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mixdown part 2

Member for

9 years 5 months
Hi all...again!

I've been working on mixing a project band this week witch inclueded 3 songs supposed to be their first demo release. Spending around 25hours on this project and I'm far from satisfied, I just can't get it right! For those who followed my first audio mixdown knows that I'm new to this and have trouble with learning from books and needs someone to show me what I do wrong. This is where you guys enter the picture! :) And all help is much appreciated!

The songs are in the heavy genere with religious lyrics. Drums are of tempo here and there but this was what we came up with that would do for a demo release. When I come to think about it, the same thing goes for all recorded instuments...the vocalist sucks big time! No experience what so ever of vocal lessons, bad english pronunciation, no air support, in simple words: no vocal technique what so ever...But did I mention it's just a demo? Anyways, they're happy with I guess thats enough for me.

First some recording info on the songs:

kickdrum: t.bone bd300 about 4" from skin + a DIY subkick
snare: top - t.bone mb75 (sm57 copy) bottom - t.bone CD65
toms: t.bone CD65
overheads: Behringer c2
hi-hat: t.bone em500

front: t.bone mb75 set at edge of cone pointed to center of speaker
front on solo guitar: Behringer b1
rear: Audio-Technica mb 2k

Behringer DI800 + t.bone bd300 front of speaker

Behringer B2

First of, the recording has taken almost 6 months to get done with the band due to timematching between all involved people. Recording took aroung 38hours according to my calendar and has been my first recording ever done in my studio so without figuring out how to get everything done and solving signalproblems we could probably have gotten the same results in 15h. Also the band was not well prepaired and we had to rerecord a lot especially drums and guitar solos.

To the mixing then...

I pre EQ:ed the drums with the recordingsession trough my Behringer xenyx xl2400 mixer. I ran vocals trough a Behringer ultragain pro preamp and fed it to a Behringer mdx2600 compressor in the recording chain.

So now I had all recorded material to start working with. I did a submix on all takes to get a clean track for every mic. With that done I had 10 drum tracks, 4 comp guitar tracks for 2 guitars, 4 solo guitar tracks for 2 solo guitars, 2 fill guitar tracks, one vocal track and 2 bass tracks.

Drum processing:
As I like to mix on the mixer instead of DAW (Cubase 4) i had to route them out from my interface (hercules fw 16/12) trough the mixer and rerecord them again to get the EQ:ed signal. Sadly I can just get 6 outputs from my interface so I wasn't able to EQ even the whole drumkit in one take. After EQing the sh*t out of the drums I gated the kick, snare top and toms in my DAW and compressed the hell of them! When finnished I routed snare trough my Behringer virualizer and recorded a "studio" reverb for it. Did the same thing with hihat and overheads and toms, so I had a snare reverb, a hihat and overhead reverb and a tom reverb seperatly.

Heavy compression on both channels and a little EQ in the daw.

a mid/light compression and a small amount of "studio" reverb was recorded trough the virtualiser.

Solo guitars:
mid/heavy compression with a small amount of recorded "small hall" reverb from the virtualiser.

Pitch correction was the starting point, a mid/light compression and a plugin reverb set at 3% of mix.

All volumes was done in my daw as the last mixing done. This mix took me about 25hours with the equipment I have: an old computer amd2800+ 2G ram from 2003 with a combination of a old interface=huge time consumer... So a new computer and interface with at least 16 analouge in and out is very high on my wishlist!

My own conclusion:
Drums kinda sucks, not enough push from the kickdrum, not enough snatch of the snare. The guitar panned 40%left sounds like a guitar while the guitar panned 40%right sounds like it's in a big jar. Sologuitars sounds nice, while vocals sucks from the beginning so I don't know what to do about that.

Help! Help! and help!

Fredrik Stennabba

The 3 songs:





Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Sun, 10/07/2012 - 19:14
The only thing I find organic about your mix is what it does to my stomach. Your recording/tracking sounds like it was well recorded. You've got so much stuff you have already done so as to take virtually all of the life out of it. One of the reasons why the drums sound the way they do is because you are relying on the tight microphones too much. The overheads are not just for the cymbals. They are there to give the entire drum set a place to be in space. So while all of the tight microphones are recorded well, you are missing this oh so important ingredient. Some of this can be had simply from the overhead microphones. Sometimes it has to be achieved by heavily limiting the overhead microphones. Sometimes it requires that a high frequency preemphasis contour be added to the limiter's detector to control high frequency cymbal crashes. Sometimes it requires some DSP processing of an ambient space. But right now it sounds like a feed off of a PA mix. I.e. it's not entirely inspiring to listen to.

