The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Mixes without basslines? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 12th August 2008
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
"As a beatmaker, do you feel that the sanctity of your composition should not be altered in any way, even if it's by a mix engineer you trust?"

Most people I know who are producers would trust their trusty mix engineer to not play "producer" on their productions and instead, take their mix to another level, if you as a mix engineer can take the original vision of the song and mix it in a way that they'll be happy with, having them say things like "Wow you really made those drums bang!" or "I love the openess of the song now!", you did your job, played your position and everyone's happy at the end of the day (they're not just beatmakers now, if someone brings you a session to work on and it's got lyrics and at least one hook, and no bassline, like it or not, they are the producer on the gig and you have to play your position).

If you approach your mix jobs with something like "Hm, this could use a bassline..." you should probably get into production, as many mix engineers do make that transition at one point. I personally produced for artists before taking up mixing more seriously, so I'm kinda coming from the opposite end of the rap world; as a mixer, you're better off not f***ing with peoples' productions unless you're asked to.

My 2 cents, anyway.
So, do you ever replace or layer in drum samples when you mix? I think that falls into a similarly grey zone. Now, obviously, layering in extra drums can be done much more subtly than say, replaying or adding a new part, but the point is, there are many ways to fill out a weak or non-existent part. It's not about changing the song's vibe (that, of course, would be an affront on the producer), it's about correcting mix issues, which often comes down to problems in the sounds and/or arrangement, and I'm curious to know what some others do in the hip hop world.

It's really not at all uncommon in most every other genre of music for a mix engineer to replay (or ask the producer to replay) a part, if that part is sloppy, out-of-tune, or just sounds bad. And we regularly correct timing, replace drums, and Autotune vocals. On one hand, these are all production "tricks" we're talking about, but on the other, so is parallel compression, Drumagog, and reamping, which are all tools and techniques also used by mix engineers.

I suspect it's common in the hip hop world to approach certain mixes with a similarly heavy hand, but I'm experienced enough to know that beatmakers and hip hop producers are notoriously sensitive to these kinds of things. Because in many cases a "producer" in hip hop means "the guy that made the beat", any criticism of the production is a direct and personal criticism of that producer. In a band situation, on the other hand, a criticism of the playing or part can be attributed to the players, and the producer's job is to just make things work, so it's not personal.

Anyway, I'm allowing myself to get off-topic. I'm not interested in everyone's mixing philosophy (or maybe I am, just not in this thread). Again, I'm curious as to how different engineers approach correcting arrangement issues in hip hop.

I guess I prolly shoulda used a different title, but I had just come from work and the bassline thing was fresh in my mind. Pretend I never mentioned "basslines" specifically.
Old 12th August 2008
  #32
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
So, do you ever replace or layer in drum samples when you mix? I think that falls into a similarly grey zone. Now, obviously, layering in extra drums can be done much more subtly than say, replaying or adding a new part, but the point is, there are many ways to fill out a weak or non-existent part. It's not about changing the song's vibe (that, of course, would be an affront on the producer), it's about correcting mix issues, which often comes down to problems in the sounds and/or arrangement, and I'm curious to know what some others do in the hip hop world.

It's really not at all uncommon in most every other genre of music for a mix engineer to replay (or ask the producer to replay) a part, if that part is sloppy, out-of-tune, or just sounds bad. And we regularly correct timing, replace drums, and Autotune vocals. On one hand, these are all production "tricks" we're talking about, but on the other, so is parallel compression, Drumagog, and reamping, which are all tools and techniques also used by mix engineers.

I suspect it's common in the hip hop world to approach certain mixes with a similarly heavy hand, but I'm experienced enough to know that beatmakers and hip hop producers are notoriously sensitive to these kinds of things. Because in many cases a "producer" in hip hop means "the guy that made the beat", any criticism of the production is a direct and personal criticism of that producer. In a band situation, on the other hand, a criticism of the playing or part can be attributed to the players, and the producer's job is to just make things work, so it's not personal.

Anyway, I'm allowing myself to get off-topic. I'm not interested in everyone's mixing philosophy (or maybe I am, just not in this thread). Again, I'm curious as to how different engineers approach correcting arrangement issues in hip hop.

