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The most common mistakes?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by ffynnon, May 22, 2002.

  1. nezpierce

    nezpierce Guest

    Aww, be nice to the newbies...

    well. We all know that we have favorites in our bags of tricks yes? Sometimes those come from exploration (its 2AM :gee, I wonder what would happen if I ...)and others come from our pigheadedness(dammit, I am going to find a way to get this stupid mic to work on this stupid conga... whatever). The second part goes back to all of our "inner newbie".

    So common mistakes?

    Not taking the time to explore different options. (Sometimes the clock is ticking and we reach for EQ when we should get out burrito eating behinds up and move the mic around? or someone else has the "good" 414's in the other room etc... you know)

    and yes, the plug-in craze is out of control. It is symptomatic of the entire digitization of the world. Everyone thinks a POD and Pro-Tolls is all they need.

    I think everyone should start out on 4 track(gasp! analog) with a 57, a 58 and A Fender Twin as your outboard gear and see what you can do with that first.


    (Incidentally, my nephew is starting at the SAE school in the fall so I will have tons more to say on the newbie subject ... )
  2. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Most of the common mistakes usually occur in the mixdown; too much reverb, vocals too low, or guitars bass and kick all fighting for the bottom few octaves. What comes out is a lack of space each instrument needs to have. The two biggest mistakes I see over and over? The first mistake is soloing each instrument till it sounds great by itself, and then not realizing that the total mix now sounds shitty. The second biggest mistake is using ALL the tracks the group has recorded.
  3. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    excellent comments e-cue
  4. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    another home recordist's mistake, is when you finally get that great drum sound, you stick it upfront in your mix, 'coz you're so damn proud of it (meanwhile, the vocalist and the rest of the band are huddling behind the kit in the mix)

    done it myself and heard it yesterday on a indie record
  5. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    For me personally, it is an ongoing struggle to lay off compression in mixing...

    That, and getting all caught up in the "gear mania" and buying on compulsion rather than buying on present and future needs... :eek:

    (Dead Link Removed)
  6. jimistone

    jimistone Guest

    hey harvey,
    this is off topic, but i checked out your web site and its really impressive. alot of great info there.

    i didn't know you worked with albert king...he is my all time favorite guitarist.
  7. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Albert King was one of my favorite people. I remember one show at the Ash Grove shortly after he bought his Acoustic 260 amplifier.

    During the second show, it started to feed back. Usually, Albert was quick to turn his flying V down and turn sideways to kill the feedback, but this time, it was in key, and he just let it go.

    I watched as a big smile spread over his face as he found the sustained note worked with just about every chord the band played; it was the day Albert discovered controlled feedback, and he was like a kid with a shiny new tricycle on Christmas morning.

    Albert was one of the kindest, most gentle men I've ever met. Some people have mentioned that Albert could be very gruff if he was asked for an autograph, but that was to hide the fact that he never learned to write.

    There are many people who have passed on that I still miss almost every day; one of them is ALbert King.
  8. soup_bk

    soup_bk Guest

    >Like Al Schmitt says (and unless your going for >a "radical" sound) if you need more than a >cuople of db on an eq, you've either got the >wrong spot or the wrong mic; or both.

