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My recordings are good, but a little more....... Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 25th May 2003
  #1
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laser's Avatar
 

My recordings are good, but a little more.......

My recordings have good "air".....but a little more would make them sound incredible.

My recordings have good "punch".....but a little more would make the speakers dance across the room.

My recordings have good "warmth"....but a little warmer and people would swear that I used a good Studer 2".

My recordings have okay high end "sparkle".....but a little "magic pixie dust" would give me that Celine Dion quality.

My recordings have a nice blending of channels.....a tad more glue would be nice.

My recordings have good "fullness".....but just a little more widening beyond the speakers would have a very dramatic feel.

My recordings have a decent "professional feel".....but a little more "gloss" and I could hand my CDs to anyone without apology.

The interesting thing is that I have nothing strapped across my (analog) 2-bus. Zilch. Nada.

Is there a box (or two) that I could put on my 2-bus that would give me "a little more" of the all or most of the above?? I would be willing to pay top dollar for this.

I only record R&B, rock (50s, 60's, 70's and early 80's), ballads, folk and jazz. I don't want to compress the crap out of my signals and I could care less if my CD's are louder than the next guys. My idea of a great recording is Kenny Loggins' song "Forever", if that helps.

You guys have a tremendous amount of experience and I've used your collective opinions to get me where I am today. Thanks (couldn't have done it without you) and can you offer your expertise one more time?



Laser
Old 25th May 2003
  #2
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Re: My recordings are good, but a little more.......

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
... Is there a box (or two) that I could put on my 2-bus that would give me "a little more" of the all or most of the above?? I would be willing to pay top dollar for this.
Sounds to me like the "box" you need is a good Mastering Engineer. Have your stuff mastered by a good ME and I'll bet you'll hear most if not all of what you're looking for come back off the speakers at you.... that's what I'd do anyway.
Old 25th May 2003
  #3
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Sounds to me like the "box" you need is a good Mastering Engineer. Have your stuff mastered by a good ME and I'll bet you'll hear most if not all of what you're looking for come back off the speakers at you.... that's what I'd do anyway. *******************************************

Tim L,
A very wise and intelligent response. Thanks.

Unfortunately, I started this recording thing because of my love for music and not as a commercial endeavor. I've come a long ways sonically in a short time, and am hoping to become a craftsman in all aspects of recording, including mastering. It would be akin to a guy whose learned to make surprisingly decent furniture in his garage shop, then sending it to a staining company. If I create a masterpiece, no doubt, I will send it off to a ME for their input and fine-tuned skills. For just the artistically pleasing stuff, I would prefer to do it myself--if for no other reason than saying that it was entirely crafted by my ears and technique (including the musicianship).

Now, back to this box strapped across the 2-bus. Any suggestions? I owe Rick Krizman a beer (or some gesture of appreciation) for his suggestion of the Phoenix DRS-2. A killer preamp.

Laser.
Old 26th May 2003
  #4
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Thanks, Brian. I read the thread.

Can we all agree that I 100% understand the value of a qualified mastering engineer, that it is the best way to take an already good mix and give me those additional qualities I'm looking for and, that said, concentrate on the question?

I don't want to turn this into a "can he/should he do his own mastering thread", which is what the other one became (on that thread Nathan mentioned he wanted to "experience" his own mastering--well, so do I). Brad Blackwood came up with a list of common mastering equipment. For the benefit of my 2-Bus, does anyone have any comments on this list? If I get frustrated after 200 or so unsuccessful attempts without learning much, I promise I'll never try again. .

So far, though, it's been my experience that with two really good ears, a particular "sound" you have in your head, a good reference of what quality sound is, the right tools and a lot of noodling, you can produce some real good stuff (and have fun doing so). Maybe not as good as a professionally mastered product, but really good.

Geez, I've seen countless threads with countless experiences on 2-bus compressors used for knocking 16dB off with transparency, isn't that a form of mastering? My desire is less dramatic. I don't want to squash my precious mix, just accentuate the positive qualities a little bit. I've heard the Manley Vari-Mu and Massive Passive add certain euphonic qualities that I'm looking for. But, I have limited time and don't want to spend too much of it (not to mention the expense) shipping products back and forth. I'd like to learn about the qualities of certain pieces as they pertain to my application from people who I can trust (I can trust you guys, can't I?) especially from those who have actually used them, narrow it down to a select few and buy them on a trial basis.

I thought this was one of the benefits of this site. Maybe I'm wrong.

Nathan, Fletcher, Rick Krizman.... anyone care to give their 2 cents? Hell, if you provide good information, I'll buy the first three rounds and we'll get stoned-ass drunk together.

Laser
Old 26th May 2003
  #5
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"Let's go get... stoned... (fingers popping)"

Well unless you can hear what you are doing really really well, the "little bit more" you're looking for will remain elusive. I'm assuming you want that little bit to translate to wherever (within any reasonable *hope*) it's played back.

