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tips for mixing dance music Dynamics Plugins
Old 14th September 2004
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

It's amazing how complicated you guys make it seem, compared to how simply Dave breaks it down.

Dave,

I'm mixing all in Pro Tools. What I do is assign the Kick to a stereo aux bus. (To tell you the truth, I'm not fussy about only the kick going there) Then I add two stereo aux returns and call one Drums and the other Squish. Both of those are sourced from that kick bus, and assigned to the Stereo bus. Squish has a compressor inserted, Drums has a time adjuster plug to keep the timing spot on. Sounds like I need another aux return, with a compressor set to "knock", to add into the mix. I'll try it.

Looking forward to bass lessons.

Steve
Old 14th September 2004
  #32
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by Extreme Mixing:
It's amazing how complicated you guys make it seem, compared to how simply Dave breaks it down.
EM,

Doesn't that always seem the case?

The guys with the most Kung Fu will always have the most simple equations.

We are problem solvers.

Get to the heart of the problem, and a simple solution presents itself.

Make the problem seem complicated, and...you get chaos.

There's a pattern in that scenario, which you've succinctly touched upon.
Old 14th September 2004
  #33
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matucha's Avatar
it's because "we" are still searching our way through, but dave found it ;-)
Old 16th September 2004
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

Dave,

I tried adding the second compressor today on a surf mix. (Yes a surf mix. I'm guilty with an explaination) It worked very well. Really thickened things up and added a lot of weight.

Thanks,

Steve
Old 16th September 2004
  #35
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remo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by tee boy
I mix in Nuendo and PT, and I dont have any problems. Then again, Iv not got a 9000 series to compare against! All i can say is that the best ITB dance tracks dont sound any worse than the best analog dance tracks imo.
Hi Tee Boy. Just wondering how you go about sidechaining comp's in Nuendo. I know Logic Audio has the sidechain option built in to its OEM comps but Nuendo does not. I've read about some convoluted methods of achiving sidechained compression in Nuendo but I was wondering if you had a simpler solution??

Does PT ofer extensive sidechaining capabilities in its comps? I've never used PT so I'm in the dark there...

Anyone elso with any comments on sidechaining in Nuendo? Do other DAW programs like Sequoia, SAW, DP, Sonar have good sidechain routines?
Old 16th September 2004
  #36
no ssl yet
Guest
Maybe I can lend some perspective

Guys I mainly do Hip Hop and RnB exclusively but I think I can shed some light as to why things are simpler when Dave explains. First, the difference between Dave and most others are that he knows what he's after when he starts (meaning he knows what sounds good) So once he gets there he knows where to stop. (Kinda like a producer knowing how not to overproduce) Newbies without the experience instead question their every last decision which brings the entire process in circles. Also in knowing what sounds good and what his target is, Dave has over the years built up known combinations of what has worked for him in the past so his experience removes some guess work and he is most likely experimenting with new stuff like plugins daily for new combinations

The main point is that HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS AFTER. Before trying to make a better mix what I find most need to do to get better (what has worked for me) Is learning what the differences are between your mixes and the mixes that u like Not just simply saying So and So's **** sounds better but really analyzing and making a list of differences and similarities (if any). (Of course this requires professional monitoring) Make as long a list as needed and when you remix take note of improving all of the differences without ****ing up the similarities. The point here is that you need to know what u are after and noting the differences will tell u how far away u are. But be very detailed when listing the differences for instance if the mix u are after is brighter Just saying "I have to make mine brighter" won't help much. Listen and discern what sounds are causing the mix to be brighter. What freq's are they boosted in?

It may sound redundant but u have to listen! but with an analytical ear. Dont just instantly start reaching for kick samples and replacing when u pull up the song. Listen to the song and hear what the drums are missing and add that Otherwise it's like youre twisting EQ knobs with the track muted! Learn why u are doing things instead of just doing things outta routine. the Purpose of multing is to place different parts (freq ranges) of a sound on separate faders so that you can turn up what u need to get the right balance and turn down what u dont need to make space for other sounds in the mix. Adding samples is only to add (freq wise) what is missing or not present in the songs drums



Old 16th September 2004
  #37
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matucha's Avatar
I literally ruined many early mixes trying to make them better. It was coincidence of no expirience, bad (wannabee) monitoring and eager to make it better, better, better without actually listening if it's really better under ton of plugins ;-).

;-) well, selfeducation ;-)
Old 16th September 2004
  #38
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by remo
Hi Tee Boy. Just wondering how you go about sidechaining comp's in Nuendo. I know Logic Audio has the sidechain option built in to its OEM comps but Nuendo does not. I've read about some convoluted methods of achiving sidechained compression in Nuendo but I was wondering if you had a simpler solution??

Does PT ofer extensive sidechaining capabilities in its comps? I've never used PT so I'm in the dark there...

Anyone elso with any comments on sidechaining in Nuendo? Do other DAW programs like Sequoia, SAW, DP, Sonar have good sidechain routines?

I know man, aint they arseholes! I was hoping Steiny would add this feature in the version 3 of SX, but no such luck. To get around the problem I use a compressor with a seperate sidechain plug in. They arent exactly the best, but when using them more for a creative effect they do the job just fine. There's one in the TC Native Bundle, and also dbAudioware do one. There is one called BJTech Dynamics, but its a bit ****e.

To my knowledge you have access to sidechains in PT just as you do in Logic etc. Iv not done this effect in PT yet, but I'd imagine you'd just need to select an audio track on the compressor of you choice. Pretty sure most offer sidechaining.

