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here's my secret for super loud and transparent mixes
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proop
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#1
4th August 2009
Old 4th August 2009
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here's my secret for super loud and transparent mixes

the main problem with mixing down a track usually is, that even the best limiter makes your sound muddy at some point, and using no limiter, your basses can distort very easily.

so what i do is put my limiter on a new bus and route all tracks except the snare and some high content only instruments to that bus.

i suggest the stillwell eventhorizon-plus or the oxford limiter for this bus.

theres no limiter on the master channel. the snare might technically clip but most of the track will sound really loud and smooth. you wont hear any clipping.

the reason i don't route the snare to the limiter is, that the snare suffers the most from limiting. other high content only instruments like cymbals or synths don't clip notably so you can remain their dynamics by not limiting them either.

if you're going to try this technique, feel free to report about your results.
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4th August 2009
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I'll tell you the real answer to your question, the secret is to hire a Mastering Engineer and to never, ever put a limiter on the master bus!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
the main problem with mixing down a track usually is, that even the best limiter makes your sound muddy at some point, and using no limiter, your basses can distort very easily.

so what i do is put my limiter on a new bus and route all tracks except the snare and some high content only instruments to that bus.

i suggest the stillwell eventhorizon-plus or the oxford limiter for this bus.

theres no limiter on the master channel. the snare might technically clip but most of the track will sound really loud and smooth. you wont hear any clipping.

the reason i don't route the snare to the limiter is, that the snare suffers the most from limiting. other high content only instruments like cymbals or synths don't clip notably so you can remain their dynamics by not limiting them.

if you're going to try this technique, feel free to report about your results.
This sounds like you are trying to master your mix while you are mixing to get the hottest levels. If you are going for a very squashed sound and don't intend on having your mixed mastered professionally, then ok sub and limit all your tracks (i would not do it personally)


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proop
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4th August 2009
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yes, it's basically mastering. i didn't use the term mastering, because for that, you would have to be a mastering engineer.

i'm a producer who does all his mastering and mixing. i do a lot of mastering and mixing for my clients too, but i don't consider myself an engineer. just a producer who's been mixing and mastering his own songs for almost 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago View Post
I'll tell you the real answer to your question, the secret is to hire a Mastering Engineer and to never, ever put a limiter on the master bus!
just sharing my personal experience. my suggestion in this post was to use no limiter on the master bus.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
yes, it's basically mastering. i didn't use the term mastering, because for that, you would have to be a mastering engineer.

i'm a producer who does all his mastering and mixing. i do a lot of mastering and mixing for my clients too, but i don't consider myself an engineer. just a producer who's been mixing and mastering his own songs for almost 10 years.
No it's not mastering.

And it's not a bad idea actually. This use of limiters in a mix can be a powerful way to add excitement...but as anything... you need to do it just right. The problem with a blanket statement is that it only works when you use it properly....but I think this suggestion is a good exercise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago View Post
I'll tell you the real answer to your question, the secret is to hire a Mastering Engineer and to never, ever put a limiter on the master bus!
This is a very interesting view from someone who isn't a mastering engineer yet masters his own stuff.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
This is a very interesting view from someone who isn't a mastering engineer yet masters his own stuff.
Even more so considering the OP didn't "ask" a question.
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Loud...maybe.
Transparent...no.
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Gimme a 33609 on the drum buss and I'll give you a loud-as-**** mix with only a few dB of VERY transparent limiting on the mix buss.

Gimme a 1/2" ATR deck to mix to and that'll seal the deal.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Loud...maybe.
Transparent...no.
agreed, but it's enough transparency for certain hip hop styles i think
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
here are a bunch of tracks that were created using the technique i described.

all tracks are produced, mixed and mastered by me.

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/whoa.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/heatwave.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/neyosexyloveremix.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/liquorhound.mp3
Those mixes are all pretty "edgy" sounding (not necessarily in a bad way, mind you, just an observation), IMO; the top end is pretty harsh, especially those snares/claps/backbeat thingies, and other similarly top-endy bits. And the bottom end, while very pleasing and big, is a bit distorted. If that's the result of the technique you're detailing here, I'm not so sure I'd describe it as "transparent".

It's odd that the instruments you're NOT sending to the limiter come out sounding so crunchy. What other buss processing do you do? And what's your mastering approach?
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It's odd that the instruments you're NOT sending to the limiter come out sounding so crunchy. What other buss processing do you do? And what's your mastering approach?

i don't apply much to the master channel. maybe some eq and some compression. yes, some of the mixes indeed distort, certainly because i still pushed the fader beyond the limit . sometimes i like a little bit of distortion, because it adds some kind of energy to me

those mixes were kind of on the loudness tip. here are some other beats that are smoother on the low end:

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/071409-.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/122708.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/11.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/Its_Most_Real.mp3
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4th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
the main problem with mixing down a track usually is, that even the best limiter makes your sound muddy at some point, and using no limiter, your basses can distort very easily.

so what i do is put my limiter on a new bus and route all tracks except the snare and some high content only instruments to that bus.

i suggest the stillwell eventhorizon-plus or the oxford limiter for this bus.

theres no limiter on the master channel. the snare might technically clip but most of the track will sound really loud and smooth. you wont hear any clipping.