The guitars seem flat and lifeless in only two dimensions. No use of delay effects to create HAAS & Doppler shift anywhere to be heard on the guitars in the stereo sound field. It sounds mostly mono. Everything is there but just everything is there. That is to say, you have not sculpted your sonic image. Now I know how you have described what you are doing. But what you are doing is not pulling everything together, cohesively. It's sort of like a fine breakfast sort of stuck into a blender and turned into a protein shake. A description of everything competing for 400 Hz is only a relative statement here. It goes way beyond that. It goes into creating a separate acoustical space for each and every instrument at each and every placement within the stereo sound field. Right now it's a glom of stuff.

The vocal, UGH the vocal. A cardioid condenser thingy, no high pass filter, over-the-top compression with excessive fast attack and release times. No actual presence. No actual top end. This microphone doesn't even have the quality of a SHURE SM58. It's not bringing the word of the Lord to anyone. I think perhaps you have actually achieved just the opposite? This mix comes from a place, no one wants to go to. My God what have you done? You need to listen to something Satanic to get this right.

I'm not really being the devil's advocate here.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

9 years 5 months

Nutti Mon, 10/08/2012 - 11:07
Thanks for the replys! I guess the positive thing is that I'm a good recording engineer and that I get the bass mixed correctly since I havn't got any critic on it this far...

So what I'll start with tomorrow is to try and pull more drum sound from the oh:s without cymbals getting to bright and way to high in volume. Should I open more EQ for lower Hz also? I EQ:ed the oh:s by cutting all low and lots of mids if I can remember correctly...Anything else with the drums?

I didn't know about the haas and doppler effect (new to this as I am) but I read about the haas effect that it was created by creating e.g a copy of a guitar track and adding delay to it and panning that channel to either side... So should I then take my 40% left panned guitar and pan it center, create a clone, add delay and pan that channel hard left and keep the original channel centered?

Didn't get the doppler do I achieve this?

The vocals then... :D I know you Remy don't like the cheap condenser mikes but this was what I had at the point of recordning. It's a Behringer B2 pro and I noticed now that it has a switchable high pass filter that I havn't used before because I though it was low pass...stupid me...I went to my local musicstore today to check out the price of an sm58 and it was 100€ witch I couldn't afford today :( But what mike would be best to record vocals with of these mikes that I have: oktava ml52 ribbon mike, behringer b2 or shure pg27? And what would be a good starting point in not to expencive large diaphragm microphones? röde nt2-a? I think it looks kinda unprofessional to put a standard stage mike as the sm58 in front of the singer in the studio...

Back to the vocals I have to work with then...First of: funny statement! :) I translated it to swedish for my wife and we both had a little laugh :) I forgot to write that I have an de-esser working on the vocals to...Were should I start with this one? back of the compression and de-esser a bit, extend attack and release and EQ some highs to get some crisp to it?

What should I do about the 400Hz problem? Or will that just solve it self when I get the sonic image corrected?

Thanks again for your replys and advice, I'm novice at this and need all the guidence I can get.
Fredrik Stennabba

Member for

16 years 1 month

hueseph Mon, 10/08/2012 - 15:46
The issue with the guitar panned 40% right is likely a phase issue. If you are using two mics that would be the problem. I would try the Oktava and then the PG27. Either one might work or not. It's always good to experiment. I would guess that both will need quite a bit of gain unless the singer is really belting it(which would be an improvement IMHO). Added gain means added noise potentially. I would worry more about the performance than the mic choice. You can make the mic work but the performance has to be good to begin with.

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Mon, 10/08/2012 - 16:29
The De-esser is really only needed when you have definite sibilant problems. For instance if you are adding a lot of extra upper midrange and high frequency boost EQ, you will most likely want to also utilize a De-esser? But you'll also want that compression which are generally broadband compressors. And because compressors add to the sibilant problem, I usually follow them with the De-esser and not before the compressor. Then there is the selection of peak, RMS or, Opto style compression and limiting, in software and of course hardware. Sometimes all of the above are used. Sometimes only one type. That's purely a judgment call. Having typically utilized old-school devices of the hardware type, I already know what to listen to and for, in the digital domain.

