Help with general mixing.

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by mikalee, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. mikalee

    mikalee Guest

    Hi guys. I'm new here.

    I have recently started recording in a simple way. I am using a Line 6 GuitarPort, and that is being recorded by Sonar 6 Producer Edition. I've made loads of recording so far, but I'm retty clueless when it comes to mixing.

    I was wondering if there are any programs that do it automatically for you. Kinda like you select what part, and what your having in the track, and then you record say guitar, and it will place it in the mix for you. Now I know mixing is more complicated than that, but it would be a start, and men less margin of error for me! :D

    If there isn't anything like that out there, then I was wondering if you could link me to a good website, or maybe a book I should read about mixing so I can apply that knowledge to my recording.

    If it helps, I'm recording at least 2 guitar tracks, at least 2 vocal tracks, and drums.

    Thanks for you help! :D
  2. MediaMurder

    MediaMurder Guest

    Well Sonar 6 PE is a little more advanced than just auto-mixing. If you have that standard drums, guitar, bass and vocals here's what I would do for a start as far as panning goes.

    drums - stereo center
    guitars- hard pan two diff takes %100 left and right
    bass- mono down the middle
    vocals- %10 left and right

    Before youlearn to mix you should probably learn what you can do with your $500 software.
  3. mikalee

    mikalee Guest

    So you suggest reading the help files and things like that which are included first?
  4. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    theres no real way to mix. its all in the way you want the song to sound. yes you can do what mediamurder said. but it doesnt have to be that way. experiment with panning and the levels of ur track until you find a spot in the sound field that you like. you might like ur guitar slightly off center...or you might like it hard panned left or right. the main key in mixing is trying everything possible and from that, pick the best sounding spot for that track.
  5. mikalee

    mikalee Guest

    I guess I was just trying to be lazy really as I wanted to finish all my songs.

    But I will just try and see what works best, but it takes alot of time.

    Thanks for your help!
  6. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    haha no problem. recording and mixing is time consuming and you have to be patient. i think having something compute the mix automaticaly take the artistic side out of mixing.
  7. MediaMurder

    MediaMurder Guest

    Oh yeah for sure, I was just suggesting a way to start.
    One thing that is true for most mixes is that everything, for the most part, has its own place in sound space. What I mean by that is both guitars arent sitting right in the middle of the mix with two vocal tracks, they are hard panned and one of the vocals is slighty panned as well so they dont all come from the middle but take their own positions and sound better blah blah blah....
  8. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    haha ya for sure. sometimes panning two of those in the same position isnt a bad idea. but ya, you got the idea my friend use it wisely.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Sure...they're not computer programs though. It's a program like...
    You send me the files and pay me less than what you'd have paid for a program, I'll mix it and send it back to you and's mixed automatically for you...

    Seriously though...many people do mix tracks (myself included) for a small fee and you'll find that the work that they can do sometimes can be simply magical. You'll also find that they're far less expensive than you might have thought. See if you can find a competent and credentialled engineer close by and see what they charge...(or call me) ;)

    Cheers -

  10. MediaMurder

    MediaMurder Guest

    Yeah, I would actually do yours for free dude. I love mixing songs! Just send me an OMF file!
  11. casper

    casper Guest


    I agree with the other posters, if you need it right away I would get it mixed by someone with experience.

    When you have time though, you might want to look through this:

    Also, It helps to keep a notebook around to jot down setup info, routing, settings and in general what ever you do thta gets good results.
  12. mikalee

    mikalee Guest

    Thanks for all your help guys.

    I'm gonna try it myself. It's something I want to learn to do, but didn't know how to go about actually learning to be honest.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    No problem.

    Honestly, the best way to learn mixing is actually not trial and error. It is hands on education with an experienced pro. Normally, I'm a BIG fan of trial and error learning, but for mixing and recording, there is too much in the way of science and art to simply guess and of course there are WAY too many variables too.

    Many will simply tell you..."Just use your ears and get it sounding the way you want it..." or similar. I say, this is generally BAD advice. Yes, we as engineers SHOULD trust our ears, but learning HOW to get that sound is more important than just fiddling with something until we get that sound.

    "Why?" you ask...simple. Our ears lie to us. The more you listen to something trying to obtain a goal, the more your ears begin to assume or fill in the gaps for you. Before you know it, you've destroyed the track, but your ears are telling you that things are hunky-dorey.

    No. Instead, the best approach to learn this would be to go to a reputable engineer with your mixes and ask to sit in on the mixing session (he/she will likely offer this anyway if they are in fact reputable.) Then, while he/she is mixing, ask questions. Lots of questions. (Don't interupt the session though if it's a question that can wait. Take a notepad and jot them down if necessary.)

    The reasons why this is the best approach:

    1 - they undoubtedly will have better monitors in a better room than what you're dealing with. 90% of a good mix is being able to accurately hear what you're doing.

    2 - you will learn the "why" behind the art of mixing. This will make you far more potent with your next mix(es). Then, once you know the "why" behind the "what" you can start to trust your ears.

    Perhaps you live close by to an engineer here on the board that would be willing to help you out. I'm willing to bet that it would be far less painful than you'd think to get into a studio and learn the ropes instead of guessing at it.



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