I guess I prolly shoulda used a different title, but I had just come from work and the bassline thing was fresh in my mind. Pretend I never mentioned "basslines" specifically.
thumbsupthumbsupYessir!!
Old 12th August 2008
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
...and for me, personally:

"I'm just interested in others' approach to filling out that octave when you're presented with material that doesn't have that range of LF information."

EQ around the 60's and a plate reverb on the kick can do wonders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Put a delay on the kick like Prince used to do.
^^^ These are the kinds of responses I was hoping for. Thanks!thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Well you see, I think you're going a little too far in your judgement of the job; maybe they've got great acoustics and the track is supposed to have that "hole" where you typically would have low/mids? I hope this doesn't come accross as "assholeish", because you sometimes can't really express things in text without sounding like a dick; so I'm saying this with honest intentions: Work with what you've got, like Termtables said. If they come back after you finish your mix and they say "How come it sounds like something is missing now?" then you can take it to that next level with them and offer them your advice.

From my experience, rap producers can get defensive when the mix engineer offers to add to the production on the track (reasons can range from plain ego to messing with peoples' money), so play it safe and be that cat that goes "Man, don't worry, I got this and I'm gonna make your joint sound sick."

Best of luck!
Don't worry, you're not coming off as an asshole. Besides, even if you were, I've gotta thick skin, and this is only the internets.


Anyway, I'm not interested in "playing it safe". None of my clients want a safe mix; they want something edgy and popping with energy. They know me and expect to hear my opinions, good or bad, and act accordingly. Of course I won't add parts haphazardly without a client's permission; again, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. I'm saying there are times when adjustments need to be made to the arrangement, one way or the other, and I can't do my job of making the song sound the best it can possibly sound (within time and budget constraints, of course) without making those adjustments. I'm not exactly hurting for work these days, so there's no need to pussy-foot around producers' egos (aren't the ARTISTS supposed to be the ones with the glass jaws?).

The thing is, if a producer isn't mature enough to take genuine constructive criticism, I'll end up with one of two outcomes:

1. I can just deal with the crappy arrangement, turn in the mix, and get paid. But the people I deal with expect more, and unless they're blown away the first time, they'll find someone else to mix the next tune.
2. I can deal with the crappy arrangement, turn in the mix, get paid, and the producer will think it's good enough and I'll ask to have my name taken off the liner notes.

Neither one of those outcomes is particularly desirable; I prefer to take my chances with hurting someone's feelings. Either way, I'm probably not gonna see any work from them again. But the people who understand that I'm trying to help will appreciate the extra mile I put in (which, as far as I can tell, very few mix engineers are wiling to put in) and keep coming back.
Old 12th August 2008
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Franco's Avatar
 

I think carving into the "do's" and "don't's" of messing with rap compositions is essential, you shouldn't shy away from it because everything you said about how it's different in a band situation is absolutely true!

You have to realize, in the rap game, it's not uncommon to get someone to give you an "idea" for your track and then a few days later hit you with a "You're gonna give me co-production credit on that, aren't you?" So most beatmakers/producers are going to have reservations with any changes being done on their works, and in my opinion, if you want to earn someone's trust, it's best if you're someone who knows where to draw the line. Like I said earlier, it's more common than not for rap cats to get defensive about any "non-sonic" change to their mix, so why gamble?

Also, I should mention that when I started taking on peoples' mixes I would do the same and replace drums without asking, etc. and often times I got the "Oh yeah, I see what you did, it's cool" and never get that cat coming back to me for a mix. A lot of times, even if your replaced drums sound better than what they came to you with, the point is - they may feel like it's not theirs anymore and they may not say that immediately.

Respect though, I think this post touched on some very good points about how approaching a mix is way different in hip hop than a band situation.
Old 12th August 2008
  #35
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
I think carving into the "do's" and "don't's" of messing with rap compositions is essential, you shouldn't shy away from it because everything you said about how it's different in a band situation is absolutely true!

You have to realize, in the rap game, it's not uncommon to get someone to give you an "idea" for your track and then a few days later hit you with a "You're gonna give me co-production credit on that, aren't you?" So most beatmakers/producers are going to have reservations with any changes being done on their works, and in my opinion, if you want to earn someone's trust, it's best if you're someone who knows where to draw the line. Like I said earlier, it's more common than not for rap cats to get defensive about any "non-sonic" change to their mix, so why gamble?