I'm never embarrassed utilizing a SM58 in the studio where I feel it necessary. With vocals, I'll typically put on an extra large foam pop filter. Hung from a microphone boom. The pop filter made from foam, actually enhances this microphone. It smooths a little off the top. It keeps everybody the proper distance from the capsule diaphragm. Hands don't get in the way of the polar pattern. A great studio recording microphone! If you're embarrassed? You're just being stupid. These are tools of our trade and nothing more. There is nothing to be embarrassed about using the proper tools of your trade. I value this $100 microphone as much as I value my 3000+ dollar microphones. Nothing to apologize for. In fact I found your comment insulting on a professional level. What do you think of that? I've been using this microphone longer than you have been alive on this planet. Perhaps you're not from this planet? I know I sure the hell am not. I come from the Audiodrama Galaxy. And my star is only nine light seconds from me. Where are you?

CQ CQ CQ (seek you, seek you, seek you and all the other fine Sikhs that visit this site)
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

16 years 1 month

hueseph Mon, 10/08/2012 - 16:37
Check out this sorta famous band recording. Take a look at the mic he's using. It ain't no Neumann. It's not a Telefunken. Not a ribbon. Standard SM58. Actually, I don't think it's a Shure. Regardless, I think the point is that it's not a condenser. It's just a dynamic vocal mic.

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Mon, 10/08/2012 - 17:05
Sure sounded a lot like a 58. Didn't quite look like a 58? At first I thought Beta 57? But no. Plenty of SM57's on those guitar stacks.

It might be interesting to note here that, the 58 as one of the most popular vocal microphones of all time. Today, on the high-end, one can have a handheld Neumann. And why don't we see lots of those? They're much more affordable than many of their other models. Well, it's because they don't sound like 58's. They sound like Neumann's. And the sound most people want is the one from the 58. Only a studio guys keep grabbing at the 87's because they're there. And only because it's the one to use for the application you want to use it for. Which isn't on everything. But the 58 can be used on pretty much everything. You can even use a 58, underwater albeit not for long. Much longer than any condenser microphone.

I'm sorry LMAO maybe it's because I'm hungry?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Mon, 10/08/2012 - 18:27
It could be a new style metal pop filter for a Beta 58? Low profile in appearance? Something not quite as Big and round as a regular 58 metal grill. Hard to say? It could be one of those OTHER manufacturers? Heaven for bid. AUDIX? No. Heil? Maybe? Somebody's dynamic that's for sure or SHURE?

I'm not SHURE about this one?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

9 years 5 months

Nutti Mon, 10/08/2012 - 22:49
RemyRAD, post: 394476 wrote: In fact I found your comment insulting on a professional level. What do you think of that? I've been using this microphone longer than you have been alive on this planet.

I did not mean to insult you at any point, and I appogize for that. The funny thing about your statement was not the choise of microphone, it was the thing about god and satan. That was funny.

Like I've mentioned before, my success depends on your guidence since I don't have the opportunity to get classes on mixing and I don't know any professional engineers to take advice from. I've read books for about two years and watched videos on youtube, that gave me some basic knowledge, but as mentioned earlier I learn from practice not theory. It might be hard for me sometime to express myself in a foreign language as I don't know proverbs, spelling of words, translation of words etc. It takes time for me to write and I have to think and search the web for translations etc. and when I do so I sometimes forget to check the whole sentence if it's correct and says what I'm trying to write down. I'm not trying to be the "feel-sorry-for-the-finnish-guy" here, I'm just saying it's harder to express myself correctly without stepping on someones feet...and if *I do so it's not my entension!

Back to subject...So I'll get a sm58 with extra foam filter, and after that the next step would be to save up 3000$ to get a Neumann? Looking at the rest of my equipment that would be doubble the amount of all my equipment. There's no microphone between those two that would be decent for a budget studio?

With the guitars I used a t.bone mb75 up front and a audiotechnica mb 2k rear of the speaker and the audiotechnica was phase reversed otherwise I could only hear one mike at a time. Can it still get phase problems if I have it like it is, panned one guitar 40% right 40% left? So that they take out some sound from eachother?

any other advice on how to get the rest of the mix corrected? I asked lots of questions in my last post but did nog get answers due to my microphone stupidity...

