mixing faux pas (excuse my French)

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Kurt Foster, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I think the biggest mistake novice mixers commit is soloing each instrument and eqing it to make it sound good on its own, and then bringing everything up and expecting it to sound great!

    What, in your opinion is the biggest faux pas made by budding engineers when it comes to mixing? Kurt
  2. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    I would include:

    a) recording: recording at 48k/16 bits, lots of microphones, no phase check, try to record without a click.

    b) editing: editing with very low monitor levels and chopping reverbs, breaths > Kurt, that is a hell down here, have lost the numer of times I had to apply overal reverb at mastering/mixing.

    c)Mixing: Normalizing, inserting the ^#$%ing 2-bus compressor with a threshold lower than hell and limiting till it sounds/looks like a pancake falling down the pan

    d)mastering: adding doens of dbs at lows, sublows, making the program material sound like a big fart at small stereo systems.

  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Jeeezz...i cant remember that far back...so i dont faux or pas....

    I guess not remembering to have a count in on EVERY song..no matter how it starts...

    You know we dont use cliks...they get in the way of the breathing.

    Once(lolol)I did a perfect mix...manual, about 20 tracks and probably a 'reduced drums to stereo'....I was really flying on this mix,,,there was a lot of little moves and man it was sounding good...the 2 trk was moving and everything was PERFECT...except those rascally little red lights on the two track....uhhhhh....duh
  4. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001

  5. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Haha. Lets see. I'll list down all the mistakes I've made and spotted throughout the past year (since I started recording stuff and mixing it)
    Heck, despite the size of this list, some of which are really embarrasing, in a few years I'll be looking back on the stuff I'm doing *NOW* and shaking my head the same way. Experience kills. ;P

    1) Small-speaker-syndrome - Subsonics way too loud, too much 200-400Hz range, muddy-sounding.

    2) Lots of reverb on the kick drum. :d:

    3) Totally dry vocals, maybe 29347923423 dB louder than the music

    4)Ahahha.. this is a good one. Trying to record guitars direct from guitar-->Danelectro Daddy-O-->sound card input, then running it through 3 different amp sims in series.
  6. Bobby Yarrow

    Bobby Yarrow Guest

    I reckon I continue to make all the biggest mistakes you can think of. (One of the first mistakes that came to mind for me was using a click track, tho I see not using a click is at the top of some folk's list and I still use one if it seems really necessary. Anyhow . . .) I think the biggest hurdle for me was (and is) learning to really limit what I'm trying to do with the mix. The more I mix, the more I focus on tracking, on having a real clear idea of where the project's going from the first track. I try to keep that clear idea at the front of my head, and I try to make sure we really, really get it while tracking. The mistake, then, is thinking that the "magic" is going to happen in the mix.
  7. Here is one- trying to make everything huge and/or heavy and then finding out that it makes everything sound small. Also not checking the mix at different volumes, on different speakers, different rooms. Doc
  8. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    Mixing for 87 hours straight through. Day & night.

    Getting everyone "altered" including the engineer.
  9. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    How about: recording on 24 bit and STILL limiting the life out of EVERY input to "maximize the use of bits". What a bunch of crap.

    Why is it that most of my LP's have more dynamics on them than most of my CD's, yet the CDs have 2x the dynamic range?

    Digital, even 16-bit is way better than tape, IMHO, if you LEARN TO USE THE MEDIUM. Anyway- how about another one:

    Making sure all the mics "look" like they're set up correctly. How about using your ears?

    #1 mistake I've seen new engineers make (and have made myself, back before I had the green slapped off me :p ) is to think the equipment can fix any and every sloppy tracking mistake.

    Dan Roth
    Otitis Media
    Audio - Video - Film
  10. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hey! I found an old track of mine where the drums are panned hard left along with the bass, the singer is dead center, and everything else is hard right. Do I win a prize?
  11. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

    Nov 17, 2002
    Mexico City
    Home Page:
    making critical decisions at 4 am in the morning when everyone's fried
  12. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) How about this one...after a 24 hour, 2 album marathon session. "Dude, we listened and partied for 2 days with the track dubs, like...will you buy some back so we can get some more beer?"

    Duh, ahh OK. :d:

  13. Mark Burnley

    Mark Burnley Guest


    A few millimetres mic-tweaking is worth a rack of parametric EQs!



    "Oscillators don't, amplifiers do....."
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