Recording and Mixing Technique

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Moxioron, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    Hey all. I have been recording at home for about three years now and I think I have just about everything I really need to create a quality MP3 or CD.

    Here is my method for recording/mixing.
    1.) I record each 'instrument' in a separate SONAR file and render the track(s) to a 24 bit .wav file.
    2.) I open up the file in Sound Forge and apply a little EQ or MultiBand effect.
    3.) I import all of the wave files for each 'instrument' into SONAR, mix down, save as one file, and render the track(s) to a 24 bit .wav file.
    4.) I open up the .wav file that I just rendered containing all instruments in Sound Forge and apply a little MultiBand and/or compression.

    The final product sounds OK, but I am certain it could be better and most of the songs I am working on lack the oomph that I hear in professionally recorded/produced songs.

    Is my method for recording/mixing flawed? Is there a better way to do it? Any recommendations on how to make the final product sound like 'the pros'?

    Thanks for your unbiased responses
  2. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    It call comes down to what you have at your disposal.
    After listening to what I feel is my best recording to date the other week, finally realized that I will never reach a sound I like at my home studio. You need a perfect recording space, top of the line gear, and of course tons of experience to reach CD quality.

    Your method is good, the only thing I can think of is the recording methods. $*^t in $*^t out really is true. I cannot compress my drums the way I want because it makes background noise too evident in the recording, hence weaker sounding drums. Same with guitar, if I had an iso room and a control room, I could set my mics up better, but alas I dont. I just make do and give it my best shot.
  3. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I am confused why can't you use plug ins in sonar? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I don't see why you have to do every track by itself. I understand that CPU power may be an issue, but That method makes mixing very tough.
  4. lytes

    lytes Guest

    Honestly, you can get quality sound anywhere ... it's all a matter of YOUR exposure. If you've spent anytime in studios (and I mean countless nights, mornings and weeks) then eventually, you'll be around when a hit is made. The idea is to be around when I few good hits get out, that way you'll instinctively know what a freakin hit is when you hear it.. yeah!

    So yeah, when you then realize that the "love" alone can't pay the rent, that or you wanna stand out.. you then get the bright idea - "Home Studio"... Good move, only now, you have a space that you need to tweak a lil... but none the less.. can you squeeze out a hit?!?!? Well.. can you??

    It's only then that the acoustic panelling in the corner of room will make sense.. it's only that time that the difference between that USB mic you could afford vs a great condenser and mic pre can be seen.

    The truth is.. if you haven't learned what a hit is, then you'll spend more time than is necessary trying to hunt for one in a room that may or may not be good.. and nothing can be worse than having a great sounding room and YOU STILL DONT KNOW IT.

    but perhaps i'm being judgemental.. either way, life lessons is that missing factor to a good a sound room.. IMO..

  5. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    Thanks for the feedback and opinions.

    The only instrument that I have where accoustics are a factor is my Audio Technica mic, which sounds terrific in my little studio, which is accoustically sound. My guitar(s) and drums are piped through my Tascam 1028 and also sound great by themselves. Bringing them all together for the final mix is my issue, which reflects my lack of knowledge in this area.

    I guess I like to render each track as a separate .wav file and then bring them all in for a final mix is so that I don't have 10 or more tracks on one file. It's easier to manage for me....

    Thanks again.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Not sure why you have this need to " render" an audiophile that is already, or should be already a 16 or 24-bit ".wav" file at 44.1kHz or 48kHz? That doesn't make any sense. When you record, you record as ".wav" on PC or ".AIFF" on Mac. You only "render" a file to a mix when you are combining multiple files together or when you "render" down to a .MP3, QuickTime, WMV, WMA, or any other lossy format, for streaming or posting on the Internet, e-mail, etc..

    And don't believe for a minute that you need better gear to get a better recording. Nothing wrong with your gear, only your technique and execution. So don't blame your inadequate recording on your equipment. It's not that. And you're recording wasn't that bad. You'll get a lot better if you stop screwing around with needless processes. LESS IS MORE. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. MY BUTT ITCHES.