Thanks for all the guidence,
Fredrik Stennabba

Member for

9 years 5 months

Nutti Tue, 10/09/2012 - 03:44
So I worked with one of the songs today and this is what I came up with:

- EQ overheads with +15db@100hz, +10db@800hz, +7db@2khz and -1.5db@7khz
- EQ on guitars -3db@400hz
- EQ on vocals +3db@4300hz
- panned left guitar hard left, made a copy of it, panned that hard right and added 6ms delay to it
- panned right guitar hard right, made a copy of it, panned that hard left and added 6ms delay to it
- removed de-esser on vocals
- configured compressor on vocals with threshold -20 instead of -30 and limiter set at 2db output instead of 6db
- +2db on the bass in volume
- -2db on left guitar and +2db on right guitar in volume evened them up more I think

searched the web for a free vst limiter with high frequensy filter for the overheads but didn't find one, or I did find one (Limiter No.6) that seemed to be the shit, but it didn't work for me? Couldn't get cubase to find it somehow...

So this is the second version of "Out of the darkness" and I noticed right away the diffrence in guitar sound! Man what a stereo spread compered to the old version. Further guidlines and improvements on this one?

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://soundcloud.c…"]Out of the darkness 2 by Nutti_ on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free[/]="http://soundcloud.c…"]Out of the darkness 2 by Nutti_ on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free[/]

got the other two done as well...with a little bit difference in volumes otherwise same adjustments.



Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Tue, 10/09/2012 - 14:32
Been listening to your new permutation mix, it's an improvement. But here's still what I hear going on.

Listening to this, it has become quite apparent to me, that you are perhaps actually monitoring too loud during your mixing? Why do I say this? Well, your mix improves as I shove the volume up. I know, I know, you want it to be high energy, high level. The opposite is actually occurring. Mixing at extremely low levels, take some getting used to. But the overall end result is usually, a much broader quality of the mix. This teaches you how and what to process for maximum intelligibility and coherency in the mix. Right now the drums still go nowhere. The guitars are all right. Better with the stereo trickery that you have utilized. The vocal is OK but certainly lacks sparkle, punch. Too much fast attack on your dynamic processing. Which leaves nothing to punch through. Remember an ounce of punch is worth a pound of sound. This is something I have always lived by in my recording and something that was brought to my attention as the house mantra at Media Sound NYC, back in the late 1970s. Were I worked for not quite one-year, until I got mugged in the New York City subway system, LOL. That scared me to death and I resigned the following day and headed to Fort Lauderdale to an international multimillion dollar advertising agency. An agency I had worked with for some years prior to being employed directly by them. And then I had to produce national sounding jingle musics and commercials, at a national level. So there could be no room for error, sloppy production or local sounding. Everything had to sound like a Chevrolet, Ford, Citibank, Bank of America style commercials. And along with that requirement, I had nothing more to work with than basic rudimentary fundamental equipment and a lousy Yamaha PM 1000 PA console, as a recording console, which it ain't. And that had to compete from production studios with Neve & API consoles. So it did because I did. Because it's not really the equipment, if the equipment works. It's only the technique, that makes the real difference. More in my case made the "reel", difference. Since it was all analog back in the late 1970s but except for some of our early digital effects processors like my Eventide H-910 Harmonizer. That and a couple of 1176's and Allison Research KEPEX 1's, AKG-BX 20 stereo spring reverb. Fully orchestrated jingles produced from a voice over studio with no acoustics other than the ones I created, electronically. I still marvel over these screwed up jingles I produced more than 33 years ago on an eight track analog machine with the PA console. Stellar! And those jingles were in use for over 20 years. They were done so well, they were good enough to get me a job offer from Sir George Martin on which I declined. Stupid me. I've been kicking myself in the ass for that one for over 25 years. C'est la vie.

Sometimes I make the best decisions. Sometimes not so good.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

9 years 5 months

Nutti Tue, 10/09/2012 - 23:20
thanks again for advise!

But this time I think your wrong on the volume with me mixing...In my early days of drumming I did not protect my ears enough and with this came tinnitus in my ears. I was stupid enough back then to not listen to the warningsignals of ringing in my ears after drumpractice. So by the age of 17 I had tinnitus...that made me protect my ears at all time when there was high volume, of course it was to late, but atleast I started protecting my ears. So today when I'm in the studio, I'm very strict to having everything at low volumes. Shure, sometimes when I think I find a noise I tweak the volume up of listen in my headphones to find the problem. But that's like 10 sec.