Also, I should mention that when I started taking on peoples' mixes I would do the same and replace drums without asking, etc. and often times I got the "Oh yeah, I see what you did, it's cool" and never get that cat coming back to me for a mix. A lot of times, even if your replaced drums sound better than what they came to you with, the point is - they may feel like it's not theirs anymore and they may not say that immediately.

Respect though, I think this post touched on some very good points about how approaching a mix is way different in hip hop than a band situation.
The first thing that happens when an artists hits me with that "co production" bs, if it wasnt otherwise specified, is that it aint gonna fly.
either you are a producer or an artist and I have absolutely no respect for people who havent earned the esteemed producer category.
Old 12th August 2008
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
You have to realize, in the rap game, it's not uncommon to get someone to give you an "idea" for your track and then a few days later hit you with a "You're gonna give me co-production credit on that, aren't you?"
Interesting; I didn't know that.

That would never, EVER happen on any of the live band gigs I do. There's one single guy who's hired as producer, period. The only exception is when the band decides they oughta be credited as producer, too.

Oh, and the occasional A&R nitwit crediting himself as "Executive Producer".

It would never even occur to me to ask for a production credit on something I wasn't outwardly hired as producer for; if the (actual) producer feels I put in the work to earn the credit (which, by the way, would require WAAAY more than adding a basslinetutt), he'll give it to me. It's his call.
Old 12th August 2008
  #37
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
I think carving into the "do's" and "don't's" of messing with rap compositions is essential, you shouldn't shy away from it because everything you said about how it's different in a band situation is absolutely true!

You have to realize, in the rap game, it's not uncommon to get someone to give you an "idea" for your track and then a few days later hit you with a "You're gonna give me co-production credit on that, aren't you?" So most beatmakers/producers are going to have reservations with any changes being done on their works, and in my opinion, if you want to earn someone's trust, it's best if you're someone who knows where to draw the line. Like I said earlier, it's more common than not for rap cats to get defensive about any "non-sonic" change to their mix, so why gamble?

Also, I should mention that when I started taking on peoples' mixes I would do the same and replace drums without asking, etc. and often times I got the "Oh yeah, I see what you did, it's cool" and never get that cat coming back to me for a mix. A lot of times, even if your replaced drums sound better than what they came to you with, the point is - they may feel like it's not theirs anymore and they may not say that immediately.

Respect though, I think this post touched on some very good points about how approaching a mix is way different in hip hop than a band situation.
no disrespect meant...but either u ran into some very overly sensitive folks or you just changed too many within their music. IN THE RAP producers usually come to(or end up liking) certain mix engineers because of what to are able to do. "MAKE MY TRACK SOUND GOOD". And they will always respect your judgement, especially when you're honest with them upfront. Most (low budget to high dollar folks) want their drums to hit hard. When you run into a problem...its very easy to call and ask questions.

You did make some good points. But what bgrotto is talking about is something very simple.
Old 12th August 2008
  #38
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
it's about correcting mix issues, which often comes down to problems in the sounds and/or arrangement,
i think the reason everyones turning it into a mix philosophy this is that your STARTING with the assumption that something is INCORRECT or a "PROBLEM" with the track and asking for ways people 'FIX' them, which is sending out a red flag to a lot of people. You as the engineer are really in no place to come to that conclusion..I've seen engineers that take that position, that its THEIR job to FIX the producers mistakes, and show them the way, and those guys are THE WORST to work with... They start changing things without the inherited responsibility of the producer, which is that thousands of dollars are on the line. I think its best to assume the producer thaught/re-thaught/analyzed and re-analyzed every sound in the track, and to act accordingly.
HOWEVER there ARE a select few engineers who are producers at heart who can truly add to the song through production techniques, and if you are one of them, then go for it!thumbsup
If you trust YOURSELF enough, then hell, you can start adding parts, adding sounds, changing sounds and if it TRULY sounds BETTER, i think any producer will say WOW GREAT!! But you better make SURE it sounds better cuz if he hears that you went and changed sounds and the song doesnt sound better for it, hes never gonna work with you again...It comes down to a risk based on how much you think you know how to make something sound BETTER, and since 'better' is subjective, your probably better off sticking to eq's and compressors and reverbs to add what you need.
Old 12th August 2008
  #39
Lives for gear
 
HoPMiX's Avatar
when mixing i add **** all the time, replace kix, add fx sometimes i even have done fills and added baselines.
its only a mute away from being gone.
if they dont like it.
however there have only been a couple clients that were like dude wtf you do?
and its typically the producer/never the artist.
they dont wanna give up that co production.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Are you a beatmaker?

