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Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?
Old 20th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2131
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPORT View Post
Hope this is will help you.
BTS -Dynamite (Instrumental).
From min 2:06 you can hear the kick drum in isolation. Import that kick to your DAW and spend your time to figure out how to replicate. Once you got it don't forget to explain me

I can't tell you how I'd solve it without the tracks to work with, but I can say that before I was good at augmenting drum sounds with samples instinctively, it helped me to be able to narrow down why one thing sounded different from another by matching the average level on the two signals and listening to specific freq ranges in both sounds with a MB compressor on each.

I'd set the threshold so there was no compression and solo different parts of the sound to quantify why the things sounded different. If one had more energy in a specific frequency range or more attack, and I couldn't match it with EQ, Comp, or transient plugs, I'd audition samples to add what I needed. I'd audition the samples via the same limited freq plugin. The point would be that I didn't care what the sound actually sounded like across the freq spectrum. I only wanted what I was missing.

Because many records shared common samples, I could sometimes identify layers I recognized and I'd study how other records were layered.

Also, Dave Pensado gave some good tips for multing drums during his Q&A session years ago. Much of what he said then can be adapted to plugins in 2020.

Last edited by IM WHO YOU THINK; 20th November 2020 at 01:44 PM..
Old 20th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2132
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey John,

Just wondering what would be your go-to move for solving the following problems (which i seem to encounter a lot, and assuming re-tracking isn't an option):


A) high powerful belting female vocals that sound mega harsh with no body... say like C5-E5 range where there's essentially no signal below 1k except for the fundamental sine wave.

B) high breathy/soft vocal that's over a powerful track... any tricks to boosting presence/power without bringing up all that white noise kinda harshenss from the breathiness?




Also a quick separate Q... do you guys go to multiband comps only as a last resort or it it something that features in the majority of mixes?


Thanks again for continuing to answer this thread!
Old 20th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2133
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TheHanes's Avatar
@ 47radAR

Yes, when I talk about being "cerebral" in mixing, this is what I'm talking about. Really listen and analyze and think about what is happening.

Every combination of sounds will present a different problem, and in the context of a particular song may need a different fix.
Old 20th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2134
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TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SongsByGROVER View Post
Hey John,

Just wondering what would be your go-to move for solving the following problems (which i seem to encounter a lot, and assuming re-tracking isn't an option):


A) high powerful belting female vocals that sound mega harsh with no body... say like C5-E5 range where there's essentially no signal below 1k except for the fundamental sine wave.

B) high breathy/soft vocal that's over a powerful track... any tricks to boosting presence/power without bringing up all that white noise kinda harshenss from the breathiness?




Also a quick separate Q... do you guys go to multiband comps only as a last resort or it it something that features in the majority of mixes?


Thanks again for continuing to answer this thread!
I would experiment with the following things; depending on the song and everything else, maybe something would work.


A) 1) create a false body with doubled track tuned an octave down. 2) create a false body with Vocalsynth or similar plugin. 3) heavy hand on Soothe, multi band compression and also spend a lot of time riding down breaths and "Sss" sounds. 4) lean into the BGV's to fill out the lead. Might require heavy editing to make sure consonants line up.

B) 1) make the breathy voice mostly dry and in your face; too much reverb and delay muddy it. 2) heavy handed multi band compression as needed to tame the highs. 3) Izotope RX to remove all possible noise, hiss, so that you can EQ the vocal without bringing it up. 4) try to make the breathy vocal loud and smooth, drive the band a bit into the background if it fits the song.
Old 21st November 2020
  #2135
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SPORT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
John how you guys make the bass sound so nice? There is lot of nice mixes out there, some with more bass others less, but when i listen Serban mixes i can feel the bass even with my 5 inch monitors. I can't find the right words to describe, but the bass its very clean and with some sort of.. soft resonans? It just addictive.
Old 21st November 2020
  #2136
Here for the gear
 
Just a quick heads up for anyone wanting the Metric Halo plugins... they're on sale for Black Friday at certain websites. Definitely grabbing a few MH plugins!

Without even looking it up, I know with 99% certainty that the new Miley Cyrus/Dua Lipa song "Prisoners" is a Serban mix... I just randomly referenced the first song on New Music Daily on Apple Music with a recent mix I just finished and got my ass kicked once again! Back to work!
Old 22nd November 2020 | Show parent
  #2137
Here for the gear
 
Yeah, that new Miley and Dua Lipa (Prisioner) is pretty amazing! I knew that was Serban Mix in the first seconds.. So spacious with the vocals but with such a clear and defined bass! Thanks John for doing this.. This gives some young engineers like me inspiration and confirmation that you are actually Human! The amount of consistency and incredible work you guys pull out is just impressive! Cheers!
Old 23rd November 2020 | Show parent
  #2138
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sfilipee's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes View Post
I would experiment with the following things; depending on the song and everything else, maybe something would work.