So I don't mix at high volumes at all, it must be something else I'm doing wrong OR the terror scenario: my ears are damaged enough to not be able to hear some details. At my last hearing test (about two years ago) the doctor could tell me that I might have problems hearing around the frequencies of female voice due to a small amount of reduced hearing ability aroung those freq. So according to wikipedia that would be from 165Hz to 255Hz, but could that mess up my drum sound? I don't think it could affect my mixing that bad? Who knows?

So extend attack and release on vocal comp, or maybe remove the vst comp completely? It's been compressed while recording. So that should give it more punch, the sparkle then? Should I try to give it more high frequency eq?

What should I do to the drums? Try to create a haas effect to the overheads? 3ms delay?

On the song "Liar" there is a part where one guitar is faded in on every chord around 5:15 to 5:40. I played with a delay and created the haas effect but with 200ms delay witch gave a little doppler effect that would be nice in that part. Check it out on my next version of the song and let me know what you think. I'll wait for some answers to my questions and then I'll make the third mixdown probably tomorrow.

Thanks again!

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Wed, 10/10/2012 - 01:14
That's very interesting about your hearing. Here's a similar scenario. For one of my high school science fair projects, I was going around and giving people hearing tests. These tests were performed with a pair of KOSS Pro 4 AA's, Sennheiser HD 414's and a low distortion Heathkit sine wave oscillator. Most everyone's hearing and hearing loss was fairly consistent from what I had read, based upon age. Many people over 40 were exhibiting high frequency loss. Most predominantly. The exception to this was this guy. He was a former USMC drill sergeant. He already knew and told me he had a profound hearing loss due to the constant barrage of gunfire. This was not tinnitus. Because of the frequency content of most of the gun blasts, his hearing loss was all in the midrange. All in the mid-band. In fact, at 43 years of age, this guy had a better high-frequency hearing response, than anyone else I tested. I had to repeat this test a couple of times on him to make absolutely sure. But he could consistently here 20 kHz. I was only 16 and even I couldn't barely hear 20 kHz. But because of his huge mid-band hole and it was a big mid-band hole, he had, he had a lot of trouble understanding speech from both men and women. And for that he needed hearing aids. Above 3 kHz though, he was good up to 20 kHz.

Human speech fundamental frequencies mostly fall between 300 Hz & 3000-4000 Hz. Everything else above and below that is just icing on the cake. And we make that cool telephone like filter for rock 'n roll vocals by using brick wall limiting set to 300 Hz and 3000 Hz. And that's what American telephones were designed to reproduce. That's all that's necessary to coherently understand speech. Even though certain phonetic sounds can be confused due to the incomplete upper frequency spectrum. Words like " stone " may only be heard as " tone ". But we understand it was stone based upon their context, of their previous rhetoric. And that's heavy duty bandwidth limiting. Add some distortion and you can make a sound like the old carbon button microphones from telephones from yesteryear. And that's what a $3000 German microphone and an incredible equalizer, is used for. Or, a carbon button microphone.

In looking at your mix information from earlier in this post, I'm really rather alarmed by the extreme equalization you have indicated, that you have used. I really think this is where most of the problems coming from? On your drums, you've got indicated that you utilized +15 DB of boost at 100 Hz and 10 DB of boost at 800 Hz. +7 DB at 2 kHz, that's a killer. Rolling off the cymbals? Isn't that why you put the condenser microphones overtop the drum set to begin with?. So...No no no no. And no. You've already got the tight microphones on the tom-toms, snare, bass drum. That's where ya get the beef. The overheads you probably want to hide pass filter a bit? You don't need or want that kind of low-end coming up your overheads. That's where big phase issues and cancellation is occurring. It's fighting with the tight mics low-frequency response and giving you a blur. A cloud. A pillow on your drums. That's where you're losing the life on your drums. Roll the low-end off the overheads. Crank up the high-end on the overheads. Stick some compression on the bass drum. Carve a little out around 250-350 Hz. Adjust presence for a good crack. Gate that. Do the same for the snare drum. You won't need to scoop 250 on that. EQ, compressed and gate. You may also want to try to invert phase on the bass drum? This causes a different kind of frequency dependent cancellation and also because the microphone is kind of positioned inside the batter skin, kind of like the bottom of a snare drum. If you put a microphone on the bottom of the snare drum along with the one on the top of the snare drum, you need to invert the phase of the bottom snare drum microphone. And with just a single microphone inside the bass drum, I feel that should also be phase inverted in many cases. It provides for a much harder thud. It should feel like CPR. The tom-toms should also have some high pass filtering and perhaps a little boost around 150 Hz. If you like, you can also gate those. This is when the overheads and the bass drum microphones really carry most of the drum mix. It's getting all this extra punch from the gated drums. The cool thing is you see, when utilizing a noise gate on the drums, you also want no " look ahead ", in the detector. The gate will then not open up until after the first transient is detected. This has a tendency to cut off a bit of the transient from the tight miked drums. The overheads then get that initial transient. So in a sense, we are playing with the timing of the time. This can do a great deal to make the drum set come alive. Make sure you position your tom-toms identically to your overheads. Too many people get these tracks backwards that way. And that messes with the entire stereo imaging. I love it when folks put an XY pair over top of a drum set for overheads. They take the first microphone and pan it left. They take the second microphone and pan it right. And that's backwards with XY. The left microphone is pointing to the right and the right microphone is pointing to the left. These unintended mistakes also do a lot to blur the image of a drum set recording. It screws up all of the timing. The microsecond timing. I'm quite into cohesive timing of all of the sources. If everything isn't timed just right, you get a blurry out of focus recording. And that's what I'm hearing. So try this again.

