1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Which is more difficult - recording or mixing?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DonnyThompson, May 17, 2015.

?

Which do you find to be more difficult - recording tracks or mixing them?

  1. Recording

    100.0%
  2. Mixing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Vocals Recording

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Vocals Mixing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Drums Recording

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Drums Mixing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Guitar (includes Bass) Recording

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Guitar (includes Bass) Mixing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Keyboards (includes Piano) Recording

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Keyboards (includes Piano) Mixing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It should be assumed that mixing tracks that were recorded well to begin with makes for smoother mixing sessions.

    But which do you personally find to be more difficult (or, accordingly, easier) -

    Getting the sounds rights to begin with during the Tracking stage?

    Or,

    Getting the tones you want during the Mixing Phase?

    For those who only do mixing, which instruments (tracks) do you find the most difficult to get right?

    (multiple choices are allowed, and additional comments are welcome)
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    That's exactly it.
    In my opinion, tracking is harder because if done well, mixing becomes easy. And if the recording is bad, the mixing is harder.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  3. JayTerrance

    JayTerrance Active Member

    I've always felt as a mix starts coming together it tends to get easier and easier. So with that logic I'm going to say that the earliest processes are most difficult (or should I say most "impactful" to success). So. I'll say the Tracking Stage. Actually, I'll step out-of-bounds on this question and even go back a step further and say the Arrangement Stage.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I don't consider this to be out of bounds at all. I think that it's very important to determine the instrumentation - what works, what doesn't, what may be too much, etc. so in that sense, it's completely appropriate to the subject.

    For me, mixing seems to get more difficult as I'm approaching that final 15% or so... which is where I sometimes have to reign myself in from making decisions or choices that aren't really of any benefit to the mix on the whole.

    Lately, I've been doing a lot more track deletion than addition(s). If I hear a part - even if I like the track on its own - and it's not working for the song, or is getting in the way, then I get rid of it, and that's not always an easy thing to do, particularly if it's a part that I'd worked on for awhile to get right in its performance.

    These edits/cuts might be a performance thing, or an arrangement thing, but it can also be a frequency thing, too. If there's something that is taking up too large of a chunk of a certain frequency range, and EQ'ing results in the part differing too much from sounding like what I wanted to begin with, I'll cut/delete for that reason as well.

    Some songs are a breeze to mix the whole way through, but other times, if I'm dealing with a more complex arrangement, things can start to become more difficult, sooner.

    There have been mixes where I've put the song in the can in 2 hours... but, there have also been mixes that have taken me a month to get right ... these are mostly songs of my own, that are morphing and adjusting as the mix is happening.


    Also, usually by the time that I'm reaching that 80% mile marker, I've heard the song many times up to that point, and I find that I can also start to lose some objectivity.



    FWIW
    d.
     
    audiokid and JayTerrance like this.
  5. JayTerrance

    JayTerrance Active Member

    This is such great advice and so true. I have always struggled with the mentality of getting rid of a well-performed track. It seems you're always wanting to find a way to fit it in the mix, and many times cutting it out of the mix seems like a "slight failure" or "letdown". Especially, as you mention a "conflicting frequency thing", there are times that eq'ing it to fit just doesn't work and eliminating it entirely is much better for the mix as a whole....but oh so hard to let go of.
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I've been focusing a lot lately on precisely what you brought up, Jay, and that's the arrangement of the song ( along with performance quality, which is another thing I'm focusing on).
    Arrangement is a craft in itself, and while I don't claim to be an expert at it, I've found that the songs where I have focused a lot of attention on the arrangement first, mostly end up being the easiest songs to mix in the end.

    When it comes to cutting out parts, it's often one of the most difficult choices I'm forced to make while mixing, especially if it's a part that I've really worked on, performance-wise.

    There have been times that I've been able to keep parts like that, by adjusting placement, volume, or sculpting EQ a bit, but in regard to tonal adjustment, there have also been many times that - by the time I'd done EQ'ing it to where it sits okay in the mix - that it ends up not even tonally sounding like what I was originally intending, and if it goes that far, then what's the point in even keeping it?

    I'm not saying this to the degree that I've turned a kick drum into a banjo - LOL - but there have occasionally been times where I've altered the tone of an instrument to a point that it doesn't sound like what I originally wanted.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of tonal adjustment, or moving things around here and there, but if the mix is progressing, and the only thing holding it up is an actual part, then I get out the knife and start cutting. I might even love the way the part sounds on its own... but, if it doesn't work, or gets in the way of the other instrumentation, it doesn't matter, because I'm not mixing just that one part. All the individual parts in the song have to work well in relation to each other, and they all have to compliment the song; and no matter how much I might like a certain part, if it's getting in the way, then it has to go.

    IMHO of course. :)

    d.
     

Share This Page