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How to get the "wall of sound" (?) effect?
Old 8th June 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

How to get the "wall of sound" (?) effect?

Hi!

Would anybody here give some guidelines to how to get a full sound...

I'll try to be more specific... I'm talking about the sound, where almost all frequencys, or at least major spectrums, are always playing... Or that's what I imagine it to be...

I'm not gona get into "how huuuuge" the sound is.... It's just that... instruments blend together really really well... It's not a "live" sound, it's just as the whole band would be playing in a perfect room placed just right...

I Imagine this is a job for the EQ...

where do you put each instrument?

Thx so much!
Old 8th June 2006
  #2
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kudzu's Avatar
 

rather than mix with different volumes of tracks, mix by adding/removing frequencies on different tracks .... try it ... it can work very well when trying to get that "wall of sound" thang ... also, positioning with rooms 'n' verbs can work ...
Old 8th June 2006
  #3
Gear Head
 

thx for the reply!

I'm just not shure I understand... So mean no fader automation? Just EQ and positioning?

Somewhere on the net I read that removing feqs is better than adding them... so that one instrument would have it's specific freq range, and all the other freqs a little cut... Would this be what i'm looking for considering the EQs?
Old 9th June 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

he he - it amazes me how many people are spelling "sure" (as in a sure thing) as "shure" (as in Shure Sm57). Must be a new trend in English education ...

Seems like a trollish sort of question dude - could you be any less specific?

The "wall of sound" was the Phil Spector thing - but I guess that's too long ago to be relevant any more. Basically he crammed a whole bunch of people into a small room and mic'd them up (with a single mic??). This backing track was then played back through a wall of speakers in an echochamber, while the vocals were overdubbed.

But I guess you just mean a huge, full, wide mix. It's far more than just an eq thing.

You are basically asking for a 101 course in mixing - get a book.
Old 9th June 2006
  #5
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Yes, try to have each instrument have it's own space within the frequency spectrum. This will give you a very well defined mix. Listen to a Steely Dan cut. But you said "Wall of Sound". This was the moniker given to producer/songwriter Phil Spector's sound. This was a very thick, doubled, played in one room with a live band and orchestra sound. And mixed in mono. Is this what you are looking for?
Old 9th June 2006
  #6
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kudzu's Avatar
 

Kiwiburger ... it must b great being u ... people r asking for help ... F*CKIN' HELP, u'll feel better for it ...
Old 9th June 2006
  #7
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Geez, Mr. Burger, you type quickly, for shure.... Beet me to that one... Haha!!! Be careful with the English correction thing. I just got flammed over on the "Chile Pepper" thread for doing that....
Old 9th June 2006
  #8
Gear Head
 

Sorry for the Shure thing... I'm not an endorser... :P

No really... I'm slovene and it's nighttime here... I'll try next time ok?


The reason I'm asking is because I see a difference in really high quality productions... It's likd of a difference in style of mixing... sort of...
One... Let's say a 50 Cent track...

And the one I'm interested is... Caesars Palace - Jerk it out... or
a track with really alot going on... many instruments and mics... playing at the same time. But they're pretty well seperated betwen each other... and still creating a buzz, so that you hear just a block of sound coming to you... You really have to listen hard, and they you hear how many things are comming out of a speaker...

Hm... If that was too confusing, I'll just grab a mixing 101 book...
Old 9th June 2006
  #9
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

OK! Try to find a chart of the frequencies of various musical instruments. Learn where each one lies in the frequency spectrum. Then when you mix, carve out a place for each instrument. For example, if you have an acoustic piano in a rock context, that covers a pretty large range. Try rolling off the lower end of the spectrum to make room for the bass guitar. When soloed, the piano will sound thin, but within the context of a mix it will sound full and "cut through" due to the bass guitar filling out the bass register. If you didn't roll the low frequencies off the low mids and bass would sound mushy due to two instruments fighting each other for space.
Old 9th June 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudzu
Kiwiburger ... it must b great being u ... people r asking for help ... F*CKIN' HELP, u'll feel better for it ...
That was the most helpful post - for shure.
Old 9th June 2006
  #11
Gear Head
 

Thank you ArcCirDude for the help!

