Login / Register
 
Mixxxxxing
New Reply
Subscribe
Busdriver
Thread Starter
#1
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
  #1
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 94

Thread Starter
Busdriver is offline
Mixxxxxing

Hi there,

i'm kind of disapointed, i explain myself:

i read and i understood that mixing is a 3 dimension business:

-Frequency
-volume
-spatialisation


i understand the 3 faces of the thing but...

-Volume:
you have to make some of your elements loud and some quieter to fit in the mix without clipping the master, but how do you do that when you have a lot of channel going on at the same time? i know this is interacting with "-volume" and "-spatialisation" but without this interaction it's quite hard to do. I use to mix at -6; should i try to mix @ -8 or less when i have a lot of channel/differents sounds going on? wouldn't it lower my overall mix?


-Frequency:
Things have to be straight in their frequency to avoid conflict with others sounds.
Here is the problem: i'm producing D&B and in this style, leads an bass etc... hav to sound quite "full", i mean if i keep the bass hitting between 50 and 100 or 150hz, the lead between 300hz and 5K etc... it will sounds so poor!
Because in every single sound, there need to be some richness given by lot of frequencies(not from 30hz to 10k of course but need some at least) so how to do? i think it can be done like a puzzle: "i get out the lead when the bass hit at this ferquency etc..."but it's quite shitty, it prevent you from doing a lot of things in the arrangement part...

But let's take a more explicit exemple: the well known "Kick/bass or sub" evil duo:

the challenge: I want to make them fit together

let's imagine the kick hit hard @ 100hz but in facts he hits from 50 to 200 with the "extra frequencies" that make it sounds this way that made you choose it.
Your bass hit from 30hz to 400hz.
Now what do you do? you don't have many options from what i read before:
You cut the extra frequencies of your kick so it hits between 100 and 150hz, and then your make a hole in your bass between this same frequencies to fit the kick.

All right that nearly fit...now.... where is my pretty Kick sound that made me choose it? this sounds came out of it's full spectrum, not from the 100to 150hz range so now it's sounding so poor!*cries*
And my bass... lacking of this frequencies seem so much empty, it took some body out of it...*cries more*

So wtffff?
When i listen to my favorites producers i hear everything fitting together and everything is loud and characterfull! every part isn't cut from frequency A to frequency B !

- I won't speak about spacialisation, 'caus i think it's more an esthetic thing to do than a real dimension of the mix. I mean, you won't fix big issues with that, it's more for little problems.

And last but not least, i use to export my productions and open it up in my player with a pro release and switch from one to the other. Let's say there is at least a 3db from one to the other... but after reading a lot of things about loudness of the mixes, i understood that it's not quite interesting to go for absolut loudness to create clipping problems...

But every sounds off pro release cut very much more through the mix, every part is clearer, punchier, an i admit it: louder.

I'm not producing for a very long time, even if i work at it a lot and spends hours/day. So i don't pretend to have the skills of people producing for years and years.
But when i read stuff about producing, mixing, mastering, it think that i have all that i need in my hands (compression,EQ, mixage tips, mastering tips.....). So the difference between pro and me seems to be slight adjusting of all those parameters.
How in the world it is possible to make such a huge difference between their production and mines just with "slight adjusting"?

Please dont take those words for pretentious, it's only questions. Nothing more. I just want to understand.

Thanks a lot mates.

Cheers
#2
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Simonator's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,769

Simonator is offline
I feel the more I learn about mixing, the more I realise I don't know!

I'm not an expert by any means, but here's my tuppence on what you are asking;

re levels... I think mix with the track levels almost as low as possible whilst still allowing enough resolution for differentiation needed between the different elements relative to each other.

re frequencies... I don't think consensus is that you need each sound to have its own frequency with NO overlap. Whilst this wold be ideal in terms of the mix, it's not practical... I think generally you just don't want elements PEAK frequencies to clash.
... ie, if your loudest feq in both kick & bass are BOTH 100hz, and they both play simultaneously, then you have issues.
If say your kick peaks at 110Hz, perhaps attenuate the EQ a LITTLE bit in the bass at that freq to make space. Then say your bass peaks at 70Hz, likewise duck the kick a little at that freq.
#3
10th January 2010
Old 10th January 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,349

kasprouch is offline
sounds like you're overdoing the eq's - a lot of the time a couple of db's makes a world of difference. and are you getting rid of all that lowmid crap? if not, thats the first place to start for a smoother, more open sound. i guess in dnb the only thing you want at 200hz with full punch is the snare. the rest can definitely take a hit there without sounding any emptier.

in tech im also finding a 2/3db dip between 100 to 200hz in the bass and toms makes a world of difference. much richer sound as a result of just freeing a bit of energy down there - same goes for getting rid of everything below 30 or so hz as it serves no real audible purpose.