That's the deal killer, not being able to tell *exactly* what's going on, and plenty of very well equipped and staffed studios continue to have that problem. Plus, it seems, the problem of having overworked and jaded senses...

I think you're doing very well getting as close as you are with "nothing across the 2 bus" (what is the chain anyway?), but damn that last few percent costs at least as much care, effort, knowledge and skill as the first 97%, as I am coming to realize myself.

As far as the "forget paying wages I wanna buy gear (we're gearslutz, we *understand* ), I gotta say a Cranesong Hedd is a pretty fine finishing tool, if only you can hear really, really well what the hell you're doing- you have to get things dialed *just right* and damn you will fake yourself out, as will your monitoring system fake you out.

Monitoring has to be a higher priority- nothing like hearing what the **** you're doing.
Old 27th May 2003
  #6
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Re: My recordings are good, but a little more.......

Hi. I agree with the others about using a mastering engineer. It's worth paying money for people with superb skill. You'll get superb results. Don't delude yourself about your skill.

If you don't want to do that though, here's what I reccomend:



Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "air".....but a little more would make them sound incredible.
EQ (preferably a good one) helps. High shelfs. Bells with wide Q above 10K. Multiband compress gently highs and boost. You have to have good source "air" to amplify though. Some gear/plugs generate air though. If you want specifics, ask and I'll try to name some.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "punch".....but a little more would make the speakers dance across the room.
Punch is obtained in tracking and mixing. I hear punch in dynamics of each sound/track/instrument. If you're trying to add punch at the end, you're generally screwed. You could always multiband around 90-200K though and boost to try to get some "thud". Or you could EQ the subs to add "whump". For punch, you probably don't want clean subbass addition though. Atonal subbass is "whumpier" than 808 like sine waves. IMO a decent kick drum has more punch than an 808/909esque hit.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "warmth"....but a little warmer and people would swear that I used a good Studer 2".
Warmth is a very ambiguous term. It can mean highs, mids, or lows. If I had to reccomend one thing though for this warmth you seek, I'd reccomend light bus compression with a good compressor.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have okay high end "sparkle".....but a little "magic pixie dust" would give me that Celine Dion quality.
For high end sparkle you probably want to obtain it in individual sounds/tracks/instruments. "Sparkle" is lower pitched than "air" in my universe. Same comments about air apply, except in the 3K-10K range.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have a nice blending of channels.....a tad more glue would be nice.
See warmth comments. Compress. Or just track and mix better. If you tracked and mixed well, you wouldn't need glue for mastering.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "fullness".....but just a little more widening beyond the speakers would have a very dramatic feel.
Erm you can't get this out of mastering. Depth/fullness/stereo image comes from FX application usually, or panning or levels, mixing cleanly, miking well etc etc etc.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have a decent "professional feel".....but a little more "gloss" and I could hand my CDs to anyone without apology.
L1/L2 from Waves can easily make most crappy mixes sound pretty commercial. Just set the release about 1/4 up from the bottom, and knock off 3-6 db of transients. SCRRUSNNNNCH and WOW IT SOUNDS JUST LIKE STUFF ON THE RADIO!!! You can then EQ. And then L1 some more. And then EQ more. And then L1 a few more times. There ya go.

I'm being facetious but L1 can be a quick fix if you are lazy. The obnoxious crappification will present your audience's ears with a familliar wave pattern and they'll like it.





Oh poo. I'll just go for it. You're not as good as you think you are. Most likely you are at best mediocre. If you engineer your own recordings you'll have much difficulty. If you try to master your own recordings, you'll most likely make your recordings sound worse. Some people in the world are EXPERTS at audio engineering. Maybe even MASTERS. That's why they're called MASTERing ENGINEERS. You are not a MASTER at audio engineering. If you try to make your recordings sound MASTERful, remember that. It'll make you work harder.

Sorry if the blunt words hurt.


If I had to reccomend one i mean two piece(s) of gear, get yerself a good hardware stereo compressor and a good stereo EQ. Those are serious sound shaping tools though and can break your hard recording and mix work very easily.
Old 27th May 2003
  #7
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About "punch"- when things are tracked with a great awareness and respect for phase, punch is possible. Otherwise... dfegad
Old 27th May 2003
  #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
About "punch"- when things are tracked with a great awareness and respect for phase, punch is possible. Otherwise... dfegad
... Amen!
Old 27th May 2003
  #9
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"Let's go get... stoned... (fingers popping)" *********************************




I gotta say a Cranesong Hedd is a pretty fine finishing tool,

Great suggestion. Thanks. I'm going to buy one this week and give it a try. You a JD man? If we ever meet, the first three rounds are on me.

