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How Long Does MIXING Take?
Old 22nd May 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

How Long Does MIXING Take?

I know every studio session and song is different, but typically how long does mixing a rap song take?

Also, does the engineer only mix it to make it sound proper (eq, compression, etc.) and no effects? In other words, if I wanted to add a chorus, reverb or delay effect, is that something I'll have to do at home?

Also would you say doing that stuff is beneficial to do at home instead of at the studio? I'm sure it could save money.

And this session would include tracked out files.

(Copied and pasted the question, didint mean 2 have the same in there twice)
Old 22nd May 2010
  #2
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RedTuxedo's Avatar
I know an extremely famous mixing engineer - later, incredibly famous producer that dedicated at the most 3.5 hours of mixing for his songs.....

A rap mix would be at the most 2 hours.....

But this guy is phenomenal. Sorry, can't say who, but you've definitely heard his work....
Old 22nd May 2010
  #3
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ryst's Avatar
 

A lot of the "famous pros" can do mixes in a few hours...not because they are "famous pros", but because they usually have an assistant (sometimes 2) to set up their mixes for them so they only have to concentrate on mixing itself, not routing, bussing, labeling...

A lot of it depends on the clients budget. If a client wants a good mix but can only afford a certain amount, then I spend the appropriate amount of time according to their budget on the mix.

So for me I can spend 1 hour on a mix, or 1-2 days. It all depends. But it also depends on what kind of tracks are in the song. Obviously a great arrangement takes a lot less time to mix than a track they has no difference in instrumentation or dynamics from verse to chorus. That's where extra arranging can take place to make the song more interesting.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
...A lot of it depends on the clients budget. If a client wants a good mix but can only afford a certain amount, then I spend the appropriate amount of time according to their budget on the mix.

So for me I can spend 1 hour on a mix, or 1-2 days. It all depends. But it also depends on what kind of tracks are in the song. Obviously a great arrangement takes a lot less time to mix than a track they has no difference in instrumentation or dynamics from verse to chorus. That's where extra arranging can take place to make the song more interesting.

Exactly. If a client insists on getting a song mixed in a short amount of time, then I do the absolute best I can do in that time. But there are ALWAYS things that can be done to make the mix better or more interesting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
I know every studio session and song is different, but typically how long does mixing a rap song take?

Also, does the engineer only mix it to make it sound proper (eq, compression, etc.) and no effects? In other words, if I wanted to add a chorus, reverb or delay effect, is that something I'll have to do at home?

Also would you say doing that stuff is beneficial to do at home instead of at the studio? I'm sure it could save money.

Also do you think it's better to do all of the effects stuff at home instead of at the studio? Seems like it would save money...

And this session would include tracked out files.

The mix engineer does the MIX, and the mix includes effects. If you were skilled enough to do all the effects the right way, then you'd most likely be skilled enough to do the entire mix yourself.

Also keep in mind that if the mix engineer gave you "tracked out files", they wouldn't include the compression, eq, etc, unless he printed them or did stems. And for the extra time it would take to do that, he could have just finished the mix ... EFFECTS and all!
Old 22nd May 2010
  #5
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
I know every studio session and song is different, but typically how long does mixing a rap song take?

A rough mix takes about half an hour to an hour. A fully developed mix takes half a day to a full day. A fully developed mix with edits across a large track count could take a couple of days.

Also, does the engineer only mix it to make it sound proper (eq, compression, etc.) and no effects? In other words, if I wanted to add a chorus, reverb or delay effect, is that something I'll have to do at home?

Effects are part of the mix - but it helps to have an idea what effects you want and where. Giving these instructions to the mix engineer will give some direction. Doing a mockup at home isn't a bad idea.

Also would you say doing that stuff is beneficial to do at home instead of at the studio? I'm sure it could save money.

It'll be done better in the studio. Applying special effects doesn't take too long if the engineer is any good, and it effects the mix.

Also do you think it's better to do all of the effects stuff at home instead of at the studio? Seems like it would save money...

You're clever rephrasing of the same question you just asked doesn't fool me. The answer is still that it is better done in the studio. Doing it at home won't really save you much, if any, cash.

And this session would include tracked out files.
Do you want to do it, or do you want it done professionally?
Old 22nd May 2010
  #6
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Marogru's Avatar
Answers below


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
I know every studio session and song is different, but typically how long does mixing a rap song take?

A typical rap song, lets say 12 instrumental tracks and 8 to 16 voices takes about an hour-1,5, to edit and about 3-4 hours of mixing. So I can say I do one song a day. But it depends how long is the waiting list, right now you would wait about 10 days for a final mix.

Also, does the engineer only mix it to make it sound proper (eq, compression, etc.) and no effects? In other words, if I wanted to add a chorus, reverb or delay effect, is that something I'll have to do at home?

I try to get some notes or a ruff mix from the client so I can refer to something. If now , I add only subtele effects, reverbs, delays, we can always put more or take out the effects after on a recalll if you don't feel them.

Also would you say doing that stuff is beneficial to do at home instead of at the studio? I'm sure it could save money.