A) 1) create a false body with doubled track tuned an octave down. 2) create a false body with Vocalsynth or similar plugin. 3) heavy hand on Soothe, multi band compression and also spend a lot of time riding down breaths and "Sss" sounds. 4) lean into the BGV's to fill out the lead. Might require heavy editing to make sure consonants line up.

B) 1) make the breathy voice mostly dry and in your face; too much reverb and delay muddy it. 2) heavy handed multi band compression as needed to tame the highs. 3) Izotope RX to remove all possible noise, hiss, so that you can EQ the vocal without bringing it up. 4) try to make the breathy vocal loud and smooth, drive the band a bit into the background if it fits the song.
John I was running some of your more recent work through vectorscopes and other analyzers, and I noticed than you pay really attention to mono compatibility and phase correlation.

Blinding Lights for example, other than the intro, is always at the very least riding those last 10% of 0 to +1, and in the verses it's pretty much on the +1 all the way through. In Your Eyes is not that spot on but it's still mostly closer to +1 than 0 all the way through.

I compared it to other songs on that same album that were mixed by his producer Illangelo, and they are not that focused at all.

I also noticed, on the other hand, something that I'm very interested in which is the out of phase stuff. Specially in some of the breakdowns like a pre-chorus or a bridge, you'll sometimes put stuff "out of the speakers", like a really short synth stab on In Your Eyes. It's there but it's that one time, very tasteful.

I was wondering if that's something that you specifically pay attention to, that you really look for as a must due to the fact these songs will go on the radio 24/7, and how you work around it while working on songs that rely a bit on the reverb aesthetic, like those examples.

I imagine that checking phase correlation between tracks is some of the stuff you do when you get the files, before handing it to Serban, correct? Do you use "visual" tools or just go about it by ear?

Last edited by sfilipee; 23rd November 2020 at 03:20 PM..
Old 23rd November 2020 | Show parent
  #2139
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TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
John I was running some of your more recent work through vectorscopes and other analyzers, and I noticed than you pay really attention to mono compatibility and phase correlation.

Blinding Lights for example, other than the intro, is always at the very least riding those last 10% of 0 to +1, and in the verses it's pretty much on the +1 all the way through. In Your Eyes is not that spot on but it's still mostly closer to +1 than 0 all the way through.

I compared it to other songs on that same album that were mixed by his producer Illangelo, and they are not that focused at all.

I also noticed, on the other hand, something that I'm very interested in which is the out of phase stuff. Specially in some of the breakdowns like a pre-chorus or a bridge, you'll sometimes put stuff "out of the speakers", like a really short synth stab on In Your Eyes. It's there but it's that one time, very tasteful.

I was wondering if that's something that you specifically pay attention to, that you really look for as a must due to the fact these songs will go on the radio 24/7, and how you work around it while working on songs that rely a bit on the reverb aesthetic, like those examples.

I imagine that checking phase correlation between tracks is some of the stuff you do when you get the files, before handing it to Serban, correct? Do you use "visual" tools or just go about it by ear?
To be honest, mono compatibility isn't really a priority. I mean if we hear something (or see on the meter) something that is out of phase, we'll fix that, but we are not listening in mono typically for cancellations.

So maybe it is just habit by now that we are working on the sounds to make them sound good, and that means typically in phase. We do like to fill the field, so if we can get a some things really wide and not sound weird, it is a nice effect.
Old 24th November 2020
  #2140
TLS
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Congratulations on the Grammy nominations John and Serban Stellar work as always!
Old 24th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2141
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🎧 5 years
Hi @ TheHanes

I wondered whether you guys tend to work on a mix straight through 'in one session' sending to the client at the end of the day or often come back to it the following day(s) to make adjustments prior to sending?

Loving this thread and your thoughts/advice.

Thank you!
Old 24th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2142
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TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollieneedham View Post
Hi @ TheHanes

I wondered whether you guys tend to work on a mix straight through 'in one session' sending to the client at the end of the day or often come back to it the following day(s) to make adjustments prior to sending?

Loving this thread and your thoughts/advice.

Thank you!
We are definitely going to wait at least overnight for a listen with fresh ears in the morning before we send it off. Sometimes it will be a couple of days before we send it; only when it is ready for artist / producer notes will it get sent out.
Old 24th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2143
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TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLS View Post
Congratulations on the Grammy nominations John and Serban Stellar work as always!
Thank you!