As far as the "forget paying wages I wanna buy gear (we're gearslutz, we *understand*

Thanks for understanding. After re-reading this thread, you may be getting a little plural with the word "we".

I think you're doing very well getting as close as you are with "nothing across the 2 bus" (what is the chain anyway?), but damn that last few percent costs at least as much care, effort, knowledge and skill as the first 97%, as I am coming to realize myself.

Ted, this is a very VERY good point, it probably explains why everyone is getting bent out of shape on this mastering thing. Really, all I was looking for some suggestions on 2-bus equipment that would HELP get me SOME of that final 3% (cheez, I've been called mediocre, not as good as I think I am.....all kinds of unfriendly stuff. If I were a more sensitive man, I'd be, well, a little insulted)

What makes my question unworkable, I've learned from this thread, is that a lot of people on this forum would like to get that final 3%, have been trying to get it, and may be a little frustrated such that when some unknown, non-professional posts that he would like to get it too (and makes it sound like it's as easy as buying a piece of equipment and strapping it across the 2-bus to do it), they feel compelled to belittle them.

And, those who've achieved that extra 3% know that its a combination of technique and equipment--and, both are putting a bread on their table. All of which I understand. I've got a few magic bullets in my chain that I'm not anxious to share, either. (By the way, I have a RADAR 24 with Nyquist converters and some complimentary pieces of outboard equipment--some custom built).

I thought that people like Nathan or Fletcher would jump in because they are knowledgable and sell equipment (me being in the market to buy equipment). With their comments, a healthy dialog would follow and I could some get positive suggestions on what to buy.

Instead, I get a lecture on how I must do something because I'll never be able to do it myself. The point is, I'm very accomplished at my chosen profession (which gives me the disposable income to pursue this), and if I had let losers like Faeflora tell me what I can and can't do, I would have never reached the level that I have.

Fact is, I'm going to try to get my mixes as polished as possible. If they are done extremely well, there isn't a lot that mastering should be able to add. If I fail, I'll have several versions that I saved which I'll send it to a mastering facility. It's no big deal.

I'm doing this because I love doing it. The final product is important to me (obviously), but not as important as the process of doing it. I don't have clients up my ass telling me it's not good enough.

Monitoring has to be a higher priority- nothing like hearing what the **** you're doing.

I agree 100%. I have couple pairs of Adams (3A's and P-2380's)
which aren't perfect, but I like them. My control room is less than perfect. I found the Adams to be a little more forgiving in that perfect placement is not as critical.

Laser
Old 27th May 2003
  #10
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from what I understand, those ADAMs have a figure 8 pattern, avoids a lot of room troubles- but man the room is the real deal killer. And they don't come cheap! Nor are they easy to predict in the building, regardless of budget...

What I've come to realize is that the very finishing touches on each tune are so very dependent on the order and pacing of the album, and the way the mixes interact with each other, that's a tough one to get ahold of during mixing.

I was very serious about mixing everything just so to the HEDD/Masterlink at 16/44.1 and having it mastered and duplicated absolutely bit-identical, I liked what I was hearing so very much more than anything I'd heard at 16/44.1. Or any other digital format, for that matter.

But the amount of alternate mixes, the time scrutinizing the hell out of every aspect of the finish of the mixes, the tiny tiny little tweaks that change so much about the overall effect... and little things like crossfades, drive a person nuts.

I give up! I'll mix it all to 24/44.1, get it all 97% of the way there, and let mastering do the final little adjustments that make it all work together as an album. What I'm up to is rather unusual, so I feel it very important to have the final album be as compelling as possible, as available to the listener as easily as possible. maybe even a little more than what's possible!

Ringoism from the engineer: "I love doing the impossible. It makes it seem so probable."

I do understand the inclination to buy gear instead of paying wages, but there have been a lot of times I would have been better off paying wages! But only to the best...
Old 27th May 2003
  #11
Re: My recordings are good, but a little more.......

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "air".....but a little more would make them sound incredible.

My recordings have good "punch".....but a little more would make the speakers dance across the room.

My recordings have good "warmth"....but a little warmer and people would swear that I used a good Studer 2".

My recordings have okay high end "sparkle".....but a little "magic pixie dust" would give me that Celine Dion quality.

My recordings have a nice blending of channels.....a tad more glue would be nice.

My recordings have good "fullness".....but just a little more widening beyond the speakers would have a very dramatic feel.

My recordings have a decent "professional feel".....but a little more "gloss" and I could hand my CDs to anyone without apology.

The interesting thing is that I have nothing strapped across my (analog) 2-bus. Zilch. Nada.

Is there a box (or two) that I could put on my 2-bus that would give me "a little more" of the all or most of the above?? I would be willing to pay top dollar for this.

I only record R&B, rock (50s, 60's, 70's and early 80's), ballads, folk and jazz. I don't want to compress the crap out of my signals and I could care less if my CD's are louder than the next guys. My idea of a great recording is Kenny Loggins' song "Forever", if that helps.