then move onto your envelopes! listen very carefully to your favourite artists and you'll see they arent using these huge never ending decays or booms on their drums. everything is light and snappy/short. shape your sounds properly or choose them more stringently - in dnb i dont think the kick needs to be as big as you describe above, just nice and punchy at about 100hz, and get rid of anything it doesnt need below it. your sub should pop underneath that with the body of your bass sound just above the kick. also try to experiment with different routings in your track - for example try running the kick freely, compressed together with the rest of your drums, or comp'd together with your bass etc. to see what kind of different dynamics a simple switch like that gives you. a couple of friends making drum used to tell me they always clip their snares intentionally to force the drum comps into overdrive - makes sense as you can get quite a bit of pump by just pushing some elements a bit louder.

finally i guess would be the suggestion of sidechaining your snare and kick if you're not already... and on the same note as the lowcuts, get rid of anything you dont need up top.

good luck brother!
__________________

Busdriver
Thread Starter
#4
12th January 2010
Old 12th January 2010
  #4
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 94

Thread Starter
Busdriver is offline
Hey mates,

thanks a lot for taking time to answer!

Quote:
I think mix with the track levels almost as low as possible whilst still allowing enough resolution for differentiation needed between the different elements relative to each other.
I don't think i understand that very well, could you please re explain it in other words?

Thx kaspouch, i think i make **** EQuing too, i have to learn to make it gently.
Don't get the "enveloppe" thing, how do you change the envelope of a sound? directly when you generate it? or with for example the cubase "envelope shaper"?
I worked with this cubase enveloppe shaper and the problem is that the attack of the sound, when worked over with this plugin,is always on the same high frequencies so sometimes it works, sometime not.

Quote:
a couple of friends making drum used to tell me they always clip their snares intentionally to force the drum comps into overdrive - makes sense as you can get quite a bit of pump by just pushing some elements a bit louder.
I don't understand that clearly could you re explain it please?
you mean they put their drums in a group channel, put a comp on this group channel and make their snares loud enough to clip, then to make compressor overworking, which applies distortion?

I generaly avoid to compress my kick with my other drums, because it makes it sound muddy. I think that a distorted kick in D&B is not really effective, you need it to be clear to cut through the mix.

Thanks again guys, you made me realise some important things!

Cheers!
#5
12th January 2010
Old 12th January 2010
  #5
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: in a low orbit
Posts: 21,671

Reptil is offline
ah eq... don't do too much. use for corrections only unless you got a really good sounding result. (use your bypass switch, it's most important knob on any processor)
steep Q means more phase artefacts and can lead to a messy mix. (doesn't feel "natural" anymore)
so take it easy and use low values. just a tad in the right place, combined with volume does wonders.
there's people that warn against "sweeping" cause the sound of the sweep (if not used in the mix, but purely to find some frequency) has nothing to do with the end result, and you might be tricking your ears. software is sneaky in that. (so just punch in the numbers if you want to try that)

calculate the harmonic simularities between different parts of your mix, for instance when there's a bass you can emphasize it by equing it way up in the freq spectrum (so not mess with the fundamental - to avoid a messy phased low end, but grab and eq it's overtones up or down)
excuse the poor explanation, it's been a long day
Harmonic series (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a good trick as well is to add (bandpassed) distortion to some parts, to "lift up" some stuff.
mixing is much much more than looking at different techniques and just going through the list.
also processes will sound different if done in a different order... and might sound crappy solo-ed, but great in a mix (doesn't clutter or overlap etc.) but you knew all that.
it's knowing what you do, but don't forget the intiutive part, and how it sounds of course.

mixing is like writing, it's the art of leaving stuff out. you know.... the music is in the silences
__________________
"You must have Chaos within you, to give Birth to a dancing Star" Friedrich Nietzsche


for sale EURORACK MODULAR CASE


#6
12th January 2010
Old 12th January 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,349

kasprouch is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busdriver View Post
Don't get the "enveloppe" thing, how do you change the envelope of a sound? directly when you generate it? or with for example the cubase "envelope shaper"?
I worked with this cubase enveloppe shaper and the problem is that the attack of the sound, when worked over with this plugin,is always on the same high frequencies so sometimes it works, sometime not.
exactly... i use SPL's transient designer when shaping drums on a bus, or else i modify the sound at its source in a sampler, and just apply the correct envelopes for the groove. my kicks i usually get rid of a lot of the tail and just leave as much as is needed to make the beat flow. leave too much and the beat 'll be boomy and muddy. leave too little and the beat will feel empty and not groove - but in dnb i suppose you really just want a very short punchy kick with not much sub energy in it at all.

