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Mix with the Masters vs Puremix?
Old 23rd October 2017
  #1
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foamboy's Avatar
Mix with the Masters vs Puremix?

Hello again. I am considering signing up for one of these or something else if anybody has some other suggestions. I am curious as to which one would be the best investment so I am hoping that some of you have done both and could suggest which one you believed actually enlightened you the most. I am mostly interested in mixing Pop with a lot of sampled instruments and the occasional rock band and maybe a mock orchestra.

Thanks,

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Old 23rd October 2017
  #2
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Crickets.

Old 23rd October 2017
  #3
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Recording is a 4 tier process. It begins with great music properly performed, followed by proper tracking then mixing and mastering.
I have no idea where your weaknesses lie so I couldn't tell you which step might be most beneficial, but as with most, its usually the areas they think are least important. The musical performance will stand out in even a horribly tracked, mixed and mastered recording. Its the quality of the ingredients that make a great cake. Good tracking and mic placements follow.

If you get those two ingredients right, the rest is so much easier its like day and night. Its usually when those two steps are overlooked by the inexperienced who think they can fix the problem mixing and mastering when they eventually realize you cant polish up garbage to get it to pass the smell test. I've been doing it long enough to tell whether the raw tracks are good enough to get a great mix. The mixing process is a chain of events and knowing how things should measure up before moving to the next link in the chain is what its all about.

As for your question? All 4 steps are ultra critical if you want great music. You may learn something by having someone show you some tricks but so much of its invented on the spot depending on the needs. I'd say mastering is the most regimented because you want a mix that has reached a specific volume level, balance and quality, then you take it to another target level which is on par with other commercial releases.

Mixing can be more complex because you have to build that solid ground from bits and pieces. The weakness is without knowledge of mastering you don't know what you're targeting. Most try and mix to commercial master levels and inevitably get it wrong or its highly hit or miss. This is usually caused by the fact DAW meters are calibrated to peak levels and a mastering engineer works with RMS levels. Some of the mastering can be learned on your own however so mixing might be a better option, and it can be more fun for most.

Tracking is tedious and mundane. You do allot of tweaking, moving mics, finding the best recording options, mics gear etc. You're usually under allot of pressure to get things right without disturbing the creative flow of the artists. Without that it doesn't matter if you have everything else perfect. If the performance sucks you have no raw materials to work with. Honestly, after 50+ years of recording, I see all steps as being equally important and you can make or break a recording in any one of them.

The fact is, mixing or mastering are enhancement stages. If the tracks were recorded well, low noise and distortion free you'll be able to make them sound great. If source of sound is poor and it's tracked poorly, the enhancement only makes how bad they sounds even more obvious.

It only takes one poorly recorded track to ruin an otherwise great recording. There are some things you can do to correct poorly tracked instruments but they all come at a big cost. The shortest and easiest path to a great recording is Don't make mistakes when performing and tracking. Sounds easy right? It isn't, believe me.
Its different every time you try it because a musicians performance varies with each performance.

If its done right the enhancement tools used mixing are pure joy to use and actually enhance things. When tracks are bad you can waste weeks trying to make then work like surgeons tools (or better yet cave mans tools) to fix tracks with imbedded problems and many times, the losses created trying to remove the bad from the good leaves very little good left.

My only advice therefore, if you aren't a musician then you only have to worry about steps 2, 3 & 4 but you often have to advise musicians on how to get the best sounds, so you need to spend allot of time listening to performances even if you aren't performing yourself. If you were to do live sound for awhile allot of the skills involved in tracking and dealing with the musicians would be covered. Most sound guys would be happy for help hauling gear and setting up mics too.

Tracking and mixing, there is less pressure to get things correct at the first shot. You can undo anything and even start over from scratch if need by simply working with a copy of the original and leaving the original as a backup. In other words, you can take your time learning to mix well, and it wont matter much if you're shown a few tricks or not, its not going to give you a huge boost in skill. It may inspire you to get better, but its really no more then a musician going to see another musician play. If you tool less0ons over an extended period of time, then yes, a mentor can see where your weaknesses are and guide you where you need to go.
Mastering like I said is taking the music from one fixed point to another. For a short term lesson it might give you the best bang for the buck.
Old 24th October 2017
  #4
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Thanks VERY much for the long and informative reply, however, I think you misunderstood my question...I wasn't asking about the differences between mastering and mixing, I was referring to online courses and I was curious to know if anybody has used both of these services and might be able to steer me in my decision. One online class is called Mixing with the Masters and the other is Puremix.

