New to MIDI, would love advice on instrumental mixing
Whatup GS?? Im in a rap duo, we've been at it for a while rapping over mp3 instrumentals/beats that we've been given from a producer about an hour and a half away, and a few from the internet. Feeling very comfortable, but Ive been wanting to get into making beats of my own for a long time, so Ive recently gotten into MIDI for the first time.
In the duo, I do the recording, mixing, mastering, all around engineering. I play guitar, bass, and a little drums, and have been in metal bands(weird combo.. I know..), so I have background in song structure and different instruments. With just the little bit that Ive dabbled in MIDI Im already in love with making beats.
I guess what Im asking is, for those of you who have been doing this for a while and know what youre doing, what are some good tips for someone just getting into it like me? Im aware that it shouldnt sound loud like a finished mastered product, and I know that every instrument should have its own place in the stero field. What Im looking for is details.
Ive been told that some people will pan the guitar to one side, and bass to the other, like you would see at a live show coming out of the PA's. But, how far out should they be? How far is too far? Is it one of those things that changes per song and done by ear? Ive read the same about cymbals, that people will put the hi hats a little to the side, and other cymbals elsewhere in the field, and if Im not mistaken kick drums and snares usually sit in or close to the middle.
Say I have an instrument thats doing a main part of a beat, like a stringed instrument that loops through most of the song and carries the main melody, does that stay centered or close to the kick/snare? Or should that get panned as well? Ive noticed that synths seem to be very strong and can easily overpower other instruments, so how can I get them to blend in the mix with the other instruments without having it oddly off to one side? Reverb maybe?
Im also aware of little tricks like parallel compression for kick drums, and that compression can also take away from 'bassy' instruments if overdone, so feel free to add in any basic things you feel I should know and be aware of. Ill greatly appreciate any and all feedback.