Quote:
I don't understand that clearly could you re explain it please?
you mean they put their drums in a group channel, put a comp on this group channel and make their snares loud enough to clip, then to make compressor overworking, which applies distortion?
ok, they shoot all their drums into a buss and comp it. by playing the snare louder than where they want it to be, the compressor reduces more gain whenever the snare hits than it normally would which glues/compresses the beat together more tightly and creates this pumping vibe that theyre after.

Quote:
I generaly avoid to compress my kick with my other drums, because it makes it sound muddy. I think that a distorted kick in D&B is not really effective, you need it to be clear to cut through the mix.
thats strange as it shouldnt be sounding muddy... i think you probably are just choosing kicks that are too big for the task, or it could be as simple as a tuning problem. the issue might come from using sample packs that are orientated for techno and house - in these genres the kicks are usually MUCH heavier with fundamentals down at 50/60 Hz... if you do use these packs you need to pick out the really light ones with not much sub energy in them, or just eq it out, as you need to free up enough space for the sub to exist freely... or else its bound to sound messy.


after that, once you get your bottom end right, the rest will fall into place pretty much on its own.
hope that helps...
Busdriver
Thread Starter
#7
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #7
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 94

Thread Starter
Busdriver is offline
Thx a lot mate!


i got a lot of things to try now!


see ya
#8
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Southside
Posts: 1,136

genieg is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
ah eq... don't do too much. use for corrections only unless you got a really good sounding result. (use your bypass switch, it's most important knob on any processor)
steep Q means more phase artefacts and can lead to a messy mix. (doesn't feel "natural" anymore)
so take it easy and use low values. just a tad in the right place, combined with volume does wonders.
there's people that warn against "sweeping" cause the sound of the sweep (if not used in the mix, but purely to find some frequency) has nothing to do with the end result, and you might be tricking your ears. software is sneaky in that. (so just punch in the numbers if you want to try that)

calculate the harmonic simularities between different parts of your mix, for instance when there's a bass you can emphasize it by equing it way up in the freq spectrum (so not mess with the fundamental - to avoid a messy phased low end, but grab and eq it's overtones up or down)
excuse the poor explanation, it's been a long day
Harmonic series (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a good trick as well is to add (bandpassed) distortion to some parts, to "lift up" some stuff.
mixing is much much more than looking at different techniques and just going through the list.
also processes will sound different if done in a different order... and might sound crappy solo-ed, but great in a mix (doesn't clutter or overlap etc.) but you knew all that.
it's knowing what you do, but don't forget the intiutive part, and how it sounds of course.

mixing is like writing, it's the art of leaving stuff out. you know.... the music is in the silences

Great advice Retptil

I would like to add that it may be that your thinking too much about what your doing rather than letting it flow .. using your ears and enjoying what you do; it not being like a surgical process where there is an immediate reaction that you SHOULD be doing something, if your ears tell you its right let them be the guide and maybe post a track on one of the forums.

I found when I got so consumed in too much theory that my music and mixes took a back seat to actually enjoying what I was making that alone can give your music energy. After reading Reptil's post its got me thinking maybe I should be cutting back on the EQ too.
#9
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,349

kasprouch is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
Great advice Retptil

here here ... gonna play around with that distortion trick. cheers!
#10
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
digital 1010's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,380
My Recordings/Credits

digital 1010 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
Great advice Retptil

I would like to add that it may be that your thinking too much about what your doing rather than letting it flow .. using your ears and enjoying what you do; it not being like a surgical process where there is an immediate reaction that you SHOULD be doing something, if your ears tell you its right let them be the guide and maybe post a track on one of the forums.

I found when I got so consumed in too much theory that my music and mixes took a back seat to actually enjoying what I was making that alone can give your music energy. After reading Reptil's post its got me thinking maybe I should be cutting back on the EQ too.
I remember an interview with hybrid or someone like that asking how they eq'd and compressed their bass etc and they said the don't really eq but choose the right source in the first place. I think when you start fighting the eq all over the place you choose the wrong sound to start with.

Ben
#11
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #11
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: in a low orbit
Posts: 21,671

Reptil is offline
agreed and I'm an eq-slut
OTOH if equalisation or any kind of processing is part of the tone shaping process (from the beginning - mix into the eq from the start) it's less of a mixing thing. but it (writing-mixing) is all a grey area to me. Workflow here is analogue source (anything really measured in volts) into processor into mixer into other processor into mixer into AD, and dictates eq before record. sort of set up a chain of events that you can tap into while mixing. Eq can help focus that during writing, towards a sound that fits in with the rest. Instead of corrective eq.
You really have to know a bit how some action x has result y, so you know what would likely happen during improvising on the tone and notes. Become a bit familiar with it. Like Slipperman said "make the compressor your b!tch" (or something like that LOL) exchange "compressor" for "eq" if you like.
Also that "DSM" plugin is really interesting since it allows you to capture what you hear, and put that dynamic equalisation on the part you're not happy with. Assuming you have a nice thing going, to "sample".
It's interesting to me at least because it allows to look into the whole mixing/toneshaping thing from a different angle.
I'm very curious to try. (waiting for my fukkn Ilok that thomann (sort of guitar centre online) sent to someone else) Instead of just correcting some stuff. Which is also useful in it's own right. (goes without saying)

please excuse the long-winded post, it's been another long day and I'm chilling now. woooopieeeee
#12
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #12
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: in a low orbit
Posts: 21,671