You guys have a tremendous amount of experience and I've used your collective opinions to get me where I am today. Thanks (couldn't have done it without you) and can you offer your expertise one more time?



Laser
Sounds like you need Humberto Gatica or George Massenburg to do your mixes.heh
Old 27th May 2003
  #12
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Stop listening, it's a waste of time. One of the first studio owners I worked for used to say "If those meters are dancin' and look good, it's sure gonna sound good" His mixes always sounded great and the meters always looked fabulous. It's really not a joke, really. There's something about the velocity of the rise and fall times that sits with the rhythm of the song that don't lie. Honest. If you really want to delve into this philosophy you can splurge for a multicolor phase meter that shows you more of the truth. I video-project one over the stereo image to control if I'm happening or not. I especially like it when the low frequencies start to modulate the fluid inside the eyeballs and I see those LF 808 hallucinations, after this there's no doubt that it's a killer mix.
someone
Old 28th May 2003
  #13
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Sounds like you need Humberto Gatica or George Massenburg to do your mixes.

Humberto's da man! The first time I heard "The Power of Love", I raised a chubby. Celine's voice may have had something to do with it.

Thrill, you da man, too! What about that Massive Passive or Fairman strapped across the 2-bus?

Stop listening, it's a waste of time. One of the first studio owners I worked for used to say "If those meters are dancin' and look good, it's sure gonna sound good" His mixes always sounded great and the meters always looked fabulous. It's really not a joke, really. There's something about the velocity of the rise and fall times that sits with the rhythm of the song that don't lie. Honest. If you really want to delve into this philosophy you can splurge for a multicolor phase meter that shows you more of the truth. I video-project one over the stereo image to control if I'm happening or not. I especially like it when the low frequencies start to modulate the fluid inside the eyeballs and I see those LF 808 hallucinations, after this there's no doubt that it's a killer mix.

For this not being a joke, you had me rolling on the floor. Thanks for the laugh. Actually, my ears and my ability to play music are the only things I have going for me. You guys have all of the experience and know-how. I think any success I've had can be credited more to the arrangements than the actual mixing. If a part sounds "not quite right", I simply delete it and retrack something different until it fits. I believe a well-arranged song with each part fitting just right will carry the mix a long ways IMHO.

Laser
Old 28th May 2003
  #14
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laser, i think you are being a little unfair to faeflora. as i read his post, he gave you a lot of very specific very good advice way beyond just recommending a mastering engineer.

you'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how often this exact issue comes up on these bulletin boards. i don't think the issue is so much a bunch of spoilsports trying to rain on your parade, although i can see why you might think that's what is happening.

i think the issue is: what is mastering? If it was a process that was merely highly skilled engineering and highly priced gear, then ask yourself, why would Bob Clearmountain, Bruce Swedien, etc. ever bother or need to have their stuff mastered?

Part of the reason is to hear the result in a different room (usually an unbelievably acoustically tuned one) with a different (as in fresh and highly trained) set of ears doing the evaluation.

So it is hard,as you can well imagine, to evaluate your music in a different room with different ears if it is just you and your one room, no matter how much exotic gear you fill it with. My feeling is that to master in the same room by the same engineer is not really mastering, it's just retweaking your mix.

But if you have deep philosophical or financial objections to involving a mastering engineer in your project, the next best thing would be at least to bring in some other friends and musicians to evaluate your mixes, and try to listen to them in different environments. It's not the same, but maybe it will help a little.

You're not the first to post how "I don't want anyone telling me what i can't do, I can do it all myself." But the fact is, chances are you didn't design and build all your gear, you probably won't formulate the plastic to press and shrinkwrap your CD's, and you probably didn't construct your room from scratch with tools that you smelted. In today's complex society, we are all interdependent, and the goal of total self-sufficiency is a little naive for most of us. It's just a matter of recognizing what we can do in an efficient manner, and what is far more realistic to farm out.

But no need to take my word for it. If you are really interested you can do a simple test - go ahead and make the best mix you can make, and then submit it to a mastering engineer. Listen to your results and the M.E.'s results on a variety of systems, and see which one you like better. (A blind listening test would be even more scientific...)

Meanwhile, you can try some of faeflora's excellent suggestions...
Old 28th May 2003
  #15
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Littledog,

A very fair and insightful post.

The only problem I had with Faeflora is that he made very pointed evaluations based on blind assumptions; some which I thought to be unfair--some insulting. I have no place for people like this.

I've have readily agreed that mastering engineers will do a better job than I can. Please reread my posts--I never said that I felt I could do it as well or better. I've also stated more than once that if I fail, I fail. But, why not try? Why does everyone have such a problem with this? Denny Purcell was not great at mastering when he rode into Nashville. He loved music, he had great ears and he really wanted to succeed at creating music. Do you think Faeflora's advice would have deterred him?

