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methods to get that full sound/ mix Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 28th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

methods to get that full sound/ mix

noticed there were no threads on this and i was curious.
i know there's no foolproof method, but how do you get there?
please be specific as possible.

i'm fairly new to this, but i after compressing on the master buss, i eq a high shelf starting at 2 khz of about 6 db gain before putting the limiter/ soft clipper.
too extreme?
Old 28th December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Yea its extreme because that not how you get the full sound mix. The key is eq. You have to use your ears to see if there is instruments clashing. You have to give the instruments a place to shine in their own space. For instance you might have a synth in the hi mid range that clashes with the vocal. What you do is find the freq. where it is clashing and a cut a some db off of that. Use your pan pots too. Do not have everything in the center. Then after you accomplish that you can put "the icing on the cake" and apply eq on the master bus. Put compression on individual tracks when needed to tame peaks and control how the instrument "breaths".

What really helped my understand this concept is the book "The Art of Mixing". It visually shows you what a mix might look like. It is on dvd also so you should peep it out; highly recommended.
Old 28th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
piccazzo's Avatar
 

Watch :

Mix It Like A Record.

And if you haven´t found threads on mixing you didn't do a proper search.
Old 28th December 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piccazzo View Post
Watch :

Mix It Like A Record.

And if you haven´t found threads on mixing you didn't do a proper search.
Indeed.
Old 28th December 2010
  #5
Gear Head
 
Audio Alex's Avatar
 

You need at least a working understanding of frequencies and their effects within each range. Remember in a proper mix everything has it's place. As has been stated there are plenty of tutorials on the subject.
Old 28th December 2010
  #6
Forget about eq. Forget about compression. And effects. And exciters and enhancers. Create a balance using the faders before you touch anything else. If you can't get something musical happening, ask yourself why not. Stop thinking about "sound quality" and worry about THE SONG. If your balance in its rawest form doesn't get the song across, start over again. If you still can't find a way to get it together, consider a change to the arrangement.

Your focus should be on creating music. If you can get over that first hump, the sonics will fall into place much more readily and with much less processing.
Old 28th December 2010
  #7
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Parker's Avatar
 

methods to get that full sound/ mix

Hey mcan I can totally relate to ur confusion when it comes to making tracks sound full and big.

I really admire Dr. Dre's work and his work are all examples of 'full' sounding mixes.

The first thing you need to look at are your sounds. U won't need to do as much eq, compression, etc. if u use the right sounds.
If u listen to a lot of Dre songs there are usually no more than 5/6 instruments.

Try replacing some of the sounds instead of using fx. - if u need more bottom, find a kick that naturally has more bottom or layer ur sounds to create one big sound.

2 synths can play the same riff just to make it sound that little bit thicker.

Experiment with this.



Parker.
Old 28th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Forget about eq. Forget about compression. And effects. And exciters and enhancers. Create a balance using the faders before you touch anything else. If you can't get something musical happening, ask yourself why not. Stop thinking about "sound quality" and worry about THE SONG. If your balance in its rawest form doesn't get the song across, start over again. If you still can't find a way to get it together, consider a change to the arrangement.

Your focus should be on creating music. If you can get over that first hump, the sonics will fall into place much more readily and with much less processing.
amen to that!
Old 28th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
i agree sound selection trumps 200 track mixes and elaborate signal chains of fx
Old 28th December 2010
  #10
methods to get that full sound/ mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeg
i agree sound selection trumps 200 track mixes and elaborate signal chains of fx
And a great song with a musical mix trumps everything.
Old 28th December 2010
  #11
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Forget about eq. Forget about compression. And effects. And exciters and enhancers. Create a balance using the faders before you touch anything else. If you can't get something musical happening, ask yourself why not. Stop thinking about "sound quality" and worry about THE SONG. If your balance in its rawest form doesn't get the song across, start over again. If you still can't find a way to get it together, consider a change to the arrangement.

Your focus should be on creating music. If you can get over that first hump, the sonics will fall into place much more readily and with much less processing.
x10

actually x100

This is the organic core of pretty much every piece of advice I've given on this forum. Read it, breathe it in, make it a mantra.

EQ and Compression should be an after thought to a balanced and full mix - which in itself should be an after thought to the arrangement - which is an after thought to the song itself.
Old 28th December 2010
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
And a great song with a musical mix trumps everything.
noob question but what makes a song have a musical mix?? whats a song that you would say has a good musical mix?
Old 28th December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
I think you really have to ask yourself what that "full sound" really is. The reality is that it's not so much a technical thing, but more of an emotional thing. You can take a record with a great song and great performance that 'technically' is less 'full' than another so-so song with a so-so performance and it will 'sound' more 'full'. Make sense?

I start my mix with just level and pan (usually LCR) and work from there. I personally don't subscribe so much to all the crazy cut here and boost there stuff people like to talk about on GS. I tend to use rather broad strokes. As well, I tend to use compression more for just an emotional sound than to make things sound 'full'.