I'm personally shocked that The Chicks were not nominated and that The Weeknd was not nominated for "Blinding Lights"
Old 24th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2144
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes View Post
We are definitely going to wait at least overnight for a listen with fresh ears in the morning before we send it off. Sometimes it will be a couple of days before we send it; only when it is ready for artist / producer notes will it get sent out.
Great info. Thanks John, much appreciated!
Old 24th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2145
TLS
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes View Post
Thank you!

I'm personally shocked that The Chicks were not nominated and that The Weeknd was not nominated for "Blinding Lights"
I can't disagree with you there. A couple of my favorite albums to listen to this year.
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2146
Here for the gear
 
Hello, Mr Hanes Im fairly new to reddit but Im an upcoming young musician, mixer and I really appreciate you and Serban's work. I've read a couple of your posts have some questions if you don't mind!

Do you prefer to automate vocal level before or after compression?

Do you compress vocals with the Metric Halo CS3?

What are your typical Vocal attack/release settings on the CLA-76?
Old 25th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2147
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Aveezy View Post
Hello, Mr Hanes Im fairly new to reddit but Im an upcoming young musician, mixer and I really appreciate you and Serban's work. I've read a couple of your posts have some questions if you don't mind!

Do you prefer to automate vocal level before or after compression?

Do you compress vocals with the Metric Halo CS3?

What are your typical Vocal attack/release settings on the CLA-76?
Search "john hanes q&a" on gs, most of your answers are there
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2148
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPORT View Post
Hope this is will help you.
BTS -Dynamite (Instrumental).
From min 2:06 you can hear the kick drum in isolation. Import that kick to your DAW and spend your time to figure out how to replicate. Once you got it don't forget to explain me


The 4 on the floor (kick) is doubled by a cowbell, the rest is just a regular kick from Vengeance or any other sample pack (Take a sample that has a sharp pitch drop on the attack portion (kinda sounds like a super fast sine sweep)). I think the cowbell is the key for this song.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2149
Here for the gear
 
Hey John

I would like to ask what area of the song are you starting to mix from ? did you go into a loop on this area?

Let's say it's from the main chorus where all the instruments are played and everything works beautifully after you mixing and achieving the desired result

But now when you check the verses and pre-chrous everything is now out of balance and stopped working well in these area - sounded a little messy.
How do you balance it, you lowering volume of the audio clip, automation?

How do you make it sound stable and as one piece?

I'd love your opinion - a tip from the King!
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2150
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Aveezy View Post
Hello, Mr Hanes Im fairly new to reddit but Im an upcoming young musician, mixer and I really appreciate you and Serban's work. I've read a couple of your posts have some questions if you don't mind!

Do you prefer to automate vocal level before or after compression?

Do you compress vocals with the Metric Halo CS3?

What are your typical Vocal attack/release settings on the CLA-76?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanak View Post
Search "john hanes q&a" on gs, most of your answers are there
Yes please - it’s great John is here but he did a q and a for a reason!
Old 27th November 2020
  #2151
XDX
Gear Head
 
XDX's Avatar
 
The Q&A is legendary, it should be set up that to post in this thread you have to read through the Q&A first.

I hope John, Serban, and everyone in this thread had a nice Thanksgiving. Spent about 5hrs roasting and getting everything ready, and then took about 20mins to be completely stuffed haha, but now I've got leftovers for days.
Old 29th November 2020
  #2152
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Curious if you receive more Protools sessions than stems from other DAWs at this point. Have you seen any significant shift in DAW use over time or is Protools still hanging in there as the most used, even in electronic pop?
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2153
Gear Nut
 
I noticed on another thread a mention for Metric Halo EQ being cramped (bell) at high frequencies. Can John or someone else comment on this?

I am not an elitist guy when it comes to tools. I want the one that does the job, not the one with perfect specs. I also hear no significant difference when dialing with Pro-Q or Metric Halo.

Also tested Crave EQ against Pro-Q and again, heard no difference that would make me purchase Crave. And tested a bunch of (expensive) "mastering" eq's but I really couldn't get with them what I can achieve with Pro-Q 3. I provided this more to offer a reference of where my ear training is right now.

Basically my question is how much (if at all) this aspect of an eq affects a mix?
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2154
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thedberg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sircuit View Post
I noticed on another thread a mention for Metric Halo EQ being cramped (bell) at high frequencies. Can John or someone else comment on this?

I am not an elitist guy when it comes to tools. I want the one that does the job, not the one with perfect specs. I also hear no significant difference when dialing with Pro-Q or Metric Halo.

