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Mastering A Live Set...


I recently recorded and mixed a live jazz set...Electric/Acoustic guitar, various saxes, bass, and drums. So there were only four peices playing at a time.

Overall the mix down went well. So, after I felt that I had something decent, I mixed it all down to a track and then started listening to my mixed down track that should have had all of my edits, EQ, dynamics, and all that included, but when I listen to that mix down it sounds quite a bit different than listening to the whole multitrack session with effects applied.

Everything seems a lot softer, the bass is almost inaudible and you definitely don't 'feel' it. Drums are pretty good and the guitar is okay.

Can anyone give some insight as to what may have happened or what I may need to do?

I'm using Audition 2.0 at this time. I have about 10 tracks that I've applied effects and other plugins to, I've adjusted levels on each track based on the song. Should I bump the gain on each track up before I do the mix down? Anything else?

Thanks so much. If needed, I can provide a clip. Thanks!


JoeH Tue, 07/25/2006 - 10:07
Arvida, I don't work in Audition, so I can't address your problem specifically. I suspect the problem may not be Audition-specific, perhaps something you're doing 'wrong' systemically....

Can you listen to your non-rendered-but-mixed work in real time, perhaps play it out of your system into a CDr, then A/B it to what you've bounced/rendered into a stereo wav file? That might give you some clues.

I'd like to hear what you're talking about as well, so maybe you can post a clip.

Although it COULD simply be a level issue (I'm assuming you've normallized the entire track after you mixed it?), perhaps you've got some other wierd stuff going on. The loss of bass is puzzling...perhaps a comp/limiter set too high, or being affected by other things in the mix process?

What resolution are your individual tracks? (16/44, 16/48, 24/44, 24/48, etc?) and what resolution are you bouncing/rendering to?

Are you using any dither as well? Several things can affect the quality of your mix, and from what you describe, it sounds like you're way-disappointed with the results - results that are drastically different from what went IN to the mix? Audition may have a dialog box that allows you to include or exclude some of your effects and processing. Make sure these are all selected as well, before you render/bounce.

There may also be level adjustments (I've seen this in Adobe and other programs) that will deliver your mix at a higher or lower level than when you started - kind've a pre-normalizing function. (-6, -12, -18, etc.) If that's the case with Audition (although I doubt it), you may have to poke around in your settings and correct this as well.

It could also be a case of where in the chain you're putting certain effects. That "no-bass" thing would sure seem like a big clue to what's (not) going on in the mix.

Good a clip if you can, too.

Member Tue, 07/25/2006 - 10:42
Hey JoeH,

The bounce that I did overall didn't sound too I wouldn't say that I am extremely displeased with it, but I'm defintiely not jumping up and down. =)

I'll see if I can dump the whole multitrack mix to a CD, not sure how to do that though without created a stereo file, but I'll try.

As far as the tracks, after I mixed the tracks, adjusted levels, and applied effects I did not normalize the tracks. I've been told a few times that normalization isn't necessary, that I shouldn't use it, etc. So I guess I'm not sure what to do.

For example, the original bass track starts off really low, almost inaudible. The group is playing some low key songs. So, there is it is a problem, but later in the set they start playing some hard stuff so the bass gets louder. If I was to amplify the whole track the end of the track would definitely clip out.

That is sort of what I'm running into with the bass. I think if I could bring the bass up a bit, clean it up, and bring up the guitar things would be okay.

Also, when people talk about rolling off frequencies, what does that mean? Do you do that to the final stereo bounce or to individual tracks?