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Neophyte-separation in mixes?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Earthling, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling Guest

    Hello and thanks to you pros for your insight! Way cool!

    I'm an old pro with many years of experience performing guitar in R&B, funk/Jazz bands...recorded with Earl Klugh...did some hits with Bob James ,Kirk Whalem and Alexander Zonchic..blah blah blah...

    I always turned my nose up to most Techno (even though it was born here in Detroit) and sequenced computer type music-sounded canned and sterile to me. I don't play professionally any more . Out of curiosity I bought Reason 3 about a year and a half ago for fun and life hasn't been the same since! I now have a VisionDAW custom music computer with Ableton Live 6, Reason 3 and all the Spectrasonic's VSTs and am obsessed with the whole music tech thing.. A major paradigm shift indeed! I'm way into much of the quality computer music that I can find...although there is a ton of $*^t...(I like OEM radio and GrooveSalad) I've found that music sounds scanned when we try to duplicate real instruments rather than create new electronic sounds....

    My problem is I'm rarely happy with the separation in my mixes. And I know I have good experienced ears-I hope I don't sound vain. Mostly the kick drum and bass give me grief.

    I know I have to start with a good bass and drum kit-I like to use loops for drums and play the bass via my guitar synth.

    What do the pros use when using a DAW-sequencer? Is Reason a toy? Ableton Live?

    Can someone make suggestions or point me in the right direction.

    Thanks for your help in advance!


  2. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    I can tell you from my experience hanging out with John Legend's band that Reason is not considered a Pro tool, though I have seen photographs of Jay-Z using it. Ableton Live is definitely something pro's use live - if you've ever watched an R&B concert or pop concert of a recent band and you see those Apple Powerbooks? They are most likely running Ableton Live for the samples.

    As far as your main question I can't really help you since that is not really my area of expertise...but try to roll off some of the bass guitar to add some seperation, or raise a portion of the frequency spectrum to give it a different character, one that stands out over the kick drum.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I don't think you can base pro or not pro on what one person or band uses. I think that you'll find that people use what they feel comfortable with. Reason has enough of a history to be considered "pro" IMHO.

    At any rate. Maybe rolling off some of the low end on the bass guitar might help. Maybe using a compressor with slow attack will accentuate the bass a bit more. Sometimes you can take a good chunk of the low end out of the bass leaving an insinuation of the guitar and your mind will fill in the rest.

    Whack at 1k. Thump at around 125Hz. Body at around 250Hz. Honk or horniness(he he)at around 500Hz. But I'm no pro. Just a Hack.
  4. Earthling

    Earthling Guest

    Thanks for the feed back!
  5. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    I cant remember who it was here on the the forum,
    but i was having the same problem, And this was the best advice I have ever gotten..
    For seperation and depth and spacial width.
    Build the drums first and then fill in the holes around them.. That was just magic to me.. hope this helps..
  6. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I have noticed with Reason, which I do use alot, my mixes all have a layer of mud. I have even tried breaking the reason tracks out to indivudal channels on my analog board and doing a analog sum on them. No luck. Personally I have not found a way to make reason not sound like reason. It leaves a sonic signature, that anyone who has played with it long enough hears.
  7. Earthling

    Earthling Guest


    I read this interview recently I think in Electronic Musician:

    From the M1 to the MOTIF, to the foundations of the Korg KARMA, there has been one key element in them all. Athan Billias the engineer behind theses innovative synths said:

    Some of the things people seem to think are innovative are really just imitations of really old synths and instruments. For example, the Nord and Novation lines, Reason (a Roland Tr series imitation essentially), B4 (Hammond imitation), Pro 5 (a Prophet 5 imitation), and lately FM7 (a DX 7 imitation) do not have anything new as far as synthesis is concerned.
  8. Earthling

    Earthling Guest

    Hello Link555.

    If Reason has this signiture sound that you're trying to get rid of, why use it at all?
  9. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    ITs so easy to get ideas going. Plus I own reason.

    My intention is always to just write in it, and then transfer the arrangement to bettering sounding loops and synths. But then I get lazy and say "well if I keep just the filler loops, it should be fine". Well it is never is fine in the end. I Think I will just have to try Live out instead.

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