Really, I just want to make what I (and musicians who have heard my work) feel are good mixes, better. I think I errored by giving the impression that I was producing great mixes--I'm not. They're good, but they have a lot of room for improvement. That said, I'm trying to finish off my studio purchases with some additional equipment that will make a difference. Almost a thousand words later, I've had one suggestion on equipment (a very good one, though). I tried to be a little colorful on my initial post and for some reason have gotten a few people defensive. With a name like "Gearslutz", I honestly thought people would focus on the gear.

But, I agree with almost everything you've said and promise to do your suggested comparison tests.

Laser
Old 28th May 2003
  #16
Quote:
Originally posted by laser
Sounds like you need Humberto Gatica or George Massenburg to do your mixes.

Humberto's da man! The first time I heard "The Power of Love", I raised a chubby. Celine's voice may have had something to do with it.

Thrill, you da man, too! What about that Massive Passive or Fairman strapped across the 2-bus?

Laser
Hey Laser,

Its funny but you caught me at the wrong time.

I am still working through 2 Buss withdrawal.

Lately about half the mixes I am doing, i am forcing myself not to use any 2 Buss processing. I am using all automation and a whole bunch of tricks along the way...I guess old school mixing?heh

I guess i have become bored with compressing/EQing the mix.grudge

But from time to time it still sneaks its way in there.

All i can say to your first post is that you have to go through the chain and find the weak points. You've posted alot of things you are not happy with and that's why i suggested maybe hire someone else to the mixes. Maybe you will get the results you want and learn a few things at the same time.

There is no magic 2 bus fix.

It could be:1)The room you are mixing in 2)Your monitoring situation 3)The mixing platform(Humberto mixes on an SSL9000J) and the 9000J does have a wide sound. 4)What you are mixing down to(half inch,1/4"inch,digital) all contribute somewhat to the sound 5)Bottomn line the music or production has a lot to do with it also

If you think you have those covered, than by all means rent a nice comp and EQ(STC-8 with a pair of Pultecs or a Massive Passive) may get you closer.
Old 28th May 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
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I tend to agree with Little Dog along with just about everybody else here ... and before dissing Fae, read between the sardonic wit (that we all know and love) and there are some worthy kernals of info there.

Now at the risk of playing devil's advocate, if you really want to attempt to do the whole brew yourself ... and you did mention the excess of cheese heh .... it wouldn't hurt to do a little shopping. Since you already mentioned Cranesong, You could almost make it a one stop affair. Dave Hill doesn't make a bad peice of gear. He's got this very sweet IBIS EQ that you could pair up w/his STC8 Comp. Certainly not the worst combination for just getting started in mastering. Personally, I'd go for the Benchmark AD/DA ... no knobs to worry about and it's just "there" (DAC-1) ... but hey, that's just me ... the Hedd is definitly tasty. If you got some extra cheese left over .. go for the Massive Passive and even a Massenberg mastering EQ (I forget the model #) for different flavors. You could even wind up using a few of them together. Since you like the Adams', you may want to take a serious look at the MP1's ... Oh ... they run about 10K ... each.

Now when you get home with all these toys .. pick up the phone and call the best acoustic room designer you can find ... hire him ... and let him do his job to perfection stike When he is finished, you have a fighting chance of coming close to what a well respected ME is able to consistantly turn out. Of course, you'll have to spend at least a year or two .. or more .. putting those stellar ears of yours to consistant use in this totally unfamiliar, perfectly balanced enviornment. There are mutual benifits of coarse. Your makeover will certainly enhance your tracking/mixing enviornment which will pay off in the march towards your ME chops.

Now if I had the cheese to do that kind of makeover, would I .. probably .... and for projects where all the marbles are rolling on the table .. I'd still go to a pro ME
Old 28th May 2003
  #18
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laser's Avatar
 

Alright, alright dfegad

New question.

I'm mixing down to stereo. My mix is sounding pretty good through my monitors, but before I send it to my favorite mastering house for mastering, I'd like to sweeten it up just a little.....a little more glue, maybe just a tad sparkle and air. (I wouldn't want the mastering engineer to lose respect for me).


I have a 2-bus that's wide open. Any suggestions on what I might want to put on it this 2 bus to enhance this sound? I don't want to put to much compression, because this is clearly the job of the mastering engineer.

You guys ****in' wear me out.

Laser

(Thrill, thanks for the tips. )

Old 28th May 2003
  #19
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
Alright, alright dfegad


You guys ****in' wear me out.

Laser

(Thrill, thanks for the tips. )


Not being told what you want to hear shouldnt wear you out...Are any of the big league recordings your trying to emulate mixed and mastered by the same person?
As far as two buss flavoring- I've found its really kind of program dependent- but you cant go wrong with a pair of pultecs....


