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Totally Destroyed A Mix

Lol, I'm such a moron.
So I had a really nice mix happening for one of the OASIS tracks; nice tight, defined lows, smooth mids, silky top end, instruments and vocals very nicely balanced - except for one very small change I wanted to make... famous last words...
I got back into the project file in Samp, and nudged the guitar up in one small section. But was that enough? Noooooooo. I had to tweak the verb on the vocal, and then roll of a bit of the top end on the acoustics, and add some snap to the kick...and could that bass guitar sit back a bit more in the mix? Sure! But wait... Are those overheads maybe a bit too hot? Why yes, yes they are. Has the snare lost its presence around 3.6k? By God I think it has!
Render. Playback.
What in name of sweet baby Jesus in the manger did I do to the mix, the one where it was perfect and just needed the guitar nudged?
I totally screwed the pooch.
Thank God for the version I saved before I decided to be the bad-ass engineer (moron) that I became on this.
Good Gawd.


dvdhawk Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:00
DonnyThompson, post: 454008, member: 46114 wrote: Dave (dvdhawk) has done a wonderful job of capturing these instruments and performances. The fidelity has been wonderful; things sound very "natural", and all the tracks have a nice feel. It's been a treat working with him, bouncing ideas off each other. He's not my "assistant" engineer or producer, he's my partner on this project. I couldn't have done it without him. :)

That's MY partner !!! So proud.... o_O

DonnyThompson Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:31
dvdhawk, post: 454086, member: 36047 wrote: That's MY partner !!! So proud.... o_O
Yeah... it's all YOUR fault. Lol. If you hadn't sent me back in to turn up the Rick 12 and bring down the harmonica , I wouldn't have gotten into this hot mess of complete and total sonic destruction. Hahaha! Just kidding of course. This one is ALL on me. It's amazing at just how quickly I took a great sounding mix and steered it directly towards south of the suck line. I feel like I should be made to wear one of those little propeller beanies and forced to watch hours of Justin Beeber videos. LOL

audiokid Sun, 11/19/2017 - 11:21
Generally speaking:
I call this
The curse of overdubs and pieced together music.
Being a real musician, good at mixing in a world where we know what it sounds like on stage or in a venue playing with real musician and then having to blend a virtual world, including patching in overdubs can be a sonic ambience nightmare as well.
I’m not saying you are in this situation, Donny but just saying this is what happens to me when I am mixing anything that has been tracked separately instead of all together in one timeline.
Those who come from the old days... have a harder time accepting that sound of real vs virtual.

We all do this one time or another, especially if you are a perfectionist.
Over the years I’ve learned to trust my instincts more to avoid what causes me to boil (over cook) a mix.

Mixes tracked badly or differently from the focus of the overall song simply don’t mix well with overdubs. When I listen to songs now, I listen for a common colour and then start deleting or removing the suspects that are fighting the focus.
I find it’s much easier to remove the overly shinny stuff or overly clear tracks in comparison to correcting (put lipstick on a pig) to try and make those shiny things fit with organic counterparts.

The pig can be anything from bad or out of time, “sync” reflections to unrealistic Vsti, reverbs, stellar sounding samples etc that create such contrast to the focus that we find ourselves going in circles until you destroy the mix.

I listen to those mixes with a fast ear, take notes and start looking for the main tones that hold the mix together. The tough part is becoming un bias or knowing something doesn’t work but you just can’t do anything about it for various reasons.

Imho, vocals Sound generally be the largest point and the music pivots around that.

So many mixes I listen to have that focus backwards where the Drums and instrumentation is way to up front abdvthe vocals are washed into a mix. When that happens... you are doomed.

DonnyThompson Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:40
All the instruments were tracked at once, live. Dave Hawk (dvdhawk) did an incredible job capturing.
This ones all on me. I wasn't overcooking, nor was I adding, in fact I was actually reducing things. And in reducing I actually took the magic away. I started turning things down, for example, drum overheads. The result was that the live nature of the recording became dull, the mix lifeless.
I was smart enough to have saved the mix I really liked before going back in, so I'm not starting at square one, thankfully. ;)

Davedog Sun, 11/19/2017 - 13:50
Makzimia, post: 454073, member: 48344 wrote: Yep, number one rule, backup, backup, backup. First thing I did, for when you’re around, before I tried those ‘fixes’. I made a dupe copy and edited it instead. I don’t ever render the actual sound tracks anyway, it’s all live always.

Glad it was redeemable Donny :).

When I get to "this mix is magic.....except..." I make a copy as it is. Then I make a new copy and put a number on it. So the queue usually reads 'mix 1, mix 2 mix 3, etc.....' If there's an exceptional one I capitalize it. So there's no question which one to reference.

audiokid Mon, 11/20/2017 - 00:02
When I sum / capture a mix down to a second DAW, I also call each mix as mix 1, 2 , 3 etc on DAW 2.
But all the mixes are actually on DAW 1.

I will often find that I need to add some eq on DAW 2 and then I go back to the mix on DAW 1 and usually find that it’s only needed on a track instead of the whole mix. Capturing on DAW 2 helps me find more detail this way.

DAW 2 is also always exact to how it should translate on all monitors meaning... if it’s sucks its because I suck and not because I am not hearing something/ resulting from something lying to me.
Mixing with 2 DAW’s is very cool. It’s been an incredible way for me to take notes and learn.

DonnyThompson Mon, 11/20/2017 - 05:02
I can't blame my DAW for this most recent ski accident. I mean, I could blame the DAW, or my monitoring, ( or even my dog Jojo) but it wouldn't be the truth. I was able to come up with a great-sounding mix that I should have probably just left alone, but noooooo. I just had to fix that "one thing". That was my plan. I had a plan. It was a good plan, initially. Just turn up the guitar 1-2db in the mix. A solid plan.
It's when I started adjusting other things, taking things away, things that weren't part of my plan, that the wheels came off the wagon. Lol.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Accordingly, I also believe in taking responsibility for mistakes I make, too.
So, I have to take responsibility.
Well, at least mostly .... My dog was also to blame.
She came in while I was mixing and put her head on my leg. So her cuteness distracted me.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.