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Hey guys. I've just discovered this site and really loved it. Lotta useful material 4 life. Not much material on my langauge(brazilian portuguese) in internet.

It should be another thread about mixing stuff etc, but I've used search and didn't find any thread related to this speciffic matter...

My band has just recorded a demo, 5 songs in a NIN/Rammstein/MM style. Heavy sound in general. I know about EQing and making bass and kick work together, let the bass and kick with the low frequencies' spaces, low-passing everything else, record a lot of guitar tracks so they get together in a same texture, etc etc, BUT, there's A LOT OF DIFFERENCE between a Punk/Grunge mixing tips I've found on internet and the style I wanna reach.

In these five songs, we've recorded so many tracks and tryed to get them into the same texture...Drumkit, distorted drum machine, percussion(lotta brazilian instruments), bass w/ FX, a lot of guitar tracks using fuzzes and metal dists, some parts clean w/ confusing delays., kaoss pads, some acoustic gtrs, pianos in some parts, a lot of analog synths, some ciello, a lot of voices with and without FX, loops, etc...The recording itself is fine. No problems like wrong micing, horrible guitar sound, etc.

So, what are your tips on mixing and mastering this kind of stuff? When it's a power trio I can easily pan and EQ what is necessary to, and still get a lotta space to work on it, to get the whole stuff working together, but never ever experienced mixing material like that, with such a large ammount of instruments. How could I get space to work with this whole stuff? Tons of compression?

Talking about references, listen to MM's songs Great Big White World and Rock is Dead. Another good reference is Rammstein's song Mein Teil and NIN's songs With Teeth and Hand that Feeds. As far as I could notice, despite it's heavy, a lot of instruments' tracks are mixed in more like details, composing a texture, not all tracks jumping in your face. This is the main challenge I found in mixing this whole stuff.

So, can anyone help me get there?

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anonymous Mon, 05/31/2010 - 11:14

Wow. That's alot! : ) when mixing any kind of modern heavy music the first thing to do is make sure you low cut/ high cut the instruments to clear space for everything. Low cut the guitars to clear room for the bass and kick. High cut the bass and kick. All of your other instruments should be low cut as well unless you are using synth sub or something. The music that you are referencing is very polished. The kick has alot of click so boost your kick around 3db at 3k and up. You are going to need to either strip silence the guitars or gate them to make them mechanical sounding. All the drums should be gated as well unless you're using drum samples. You are trying to create the sound of a big machine with industrial metal so everything needs to be locked together. Find a place for every instrument in your mix. If you have no space, then use mute automation and have certain sounds drop out and others come in during certain parts of the song. For mastering, you will need to use multiband compression as a way to enhance perceived volume. You will want to boost your lows and highs with eq. Make it shiny with high frequencies. You will end with a limiter to get your volume fairly loud. All of these suggestions are just suggestions. Without hearing your tracks I can't tell you exactly what to do. These are just things to try as long as everything was tracked correctly. Good luck!

Bertrand Batz Mon, 09/20/2010 - 10:06

Lion, Thanks for your insights on this stuff, it's been useful for lotta things. After months searching info and etc I can say one song is halfway done. I mean, we've got 5 to mix and in 2+ months I could only approach something. Some recording errors were discovered, but already fixed. Well, we need now to re-record at least 2 guitar tracks(studio's owner's just got nice valve mesa boogie stuff...the dual rectifier), plus some synths...For both gtr and syn, I have some questions on the whole re-recording.


For double-tracking in heavy stuff I use to sum up the guitar layers, trying to record each track with the same arrangement, so it will be not exatcly nanosecconds in same time, but the guitar's got some 'in your face' body. Is this approach right? I've seen people talking about recording other track 1 octave up or try different tuning, I think this may work well for pop and not so heavy sound...Am I right?

In the case I am, I have a setting that sounds fine for me in this kind of sound. it's like 4 guitar tracks...

gtr 1 => Heavy metal w good definition, panned 25% left
gtr 2 => Heavy metal w good definition, panned 25% right
gtr 3 => dirty fuzz like Mudhoney, panned 50% left
gtr 4 => another dirty fuzz w/ some more hi-end, panned 50% right
soloing gtrs are panned 100% right or left

Is this setting ok? Should I try more tracks, or do you have other vision of that?

What about ambience? I know a more distant mic gan give us idea of space, a natural verb...Is this desirable to the style? Or will it mud with everything as long as there are a lot of synth tracks and etc?


In some songs, I realized guitars are still muddy with synths, even when I eliminate low on gtrs etc etc etc and pan the instruments in separate places. The only thing preventing it from sounding clear, in his own space is that some synth has been recorded in same octave of gtrs. Should we re-record the synths 1 ~2 octaves up, so their arrangements don't colide with guitars' main frequencies?

Well, thats enough for now...thanks for your help.

anonymous Sun, 09/26/2010 - 00:13

You don't always have to have a ton of guitar tracks to make it heavy. I usually stick with three. If there is a solo, I do it one pass and keep it centered. The guitar is like any other instrument. It has peaks and valleys in different frequencies. Doing overdubs, you might want to try different guitars for each pass. This way you don't have so much buildup of one specific frequency. I would pan the guitars all the way out. IF you stick with four passes, have two all the way out and two 45 degrees out. Synths should be panned wide and I would have one side delayed slightly to add width. And yes, the synth should augment frequencies that are lacking in the guitars. I try to keep mine fairly high in frequency but low in volume if I want to add shine, and fairly loud if they are sub guitar frequencies. good luck!


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