If so, I truly don't mean to offend you with this next question, I'm genuinely just curious:

As a beatmaker, do you feel that the sanctity of your composition should not be altered in any way, even if it's by a mix engineer you trust? If there's no bass to be brought out, and the arrangement is really lacking in it, wouldn't you welcome a competent mix engineer's suggestions?

I'm sure there are times where a producer/beatmaker is intentionally leaving a bassline out, but I also feel that sometimes the attitude of "just live with it" is lazy and/or plays to the fragility of the beatmaker's ego. I'd much rather do a great job than indulge a client's ego, however, if the client is unwilling to take constructive criticism I'll keep my mouth shut.
Old 12th August 2008
  #40
Lives for gear
 
ryst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok View Post
i think the reason everyones turning it into a mix philosophy this is that your STARTING with the assumption that something is INCORRECT or a "PROBLEM" with the track and asking for ways people 'FIX' them, which is sending out a red flag to a lot of people. You as the engineer are really in no place to come to that conclusion..I've seen engineers that take that position, that its THEIR job to FIX the producers mistakes, and show them the way, and those guys are THE WORST to work with... They start changing things without the inherited responsibility of the producer, which is that thousands of dollars are on the line. I think its best to assume the producer thaught/re-thaught/analyzed and re-analyzed every sound in the track, and to act accordingly.
HOWEVER there ARE a select few engineers who are producers at heart who can truly add to the song through production techniques, and if you are one of them, then go for it!thumbsup
If you trust YOURSELF enough, then hell, you can start adding parts, adding sounds, changing sounds and if it TRULY sounds BETTER, i think any producer will say WOW GREAT!! But you better make SURE it sounds better cuz if he hears that you went and changed sounds and the song doesnt sound better for it, hes never gonna work with you again...It comes down to a risk based on how much you think you know how to make something sound BETTER, and since 'better' is subjective, your probably better off sticking to eq's and compressors and reverbs to add what you need.
This reminds me of a recent experience. I had to mix a "club banger" and the producer only had an 808 in the track. The producer wanted the drums to hit really hard. i didn't realize that there was only an 808 in the song until i started mixing it. I told the producer that I can only make an 808 hit so hard without some kind of kick sample to get the sound he wanted. After hearing my mix without a kick, the producer told me to go ahead and add a kick. He was much happier with the final result.

Communication is ALWAYS key. I usually talk in the beginning with the producer to find out if he/she minds if I get creative with the arrangement (adding, cutting or rearranging things). They will tell me if they like it as is or if they want me to get creative with it. It makes it a lot easier for me going into a mix knowing what i need to watch out for or not concern myself with. If they are unhappy with something after the mix that is more related to sound choices or arrangement choices, it's a great time for me to educate them on things they might not be aware of. And being a producer myself, I can speak to them from my personal experinces with my music and also my observations from mixing other people's music. I build relationships that way and earn their trust as a mixer.

Sorry for contributing to the derailing of this thread, Benny!
Old 12th August 2008
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post

Sorry for contributing to the derailing of this thread, Benny!
Meh...we're past the point of no return; this thread's turned into a different discussion altogether, so be it.thumbsup

filterayok - don't get me wrong, I don't mean to come off as STARTING with the impression something's incorrect. Problems arise when what the producer is asking me to do is at odds with the material he's given me. Wimpy drums can only bang so hard, out-of-tune 808s can only provide only so much tight punchy bottom, etc etc.