I can see why someone mentioned a mixing 101 class... It's just that not that many records have that great sound... I didn't think it was being the result of such a basic thing... not many of the "great recordings" have this sound...
Old 9th June 2006
  #12
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

try some tricks like adding a really high pitch synth/string sound on the tonic of the song for the choruses (legate) . but put it low on the mix. same as using a bass enhancer subharmonic plugin/hrdware for low end stuff.

pan double takes of the same intruments/intruments w the same freq range. whacht the phase though. use samples, for doubling different instruments. so an 808 kik drum for low end, then a thumpy kik drum etc. add more freq to the same intrument.
and remember its has a lot to do with time. its only a wall of sound cause there wsnt a wall of sound before or silence. its percived in time that it a wall of sound.
Ex: bass starts for intro.. so just low end ,right... then huge guitars left and right for the next few measures. then a break with just a hat...
try that
or mixed that way if your not the composer.

you can try using a multiband compressor instead or w EQ and by trial and error figure out freqs and comp settings for each track.

micheal jackson has like 32 tracks of vocals sometime for the same part.
he tracks the same thing using diferent mics, and singing at diferent distences from the mic even really far far at the other end of the studio.

so just grab a song your thinking about and check how they made it.

sometimes less is more
Old 9th June 2006
  #13
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

What I'm hearing is: I want a dense arrangement where I can hear everything, and there' a lot going on.

Arrange your music so the fundamental frequency of each instrument has it's own space in the 20-20k frequency range.

1. Find out what frequency bands in each track are offering a desirable quality you eventually want to hear in the final mix.

2. Find out what frequency bands in each track are offering a negative quality you don't want to hear in the final mix.

3. Either re-track the tracks that exhibit problem areas, or use subtractive eq in these problem areas. Ideally, some of your other track's desirable frequencies exist in this range.

4. Use additive EQ to boost the desireable regions of each track. If more than one track have the same desireable frequency regions, then you'll need to consider re-arrangement, or re-tracking.


Really.. You just want a good arrangement and a good handle on EQ. MB compression might be the answer in some cases, but I don't think in yours. Classical composers hundreds of years ago were making "wall of sound" mixes without a tape deck or a computer. That's the real answer.

On a related note:

How do I make my mix punchy, dynamic, heavy, loud, deep, and green?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulFood
Thank you ArcCirDude for the help!

I can see why someone mentioned a mixing 101 class... It's just that not that many records have that great sound... I didn't think it was being the result of such a basic thing... not many of the "great recordings" have this sound...
Old 9th June 2006
  #14
Big thick mixes and compressor sidechain games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulFood
Sorry for the Shure thing... I'm not an endorser... :P

No really... I'm slovene and it's nighttime here... I'll try next time ok?


The reason I'm asking is because I see a difference in really high quality productions... It's likd of a difference in style of mixing... sort of...
One... Let's say a 50 Cent track...

And the one I'm interested is... Caesars Palace - Jerk it out... or
a track with really alot going on... many instruments and mics... playing at the same time. But they're pretty well seperated betwen each other... and still creating a buzz, so that you hear just a block of sound coming to you... You really have to listen hard, and they you hear how many things are comming out of a speaker...

Hm... If that was too confusing, I'll just grab a mixing 101 book...
Sometimes you can end up with a very solid up front mix of a lot of instruments by feeding a more important part into the sidechains of a compressor in an insert of a group of less important instruments every time you do this you make a more level
result. Its can be interesting to have an eq in the sidechain as well as the original ducker signal so you are then able to pick out certain notes by eq ing for them.
If that was confusing its cos it was out of mixing 202.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
PS Thats Called Ducking..... No I said DUCKING!.
Old 9th June 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 

If all else fails - mix in a synth pad. Use a spectrum analyser to identify the 'holes' in your mix, and eq the synth pad to fill all the holes.

This question is completely vague. Every mix is different, and you need to start with the basics of musical composition and arrangement before you worry about mixing.
Old 9th June 2006
  #16
Gear Head
 

That's awesome advice!

I couldn't get help like this anywhere else! :D:D:D

Thank you all so much! :D
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