Yup, like what you're doing with the guitar. You can even take this a notch further. For instance, you've got all of this crazy time delay crap, in your software effects magic bag. There are all sorts of stereophonic image processing available to you. Much of this goes well with those electric guitar tracks. These effects are frequently from a single input source while it is providing an ambient stereo outputs source. And there are numerous ways of dealing with that in multi-track software packages. Not all are the same. This wouldn't be something used as an insert. It's something that is used with an effects send bus, in addition to the original source feeding the master left & right bus. You send that single vocal track to the auxiliary or effects send. The send is routed to the stereo ambient metal room effect, let's say. That single send is then processed with multiple stereo time delays and is returned to the master left & right mixing bus just like the vocal. This is how you start to create a spatial stereo image. This adds depth, width and height to an otherwise mono center source track. This is how you start to sculpt your stereo landscape. These effects are then not necessarily perceived as effects. They only get perceived as either a good groove or, a bad groove. I mean if you want everything to sound huge, you also have to have huge stereo. And that's what we're trying to do here.

There's lots of ways to handle this vocal. Firstly, it sounds like you used no high pass filtering? That's the first big mistake. Proximity effect while it sounds great in the headphones, never translates well to speakers. It just gets big fat muddy. You also got your compression and you're limiting going on your singer. This guy is not dynamic enough to warrant all of what you are doing. So we need to work this track a little more. Questions frequently come up on whether one should track with or without compression and equalization. Many folks recommend against it since it becomes virtually impossible to undo something you have done. I live a Little more dangerously on the edge myself but I can. So not sure if you pre-crunched and EQ'ed recording? Or whether you recorded the microphone clean? Nevertheless, one can compress first and equalize after or one can equalize first and compress after. Both provide two completely different perspectives. And it can also be done both ways. Nevertheless, this vocalist would do well with some slightly aggressive compression with a slow attack time and a release time around 150-200 ms. And you shouldn't be pushing much more than 10-15 DB gain reduction. Aggressive ratio would be around 8:1, 12:1. Now he'll be crunched enough to place him where you want him, in the mix. He'll overshoot the compressors attack time which will give him more emphasis on his delivery. So he'll punch through a little better. And he'll have some dynamic emphasis. Right now he just sits there like a blob. (I hope the blob's name ain't Bob? Because then he'd be Bob the blob. And we don't want to do that to him now do we?)

You're getting there.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Wed, 10/10/2012 - 02:11
Ya know? I didn't say they about the bass guitar. I didn't say a thing about it because, well, it's not really there. If you sit and listen for it, you can kind of hear it. There is certainly a lot of low frequency energy rumbling around. And therein lies that problem. It's all this flabby low-frequency stuff, coagulating in the bottom of my speaker boxes. So, how to get more bass, without peaking out the meters? Well what you do is, you roll off the bass of the bass guitar. Then you stick it through a limiter. Not real fast attack times. Modestly quick release time. Ratio 20:1. Only a couple of DB of limiting is required. You may want to boost some upper midrange to give it a good bite. You want to be able to hear the bass guitar at low volume levels on a single 4 inch speaker. You want to be able to hear the articulations in each note. And when it can pass that four-inch test that way, it'll be awesome on a decent full range monitor system. And it won't go boom boom boom blah blah blah. It'll be there.