BTW- I found that mixing to 1/2 in. 2 track analog helped my mixes 'glue'- ...
Old 28th May 2003
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Laser,

You're question was clear since the first shot.
I'll try to respond to this only and not do any polemic around.

I think a massive passive will be perfect for you. (sparkle and air)
The price is massive too but really it worth it.
To me, it add a nice overall color to the mix with help for the glue too.

As for comp, I don't ever had the chance to try the more expensive gear.
So I can't help you here.
Maybe a 747 combo (comp and musical EQ) will satisfy you.
It's not so Hi end but you can achive exellent result with it.

In the plug ins world, you can can't go wrong with the Sony dynamics package. It's the only plug wich seem real. The others I know are toys in comparison.

You can try multiband too.


The masters I do wich don't croos any MS processing are rare.
If you mean wide, then, it's the way to goo. A simple MS matrix (can be done on the board) and a boost by 1-3 dB of the "S" information will do the trick.

You can EQ and compress M and S individually. but then, you can loose glue.
For myself, sometimes, I help deph with EQ (removing some unwanted freq) or top noch reverb (rarely but it's sometimes magic). Do you know altiverb ?
The convolution is a revolution... and a bless...


Can you post some MP3's ?
It will be easy to have an advice of what you need.

Salvator
Old 28th May 2003
  #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by laser
My recordings have good "air".....but a little more would make them sound incredible.
Laser
Welcome to the Forum Laser. There's a lot of 2 mix topiced forums here that if you haven't checked, I suggest it. I go back and revist them from time to time just to get ideas.
NTI eq is a no brainer in the air department. The non-phase shift of these boxes is something I marvel at to this day.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser My recordings have good "punch".....but a little more would make the speakers dance across the room. My recordings have good "warmth"....but a little warmer and people would swear that I used a good Studer 2".
Laser [/B]
Try a 1 inch GP9 (if you aren't already). Hit it at +2 on the loudest peaks. Expect some tape hiss, although you may just consider this "air" or whatever buzz word you choose. If it really bugs you, try using Dolby.
May I also suggest some bopplehead dolls on top the near fields? They can also be substituted for one of those dancing coke cans.
Maybe an autopanner, like the pan scan? That will get sound jumping around the room, however this isn't something one normally puts on a 2 mix.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser My recordings have okay high end "sparkle".....but a little "magic pixie dust" would give me that Celine Dion quality."[/B]
What the hell are you talking about? Even ordered harmonics on the top end? You have sparkle but no pixie dust? Get off the drugs. If you are talking about frequencies, please try to give me a ballpark idea of what you are talking about here as these terms are way to ambiguous for at least me to figure out.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser My recordings have a nice blending of channels.....a tad more glue would be nice.]My recordings have good "fullness".....but just a little more widening beyond the speakers would have a very dramatic feel.[/B]
Are you talking about your recordings or your mixes? If you need more widening, try the Desper spatializer. They are kinda hard to find and expensive. A much cheaper unit, which is VERY useful no matter what anyone tells you, is the Behringer Edison. (the meter isn't very helpful on the unit, but it sits pretty next to my $5,000 Depser, My Spatializer Retro, and My Vitalizer). On top of all this, I'd never use them on my 2 mix, only within my mix.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser My recordings have a decent "professional feel".....but a little more "gloss" and I could hand my CDs to anyone without apology.[/B]
Try using the "Glossy Plate" preset in the LEX 300. Set your predelay to the timed 1/32 note (to the BPM of the song). If the song is an uptempo, try 1/64th predelay. Again, this won't help you on your 2 mix.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser The interesting thing is that I have nothing strapped across my (analog) 2-bus. Zilch. Nada.
Laser [/B]
All those problems you listed, and nothing on your 2 mix? Honestly, this doesn't sound like a 2 mix issue to me.

Have you had other people mix the stuff you record?

Quote:
Originally posted by laser Is there a box (or two) that I could put on my 2-bus that would give me "a little more" of the all or most of the above?? I would be willing to pay top dollar for this.Laser [/B]
My current most used 2 mix chain is: NTI (or Massive Passive) -> Manley Vari Mu (or SSL9K board compressor). Your results no doubt will vary as seen on this forum, so I suggest you rent : the NTI, Massive Passive, Alan Smart, 1969, Crane Song IBIS, Crane Song Hedd, Tube Tec Multiband Compressor (don't get carried away with this one... it's incredible) Neve 33609, GML8200, the 747, and even the Pultecs (which I'd highly NOT recommend). All these pieces are over $2,000US and I'd never drop that much without trying the unit out first, except maybe the cranesong.