Also tested Crave EQ against Pro-Q and again, heard no difference that would make me purchase Crave. And tested a bunch of (expensive) "mastering" eq's but I really couldn't get with them what I can achieve with Pro-Q 3. I provided this more to offer a reference of where my ear training is right now.

Basically my question is how much (if at all) this aspect of an eq affects a mix?
As I recall the reasons Hanes has stated for using a certain eq are
- Familiarity
- It’s already on the track they received
- Plenty of eq bands

My interpretation is that for bread and butter work we can all safely go on using the eq:s we’re used to.
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2155
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I'm not sure how true it is (you know the interwebs) but I think I read that Serban should of had 17 Grammy's by now but one year someone from the ultimate plugin analysis thread anonymously notified the Grammy committee of the EQ cramping in MH3 and they withdrew his nomination.

Now in screenshots he puts tape over his monitor so no one can see the plugin and lo and behold he's back with 27 weeks at No. 1 with Blinding Lights.

R.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sircuit View Post
I noticed on another thread a mention for Metric Halo EQ being cramped (bell) at high frequencies. Can John or someone else comment on this?

I am not an elitist guy when it comes to tools. I want the one that does the job, not the one with perfect specs. I also hear no significant difference when dialing with Pro-Q or Metric Halo.

Also tested Crave EQ against Pro-Q and again, heard no difference that would make me purchase Crave. And tested a bunch of (expensive) "mastering" eq's but I really couldn't get with them what I can achieve with Pro-Q 3. I provided this more to offer a reference of where my ear training is right now.

Basically my question is how much (if at all) this aspect of an eq affects a mix?
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2156
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
one year someone from the ultimate plugin analysis thread anonymously notified the Grammy committee of the EQ cramping in MH3 and they withdrew his nomination.
I laughed out loud at this )

On a serious note I was just surprised that I don’t hear significant difference between while people were mentioning changing in sound stage, attributes like silkyness and other attributes. I seriously thought that’s something wrong with my ears. I suppose I should make more music
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2157
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TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidom View Post
Hey John

I would like to ask what area of the song are you starting to mix from ? did you go into a loop on this area?

Let's say it's from the main chorus where all the instruments are played and everything works beautifully after you mixing and achieving the desired result

But now when you check the verses and pre-chrous everything is now out of balance and stopped working well in these area - sounded a little messy.
How do you balance it, you lowering volume of the audio clip, automation?

How do you make it sound stable and as one piece?

I'd love your opinion - a tip from the King!
I just start from the top of the song. Make it sound good in the intro, in the verse, leave room for the chorus to get bigger. I have to have the whole song tied together; how can I know how big to let the chorus get if I don't know the emotional impact in transition from intro to verse to hook.

I dont look at it as a bunch of sections to be mixed, it is a continuous performance of one song.
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2158
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
I'm not sure how true it is (you know the interwebs) but I think I read that Serban should of had 17 Grammy's by now but one year someone from the ultimate plugin analysis thread anonymously notified the Grammy committee of the EQ cramping in MH3 and they withdrew his nomination.

Now in screenshots he puts tape over his monitor so no one can see the plugin and lo and behold he's back with 27 weeks at No. 1 with Blinding Lights.

R.
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2159
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes View Post
I just start from the top of the song. Make it sound good in the intro, in the verse, leave room for the chorus to get bigger. I have to have the whole song tied together; how can I know how big to let the chorus get if I don't know the emotional impact in transition from intro to verse to hook.

I dont look at it as a bunch of sections to be mixed, it is a continuous performance of one song.
Thank you very much John
Old 30th November 2020 | Show parent
  #2160
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sircuit View Post
I noticed on another thread a mention for Metric Halo EQ being cramped (bell) at high frequencies. Can John or someone else comment on this?

I am not an elitist guy when it comes to tools. I want the one that does the job, not the one with perfect specs. I also hear no significant difference when dialing with Pro-Q or Metric Halo.

Also tested Crave EQ against Pro-Q and again, heard no difference that would make me purchase Crave. And tested a bunch of (expensive) "mastering" eq's but I really couldn't get with them what I can achieve with Pro-Q 3. I provided this more to offer a reference of where my ear training is right now.

Basically my question is how much (if at all) this aspect of an eq affects a mix?
Don't really know what is meant by cramped. Use what you have and what works for you. It doesn't need to be technically perfect; were consoles ever? Just different tools that feel comfortable in your hand.

If I drive a nail with a framing hammer, a claw hammer, or a nail gun, i'm still just driving a nail.

Choice of which EQ has no bearing on the quality of a mix. It may only effect how quickly you are able to come to the sound you want to hear based on familiarity with each tool.
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