The strong way of the studio is the birds-eye view. For the mixer your material is fresh and he can hear lots more then you do after months of production. So in the correct order, the person is the first thing, the proper monitoring is the second and high end gear is the third you will get in the studio.


Also do you think it's better to do all of the effects stuff at home instead of at the studio? Seems like it would save money...

No

And this session would include tracked out files.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #7
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Well, you've got housecleaning, organization, editing, etc.

You've got your creative mixing part

Then you send it to the client and they may ask for some "tweaks" and that might be a round or two (or three, or four, or a billion) of those.

And fourth, you've got to print mixes (realtime process... that's nearly an hour right there for all the different versions of a song, assuming a realtime process and not an entirely ITB mix).

I know people say they mix full records in 3 hours, but I've never heard one of those that I thought sounded good... unless an assistant did step 1, 3, 4 and most of 2 LOL. At some point you have to decide how good it should sound. Mixing is a world of diminishing returns. You get to 90 percent quality in 10% of the time. It's the remaining 10% that takes progressively longer and longer and longer to do.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #8
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I'm no pro mixer...

but ( like others have said before me ) there is NO WAY you can make a great mix in 3 hours if you have to clean up tracks, align vocals, change the drums and do some editing ( arranging ) to keep the song interesting.

When i mix i usually have to do all these tasks + i have a part time job so it means that i can only mix 4 or 5 hours a day and it usually takes me more then 2 days to do a great job... but again i don't have as much experience as some others around here and i'm still learning so the process takes more time.

My 2 cents

-Alxi
Old 22nd May 2010
  #9
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Gateway's Avatar
It takes a least two days for a great mix because i like to come back the second day with fresh ears.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
Mixing is a world of diminishing returns. You get to 90 percent quality in 10% of the time. It's the remaining 10% that takes progressively longer and longer and longer to do.
^^^^^^^
Old 22nd May 2010
  #11
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anywhere between a few minutes and a few days, lol.

editing and arranging is the most time consuming part and all depends on how anal and/or creative you want to be. Get the leves, pan, eq and compression right is usually the quicker part....but it all depends.
Old 23rd May 2010
  #12
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this is like asking how long does it take to have sex. If its good pussy shes hot and Im really turned on Ill finish a lot faster than if it feels like shes run through a few football teams in her day shes below average and I am not really into it
Old 23rd May 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine419 View Post
I know every studio session and song is different, but typically how long does mixing a rap song take?

Also, does the engineer only mix it to make it sound proper (eq, compression, etc.) and no effects? In other words, if I wanted to add a chorus, reverb or delay effect, is that something I'll have to do at home?

Also would you say doing that stuff is beneficial to do at home instead of at the studio? I'm sure it could save money.

And this session would include tracked out files.

(Copied and pasted the question, didint mean 2 have the same in there twice)
For me, it can take form 1 hour to 6 hours..
The engineer that is mixing should get the mix to sound as good as physically possible by using all the tool and knowledge at his disposal and that include EQing and adding compressors and reverb and so on. During the mixing stage The master bus should not have any compression on it. That's done in the mastering phase, but you can put compression and effect on individual tracks during the mixing stage.

Its always good to get a new set of ears to listen and mix your audio and then a different set of ears in a different environment to master your mix. You don't mix and master in the same room!
CJ
Old 23rd May 2010
  #14
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

it will vary, depending on the material. there is no "stock" answer.



You can have two of the 3.

good fast cheap
Old 23rd May 2010
  #15
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

on average i'd say 8 hours, sometimes more sometimes less. i like to take the first six to get a really solid mix going on, then come back the next day with fresh ears for a couple hours to really polish it off.
Old 23rd May 2010
  #16
In a recent Tape Op Article of an interview with Jim Scott; there is a quote that rings with me, even though I can't remember word for word; this is the idea;

Nowadays its "How Many Mixes in a Day"?

and not "How Many Days on a Mix"?
Old 23rd May 2010
  #17
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I know pros who spend weeks and sometimes months mixing certain songs. If there's a time limit, of course, it can be done quickly. But mixing is a really delicate art that can take a long time.
Old 23rd May 2010
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWest View Post
If its good pussy shes hot and Im really turned on Ill finish a lot faster
Ok but that's just you dude

When I mix, just rendering all the files from Fruity Loops can take a couple of Hours (if I also produced), then I need to arrange the tracks, then, I need to mix for at least 4 hours (with 15 minute breaks every hour) to get it sounding right. Some of my best mixes have taken the longest to accomplish.
Old 23rd May 2010
  #19
Between just setting up at the beginning, and printing various mixes at the end, you have a a few hours work.

Doing a mix takes anywhere from 4 - 20 hours in my experience/opinion.


