General Advice On Mixing Metal In Logic 8

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by jondotdmg, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. jondotdmg

    jondotdmg Guest

    Only just joined this forum and already found some of the threads very handy, but need a bit of extra advice on some mixing in Logic 8.
    I run full Logic 8 on a Powermac G5, using Toontrack Superior 2.0 (The Metal Foundry SDX) for drums.
    Have recorded all guitars with a close-mic'd SM57 (top right cone of Orange cab) and placed an SE2200A about 6ft away.
    Bass was tracked using a DI and a close-mic'd SM57 on the top left.

    Basically, I can always make a mix loud and everything is well balanced, but everything is always flying through the roof and often sounds over-compressed. When I try and hold back on the compression either the drums dominate the mix or it's generally too quiet.

    I've been trying to keep a few dB headroom on every track to allow the mix to breathe a bit but have found it really difficult to get it sounding full.

    I also always have some troubles getting the right CS settings in my Out 1-2, which might be part of my problem?

    I guess this probably belongs in the "newby" topics but I figured as it was a little more in depth I should post it here.
    Examples of my demo mixes can be heard on my bands' Myspace link below (the Shirukume one), these are about a year old though.

    Please help!
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    try sub grouping

    Guitar Group - compressor/limiter 1
    Drum Group - compressor/limiter 2
    drum reverb inside the drum group
    Vocal Group - compressor/limiter 3
    vocal reverb inside the vocal group

    Stereo Main - compressor/limiter 4

    then Mastering
    but we can talk about this later
    as to master or not may influence just how much you squash and how much you leave to the Mastering Eng
  3. jondotdmg

    jondotdmg Guest

    Hi, thanks for the reply.
    I'm unsure how grouping instruments will help though? Could you explain? Sorry, I think this is a classic case of "all the gear, no idea"!

    Our record label is handling the mastering process, post-mix, but again I'm relatively unfamiliar with that process and not quite sure what they do/don't do!

  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Ahh, a fellow engineer who is into metal (or maybe you're not, who knows). From your original post, I am gathering that maybe you are misusing your compression?

    Get the mix sounding good without compression, then add compression later. Leave plenty of mix headroom (-6dB at max is plenty room for a submix) WITHOUT using compression. In other words, don't have the track levels clipping, and then use compression as a safeguard to knock it down. That is what a volume control is for, not a compressor. Kev's advice on submix groups is great and will help you to differentiate the different parts of the mix effectively while opening up some space for better mixing techniques.
  5. jondotdmg

    jondotdmg Guest

    Thanks man that's exactly what I needed!
    I'm kind of working within that environment at the moment so I'll apply those techniques when I get to that stage :)

    While I'm at it (as you seem to be into your metal too), any advice for mic'ing up high gain guitars? Currently using an SM57 to close mic the cab and then using an SE2200A as a room mic to collect ambience. This sound about right?
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I prefer an Audix i5 for high gain guitars personally. Very similar to an SM57 except less mids and more bite!

    IMO Metal does not need room ambience, unless you need to thicken up a clean passage. In most cases a single close mic is all you need. Adding another mic brings too many variables into the equation that I am not even sure if you are aware of yet. If you are in doubt, stick to one mic for now until you learn the ropes a little more.
  7. jondotdmg

    jondotdmg Guest

    Thanks man, that's sweet! Will heed your advice carefully and drop you a PM when the CD is done/mixed/mastered!

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