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Artist wants my mix brighter, what to do? Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 13th September 2010
  #1
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Artist wants my mix brighter, what to do?

I mixed a song for an artist and he loves the mix but is not as bright as the other songs for his album (mixed by someone else). He is concerned that my mix will not fit well with the other songs to make a cohesive record.

From a mastering perspective how do I best brighten my mix to match the other songs? (EQ on the master bus? Brighten individual instruments?)

Or do we let the mastering engineer brighten my mix to match the others?

Thanks!
Old 13th September 2010
  #2
Shy
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There is no rule for that and I couldn't possibly say whether brightening specific individual tracks would be significantly better or not. Sometimes processing the mix works just fine, but if I have the tracks I usually try to get the overall balance as accurate as possible in the mixing stage, and do slight equalization editing in the "mastering" stage.
Old 13th September 2010
  #3
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You can do all. Just let the mastering engineer brighten it up plus he or she is going to make sure all of the tracks are going blend well with an even tonal polish. It's best to leave that up to the mastering engineer since the album is being mastered.
Old 13th September 2010
  #4
Just brighten it up a bit, preferably individual instruments. Don't go all the way.
Let the ME decide if he/she wants to brighten your mix even further or if he/she wants to "darken" the other tracks of the album...
Old 13th September 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Robb View Post
I mixed a song for an artist and he loves the mix but is not as bright as the other songs for his album (mixed by someone else). He is concerned that my mix will not fit well with the other songs to make a cohesive record.

From a mastering perspective how do I best brighten my mix to match the other songs? (EQ on the master bus? Brighten individual instruments?)

Or do we let the mastering engineer brighten my mix to match the others?

Thanks!
Strikes me as an impossible question to answer. I mean, are you happy with the mix? When you reference the mix to a really good similar song (by a different artist) does it sound muddier?


If there's a mix problem, best to fix it in the mix. It might not be the whole mix that needs to be brighter - I mean, how bright is the snare for instance?
But there might not even be a mix problem... for all we know, the other songs mixed by someone else might be really tinny and lacking in bass...

If I were you I'd post the song in the work in progress section...
Old 13th September 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
Strikes me as an impossible question to answer. I mean, are you happy with the mix? When you reference the mix to a really good similar song (by a different artist) does it sound muddier?


If there's a mix problem, best to fix it in the mix. It might not be the whole mix that needs to be brighter - I mean, how bright is the snare for instance?
But there might not even be a mix problem... for all we know, the other songs mixed by someone else might be really tinny and lacking in bass...

If I were you I'd post the song in the work in progress section...
When I compare my mix to the reference (a professionally engineered & mastered major label artist) it sounds pretty close. I do feel that the other songs (mixed by someone else) are a bit thin and a bit too bright.
Old 13th September 2010
  #7
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Robb View Post
I mixed a song for an artist and he loves the mix but is not as bright as the other songs for his album (mixed by someone else). He is concerned that my mix will not fit well with the other songs to make a cohesive record.

From a mastering perspective how do I best brighten my mix to match the other songs? (EQ on the master bus? Brighten individual instruments?)

Or do we let the mastering engineer brighten my mix to match the others?
Conceivably, if the mix is solid, the high end and continuity issue can be taken care of in mastering... but if the guy paying the bills is concerned, it might be just as well to go back into the mix and if anything is lacking in highs...straighten that out or just tilt the high end a little with a shelf on the master channel and give them an alternate version to choose from.
Old 13th September 2010
  #8
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brethes's Avatar
 

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The client is always right (even when he/she is wrong)...

If you are confident that your mix is fine, explain to the client that one of the jobs of mastering is to take care of matching the overall sound.

If the client still feels nervous about the mix (lack of experience, doesn't have a good mastering engineer to trust, doesn't believe you...), do another mix a little brighter and tell him to send both to the mastering engineer so he/she can choose which one to work with.
Old 13th September 2010
  #9
For brighter mix just boost the highs with shelf curve.

Make sure you are using the highest quality eq possible GML, Manley Passive, or Crane Song etc... and other choices as well.
Old 13th September 2010
  #10
ORC
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I would try to take care of this by changing your mix first, rather than having an ME try to compensate. Use your ears. Listen carefully to those other mixes. Figure out which elements the brightness is coming from, then adjust eq on those same elements in your mix. Also listen to the bottom end of the mixes, and try to match that as well. The amount of low end can have quite an affect on how bright or forward a mix sounds.
Try this, then your ME should really be able to get your mix sounding like it belongs with the others. I don't think slapping an eq on the 2 buss is the answer. My 2 cents.
Old 13th September 2010
  #11
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Thanks for all of your advise. For those who want to know this is what I did:

In my session I have ALL of the audio/FX going to 4 stereo busses which go out to my summing amp. Drums, Instruments, Vocals, Others/FX

On each stereo buss I just added a high shelf boost and adjusted it to taste.

This worked out great.

Thanks again!
Old 13th September 2010
  #12
Let the mastering engineer brighten up the mix. He most definitely has better hardware EQs than you do.
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