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Ugliest Mix Job Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
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Antagonist's Avatar
Ugliest Mix Job

I just got through about 90% of one of the hardest mix jobs I've ever had to work on.

Pop/R&B project.

Got:
1. Stereo .mp3 Over Limited and squashed to death. Sounded like a wall of noise with no defined bottom.
2. 10 Stereo tracks of vocals that were already tuned, except tuned WRONG.
3. 4 tracks of melodyned/harmonized vocals that were tuned wrong and overly eq'd compressed. Some of the lines had like NO highs, others had like NO lows.


The artist is non-US, and this song (****ty mix and all) is starting to make a buzz in her country. Mutual affiliates in the US called me and said, "Can you PLEASE try and mix this so we can push it retail?"

It took me probably 4 full days of pure analytical thought, and experimenting, and I finally think I got it as good as it's going to get.

1. I retuned all vocals
2. I deleted almost every vocal track except for a few, and used parts pieced together to build the song, new harmonies.
3. I carved out the .mp3 with massive EQ's and ended up producing a whole new bottom end with my own drums. So essentially I only used their .mp3 for the mids/some highs, and I put down a new Kick/Snare/Hat section.
4. Used some M/S and image enhancement to move the original .mp3 to the sides, and lock down my created low end towards the center of the mix, then built the whole mix from ground up around the retuned vox.
5. Took everything from like super hot +10dB all the way down to like -10dB and rebuilt all the volume back to retail level from there.
6. Added in effects/reverbs/comp/eq and did the final mix.

I am damn pleased with how it turned out. I can't say it's my best mix ever, but from what I had, and what I accomplished I'm calling it a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH project for my confidence. It has alot of open space now, and a clearly defined bottom, which I never thought would be possible. I'm still shocked at how all the noisiness is still there in part, but I was able to mask it enough that it sounds commercial quality.

I'm going to see if I can get her permission to post snippets of the before and after, but not sure if it'll be agreed upon by all involved.

Just wanted to share, that you really can polish a turd, you just gotta hold your breath and approach it from un-thought-of perspectives.

Feel free to share some horror stories and techniques, I'm sure there's some funny ones.

I think this could be a good new niche for my production house.
CaliFlorida Productions Inc - "WE WILL MAKE EVEN THE BROWNEST TURD SHINE!" LMAO
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
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Storyville's Avatar
But it's just mixing vocals to a 2-track, so you can do it at a discount right?
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
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e-are's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
But it's just mixing vocals to a 2-track, so you can do it at a discount right?
LOL. "I even tuned it and mixed the music so it should only take like an hour. You feel me?"heh
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
LOL. "I even tuned it and mixed the music so it should only take like an hour. You feel me?"heh
Feel me dough?
Old 6th September 2011
  #5
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
LOL. "I even tuned it and mixed the music so it should only take like an hour. You feel me?"heh
Highest quality mp3 encoding available shon.
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
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Antagonist's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
But it's just mixing vocals to a 2-track, so you can do it at a discount right?
worse it was like one of those favors somebody asks to be returned, right at the least opportune time.
Old 6th September 2011
  #7
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frans's Avatar
I hear you. Brave, brave man. Resurrecting tracks from the dead.. I had my share of rebuilding tracks - you did the right thing. You can paste in new drums/replace/even retrack guitars and things.. but if the vocals come in thoroughly slashed and splintered and smeared and with serious ugly converter clipping. .... phew... lipstick on a turd chicken.

Now how can you make sure you don't have to go this the next time with the same client?
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Wow! Was there no possibility of asking for unprocessed audio? Hope they don't go "Really love your work, here's 10 more tracks, can we get them back next week?"
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
Sounds like a job well done!! i actually kind of like these kinds of work, and often do it just for mixtape tracks as well... it's not very cost efficient, but it's interesting and creatively motivating to work within these limitations offered by the source material.

The only thing I dislike is when the vocals are completely ruined.. I've often tracked dubs on vocals just to get them to an acceptable level of quality, often with good succes, but it's just a LOT of work.
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Congrats. did it pay in dough?
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