Was this a DI bass guitar recording or did you strictly use a microphone on the bass guitar cabinet? Some folks do both. Other folks do one or the other. I find most bass guitar cabinets too boomy, except for perhaps a Hartkey. So I'm not much on putting microphones on bass guitar cabinets. I do when I hear a good cabinet otherwise I'm pretty much DI. When ya take both, you end up with some serious timing issues. Which is not corrected for, causes all sorts of awful sounding comb filtering and severe cancellation. Not the way you want to go.

You can hear some of the examples of what I'm talking about at . You'll need Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or newer, Google Chrome or someone else's third-party player (such as the VLC media player, etc.) to hear each one of the full songs on each one of the five pages of my website. These recordings were made in completely out of control conditions. LOL. They were sure a hell of a lot of blood, guts & fun. All are live captures. From 65,000 screaming fans at RFK Stadium to 50 folks on the front lawn of NBC-TV for a barbecue party. The track was the only one that wasn't aired. No heavy radical equalization has been used on these recordings and mixes. Nothing has been mastered either. A fair amount of compression, limiting and noise gating was utilized on most everything. Not drum overheads. Everything was live for FM & MTV except for a single cut. Then it was only that one cut that was mixed after multi-track capture. Where everything was recorded from the mic preamp directly to the track. Everything else was live and without any microphone checks. Many of these were for some groups I had never heard before. These recordings represent the mix you get to create in 30 seconds or less. Seriously, it's true. The mixes you hear were generated within the first 30 seconds of their first song. Once I got the mix right on the first song, they would go live at the station/MTV. And only a single track, that one single track, was the only track, I actually got to pick the microphones to use. All the rest were whenever they were going to be. And all cheap dynamics except for a decent over the drum condenser pair, and generally, SM-81's. And it'll all rock your butt off. All EQ was at a minimum. Rarely do I find the need to tweak in huge boosts and cuts.

Part of what I'm trying to say is, I think you're playing with too much? I've made some drop dead fabulous recordings with an eight input mic mixer, no EQ, no compression/limiting, a single reverb send and a single Lexicon PCM-60/LXP-1. And I manually rode the vocalists level, continuously and throughout the set. And always shoot microphones except for the three on the drum set overheads and kick. And the worst and cheapest DI boxes for the bass guitar and the keyboard.

All of this fabulous equalization we get to use in our software comes with a mixed blessing. Whenever you equalize anything be it boosting or cutting, you are actually screwing with the timing of that instrument. Some frequencies end up flying through faster and/or slower than other frequencies. We have come to think of equalization as enhancement or for corrective purposes. And it is. But you don't get something for nothing. For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. Which, when it comes to audio, means that when you equalize you are speeding up and slowing down these little electron thingies. So, to enhance and/or correct, it's actually affecting the phase of that source. Phase is not always dependent upon left and right channels. There is a phasing of timing from input source to output source also. I bet that got your heart pumping? Deep breaths... Good. So when you use too much of a good thing it's like putting too much salt on your food, like a blind man trying to focus the camera, like balancing the budget. It ain't going to work like that. I mean it works when ya do it right. You're not there yet. And doing it right usually means trying to get away with the least amount of EQ as possible. The less you use, the better the focus of the mix becomes. Of course not all equalization nor equalizers are the same in how they work, what they do or how they sound. Proportional Q, anybody? Reciprocal, parametric, graphic, I I R, F I R, Inductor, gyrater, RC, LC, what? They're all there just to make your life difficult in an oh so necessary way. You don't need to limit this guy because there's really nothing there to limit. He's about as dynamic as a fish. And sound like he was taking in about the same amount of air as a fish. Tell him to breathe next time. Also tell him to grab his crotch like Michael Jackson used to. I never knew that you once went to the Neverland Ranch? Did Michael really do that to you?

I didn't mean to get personal.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Mon, 10/15/2012 - 00:33
well, if your looking for a 'modern metal drum sound' you use sampling. either mixed in or replaced. Bassist in most metal bands usually just play the guitar riffs on the bass, this creates the 're-enforcement' role for a metal bassist. funk jazz rock hip hop type songs use the bass guitar differently.

modern metal is weird right now cuz it's like a very "clear" picture of a rough thing. thats why i think it's too edited/sampled sometimes. It is not pop, and the vocs on your recordings are more on par w/ pop, than metal. Metal vocs are usually just 'another instrument, or a bit out front. usually in bands the weak point is the bassists/vocs, more so for metal/hardcore music. If i were working on your project, i'd turn a (selected freq/q) vocal lows down, while turning the fader down to a blend. As you cut the lows (freq/bandwidth),

you'll hear the mids/highs 'open up'. Then, either a pleasant boost high, or not. cuts will define sounds. it seems to me that vocal oerfromance (producer hat) comes into play to you more than the mix issuses.