That said, I must digress a little bit because you do need things to sound balanced with everything in it's place. How do you get there? Intuition I guess, which is why every kid on the planet can go buy some DAW software and I will still have a job mixing records LOL. One thing I think can help is to listen to a lot of good records on the monitors you mix on and just try and create an imprint of how those songs feel. I say "feel" because balance is more of a feel thing than a technical thing. Why? Because records are about emotion and the balance will change depending on the emotion of the song. But eventually you will get to the point (I think... lol... some other folks can chime in here as I'm just speaking for myself) where you can listen to your mix in it's current state and you will just feel the need to nudge/shape/sculpt stuff around based on what you are feeling in the music. It's kind of like how when you look at a boat on the water you expect to see it above the water and not below the water upside-down. And if you see it upside down, then your brain is screaming bloody murder at you that you should make it right side up. Same thing with mixing. If you hear the snare and it's not cracking right, or at the right level, or whatever, you just get this unnerving feeling that it's not right and you feel the need to put it where it should go. Of course, the hard part is knowing where it should go. That's why I say listening to a lot of good records in your mix room, along with a lot of experience, are so important.

Blah blah blah... I babble sometimes....
Old 28th December 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTodd901 View Post
noob question but what makes a song have a musical mix?? whats a song that you would say has a good musical mix?
Musicality isn't really something you can describe. It's innate. And the merits of any given mix will vary by the person listening to it. You might find so-and-so's new hit single very musical, and I may find it awful. So I guess that your question is best asked only of yourself (well, and your clients tooheh) because it's something you need to reflect on personally.

Since I've been listening to it a lot as of late, I'd recommend Levon Helm's "Dirt Farmer" as a highly musical mix that sounds great, despite (well, in my opinion very much because of) its sonic loose ends.

Edit: come to think of it, here's a very simple explanation of what I consider a musical mix: it's one that, assuming the song is any good, you don't notice
Old 28th December 2010
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Castro_Bigdog's Avatar
 

I like to look at a mix kind of like a latter lol... one sound on top of the other... the vocals should be the Top step... when it comes to panning the mix... I thing of a big band or big rock band and mix it the way I think it should look... then I ad some feel and heat
Old 29th December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Forget about eq. Forget about compression. And effects. And exciters and enhancers. Create a balance using the faders before you touch anything else.

The first and hardest lesson.
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
One thing I think can help is to listen to a lot of good records on the monitors you mix on and just try and create an imprint of how those songs feel. I say "feel" because balance is more of a feel thing than a technical thing. Why? Because records are about emotion and the balance will change depending on the emotion of the song.
Bingo. Listening to great mixes on your studio monitors - when learning or even when you need to recalibrate your ears a bit - is the best way to keep that perspective on the area where the target is or should be. Listening to great mixes will humble you and/or remind you how far away you actually are from there when you're learning. I can't imagine most hobbyists with a basic home studio (mixing their own music) not regularly listening to their personal music library in the studio... in isolation... just to imprint what "right" sounds like in your spot.

If you think your mix is really good, put up a reference track of something that you're *absolutely sure* is really good and A/B them. It can be humbling yet educational at the same time.

Having said that, don't set the bar too high initially. The sense of depth and space in (for example) some great R&B mixes is - staggering - and more often than not comes at least partly from great spaces and real room reflections... so... get as close as you can without those things and you'll eventually learn how to simulate some of them, trick the ear a little.

It takes time to learn those things though... lots of time.
Old 29th December 2010
  #18
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTodd901 View Post
noob question but what makes a song have a musical mix?? whats a song that you would say has a good musical mix?
That's not really a noobie question. It SHOULD be - because it asks about a fundamental underpinning to what mixing is. Mixing is the manipulation of sounds - and to what end is entirely up to the mixer. Mixing is not clinical in my book - it's a conversation between artist, producer, and engineer.

A "musical" mix would be a mix that incorporates a musical thought. What does that mean?

The tones that are relevant to the instruments are properly highlighted, dynamics are occurring - there is a grace and artistry involved. The end listener will rarely know how much of this is the mix and how much is the production - shoot, the producer and engineer may not know either! But I find certain things apply to all things musical:

Change, Tension, Release, and Repetition.

The way these ideas are worked is the musicality of anything.
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Forget about eq. Forget about compression. And effects. And exciters and enhancers. Create a balance using the faders before you touch anything else. If you can't get something musical happening, ask yourself why not. Stop thinking about "sound quality" and worry about THE SONG. If your balance in its rawest form doesn't get the song across, start over again. If you still can't find a way to get it together, consider a change to the arrangement.

Your focus should be on creating music. If you can get over that first hump, the sonics will fall into place much more readily and with much less processing.
+1
great response, exactly what one should have in mind before starting to EQ and compress!

p.s.: nice forum, hello to all!
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
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Dayl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post

Change, Tension, Release, and Repetition.

This!! everybody pass this around for sure. ..

I listen to a lot of bedroom producers/ up and comers etc and many have the repitition down.. a number have the change going on and some have the release but.. some many need to add tension!

Its all horses for courses and of course not all tracks need this but a majority do.
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