Quote:
Originally posted by laser I only record R&B, rock (50s, 60's, 70's and early 80's), ballads, folk and jazz. I don't want to compress the crap out of my signals and I could care less if my CD's are louder than the next guys. My idea of a great recording is Kenny Loggins' song "Forever", if that helps.[/B]
Laser [/B][/QUOTE]

Kudos. The SummitAudio DCL-200 might be to your liking on the 2 mix. I could see myself getting a "Forever" mushy/warmth thing with one of them. Great peice of gear I put on my BG chain quite often. Personally, I think the key to this piece is getting the right "knee" setting.


Quote:
Originally posted by laser
Hell, if you provide good information, I'll buy the first three rounds and we'll get stoned-ass drunk together.

Laser
I'm not making assumptions here, but if you ARE working under the influence, I'd suggest you don't in the future (or try the opposite?). M.U.I. doesn't work for me at all!

Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
Some people in the world are EXPERTS at audio engineering. Maybe even MASTERS. That's why they're called MASTERing ENGINEERS. You are not a MASTER at audio engineering. If you try to make your recordings sound MASTERful, remember that. It'll make you work harder.
I understand your point, but please oh please don't say that any mastering engineer is a "master" "engineer". There are WAY too many wack mastering engineers out there that suck the life out of whatever you send them. I think it's very important to find the ME that suits you. One of my goals this year it to have the quietest, most dynamic record of the year.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
I give up! I'll mix it all to 24/44.1, get it all 97% of the way there, and let mastering do the final little adjustments that make it all work together as an album. What I'm up to is rather unusual, so I feel it very important to have the final album be as compelling as possible, as available to the listener as easily as possible. maybe even a little more than what's possible!
Odd. I usually get my mixes 100% and then the mastering engineer effs my mix up about 3%.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
The only problem I had with Faeflora is that he made very pointed evaluations based on blind assumptions; some which I thought to be unfair--some insulting. I have no place for people like this.

I've have readily agreed that mastering engineers will do a better job than I can. Please reread my posts--I never said that I felt I could do it as well or better. I've also stated more than once that if I fail, I fail. But, why not try? Why does everyone have such a problem with this? Denny Purcell was not great at mastering when he rode into Nashville. He loved music, he had great ears and he really wanted to succeed at creating music. Do you think Faeflora's advice would have deterred him?
Laser
Grow a pair... Fae's post was an enjoyable, humorous, educational read. I think Denny (Against the Grain and Stones in the Road... wow!) would have a good sense of humor about Fae's reply, and probably tried Fae's advice. Sidenote: If you "have no place for people like this", there's a wonderful "ignore" function on this forum. You'd do everyone a favor by using it.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
Alright, alright dfegad

New question.

I'm mixing down to stereo. My mix is sounding pretty good through my monitors, but before I send it to my favorite mastering house for mastering, I'd like to sweeten it up just a little.....a little more glue, maybe just a tad sparkle and air. (I wouldn't want the mastering engineer to lose respect for me).


I have a 2-bus that's wide open. Any suggestions on what I might want to put on it this 2 bus to enhance this sound?
Sparkle and Air you say? Sorry. (I'm not a fan of so many buzzwords in one thread). Air = NTI EQ3 Sparkle = Manley Massive Passive Glue = Print to half inch (or better yet, one inch) +6/185nw.

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
Alright, alright dfegad
I don't want to put to much compression, because this is clearly the job of the mastering engineer.
lol... It's the mastering engineers job to put too much compression on the 2 mix? No wonder Brian Gardner is so popular.


Quote:
Originally posted by De chromium cob
As far as two buss flavoring- I've found its really kind of program dependent- but you cant go wrong with a pair of pultecs....
While I agree it's program dependant (which is way samples of laser's material would be helpful) I disagree totally about the Pultecs. The phase shift you get from the Pultec's (am I safe to assume you are talking about the blues?) if definately NOT what I think anyone wants on a 2 Mix.
Old 28th May 2003
  #22
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Standing ovation for e-cue!!!

agree with everything he says or not, that was one hell of a MASTER-ful post!
Old 29th May 2003
  #23
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.. Touche e-cue (no that's not tush .. pronounced too-shay heh) ..

Bravo Bravo
Old 29th May 2003
  #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
lol... It's the mastering engineers job to put too much compression on the 2 mix? No wonder Brian Gardner is so popular.
[Cymbal crash] Thank you folks! I'll be here all week--please tip your waiters and waitresses...

