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About Mixing step & level
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
About Mixing step & level

Engineer of mastering told me that the mixed file(stereo) is better at -3db.
Take the drums for example while mixing, make the dynamic of kick peak at -3db.(i don't know what the unit is.....is -3dbBFs? Depended on LOGIC's meter.)
When I took the level of kick as the volume standard of other tracks to balance, the level of drums' group was over -3db.
And made the limiter of drums' group at -3db, the output with bass and vocal was over -3db at the final.

I do a lot reseach and maybe not enough, I couldn't find the related discussions or articles still.
So i think it whuold be too much procession that the drums' group is limited or compressed at the first step and then the final output does again?
Or I should make the all balace(drum,vocal,bass,GT...) done at first and then make all the level up or down at -3db depended on the master output meter.(maybe do some limit or compress)
But, if like this, what track (kick?snare?bass?or...)sould i take as the benchmark of level to do balance at the begining of mixing? (ex:Balance depended on the kick at -10db and -3db will be a obvious difference at the final.)

Don't know what's the usual procedure of mixing? And suggest me some programs(eazier to use) of mastering as your recomends. THANKS!

BY the way, how far you will do mixing in mono?

Thanks!!
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadiae View Post
Engineer of mastering told me that the mixed file(stereo) is better at -3db.
Take the drums for example while mixing, make the dynamic of kick peak at -3db.(i don't know what the unit is.....is -3dbBFs? Depended on LOGIC's meter.)
Guides such as this guy's are probably meant as beginners' crutches, but hopefully very quickly you'll close your eyes and use your ears.

BK
Old 15th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
First of all, don't feel bad that you are confused on this issue! There isn't a single person on this board who wasn't a little in the dark on this when they first started out.

Engineer of mastering told me that the mixed file(stereo) is better at -3db.
Take the drums for example while mixing, make the dynamic of kick peak at -3db.(i don't know what the unit is.....is -3dbBFs? Depended on LOGIC's meter.)

What the Mastering Engineer meant is that the total file on the master buss should not PEAK over -3dbFS. dbFS is a volume measurement in the digital domain. 0dbFS is the absolute loudest any signal will read, anything over that and the signal will just get cut off. The reason you don't want your total mix to go over -3 (-6 is usually the accepted standard) is so the Mastering Engineer has some space to work. If you are peaking at 0dbFS, the Mastering Engineer has no room to add anything on.

When I took the level of kick as the volume standard of other tracks to balance, the level of drums' group was over -3db.
And made the limiter of drums' group at -3db, the output with bass and vocal was over -3db at the final.

The final is the most important one. All your other elements should be significantly lower, because they are going to add together. When you are mixing, I would set your VOCALS (or Lead part, whatever instrument that is) to peak at around -10dbFS. This will leave you with plenty of room.

I do a lot reseach and maybe not enough, I couldn't find the related discussions or articles still.
So i think it whuold be too much procession that the drums' group is limited or compressed at the first step and then the final output does again?

Limiting or compressing on the drum buss is fairly common in mixing, However, I wouldn't do it for the sake of volume. It's usually done as a way to make the drums all sound unified. As for the final output (called the Master Buss, or 2-Buss), make sure you are at -3dbFS BEFORE any compression or limiting you want to add.

Or I should make the all balace(drum,vocal,bass,GT...) done at first and then make all the level up or down at -3db depended on the master output meter.(maybe do some limit or compress)

This is a better idea!

But, if like this, what track (kick?snare?bass?or...)sould i take as the benchmark of level to do balance at the begining of mixing? (ex:Balance depended on the kick at -10db and -3db will be a obvious difference at the final.)

Vocals, or lead instrument depending on the style of music. I'd look for around -10dbFS. From there, I usually move on to my rhythm section (bass and drums).

Don't know what's the usual procedure of mixing? And suggest me some programs(eazier to use) of mastering as your recomends. THANKS!

The best program is the one that you are most familiar with. All programs have pros and cons, and all of them can do whatever you need to do if you really know how to use them. It's like playing an instrument, it just takes time to get to know how to use one. Personally, I'm a Pro Tools guy. Occasionally I'll use Cubase or Logic. All are excellent programs.

BY the way, how far you will do mixing in mono?

Everyone is different. I usually mix in stereo, and flip back and forth to mono just to make sure everything sounds ok. If there's a big problem when I flip to mono, chances are there's a problem in stereo as well. Some people swear that you should mix in mono up until the very end.

Thanks!!

You're welcome.
Old 17th November 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
chopstickkk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
close your eyes and use your ears.

BK
+1

especially with all the visual distractions that modern day tools present.
Old 17th November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
dcollins's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstickkk View Post
+1

especially with all the visual distractions that modern day tools present.
All roads seem to lead here.


DC
Old 17th November 2009
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
All roads seem to lead here.


DC

You mean I'm supposed to listen to it???

t
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