suggestions for recording and mixing

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by spinchris, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. spinchris

    spinchris Guest

    i'm in a pop-punk/emo band and i've been recording my own stuff from the ground up since my band started 4 years ago (i'm now a senior in high school).

    My current setup for recording guitar, bass, and vox (my drum setup is so freakin complicated i'll leave it for another day) is the following:

    Shure ksm27
    Berhinger tube ultragain mic200 pre
    Berhinger autocom pro compressor/gate
    aphex 204 aural exciter
    pod xt (vox: with bypass settings and a fair amount of comp/gate and reverb)

    I don't use the compressor for vocals (i know, it's weird), because it seems to just kill the sound, and leave no prisoners.

    Is there anything missing in my setup that's relatively affordable to a highschooler with like $30 a week income? Are vocal processors worth the money? Can they do a lot more than the podxt?

    We're in the process of finishing laying down tracks for our newest cd, but my problem is the mix still sounds so terrible on speakers. Headphones sound tight, but i still think some people's recordings done with a radio shack mic sound better than mine, because mine is too cluttered.

    Every instrument by itself sounds fine (classic cliche coming...), but everything doesn't fit, and sounds so washed out and dull on speakers together. I've tried and heard myths about how the EQ is supposed to fit together between instruments, but i've never found this balance. I've tried by best to teach myself EQing, but i can only make slight adjustments on vox especially before they sound grossly out of context with the rest of the mix.

    Sorry that was more than a rant than a question, but i'm really frustrated. My final questions are, can i even expect anywhere near a pro sounding recording with the equipment i have? should i just give up and shell out the big bucks for a real studio? does any one have any general advice for where to start mixing (i.e. zero everything, then start with drums etc.)?

    i'll try to keep a rough sample up of what i've done at, or you can hear the lower quality at

    If anyone answers any of the questions above, i thank you graciously for your help.

    -spin chris
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i will listen to your link and lcomment on that later but i do have some advice for basic eqing steps ...

    With the kick and bass I always carve out a little notch around 200 Hz on the kick with a narrow "q" EQ and then boost that same frequency a few dB on the bass ... this makes the bass stand out well on small speakers ...

    On the rest of the tracks, set the eq flat and one by one, go through them and sweep the mid eq band while boosted 8 or 10dB. Turn down the speakers so you don't fry them and listen for a spot on the eq that really makes things sound bad .... every track has one. This is the "resonant frequency" of the instrument or vocal. Once you have identified the resonant frequency, apply 4 to 6dB of cut to that channel at that frequency with the eq at a moderate "q"... give this a try and get back to me here and let me know what you think of the results ...
  3. spinchris

    spinchris Guest

    i'm gonna sit down with the mix tomorrow. thanks so much for the advice so far. it's exactly what i've been looking for.

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