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Recording/Mixing First Album
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Tim_R
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3rd December 2011
Old 3rd December 2011
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Recording/Mixing First Album

Hello all! I am working on my first album that I am fully recording/producing instead of helping with or watching. Here is a mix I have created from the recent tracking. No mastering yet has been done yet and I am working in Studio One v2.01. Would be great if I could get some input on this mix!!! It is a praise and worship album. The drums were recorded in my church which was not the best place to do them because of acoustics but i had no other place to do them as my studio is in a condo which I currently do not have a live room built yet for that.


http://soundcloud.com/tim-robinson-87/set-a-fire-no-mastering/s-xw7VI
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4th December 2011
Old 4th December 2011
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Tim_R
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4th December 2011
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4th December 2011
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overall good mixing, i would master it a bit loader, on my speakers I had to bring volume up a little bit to hear all the details of the mix. Basically the balance is totally fine in my opinion and for this kind of music. The only small detail - bring bass slightly up , give it some character. Maybe parallel compression with some overdrive on it, you know, add some mids without making it like a bass from Slayer album, cause in my opinion bass is a bit lost in the mix.

Post the full album whenever it's ready.
Tim_R
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6th December 2011
Old 6th December 2011
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thanks for the input! Yeah I gotta work on the bass, i had it up more but then in my car it was like way to much bass so i cut it back and it disapeared, im using MaxxBass plugin from Waves on the bass and theres two bass tracks in, when we recorded i used a DI box to run one into comp and then we micd his bass amp up with my Shure KSM 32 and i combined the two a bit in the mix using some diff eq, mastering louder seems to be hard for me, on meters what is a good level for cd quality volume.
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6th December 2011
Old 6th December 2011
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if it sounds like a lot of low-end stuff, you can cut it until it would be enough, but mids and light fuzz or something would bring it in the mix without overloading your bass frequencies. Always works for me anyway.
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7th December 2011
Old 7th December 2011
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Mix Review

I'll start out by saying I appreciate the message in the song, and for a first attempt, you've done a good job!

It sounds like you've avoided the use of much compression. It may because you're not sure how to use it or because you don't tend to like it much. It seems to me that you could use some, though, if nothing more than to tame your peaks. The piano and overheads strike me immediately as needing some peaks tamed. It does seem like you've got some on the vocal, and it sounds pretty good.

Also, it seems to me that you think about mixing your kit in terms of a bunch of individual instruments (snare, kick, tom 2, etc.). I'd encourage you to think more in terms of the kit being one instrument. The snare, IMO, is sticking out from the rest of the kit. The toms pop sometimes, while other times they seem to sit well, so it may be that they could stand a touch of compression or automation, as well. The cymbals also seem to be pretty crisp. I feel like they could be warmed up a bit with some EQ'ing, but not so much they lose their clarity.

It's already been mentioned that the bass is very low, so I won't comment further on that.

There are numerous ways to deal with the spacial elements of your mix. First, of course, is panning (left and right, obviously), then frequency response (up and down), reflectivity (front to back), and balance. As for panning, since the keys are your main harmonic instrument, I'd recommend panning them hard left and right (that is assuming it's in stereo). Next, the mix sounds pretty dry. For my taste, it's a little too 2-dimensional. Any depth you have seems to be created almost exclusively by your balance choices (the snare, for instance, because it's louder compared to the rest of the kit, seems like it's closer than the rest of the kit) and any room that happens to be captured in the recording. Try adding a touch of verb to the snare to set it back a bit. Start with plates or rooms, play with the pre-delay, and don't go overboard. It sounds like you may have a touch of verb on the vocal, but try some short delays, like a slap, on the vocal, maybe even timed to the tempo. Again, just keep them subtle; only enough to give a sense of space. I'd try some subtle verb on the piano, as well. The more I listen to your song, the more I think some of this could be solved by turning the piano down some and/or compressing some of it's peaks a bit more.

Toward the end of the song, I'd consider bringing the bgv up a bit, just to add some more excitement. That brings up another thought. Contrast is an important element in mixing. This is the difference between bright and dark, or even differences as they happen over time. Think about making the mix go somewhere. Don't set levels and leave them throughout the song. It sounds like some automation may be in order.

Hopefully that gives you some things to think about. If you need any further help, by all means, don't hesitate to contact me.
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7th December 2011
Old 7th December 2011
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Tim_R
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11th December 2011
Old 11th December 2011
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Thank you very much for the feedback! I currently attend GTCC and I am double majoring in Live Sound/Concert Lighting and Recording Engineering. This is my first real album that I have recorded everything and mixed everything so I am pretty much going off what I have learned in classes so far. I tend to stay away from heavy compression and try to use it to tame peaks. My mastering leaves a lot to be desired because it is a whole different relm.

I have done a new mix of this song and used some tricks in mastering with some Multiband Waves plugins to tame the high end symbol crashes while still adding brightness in the mastering stage. I tamed the snare down some more by pulling its level some. I am getting used to using compression correctly without killing the mix. Dimensions seem to be hard for me to get right in a mix and automation is something i have been toying with but i have been unhappy with any of my experiements. I did however on one of the songs on this album that uses electric guitar use automation on the panning. I double tracked the guitar and in the verse i leave them both center pan and during chorus i panned them both about 15L and 15R which added some excitement and big sound to the chorus and then back to a closer feel in the verse.

Overall I am pretty happy with this being my first full length album that I have recorded and mixed/mastered by myself haha. I have a good ear for things but am just learning the tricks of mixing. I am thinking about getting some books off of amazon to help learn some things. Any recommendations? I will upload the new mix of this song and another one of the songs on the album in a bit and post them here.
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11th December 2011
Old 11th December 2011
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New mix with some changes, totally different mastering chain. I did a lot of work on my mastering the past few days. Fixed the bass...had a phase issue, in this recording I ran the bass through a DI and into the board and also out of the pass through on the DI box into his amp and recorded both and did them different in my mix to blend them. Well I wouldnt have thought about this but somehow their phase relationship was not exactly 180 degrees out of phase so they almost canceled totally out, I used a mix tool in studio one to reverse ones phase and it came back...only thought that happened with mic's and not DI's. Uploading another song right now as well.
http://soundcloud.com/tim-robinson-87/set-a-fire-1
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11th December 2011
Old 11th December 2011
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