Actually, come to think of it, tuning 808s is HUGE; in a way it creates a new bassline, and yet I've never once had a producer complain about that, and I do it almost every mix. It simply sounds better 100% of the time. Of course, I never try to hustle a co-production credit out crap like that (I can't believe people actually do that). But I digress...
Old 12th August 2008
  #42
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
I don't understand your point; "Kiss" has a bassline.
Yeah well that's debatable. But you did get my point.
Old 12th August 2008
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by riteup3 View Post
Yeah well that's debatable. But you did get my point.
No, I honestly didn't! There's a bassline in "Kiss"...it's not played by a bass guitar; is that what you meant? Am I missing something here...?
Old 12th August 2008
  #44
Gear Addict
 

There's something very subtle like you said that plays in the low register. I am not sure this qualifies as a "bass line". What I am saying is there's no bass guitar or synth playing a bass line in the traditional way.
But like someone probably suggested (I have skipped much of the noise on this thread), better to ask the producer if he intended to have no bass on his track.
Old 12th August 2008
  #45
OK, now that we've completely changed direction, it's got me thinking about another philosophical mixing question:

Say a producer provides you with song to mix, but the beat has no drops whatsoever (in other words, all the elements of the loop just play throughout the entire tune). And he takes off to go do whatever it is producers do when they get bored of hanging out at the studio. Do you bring different elements in and out as the song builds, or do you just mix whatchya got?

This is actually a stickier area for me than what we've been discussing before, because when I add or reinforce elements in the arrangement, the result is always way better-sounding; it's almost not even subjective. However, the structure and build of a song falls VERY squarely into the lap of the producer, IMO, and that's an area I'm more hesitant to get into without a producer present. The few times I've gone ahead and added drops and such have been met 50/50 with yays and nays, often on the same track ("that's dope what you did in the first verse, but the second verse drop is too much").

On the other hand, nothing is more boring than 5 minutes of an eight-bar 808, clap, and hi hat loop with a rap on top. At least to me. Unless the rapper is Jesus Christ on the mic.

What say you? Multiple versions? A flagrant disregard for the producer's vision? Discuss.
Old 12th August 2008
  #46
Gear Addict
 

If you work on the song structural changes then you become part of the production team, imho.
Ask the producer if he's open to ideas and changes that could help strenghten the song. If yes then talk business. If not just make what you have sound the best you can (talking about pure sonics here).
My 2 euro cents.

ron
Old 12th August 2008
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
termtables's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
OK, now that we've completely changed direction, it's got me thinking about another philosophical mixing question:

Say a producer provides you with song to mix, but the beat has no drops whatsoever (in other words, all the elements of the loop just play throughout the entire tune). And he takes off to go do whatever it is producers do when they get bored of hanging out at the studio. Do you bring different elements in and out as the song builds, or do you just mix whatchya got?

This is actually a stickier area for me than what we've been discussing before, because when I add or reinforce elements in the arrangement, the result is always way better-sounding; it's almost not even subjective. However, the structure and build of a song falls VERY squarely into the lap of the producer, IMO, and that's an area I'm more hesitant to get into without a producer present. The few times I've gone ahead and added drops and such have been met 50/50 with yays and nays, often on the same track ("that's dope what you did in the first verse, but the second verse drop is too much").

On the other hand, nothing is more boring than 5 minutes of an eight-bar 808, clap, and hi hat loop with a rap on top. At least to me. Unless the rapper is Jesus Christ on the mic.

What say you? Multiple versions? A flagrant disregard for the producer's vision? Discuss.


The producer I work with just dumps an 8 bar chorus into PT and I have to sequence it into a whole song and put the drop where I please. It's all about them trusting me to do what I do and make their song sound dope.

Initially with anybody I'm hesitant, but as WE get comfortable working together I take more "risks". Because I'm a producer at heart and an engineer on the side and I hear ideas soon as the song gets going. They know that and trust my opinion.
Old 12th August 2008
  #48
Lives for gear
 
ryst's Avatar
 

@ riteup3 - I don't agree that you become a part of the production team when you pull things out of a mix. Great mixing engineers are notorious for changing arrangements. That's why a lot of them continue to get hired. They add a fresh perspective to the song. not all mixing engineers do this and even the top guys don't do it all the time. But their credit is as a mixing engineer, not co-producer.

However, a lot of the top guys do get points on records as well as getting paid their normal mix rate. So maybe that is what you mean by part of the production team?


And Benny, again I think it's just part of communicating. Always try (if you can) to talk to the producer to see where his head is at. I have made suggestions during a mix numerous times and the producer ALWAYS respects the fact that i care. Producers are sensitive but most of them aren't so sensitive where they won't let you at least bring up suggestions.....at least not in my experience.