the reason i don't route the snare to the limiter is, that the snare suffers the most from limiting. other high content only instruments like cymbals or synths don't clip notably so you can remain their dynamics by not limiting them either.

if you're going to try this technique, feel free to report about your results.
That actually sounds like a pretty good idea. I may try that out and post back my findings.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
yes, some of the mixes indeed distort, certainly because i still pushed the fader beyond the limit . sometimes i like a little bit of distortion, because it adds some kind of energy to me
I dig it, and I definitely feel what you're getting at.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
i don't apply much to the master channel. maybe some eq and some compression. yes, some of the mixes indeed distort, certainly because i still pushed the fader beyond the limit . sometimes i like a little bit of distortion, because it adds some kind of energy to me

those mixes were kind of on the loudness tip. here are some other beats that are smoother on the low end:

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/071409-.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/122708.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/11.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/Its_Most_Real.mp3

The High end starts to hurt my ears but other than that good beats!
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4th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
just sharing my personal experience. my suggestion in this post was to use no limiter on the master bus.
Thanks proop!

And to everyone if you find something that works by all means please share it!

Remember their are no rules until someone screws up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Loud...maybe.
Transparent...no.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
i don't apply much to the master channel. maybe some eq and some compression. yes, some of the mixes indeed distort, certainly because i still pushed the fader beyond the limit . sometimes i like a little bit of distortion, because it adds some kind of energy to me

those mixes were kind of on the loudness tip. here are some other beats that are smoother on the low end:

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/071409-.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/122708.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/11.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/Its_Most_Real.mp3
Compared to a lot of what's on the market today, your mixes certainly compete. The highs are a bit fatiguing to me, but I'm listening in headphones. All in all, I'd have to say that you methods definitely seems to work for YOU!

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i'm glad if some people can profit from my contribution. it's desirable that music sounds better, not necessarily louder though. too much good music is destroyed by over the top levels. so you should always ask yourself if your song is still enjoyable, which i admittedly fail at sometimes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
the main problem with mixing down a track usually is, that even the best limiter makes your sound muddy at some point, and using no limiter, your basses can distort very easily.

so what i do is put my limiter on a new bus and route all tracks except the snare and some high content only instruments to that bus.

i suggest the stillwell eventhorizon-plus or the oxford limiter for this bus.

theres no limiter on the master channel. the snare might technically clip but most of the track will sound really loud and smooth. you wont hear any clipping.

the reason i don't route the snare to the limiter is, that the snare suffers the most from limiting. other high content only instruments like cymbals or synths don't clip notably so you can remain their dynamics by not limiting them either.

if you're going to try this technique, feel free to report about your results.

I do something similar!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
here are a bunch of tracks that were created using the technique i described.

all tracks are produced, mixed and mastered by me.

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/whoa.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/heatwave.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/neyosexyloveremix.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/liquorhound.mp3
well i'll be... your croup beats!

I know that style when i here it.

I loved some of the beats on your mixtape

Idid a similar thing when mixing the other night. I believe i comped some other highs though. i only left the snare which didnt seem to get the sound i wanted when i compressed it.
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oh... people still want loud?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proop View Post
here are a bunch of tracks that were created using the technique i described.

all tracks are produced, mixed and mastered by me.

http://proop.pr.funpic.de/whoa.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/heatwave.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/neyosexyloveremix.mp3
http://proop.pr.funpic.de/liquorhound.mp3
what? well unless there's some new weird timing style in hiphop i missed, these tracks all sound TOTALY all over the place!!, the timing is completely knackered like it's being played back from a broken pc sequencer - it sounds like a mixture of various odd swings none of which fit together. seriously. are the mp3 files busted somehow?

are you guys SERIOUSLY saying those track timings sound ok to you? i cant possibly beleive it.
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yeah I couldn't follow the timing either. Is it Seggae?
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What kind of setting do you use on the Oxford Limiter for this?
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Thats a great idea!, the only downside i see is that your levels will definitely be altered, so probably you'll have to do that in a early stage of the mix. But thats a good idea, keeping the transients on percusive instruments and squashing the rest.. its still squashing but it may have a nice result!. Thanks for the tip!

I like it when ppl think outside the box, instead of using the same typical "mix magazine" replies like "hire a good mastering engineer", "the importance is in the room", "always cut, never boost". Not saying those things are not true but come on ppl its just boring to hear that over and over again, sometimes from ppl that dont even have a clue of what they are saying.

Anyway, in adittion to your idea, i may add that instead of using it in the mix the way you described, maybe you could export your mix in stems and do the same thing on mastering.

Cheers!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Id Ridden View Post

Snare clipping? And this is okay?
This may sound as a surprise to you, but sometimes clipping the snare softly as an effect actually sounds very good, it adds a nice snap or click although in my experience it only worked for me with snare thou, i will sometimes duplicate the snare and ill make it clip by adding maybe an eq and raising the output till it mildly clips or maybe ill compress it, and clip the output of the compressor softly, then ill add that signal to the original, its something like a cheap transient designer. I know this sounds crazy, but just try it!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago View Post
I'll tell you the real answer to your question, the secret is to hire a Mastering Engineer and to never, ever put a limiter on the master bus!
+1 Mista Lago! This is a very bad idea indeed. You need to concentrate on hitting around -12dbfs and then leave the rest for the ME.
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