Old 29th May 2003
  #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
His mixes always sounded great and the meters always looked fabulous. It's really not a joke, really.
You're so right! Dynamics in a mix are so important for anything beyond music intended for more than transient popularity.
Old 29th May 2003
  #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue


While I agree it's program dependant (which is way samples of laser's material would be helpful) I disagree totally about the Pultecs. The phase shift you get from the Pultec's (am I safe to assume you are talking about the blues?) if definately NOT what I think anyone wants on a 2 Mix. [/B]
I've used the EQP-1A3's...they have a silver face so perhaps there is a big difference between the two models- I'm by no means a pultec expert- I just blindly follow my ears to what they like(alright, sometimes I peek). And in my experience the pultec just 'makes its own sauce' if you know what I mean.....not what you want all the time, but for certain things it puts a smile on my face.
Old 29th May 2003
  #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by De chromium cob
I've used the EQP-1A3's...they have a silver face so perhaps there is a big difference between the two models- I'm by no means a pultec expert- I just blindly follow my ears to what they like(alright, sometimes I peek). And in my experience the pultec just 'makes its own sauce' if you know what I mean.....not what you want all the time, but for certain things it puts a smile on my face.
TOTALLY DIFFERENT BEASTS..... The Silver faced units are great of mid ranged material, at least for me. The Prism Sound mastering EQ has been dubbed the "Silver Pultec Times a Thousand"... I hate the Prism unit on EVERYTHING. The Silver Pultecs are great on distorted guitar for me... not much else. Once in a blue moon, the 900 hertz to 3 K on vocals sound nice. If you like wide "q"s, the Pultecs might be perfect for you. I rarely boast over 6 DB on the 1a3's. And although I've TRIED IT (on everyone digital consoled room I've been in, as well as the blues) I've never gone ape **** over them. They add too much mush (when I say mush, I mean phase shift in the lower mid range that makes the program material sound... unpresence) on my 2 mix. It's acceptable withIN my mix, just not ON my mix. If you dig the silvers on your 2 mix, check out the Prism, which is IMO is a plastic version of the Pultec Sliver.

This is one of the reasons I dig the Tube Tec Multiband unit so much.
Old 29th May 2003
  #28
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
I give up! I'll mix it all to 24/44.1, get it all 97% of the way there, and let mastering do the final little adjustments that make it all work together as an album. What I'm up to is rather unusual, so I feel it very important to have the final album be as compelling as possible, as available to the listener as easily as possible. maybe even a little more than what's possible!
------------------------------------------------------------------------


e-cue says: "Odd. I usually get my mixes 100% and then the mastering engineer effs my mix up about 3%."

The 3% I'm talking about is the little details that make the track work with the other tracks on the album, very hard to do in the mix. Depending on how similar all the material is, I have to imagine.
Old 29th May 2003
  #29
Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
TOTALLY DIFFERENT BEASTS..... The Silver faced units are great of mid ranged material, at least for me. The Prism Sound mastering EQ has been dubbed the "Silver Pultec Times a Thousand"... I hate the Prism unit on EVERYTHING. The Silver Pultecs are great on distorted guitar for me... not much else. Once in a blue moon, the 900 hertz to 3 K on vocals sound nice. If you like wide "q"s, the Pultecs might be perfect for you. I rarely boast over 6 DB on the 1a3's. And although I've TRIED IT (on everyone digital consoled room I've been in, as well as the blues) I've never gone ape **** over them. They add too much mush (when I say mush, I mean phase shift in the lower mid range that makes the program material sound... unpresence) on my 2 mix. It's acceptable withIN my mix, just not ON my mix. If you dig the silvers on your 2 mix, check out the Prism, which is IMO is a plastic version of the Pultec Sliver.

This is one of the reasons I dig the Tube Tec Multiband unit so much.
There are 2 kinds. I prefer the one with the API section.

It is great on vocals(sometimes more useful than the blue EQP1A), but also I rarely use just one EQ on a vocal.

I think the Maselec EQ is another great contender for vocals. It has the most comprehensive mid section next to the Fairman and the DW Fearn EQ.

To use it on the mix(or mastering)you need to chase it with a colored comp(I've liked it with a Vari Mu or my Blue 230,Neve 32264a). Most guys just get the Maselec compressor(which is dark sounding already) and use them in tandemn.

By the way E, I am one of those guys who likes using Pultecs(API) on the mixbuss with un modified SSL's(4000 and 6000). It made up the bass loss the was lost through the console(the problem onthe original consoles). Most guys nowadays just buy a stereo pair and modify them for this purpose(also the SSL's).

Now afterwards they don't sound the same, but if they get you one step closer, than that's what's important.
Old 30th May 2003
  #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
The 3% I'm talking about is the little details that make the track work with the other tracks on the album, very hard to do in the mix. Depending on how similar all the material is, I have to imagine.
I understand. If you do the best, most balls shakinest mix and the song right after it sounds like it was mixed by a deaf audio school student, then would you agree that mastering would tend to "dumb down" your mix so it fits into the record better (after trying to smarten up the bad mix)?

I hate it when I do something like turn my bass up too loud, by most standards anyway, and some mastering place ends up compressing my low end to tame it. Another reason to try to find 1 mastering engineer that works best for you (even though the label always finds a way to send it to ANOTHER mastering plant).
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