Four.....,count 'em, four tracks.....

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Southwind, Jan 15, 2002.

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  1. Southwind

    Southwind Guest

    Here's the gig: I am starting a mixing project for an artist here in Austin. It was tracked all at home mostly in his kitchen on a four track in the ol' Latin Playboy's tradition. Not a crappy poorly tracked demo thing, he is an amazing writer and player with several major label releases behind him This is a side/solo thing for him between his band releases.

    Actually, I know that David McNare (if you're out there), you've worked with this guy in the past.

    Anyway, If anybody has any thouhgts on how to get the most out of these tracks, I would be in your debt. I'm not too worried, the sounds are all compelling and often really cool. There is usually a stereo submix of drums (mono), bass and accoustic guitar(s) and then two tracks of vox, solos, percussion, and random stuff.

    My biggest battle will be to get as much clarity out of the low end. The drums and bass are often mashed together in the center with guitars and stuff panned hard out. It can sound a little weird to leave the panning as is but then moving anything in the submix means moving the drums. Also he often used an old Maranrz tape deck as a compressor and some drums are VERY compressed, how do you guys expand if you have to?

    I have tried a bunch of things and I am curious to hear what y'all (I've been in Tx. WAY too long) would do.....multing off the submix?...spltting frequencies up?......M-S encoding?........


    Charles Rieser
    Southwind Studios
    Austin, Tx
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    If it's who I'm thinking it is (has the Chronicle spent a bunch of ink on him?), I'd have to say you're pretty damned lucky.

    Okay, to start, I would mult everything and process the mult so you have a dry signal to mix back in, which could help preserve punch that could get lost in processing. You might do multiple mults of the submix to hit different elements with different processing. (Mutes are great for arranging the processing by verse/chorus/bridge.) If you're not having luck adding low end by boosting, use subtractive eq where appropriate on the rest of the track. (It's simple, but you can forget that.) I don't think any sort of m-s stuff is going to help you now (too late, I believe). While I severely doubt it's going to do anything for you, you might want to try summing to mono to see if there's a benefit.

    If the bass just wont come back, play Frankenstein with it: dbx subharmonic synthesizer would be my first suggestion, or maybe some analog filter with a fat ass (metaphorically). Do something to give it its own life and just work with it on those terms. I still haven't tried the SPL Transient Designer, so I don't know if it would be any help. There's always reamping, if you have an Ampeg bass amp lieing around.

    Let me know when it's released, 'cause I like his work. (I assume I've got the right guy.)

  3. Southwind

    Southwind Guest

    Thanks Bear,

    How's Houston treating you? I'm not sure if you have guessed who it is (since I don't know who it is you have is....?)
    I suspect it is not the person you think it is, though I work with him way TOO much. E-mail if you want.

    Any way I've already multed the stereo mix off for every song. So far I'm pretty happy. It just forces me into too many compromises....make the snare nice and fat and live with a slighty boomy guitar.....make the kick punch and live with a clicky bass etc......Any ticks for getting mults to blend back in with each other nicely?
    I wish I had a subharmonic synth, maybe I'll try and track one down. We start mixing tommorrow, so keep the ideas coming y'all.

    Charles Rieser
    Southwind Studios
    Austin, Tx
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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