    It's possible that you might be recording at 44.1kHz 16-bit and that you are up converting to 24-bit? There really isn't much sense in that either if you didn't record at 24-bit resolution to begin with. That's sort of like filling your car up with gasoline and driving to New York from Washington DC, because you really only wanted one half tank of gasoline. There are easier ways to do that. Your recording is half-full as opposed to half empty. Not sure why my kitty circles three times before she lies down but that's what you're doing. Maybe it's more comfortable for you? I'd rather keep it simple. Record then, mix. Nothing else needs to be done. No needless rendering. The less you screw the better it will be. That didn't come out right? That doesn't sound like any fun does it? I mean, you spent all this money on all that stuff shouldn't you use it all? No. You shouldn't. It's really only there to correct a few things and not necessary most of the time.

    Do less, get paid more.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Did remy just say K.I.S.S MY BUTT.....Itches?
  8. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    I am very sorry that your butt itches. But I do appreciate your comments. I do agree that quality is about technique, not necessarily about expensive equipment and accoustics (although that plays a part at times).

    I use SONAR producer and I have it set @ 48Khz for recording (which is what my Tascam 1028 is set @). Not sure I understand some of your comments, but when I am ready to render to an .mp3, I export from SONAR to a 24bit .wav file, open it up in Sound Forge, tweak it a bit, and then render it to .mp3.
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    This is the sentence that sticks out to me, and it seems, to the others that have commented.

    My question is, why do you render it post recording to 24bit - can you not record in at 24bit?
  10. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Just a thought, wouldn't it be better to adjust EQ with all tracks present?

    Frequency is additive, a track may be alright by itself, but may cause an overage/distortion when other tracks are added to the mix.

    :shock: :!:
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Yeah. Sounds like you're a bit of a masochist. You're creating a lot of unnecessary work for yourself. Sonar is probably a lot smarter than you give it credit for.

    When you start a new program, create a folder(which it probably asks you to do). As you record tracks, name the good takes(which sonar probably asks you to do for every take. ) When you're done recording you probably have an option in Sonars file management to delete all unused audio files in the audio pool.

    There now you have all of your tracks in one folder, named and ready for you to mix. You don't need to import them because they are already in your current project!

    If all else fails read the manual. I bet this is all in a tutorial somewhere on the install disk.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I'll chime in again with my worthless opinion. When recording, if possible, you should record at 24-bit at 44.1kHz sampling. Not 48kHz unless you are into mixing through an analog desk. This is because the mathematics to convert from 48kHz to 44.1kHz, for CD release, doesn't quite work. You are making a compromise in your sound if you are keeping it all in the digital realm, starting with 48 and ending with 44.1. So it really isn't good to record at 48kHz to render to 44.1kHz.

    If you want higher resolution, choose 88.2kHz, not 96kHz. Don't even bother with 192kHz. If you want better? DSD 1 bit@2.8MHz sampling is ultra cool for SACD release for the 17 people who own one of those hideously expensive CD players. Don't get me wrong? It's fabulous sounding. It's just that nobody else can enjoy that fabulous sound easily yet and may never.

    I'm not even big on recording at 24-bit but since my stuff is able to now, rather effortlessly, I routinely use it now. But I've never needed 140 DB of dynamic range. That's a misnomer. NO AUDIO GEAR IS CAPABLE OF 140 DB OF DYNAMIC RANGE. That's for digital processing and poor levels and gain staging. It's just a broader window from which to work from if you are an " audio bit". The audio section performance is still around 104 DB, from thermal noise to transistor capabilities. I don't care what you've read in the advertisements and specifications. It's not real audio performance but a digital processing capability/function. It's not really extra resolution but extra processing power.

    Still making great recordings at 16-bit 44.1kHz.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
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