    Sorry for replyig to an earlier thread. But ya'll keep mentioning something i have a big problem with. I use eq to make things sound seperate and i have alot of trouble geting things seperate with out eqing everything(alot). I think it might be a limmited mic selection, but i have recently expanded that. i dont know. How do ya'll get away with not eqing? What are somethings i can do to seperate instuments with out eq?
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Modify the sound at it's source. If it's a bass amp tweek the amp tone. Same with guitars.. A lot of guitar players will go for the same type of tone ( you know the one, super distortion with NO mids). Record them as they are and then let them hear a playback. Then tweek it some on the amps, record them again and let them hear the difference. Explane to them what is happening. It may convince them to change they're ways. A lot of times, musicians in a band will all play the same chord in the same octave and voicing. This can make it almost impossible to differentiate between them, especially if they are all using similar tones. Arraingments shoud be altered to get the guitar players and keyboards to play different chord voicings and in different octaves. This will remedy the "pile up" of the instruments. This is a perfect example of it's not what you record with, it's what your recording. While your correct in saying it's better not to use radical eq settings, bottom line is, do what sounds good. If you need to use 10dB of eq, do it! Thats why the eq's all have that much range. Try to cut eq instead of boosting whenever possible.... Fats
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    To get us back on track;
    hargerst, RO Moderator wrote;
    "The first mistake is soloing each instrument till it sounds great by itself, and then not realizing that the total mix now sounds shitty." This is so true it cracks me up. I almost soiled myself when I read it and I agree that this is the most commen mistake. The logic follows that if each thing sounds good by it self it should all sound good together, but it ain't so. Sometimes you will have tones that are so similar that they mask each other and turn everything into a sea of hash and mud. The key is to listen to everything together in context and the fix the problems. Put everything up even with no e.q. and then take it from there...........Fats
  11. invisibl

    invisibl Guest

    I aint a pro but for mine I say,

    Dont start without a plan.

    Reactivity can be very ego fulfilling (the idea perhaps that you are more than dealing with problems on the fly or being able to deal with issues and not be overcome by them) But the more you can minimise the effect issues pose in their cropping up, the better. Sometimes a session turns into a mission: that is unavoidable, But to be prepared, like having already prioritized pieces of gear for particular tasks or instruments, Like having extra DATs or Tape ready, Having whatever creature comforts it takes (or your budget can afford) Just whatever.

    I believe the further away the vibe gets from 'fun' then more than likely you are documenting this in your recording. (I know a tense vibe can be appropriate in some tunes).

    Anyway, if this is me being obvious then ignore it
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    You are so right. In the music business, rewards are so intangible that if your not enjoying yourself, what's the point. I have told singers many times, "Smile, you can hear it on the tape.".........................Fats
  13. Eric Best

    Eric Best Active Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Lansing, MI
    I read this thread for the first time, and I like it. I'll throw in my $.02. I have just recently corrected this mistake with a bunch of studying and little money and some work at the table saw.

    Spending all yor money on gear and not using some for room acoustics.

    Since I balanced the acoustics in my studio I have to make no compensations in my mixing. They travel so much better!!!!
  14. trebles

    trebles Guest

    boomy guitars i smell a drednaught :) try using an om (orchestra model) or 000 sized guitar to minus some of that boom from your recordings just like selecting the correct mic and positioning etc using the correct guitar with correct strings for the sound you want can be just as important as well
  15. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I am certainly not a pro either, but have been involved with music/recording for 25+ years on one side of the console or the other...

    My comments:

    So true, but conversly, I think the opposite can also be true at times. I have seen where an acoustic guitar track was doubled using the built-in pickup and blended with the mic'ed track. The pickup track sounded like major *crap* when solo'ed, yet when blended in with the rest of the mix added just the right flavor...

    My biggest problem is never knowing when to say "It is finished". I listen to some of my songs a couple of weeks after "finishing" them, and think to myself..."Wow...with one more little EQ tweak on that one vocal part...this song will be perfect!" Well...you see where I'm going here...There must be a balance between resting your ears to give your music a critical listen a week or so later vs. the "never done" syndrome.

    Finally, someone mentioned acoustic treatments for the room...absolutely! I am just crossing that bridge with my own home studio, and the few tweaks I have made already have made a *huge* difference! I now have a master plan to be completed within the next 2 weeks or so, but this is way huge!

    Great thread...keep it up!
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    This has been a very informitive thread and if possible, I would like to see it stay current for a while longer. I'm positive the is more out there that we can all take away from this. Lets hear it! Fats
    You can't polish a turd! :D
  17. invisibl

    invisibl Guest

    You can if you freeze it! <g>
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