I don't think I have ever just done something because that's how I wanted it to sound. I have always tried to ask first or discuss things with the producer before starting.
Old 12th August 2008
  #49
Lives for gear
 
MYAMS's Avatar
 

I think the engineer should sit down with the producer and go through the track and decide where to do drops, etc. Some tracks just worked looped. Usually the more hype a track is the more you would want to do drops.

Some producers like to add a bunch of drops and variations as they initially make the track- but usually these decisions are made after the the vocals have been recorded and the session is already in the engineers possession. So it seems natural for an engineer to assist with breaks and drops.

I don't think doing drops exactly qualifies an engineer with a co-production credit.
Old 12th August 2008
  #50
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Yes,its all about communication, trust and ongoing relationships where the people involved can almost read each others minds.
Thats sonic nirvana when that happens.
Old 12th August 2008
  #51
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Original problem situation sounds like a prime contender for the 'tune a sinewave to a good sub-note and sling it through a Drawmer gate, triggering from whatever you fancy off a send'.........=there's your pillow, no parts added, bingo.
Old 13th August 2008
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
This reminds me of a recent experience. I had to mix a "club banger" and the producer only had an 808 in the track. The producer wanted the drums to hit really hard. i didn't realize that there was only an 808 in the song until i started mixing it. I told the producer that I can only make an 808 hit so hard without some kind of kick sample to get the sound he wanted. After hearing my mix without a kick, the producer told me to go ahead and add a kick. He was much happier with the final result.

Communication is ALWAYS key. I usually talk in the beginning with the producer to find out if he/she minds if I get creative with the arrangement (adding, cutting or rearranging things). They will tell me if they like it as is or if they want me to get creative with it. It makes it a lot easier for me going into a mix knowing what i need to watch out for or not concern myself with. If they are unhappy with something after the mix that is more related to sound choices or arrangement choices, it's a great time for me to educate them on things they might not be aware of. And being a producer myself, I can speak to them from my personal experinces with my music and also my observations from mixing other people's music. I build relationships that way and earn their trust as a mixer.

Sorry for contributing to the derailing of this thread, Benny!
EXAAAACTLY... a little back and forth with the producer would let you know right away how open he is to your input... And if he seems hesitant, just let it be and respect he has his reasons for everythingthumbsup
Old 13th August 2008
  #53
Gear Addict
 
idlabs's Avatar
 

Alot of the guys I work with are young/local "producers" who are great at coming up with hooky melodies and catchy beats. They don't, however have the experience musically or technically, to know how to actually produce a song. This usually means bad choice of drum/bass/synth sounds as well as cluttered or non-existent arrangements. I feel like it's my job as a mixer to make whatever I'm handed sound great. I regularly replace drums, change arrangements and make other production minded decisions. I honestly wish I didn't have to most of the time, but the alternative is sometimes a lackluster song both sonically and musically, and in the end that makes no one happy.

Like some of you said, it's important to build relationships and trust with people as well as communicate with them as to understand what is acceptable and what is not. As someone also said, anything I may change is a mute button away from going back to the way it was.

I think it's obvious when your working for somebody who is an experienced producer and you know you shouldn't be doing stuff to change their vision of the song. I think you really have to follow your instincts with it, because essentially thats what people are paying you for.

One thing that I think helps alot, is to make sure you have a copy of the rough mix of a track to hear just what it was that made people like the beat/track enough to go thru the whole process of recording a song to it and having it mixed in the first place. Having that as a perspective can really help ensure you don't go too far or take things in the wrong direction.
Old 13th August 2008
  #54
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Ive had some situations where certain songwriters who were not very good at making great tracks, but had decent songs, would submit their material to me for some of my "connects', and when I offered to change the sounds they used, for the betterment of said presentation, they commenced to explain that they wanted to keep the tracks as is...and I showed them the door.
No thanks. NEXT!!
I guess that they are happy slinging burgers.
Old 13th August 2008
  #55
Lives for gear
 
C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Ive had some situations where certain songwriters who were not very good at making great tracks, but had decent songs, would submit their material to me for some of my "connects', and when I offered to change the sounds they used, for the betterment of said presentation, they commenced to explain that they wanted to keep the tracks as is...and I showed them the door.
No thanks. NEXT!!
I guess that they are happy slinging burgers.
Holy crap. That's just plain dumb of them
Old 13th August 2008
  #56
Lives for gear
 
IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
These are all good points, but I'm not necessarily talking about tracks lacking a bassline, per se. I'm talking about tracks that don't have anything to fill in the top octave of the bottom end (c. 80-160Hz). For example, a track with a deep kick (c. 60Hz), and a string part to fill out the low mids (around 250Hz, for example), but nothing in between to bridge that gap.

