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mixing IDM/house/dubstep debate Studio Headphones
Old 31st August 2011
  #1
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mixing IDM/house/dubstep debate

Me and my buddy have been battling back and forth on the workflow for doing these Electronica tracks for commercial use and I need some other opinions because we cannot agree!

Basically I come from the sound-design camp that prefers to build my instruments to fill frequency ranges from the start and do minor mix tweaking along the way as I compose, so at the end there is minimal if any traditional "mixing" done.

He keeps insisting that I need to hand over my tracks to him as audio stems so he can do a "mix" job on it to finish it....

He come's from a live sound / rock band background and I feel that his workflow is not ideal for the project at hand as when he puts his "flavor" on the mix it sounds flat and lacks ALOT of the movement and energy I feel like was in the mix when I finished it.

I feel like the latter approach that he uses doesn't make the best use of the side-chaining and integrated modulation that occurs in this style of music, or he possibly just isn't as good a mix engineer as he thinks.


Anyone else have opinions? I just need to be able to come to him with other arguments besides the "this is how I do it so it's right" mentality
Old 31st August 2011
  #2
Registered User
 

Would it hurt to let him have a go at a mix?

You do it, he does it and then test out in the car/ipod dock/headphones and see which one sounds best (not loudest).

What do you have to lose, ego? lol

Old 31st August 2011
  #3
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Why not give him the stems and you do your mix too. Then find 3 or 5 people and have them pick between the 2. Be sure to keep the number odd so there cannot be a tie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuedWade87 View Post
Me and my buddy have been battling back and forth on the workflow for doing these Electronica tracks for commercial use and I need some other opinions because we cannot agree!

Basically I come from the sound-design camp that prefers to build my instruments to fill frequency ranges from the start and do minor mix tweaking along the way as I compose, so at the end there is minimal if any traditional "mixing" done.

He keeps insisting that I need to hand over my tracks to him as audio stems so he can do a "mix" job on it to finish it....

He come's from a live sound / rock band background and I feel that his workflow is not ideal for the project at hand as when he puts his "flavor" on the mix it sounds flat and lacks ALOT of the movement and energy I feel like was in the mix when I finished it.

I feel like the latter approach that he uses doesn't make the best use of the side-chaining and integrated modulation that occurs in this style of music, or he possibly just isn't as good a mix engineer as he thinks.


Anyone else have opinions? I just need to be able to come to him with other arguments besides the "this is how I do it so it's right" mentality
Old 31st August 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
rockerbruce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuedWade87 View Post
it sounds flat and lacks ALOT of the movement and energy I feel like was in the mix when I finished it.
if he's sucking the energy out of the track then i wouldn't let him touch it :P
there's really no argueing with someone if they have ego-earplugs in. you could always post the two mixes and have a poll on it, or something along those lines ^_^
Old 31st August 2011
  #5
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I hear ya guys calling me out on me ego :O but I did give him a copy of the logic project file and let him "mix" and that's when I heard all the life sucked out! I am very willing to do an AB comparison poll on GS but I don't want to be that "annoying guy wanting you to listen to my music." I'd poll our circle of friends but they are all novice's at best, perhaps this won't matter though seeing as 99% of people listening to the music aren't producers.

Does anyone have an opinion on the mixing process for electronica though? Mix while compose or mix audio stems at the end?
Old 31st August 2011
  #6
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incurablebeatlus's Avatar
I think mixing as you compose is part of the sound design and creative process of the track. I couldnt imagine 'fixing it in the mix' if the sound wasnt sounding good enough to continue working on the track.
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
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No, I am not saying it's am ego thing at all. You like what you like as does your partner.

Those non producer friends are perfect for your purpose. Make it a double blind test. Just label the tracks A/B with no indication of who has done the mix. Then when the results come back you know it's been fair and impartial. Just be a good sport about it. Don't gloat or pout at the end of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuedWade87 View Post
I hear ya guys calling me out on me ego :O but I did give him a copy of the logic project file and let him "mix" and that's when I heard all the life sucked out! I am very willing to do an AB comparison poll on GS but I don't want to be that "annoying guy wanting you to listen to my music." I'd poll our circle of friends but they are all novice's at best, perhaps this won't matter though seeing as 99% of people listening to the music aren't producers.

Does anyone have an opinion on the mixing process for electronica though? Mix while compose or mix audio stems at the end?
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

I agree with your point of view. When you're synthesising sounds from scratch or using samples (as I'm assuming you do in your electronica tracks) you can very closely determine how your sounds fit into the mix without much traditional "mixing". And if you're like me, you do what little is required as you go along.

Explain to your mate that this is a very different kettle of fish to rock recordings. It's more like "sound sculpture" than enhancing real-world recordings.
Old 1st September 2011
  #9
post his and your and we can go from there.
Old 1st September 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
post his and your and we can go from there.

Where you will probably have a 50/50 split and a bunch of people willing to fist fight over which one is better for reasons of all types lol.
Old 1st September 2011
  #11
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

u mentioned side chain.

are u giving him the audio stem already with side chain or not?


are u bouncing down the effects or not on the stems u give him?
Old 1st September 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimikOctopus View Post
Where you will probably have a 50/50 split and a bunch of people willing to fist fight over which one is better for reasons of all types lol.
lol, true.
Old 1st September 2011
  #13
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sftd's Avatar
 

You should absolutely post both versions here, blind as to which one was which, and thereafter learn what the average of "best" was.

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 1st September 2011
  #14
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maks's Avatar
 

strange post, if your getting what you need as you say and confident with what you got why do you bother working with him? working with others is difficult as you have to open up enough, "trust" and know your weaknesses, the others strengths and vice versa to ever make it favorable. Electronic producers in general lack these skills that traditional musicians have when playing "their" instruments yet contributing to the band, until you know your boundaries and allow others the same, itll be an uphill battle. it doesnt matter who sound designs or mixes, it about setting creative priorities, needs and visions with compromises. I had such issues with partners hoarding the mouse too long and i sit there dreaming away and forgetting ideas when my turn came, in the end i went my own way, still searching though....cause working with others is that much fun if you approach it right.
Old 1st September 2011
  #15
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kai handberg's Avatar
Ditch your partner.



You're welcome.
Old 27th September 2011
  #16
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Definitely do it your own, if you really think it is sucking the life of your mix.
Electronica is one of those genres were production stages most of the time become intertwined and become a single workflow. For this you will need to have discipline, knowledge and talent.

It is like creating a sculpture, you are not going to ask someone else to do the refining, maybe the polishing, but that would be too much.

I think that at least the mixing stage must be made by you, otherwise you should produce hip hop or something easier and pay for talented engineers.
If you have trained your ears, you must do the mastering stage as well.

Electronic artists creating nice tracks, most of the time are in charge of sound design, arranging, mixing and mastering. Its not an easy work but very rewarding. I have compared tracks before/after mastering stage, to find that they were already awesome before mastering.

On the other side electronica is for experimentation and we are not an island. So give your friend the chance and learn from it. Be 100% honest about what you really listen.

And dont listen to a track all day. Sometimes you only need a clear mind and fresh ears to pick the best choices...
Old 27th September 2011
  #17
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
post his and your and we can go from there.
This.

Without being able to hear what you are talking about, no one here knows to what extent these various issues are the case... and so it's all pretty useless speculation.

In general though... I agree with the others... it sounds like the time has come to ditch the partner!
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