Thanks again.

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Old 24th October 2017
  #5
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I have renewed multiple times with Puremix, and have looked at virtually every other online resource - except Mix With the Masters. So while I can't comment on the latter, I can certainly tell you what I think of the former: they are outstanding.

Everything about Puremix is exceptionally high quality; the mixing techniques are comprehensive, their use of A/B-ing is pitch perfect - just the right amount of cycling through before-and-after each step of the way, high-lighting what to listen out for (as, just as they should be, most of their mixing techniques and moves are subtle, rather than stuff to impress students with "wow, that 10db boost at 3k really pops out of the mix") - their guest instructors (though most are done by Fab Dupont himself) seem to be chosen not just for their A-list mixing credentials (which, are impressive), but also because they know how to communicate what they're doing (Andrew Sheps, in particular, I can totally imagine lecturing at Berkeley with a "y" not an "ee", or somewhere laid back and West Coast-y). Coming up to Black Friday, which we are, you can probably snag a good 3 month deal with them, and work your way through their back-catalogue. Take copious notes, and expect to want to watch some of them again - I know I have!
Old 24th October 2017
  #6
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Excellent! Thanks for the Black Friday tip.

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Old 20th July 2018
  #7
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I'm subscribed to both and would recommend for PureMix over Mix With the Maters (MTWTM) for most people -- especially those who are less experienced.

Fab Dupont is an excellent teacher. The PureMix videos are great at showing you everything, step-by-step, without assuming much prior knowledge. He's always careful to demonstrate (rather than merely talk about) concepts in well-edited videos. One thing to note about PureMix is that most of the videos are based on Pro Tools -- which is fine for me as that is my primary DAW. They do have some videos where they use other DAWs, like Cubase. The concepts are usually general enough that they could be applied to any DAW.

So far, what I've seen of MWTM has been mostly interviews with top pros. They are interesting and occasionally enlightening, but it is less "teaching oriented" than PureMix. MWTM has more high-level discussions about mixing philosophies. In general, there is more "telling" and less "showing" going on. There are videos where the pros recreate famous mixes. As awesome as that sounds, the reality of much of it seems to be watching a guy twiddle knobs on a console with occasional comments like "I'm bringing up the hi-hat a little" or "I'm sending a little more to the 1176." In fairness, there is nothing wrong with that. And there is obviously value in watching a "master" working his magic. But, most of these guys, as great as they are, are not really teachers like Fab.

MWTM is worthwhile, but if you are starting out, I'd recommend PureMix first. PureMix is more affordable too. I would say try PureMix first, then try MWTM after you've gone through most of PureMix.
Old 15th October 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigfried Chicken View Post

Fab Dupont is an excellent teacher. The PureMix videos are great at showing you everything, step-by-step, without assuming much prior knowledge. He's always careful to demonstrate (rather than merely talk about) concepts in well-edited videos.
Thanks Sigfried, we'll tell Fab. :-)
Old 16th October 2018
  #9
I'll add to Siegfried's response:
It's really important to know what exactly you want. While I tend to disagree that the pros featured on MWTM are not the greatest teachers, you have to realize that PureMix has a much more widespread portfolio. You'll find beginner guides on how to use compressors, EQ, reverb etc. But you'll also find thorough tracking and mixing tutorials/walkthroughs with pros. Everything is high quality and yes, Fab Dupont is a great teacher.
MWTM on the other hand won't give you general beginner tuts or the like, its heart are the many mixing and few tracking sessions with all the top names in the industry who share and show everything they do.
Both sites offer a lot of special deals for customers, be it discounts for certain plugin stores/companies or free magazine subscriptions. Bottom line is: both are really great but differ in their focus, you have to decide what's more important. A bit of everything or a clear focus on watching pros mix? Both are high quality and worth the money. Siegfried is right though in recommending PureMix to beginners as you'll need some chops to gain full value from MWTM.
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