Certainly, there are some tracks where this kind of arrangement is perfect. On the other hand, I suspect the all-too-frequent poor room acoustics of the beatmaker's "studio" is a major culprit.

Anyway, the solution doesn't have to be a bass line; it could be another part with a lotta of low frequency (but not sub) energy. Some folks have mentioned layering a kick with a higher fundamental or focus of energy, or maybe you could add Rbass or a similar processor to the strings. That's what I'm getting at with this thread; I'm just interested in others' approach to filling out that octave when you're presented with material that doesn't have that range of LF information.


PS - Ryst, very cool idea. I dig that it could sorta underscore an existing part, which means you could sneak it in pretty easily, which means our sensitive producer-friend wouldn't notice or care! Good stuff. This is the kind of idea I'm looking for.
Sometimes I reach for the dbx/ren bass/max bass stuff. But also I find that it's good to get out Equium and really emphasize the harmonics of at least one of the tracks that has upper octave bass in it, and then I distort it with either something like sansamp plug or just hitting a distressor till I get a decent growl type distortion to sneak under the main track to kinda fill it out so that when it plays on smaller speakers they'll be SOMETHING there to be heard.
Old 13th August 2008
  #57
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by C Heat View Post
Holy crap. That's just plain dumb of them
Yep..dumb but true..
Could have gotten them some very good placements,but no..they didnt want me to change "their babies"

Idiots!!
Old 13th August 2008
  #58
Deleted User
Guest
I've worked with a lot tracks recently that don't even have a bass line. I've found it really useful to use RBass to help fill in this void. If the sample used is really short and has no decay then I've sometimes just doubled the kick drum track then sound replaced one of the tracks with a kick that has a lot of subharmonics. You just have to be careful and make sure the kick is pitched properly. It's alright for the bass line to sit back some times and take a smaller role.
Old 13th August 2008
  #59
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
@ riteup3 -

However, a lot of the top guys do get points on records as well as getting paid their normal mix rate. So maybe that is what you mean by part of the production team?

Yes that's what I meant. To me the mixing engineer's job is to take care of the sonics, enhance what he's being presented with. If he becomes an arranger then it's legit for him to get some points.
Old 13th August 2008
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by riteup3 View Post
If you work on the song structural changes then you become part of the production team, imho.
Ask the producer if he's open to ideas and changes that could help strenghten the song. If yes then talk business.

If he becomes an arranger then it's legit for him to get some points.
Producers typically get a few points (which, in case you weren't aware, come out of the artist's income) because they handle everything from hiring sidemen, studios, and engineers, to budgeting EVERY aspect of the record (including minutae such as catering and lunches), in addition to working dozens of hours before hitting the studio to do preproduction tightening lyrics, performances and arrangements, honing performances in the studio, and building overdubs and arrangements into palpable songs before acting as liaison between the mix engineer and mastering engineer in the final steps of the making of the record.

And you wanna give the mix engineer a cut because he pressed a mute button or doubled a chorus?

I think that's a bit unreasonable. I realize it's not uncommon for "celebrity mixers" to get a point or two on mixes, but unless you're at that level, you're being unrealistic.

Also, you gotta be careful when accepting points as a mix engineer (or producer, for that matter). It's often a negotiation strategy to get you to accept less than your usual rate; they say they'll pay you half your mix rate but give you a point. That's great if the song is a smash hit, but in most cases, it won't be, and you won't see an extra dime (remember you don't start getting paid on your points till the record has recouped).
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
ssprod19 / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
41
Pollyrythm / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
5
third world / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
8
beat you down / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
5
DJ Fricktion / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
15

Forum Jump
Forum Jump