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What should sound similar, in the MIX of different tracks of an Album?
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DamZ
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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What should sound similar, in the MIX of different tracks of an Album?

Hi guys. I was wondering your ideas about how who make different tracks sound like an album.
Of course it'is not only about dbrms, dbfs, digital or analog domain.
How do you do this? Is it something that has more part of the mastering process or i should to this "concretely" on the mixing process?

then, is there any source of NOT LIMITED OR MASTERD MIX'S to listen to compare with other works? just LR mix signal.

Thanks for your time guys.
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamZ View Post
Hi guys. I was wondering your ideas about how who make different tracks sound like an album.
Of course it'is not only about dbrms, dbfs, digital or analog domain.
How do you do this? Is it something that has more part of the mastering process or i should to this "concretely" on the mixing process?

then, is there any source of NOT LIMITED OR MASTERD MIX'S to listen to compare with other works? just LR mix signal.

Thanks for your time guys.
This is a mastering step...As far as comparing Masters? yeah there are sites that have albums as WAV files instead of MP3's or some lossy file format.
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17th March 2013
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I don't think it is a mastering step tbh. That said, a good mixer who has been at it for many years will have a style and approach. That doesn't mean that every song in every genre will sound the same but provided the production is in the same vein, the resulting mixes will all sound cohesive.

I don't do anything specific or even set out to make things sound cohesive but my style/influence comes through even when interpreting different tracks.
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
This is a mastering step...As far as comparing Masters? yeah there are sites that have albums as WAV files instead of MP3's or some lossy file format.
i buy cd's however i'm looking for mixes, not masters
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17th March 2013
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beat you down is offline
this might help:

clear vision on the direction of the album.

one and the same producer (or team) with signature sound.

one and the same recording spot.

one and the same mix engineer.

one and the same mastering engineer.
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nothing needs to be the same except for the overall general balances...a light trap style mix with the vocals cranked way up front won't work alongside a boom bap mix with the vocals tucked.

when sequencing a record i tend to use the lead vocal of each track as the benchmark for relative volume
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DamZ
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
nothing needs to be the same except for the overall general balances...a light trap style mix with the vocals cranked way up front won't work alongside a boom bap mix with the vocals tucked.

when sequencing a record i tend to use the lead vocal of each track as the benchmark for relative volume
u got the point thanks
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
nothing needs to be the same except for the overall general balances...a light trap style mix with the vocals cranked way up front won't work alongside a boom bap mix with the vocals tucked.

when sequencing a record i tend to use the lead vocal of each track as the benchmark for relative volume
This is what I said overall general balance & level, Full Clip this dosent sound like a mastering set to u
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
Absolutely not a mastering step.
Overall general balance to make a album sound like an album is not a mastering step to you how?
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamZ View Post
Hi guys. I was wondering your ideas about how who make different tracks sound like an album.
This dosent sound like a mastering step to you guys?? How This is exaclty what mastering eng do anyway get songs to sound like an album blend, tone, overall level .... Let me guess def a mixing step then.
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
If you're mixing a record, the end result should be something that sounds like a record. It should be cohesive, balanced, and effective from beginning to end. It should work as a whole, and as individual parts. The mastering guy can remove a db of low end from a tune or add a db of treble to another, but those are (or should be) subtle changes. If the raw product doesn't sound like a record from the first note of music to the last, mastering ain't gonna fix that.
I know the difference, so when you have all diff singles, recorded diff places, diff mixing engineers, different levels, tones, balance etc. And everything sounds good. You send it to the mastering eng who uses *additonal* Eq's/Comp that adds *additional* tones & harmonics that do change the sound of each song his job is to make it NOT sound like an album
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynm26 View Post
This is what I said overall general balance & level, Full Clip this dosent sound like a mastering set to u
No. Not at all. The only reason a mastering engineer would need to make adjustments with an EQ is because someone didn't "get it right". Often this is due to room deficiencies (not always but usually provided the engineer is good) and if you have mixes created in different rooms you will often end up with slightly different "issues". THESE can be corrected at the mastering stage. Everything else is really about the mix. The ME certainly cannot adjust the balance of elements.