If somebody is not doing a good job singing they need to be told so. when the 'talent' pluggin works, i'll get it. but behind the board tracking, there's not much to do after you labor the initial sounds. 'get a best performance'. It should/will sound like the record more or less. Mixing is awsome, so is edititing, but i feel like tracking is 80%.

samples are the name of the metal game for the past ten yrs, so triggering could help. It doesnt matter much to me, its only a question of if ya want me to make ya sound like it is there, or something else. FWIW compression was way harder to translate than EQ 4 me. But certainly an apprachable low end freq to deal w/ on the vocs.

Member for

9 years 5 months

Nutti Mon, 10/15/2012 - 09:46
Thanks guys for all replys!

Been working all weekend so I havn't had the time for any studiotime until today...

I found a sm57 and a sm58 for 130€ and bought them yesterday, so it will be nice to try them out when they arrive by mail.

Sadly it's like having to start all over again...the reason for the absourd eq setting on the overheads was becouse I didn't understand what remy ment about the overheads. I thought you ment that I should open eq for overheads and since I already eq:ed them with low end roll off I thougt that I needed to blow the eq to get the sound from the other drums into the overheads. Well now I went back to the point befor that...

To the mix:
I had one mike inside the kickdrum + a subkick when recording. I tested to invert the phase on the mike inside the drum but that sounded like the mike was cut of and only the subkick worked. Like it was phase cancelled. The snare had a top and bottom mike with bottom mike phase reversed. Kick+snare+toms are already gated as much as I think they can be to not interfere the original sound. I don't have a compressor that reach 20:1 ratio, my vst compressors max at 8:1 so I had to go with 8:1 ratio. Bass was recorded with both microphone and DI and with that I got alot of low end trough the mike.

Kick eq: -2db@300hz, +4.5db@2khz, +3db@4500khz
Kick compressor: -30 threshold, 8:1 ratio, 1ms attack, 250ms release
Snare eq: +3,9db@4700hz, +3db@1200hz, +2db@800hz
Snare compression: -20 threshold, 5:1 ratio, 1ms attack, 500ms release
Toms eq: hi-end roll off at 10khz, +3db@150hz, +3db volume

Vocals eq: -2,5db@100hz, -3db@400hz. +1db volume
Vocals compression: -30 threshold, 8:1 ratio, 16ms attack, 180ms release

Bass eq: -10db@100hz, +4,5db@800hz, +4,5db@1200hz, +5db@3000hz
Bass compression: -30 threshold, 8:1 ratio, 16ms attack, 100ms release.

The 3 mixes had some changes from these settings but these where the starting points. Now the bass sounds totally different, lots of string sound and bright, vocals are blended more into the mix and I think it sounds better overall. The toms did get the life back to them, but I'm not shure about the rest of the set?

I must say that when I first started with the mixing on these songs I did a terrible mistake. I did not save the original recordings as a different project, I just saved over and over as the same project. This was totally stupid and I have a hard time knowing exactly what I've done to the mix, shure I've made notes about every change I've done, but I can't listen to the original recording. This sucks...

So where am I in this mix? I think I've lost myself somewhere along the road, but I still have the (now) three different mixdowns to compare on each song. Every mixdown is dramaticly different from the other and I understand that this is a learning process but why did'nt I mix it right from the start?! Aaaargh! Need guidence!

Thanks guys for teaching me with your ears and giving me advice!

I hade to hide the songs and rename them becouse of publicity on facebook, so now they are just called song 1, 2 and 3. Let me know if you like to hear the previous versions and I'll upload them again. Here are the 3rd version of them all, notice the doppler effect in "3rd mixing of song 2" at 5:15 :)




Member for

16 years 1 month

hueseph Tue, 10/16/2012 - 16:56
I hate to tell you this but they all sound muddy to me still. Maybe it's my ears.

It would be awesome if you could convince the band to let some of the folks here have at your mix. I know that you would get some great mixes out of some of us........and then I might have a shot and they'd wish they never let it out but anyway. :rolleyes: Seriously though, it would be fun. No, I don't actually expect that to happen. I just like to throw crumbs out once in a while to see if anyone bites.