To the OP: The mixer does everything with shaping the sound; there are no limited. Effects you mention like chorus, etc. would definitely be part of his job if he felt it was needed.
Generally, if you want something like that, use it in your rough mix that you give him for reference. He will re-create your ideas/directions with style and finesse, or at least in a balanced way amidst the rest of the mix.
Old 23rd May 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 

...Until its as good as it can be, given no time restraints...like most have said, if it was JUST a mixing job and there were others doing the tedious work, then 3 to 5 hours...however, being that its just been me, rarely do i finish a song under double digits...things like cleaning up 10 to 15 vocal takes can really slow you down, not 2 mention make your arms fall asleep...also, how raw the samples are in production makes a difference...then there's the creative side that can take as long as you want it 2 and usually is where you start seeing true talent come through...quality is all in the details, dont settle...biggest problem in quality 2day, 2 many people saying "good enough"...x...
Old 23rd May 2010
  #21
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From the time I transfer the files from the internet computer to the studio computer, through housecleaning (oh the fun…..zzzz), mixing, any tweaks the client requests, and I'm ready to actually print mixes, is probably on average about 9 hours (maybe 10, especially for r&b or pop which has a lot more housecleaning to do than other genres) over multiple days (usually a couple days, plus however long it takes for the client to listen to the mix on whatever they are going to listen on and get back to me... some are like 30 minutes, once in a while I get someone who takes nearly a week).

Then printing is a real-time process (outboard gear involved) and that takes what, a good 30+ minutes or so (album, a cappella, instrumental, TV track, clean, and anything else that might become necessary). And then I check them to make sure there are no anomalies and burn three sets of masters, both data and audio (two for the client, one for me just in case) and print labels and archive everything. So that whole post-approval process is probably close to 2 hours.

That would be for a normal mix where they expect it to be as good as every major label single out there. If someone wants less quality, I have options for that, but it almost never happens... my rates are cheap enough that there isn't much point.

I don't really distinguish between different genres. Nor do I distinguish between hi track counts and low track counts. I’ve found that it usually doesn’t influence things a lot when you are trying to do a high quality mix (now a low quality mix, THEN it matters).
Old 24th May 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Ok but that's just you dude

When I mix, just rendering all the files from Fruity Loops can take a couple of Hours (if I also produced), then I need to arrange the tracks, then, I need to mix for at least 4 hours (with 15 minute breaks every hour) to get it sounding right. Some of my best mixes have taken the longest to accomplish.
Its been proven that excitement increases how fast a person can clImax sexually.
Old 24th May 2010
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Not sure why youd brag about premature ejaculation......EPIC FAIL!!......jus playin dude...x...
Old 24th May 2010
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWest View Post
Its been proven that excitement increases how fast a person can clImax sexually.

What a strange turn of events THIS thread took ... LOL!
Old 24th May 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 View Post
What a strange turn of events THIS thread took ... LOL!
lmao kinda true but I am sticking to my point. u can't really say oh well it takes this long to mix a record because every situation is different i just used sex as an analogy
Old 24th May 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplizit View Post
Not sure why youd brag about premature ejaculation......EPIC FAIL!!......jus playin dude...x...
idk about you but i dont have all day to bang a broad and then listen to her whine because she wants to cuddle afterward and gets mad at me because I would rather hit the crates.
Old 24th May 2010
  #27
g22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWest View Post
this is like asking how long does it take to have sex. If its good pussy shes hot and Im really turned on Ill finish a lot faster than if it feels like shes run through a few football teams in her day shes below average and I am not really into it


This question makes no sense. Mix until you get it right. If your on a time schedule then thats how long you mix. This is art, not a factory line.
Old 19th June 2010
  #28
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Kre8 da RedBeerd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by g22 View Post
Mix until you get it right. If your on a time schedule then thats how long you mix. This is art, not a factory line.
Do you tell the clients this? And if you do, do you turn away clients who you Know don't have the money to get the art?

Not to sound rude, but how can you run a business this way?

If you tell a client, "It's gonna take me x-amount of time to do this, and I charge x-amount per hour", the clients on a limited budget are gonna turn around.

And if a client tells you, "I've got x-amount of money for you to mix this", do you actually half-ass it just to get the loot?

That doesn't sound like art to me, but a factory line...

Peace.
Old 19th June 2010
  #29
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post

I don't really distinguish between different genres. Nor do I distinguish between hi track counts and low track counts. I’ve found that it usually doesn’t influence things a lot when you are trying to do a high quality mix (now a low quality mix, THEN it matters).
You don't find that low track counts (not including 2-track beats) take a lot less time than high track counts?
Old 19th June 2010
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xplizit View Post
Not sure why youd brag about premature ejaculation......EPIC FAIL!!......jus playin dude...x...
That one was pretty funny I will admit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWest View Post
lmao kinda true but I am sticking to my point. u can't really say oh well it takes this long to mix a record because every situation is different i just used sex as an analogy
sex as analogy?!? tutt

You're right, but you couldn't run a business that way, I'm sorry but I can't tell my clients that it'll take 3 weeks to get the songs to sound right, it's just not going to happen, and they'll go elsewhere. Even if you're charging a set fee, they'll go elsewhere because they'll think that you're too slow and you're making them waste some precious time. Mixing is art yes, but it's also precision work and needs to be done on a timeframe. Some of my best mixes were under some serious time constraints, it's stressful but you get it sounding right the first time and you don't second guess. Of course I'd rather spend more time mixing than finishing songs right away.
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