The mix is where you decide where things sit in the sound stage. The mix is where you decide the balance of the elements. The mix is where you decide the "tone" and "character" and the mix is where you set your dynamics.
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18th March 2013
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Back on track, in regards to mixing an entire record yourself, here is something I like to do.

I will rough mix each song by itself and approach them each without thinking about the process I used on the others. In other words, I will attack the kick in one way with certain tools, then do the same for the snare and all of the individual elements as well as the busses. I do it fairly quickly and "from the hip" without worrying about "screwing it up".

What ends up happening is that each mix sounds a bit different and there is always one instance that stands out and works best for each element. I then listen back through the entire album of rough mixes and make notes about what I like best. I might like the kick in one song, the snare in another, guitar in another etc.

From there I simply "import session data" and copy over any hardware chains and I have a really great starting point to focus on the nuances and needs of each song. Since it was done over a number of days (we all mix differently on different days) and with different approaches I get to combine the best of everything. Of course this only works for songs that are similar and need similar tones and approaches but if you are mixing an album that was tracked in the same place with the same instruments it works amazingly!
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18th March 2013
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Assuming you are mixing the entire album…..

If the band has live drums, then it is somewhat important to try and make the drums somewhat consistent from song to song. They don’t need to be exactly the same, but often that’s not desireable. But because live drums are such a complex instrument and because there is such a MASSIVELY WIDE VARIENCE in how they can sound depending on how you mix them – far more than any other instrument, you do need at least some cohesiveness. In a situation like that, I will copy drum channels from one session to another to use as a starting point on the other songs and then tweak from there specific to the song.

If there aren’t live drums, then all bets are off of course.

Each mix engineer has little things they do that make up their sound regardless of genre. That in and of itself will lend a certain amount of cohesiveness to the album. Beyond that, the direction a mix engineer gets from the artist/band/producer/A&R will go a long way. The better the vision, the easier it is to stay on track. A lot of the time all that direction is emmidiately accessible simply by listening to the tracks. Other times you need notes and conversation.

One thing I definitely do is try to come up with a certain signature for the artist. It might be certain kinds of vocal delays that I use across most of the songs. Or they way I pan stuff. Or anything really. It’s generally not the kind of thing where I’m using the exact same effects. It’s more of an attitude.

In mastering, if everything is mixed by the same mixer, then it’s relatively straight forward provided there are no screw ups. But when you have records mixed by different people, which is very common these days, then obviously the mastering engineer will need to do some EQ here and there to make sure there are similar amounts of bass, midrange, etc. in each song. The reality is that there is wide variance from record to record as to how much bass there is or the overall EQ shape (if you want to think of it that way). And each mix engineer may be using a different reference point for how much low end should be in there or how bright the record should be. Part of the mastering engineer’s job is to balance that all out so that it’s a consistent sound from song to song.

This all said, because we now live in a singles world where album sales don’t mean much, it begs the question of whether or not it’s important to have a cohesive sounding album. Certainly a lot of mainstream albums of recent have zero cohesion because they feel it’s simply not important since most people won’t be listening to it as an album. Even if they buy the album instead of just some singles, chances are they won’t LISTEN to it as an album, but will instead mix the songs up with other songs in a playlist or on random or something. Personally, I like to listen to entire albums, but I’m also well aware that I don’t remotely represent the average consumer.
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18th March 2013
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My opinion NOTHING has to sound similar on todays albums. Very few mainstream use the same producer for a whole album. That's considered boring. Not to mention that many people don't listen to or even buy whole albums anymore.
I feel like it a waste of time to worry about it, better to focus on making each song stand on its on. Because most likely the way fans are going to end up hearing the songs anyway
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