With regard to Dave, and the simplicity of his methods - I think that having set protocols like this is half the reason guys like Dave are so good. I mean, how many times do you hear 'wow, this guys finishes mixes in a third of the time its takes me, thats why he's a pro!" I know i do all the time. Anyways, I reckon the reason is that they have a multitude of tried and tested methods under their belts, which they know work perfectly in certain circumstances. Whereas, the rest of us mere mortals have to experiment a little with each mix in order to find the right techniques for the job.
Old 18th September 2004
  #39
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sismundi's Avatar
 

With all due respect, tee boy gave a very coherant, concise and accurate missive on current dance music mix heuristics.

Dave Pensado may make music that gets played on the dance floor, but in the UK dance music means something far more specific.

Given the context, I think the reaction was both misinformed and materially inaccurate.
Old 18th September 2004
  #40
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plenky's Avatar
 

i am just a lurker, but i do know some stuff about dance...

you don't need to limit so much because there is a DJ pushing up the volume on your track! and clubs usually use limiters to protect the speakers anyway.
keep some transients and you'll be good (your mastering engineer will provide the necessary level for your radio edit)

a bit of distortion on kick and bass works wonders (i love to mix dance on my analog mixer just to crank the preamps on the drums)

don't put mud on, there is plenty of bass on a club system
don't use any wideners for vinyl releases (that is STILL the main format)
the DJ is your friend, give him a good intro he can mix IN easy
the DJ is your friend, give him good oportunity to mix OUT of your record (provide also an exit early on on the track 2'' to 2.30'')
dance is not about beauty, it is about impact, use eq and comp to feature elements blatantly
make it interesting, use automation for eq, filters and level.
clubs have no hifi systems, your intention must be clear without discerning details, use the BIG brush!!!
use the mute buttons, your VERY BEST friends !
if the part after your build up is more intense than the build-up itself you know it was not a build-up, check your arrangement!!!

kick: advancing it by a few ms makes it stick out more. using a hipass filter with resonace can give you the necessary BASS. a 909 sample fits always under another kick sample. check the relaese, it doesn't need to be 5 seconds!

snr: heavy comp makes it spank, hi-pass filtering takes away the mud. if you really need reverb try it mono.

hats: make them short to be more agressive, delays to make em groove

bass: check the realease on your sampler. modern techno uses a lot of cheap grainy ITB reverb these days(hipass filtered) 1/8th and dotted 1/8th delays are your friends.


vox/hooklines: make em bleed/scream! phaser, flange, anything...



btw. tee boy gave some very good advice, take notes...


peace to all, groove on, plenky
Old 18th September 2004
  #41
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remo's Avatar
 

I heard its good practive (in house particularly) to move the kick forward a few ms because bass frequencies move slower than highs, so in the club an "in time" kick will acually feel a little "late". If you make it "push" a few ms, it should arrive with the highs. Thats the theory anyway!
Old 20th September 2004
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

ANy ideas on how to do this, w/ the kick drum? I mean, any way to program it in a sampler? Or will you just have to stream the kick drum to it's own audio track when mixing, and then shift the whole thing over a few seconds?

Gratsi,

Stephen
Old 20th September 2004
  #43
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remo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Elsteve9
ANy ideas on how to do this, w/ the kick drum? I mean, any way to program it in a sampler? Or will you just have to stream the kick drum to it's own audio track when mixing, and then shift the whole thing over a few seconds?
... a bit of both...

Depending on your choice of DAW you should be able to advance or ****** all the kicks by midi ticks, MS or even samples. It should not be necessary to bounce all the kicks to their own track, then adjust.

Logic has a "delay" parameter for each track. With this you can advance or ****** all the audio/midi information in the applicable track. ie, after you have all your kicks on the track just adjust the delay setting a tiny bit to push the kicks a touch early.

In Cubase/Nuendo I'm pretty sure you can highlight the kick audio samples/midi events and then adjust their position a few midi ticks earlyin the "inspector" , this should have the same effect as the "delay" function in Logic..

I can't help you with PT though

Don't over cook it. Just a few MS should be enough.


With regard to the term "dance music". I think it is very loosely used in this forum. I get the feeling here people call anything 4 to the floor "dance music". There IS a lot of crap out there, but at least these guys are published so they must be doing something right. Personally, when I talk about dance music I refer to house music (progressive, US garage, deep) etc. But other styles ie. DnB, Breaks, Electro, 2Step, Techno etc all must be considered as well. A lot of people ****can "dance music" without understanding its forum, context and fanbase. Its not as easy as it sounds to produce . It is a different kettle of fish to rock and pop but it still definitly has its merits. House can be repetitive, but it can also be very seductive, powerfull, happy, sad, spooky etc... you just need to give it a chance and listen to more than whats on the radio, theres bound to be some stuff out there that would change your perspective on house as repetitive and boring, its just a matter of finding it...

Old 20th September 2004
  #44
Gear Nut
 

Reading this thread makes me realize why I've lost all interest in new dance music. It's all about the tyranny of the kick now. Except for the rarest exceptions, gone are dynamics and musicality.

Sorry - to keep this from being just a cynical post, I'll ask: how did people do those old disco kicks? Those really moved air and were often acoustic, not made of 3-4 perfectly carved samples. How were those done? They sound tiny yet compressed and punchy, even on LPs. They stomp on a big system yet the rest of the track comes through.
Old 20th September 2004
  #45
I agree about the overbearing kicks. Doing this can take alot of the funk out of a groove as the kick just anchors it too well. As far as disco kicks I have been sampling/recreating those using more acoustic samples. In the end I feel like your groove can sound more organic this way, which isnt suprising.
Old 23rd September 2004
  #46
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Absolute's Avatar
 

screw mixing....

....I want to Dance ! !
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