Reptil is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasprouch View Post
here here ... gonna play around with that distortion trick. cheers!
what I forgot is saying that sometimes it really helps to create a "hole" for overtones, far away from that bass that needs a lift up. instead of adding something to the bass. Or just do both.
hope that makes sense.
#13
14th January 2010
Old 14th January 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Home Enthusiasm
Posts: 5,267

crufty is offline
i'm not sure how this translates into dnb, so here goes: to the op try splitting your tracks into highs, meds and lows, and treat them as mono, eg kick and sub bass don't occupy the same note ever, hats and claps, lead1 and lead 2, etc. its noobish stuff but if two sounds aren't playing at the same time you don't have to eq them!
#14
15th January 2010
Old 15th January 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Southside
Posts: 1,136

genieg is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
agreed and I'm an eq-slut
OTOH if equalisation or any kind of processing is part of the tone shaping process (from the beginning - mix into the eq from the start) it's less of a mixing thing. but it (writing-mixing) is all a grey area to me. Workflow here is analogue source (anything really measured in volts) into processor into mixer into other processor into mixer into AD, and dictates eq before record. sort of set up a chain of events that you can tap into while mixing. Eq can help focus that during writing, towards a sound that fits in with the rest. Instead of corrective eq.
You really have to know a bit how some action x has result y, so you know what would likely happen during improvising on the tone and notes. Become a bit familiar with it. Like Slipperman said "make the compressor your b!tch" (or something like that LOL) exchange "compressor" for "eq" if you like.
Also that "DSM" plugin is really interesting since it allows you to capture what you hear, and put that dynamic equalisation on the part you're not happy with. Assuming you have a nice thing going, to "sample".
It's interesting to me at least because it allows to look into the whole mixing/toneshaping thing from a different angle.
I'm very curious to try. (waiting for my fukkn Ilok that thomann (sort of guitar centre online) sent to someone else) Instead of just correcting some stuff. Which is also useful in it's own right. (goes without saying)

please excuse the long-winded post, it's been another long day and I'm chilling now. woooopieeeee
Reptil looking at your first post what's you take on highpassing everything but Kick and Bass? I have read people quoting everything cut at 150Hz. personally I try to leave as much as possible to keep it natural but I'm always open to new ideas.

I remember sitting with an engineer/producer and he was high cutting a lot of sounds using Pro Tools one band EQ.. I remember him saying that it keeps it natural / real sounding cutting sounds that don't reach high in the range at 15Khz..he wasnt doing this with leads and hats but as far as I rememember everything else got trimmed.. going along with this philosophy Brainworx recently released a plug that sweeps a low cut/high cut curve.

cutting the highs to far could muddy the mix if you start tipping the low/high
balance.
#15
15th January 2010
Old 15th January 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,349

kasprouch is offline
think its important to note something here though: when you do use an eq or a compresor, dont be a pussy. if the sound warrants a 20dB dip in the mids, do it. if it sounds good with 20dB of compression, do it. if your bass sounds good with a highpass at 100hz, do it!

grab an eq and a compressor and get the sound that you want, even if what you're doing is contradicted by everything youve learnt or what everybody tells you. if the sounds havent been recorded or chosen to perfection, chances are you're going to have to pull a few stunts here and there.
#16
15th January 2010
Old 15th January 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Southside
Posts: 1,136

genieg is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasprouch View Post
think its important to note something here though: when you do use an eq or a compresor, dont be a pussy

Laugh
#17
15th January 2010
Old 15th January 2010
  #17
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: in a low orbit
Posts: 21,671

Reptil is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
Reptil looking at your first post what's you take on highpassing everything but Kick and Bass? ......
It could help, but it's a personal preference. I like to keep it as much the way as I made it.
When mixing (on someone else's track) it's another story.
But to create sounds that are not really fitting to the song in the first place and then send everything throug some cutoff filter is not my style. If I found a nice sample, and want to put it in somewhere perhaps it requires cutting with a high lowpass, but that is done before the whole mix.
whatever works for you. It does sound different if you high/lowpass everything. trust your ears.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.