close as possible to what you want to hear at the end. If you
    need to use plug-ins - use them... Would you avoid ever touching
    dynamics or EQs when mixing with a large console ? Most likely no.
    Working digital is just the same...
  7. Assis Rosa

    Assis Rosa Active Member

    Equalization during tracking instead mastering

    I really appreciate the feedback. In fact I like the old-fashioned record making (It has profundity, depth) but from now, I'll try to get the best result during tracking with the mics placement and some equalization. In addition, I'll use some reverberation, equalization and compression in the mix stage if necessary and than... the master stage.
    Thank you very much.

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