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Question for the mix engineers Dynamics Plugins
Old 13th September 2011
  #1
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tdot's Avatar
Question for the mix engineers

Just wondering, when you 'finish' mixing a track, do you usually finish when you feel like the mix is absolutely perfect and feel you don't have to touch a thing, or do you usually finish when you get to the point of '**** it I can't possibly mix this any further - I'v done everything I can possibly do', or is it somewhere in between?

I guess really, in both situations you feel like you mixed it as best you can, its just a question of the reason you felt it finished.
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

I never feel totally finished with a mix. There's always something that could be better, and EQ point adjusted, a fader moved up or down just a hair.

But generally what I do when I think I'm finished is to take a break, go outside and get some fresh air for a moment, clear my head and ears, then come back and listen while doing other things like documentation, rolling up, surfing gearslutz lol. If nothing sticks out to me as needing changed, I'm pretty confident to print. Many times after my walk outside it will change my perspective on things and I'll come back and listen and say "what the f*ck was I thinking!?!?!" and make a bunch of changes. Sometimes thats not needed and only one or two things will stick out.


I don't think I've EVER felt that "oh, I've done everything i can do". I feel like there's ALWAYS more that could be done. But theres costs, budgets, time constraints, etc., that need to be taken into consideration so I let it go when I feel like it sounds like a record, when I feel like its delivering on the emotional spectrum and I've conveyed the feeling of the song well and that it sounds, for lack of a better term, like its mixed.
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
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soundeq's Avatar
 

Both actually...
Like rickrock said, hard to put it down and call it finished sometimes.

Other times I feel like "I just mixed that outa the park!"
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
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ryst's Avatar
 

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
If not for budgets & deadlines I'd most likely be working on the 1st song I did still today.
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
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Question for the mix engineers

If I may step away from music and discuss a different form of art:

I'm a big fan of Itagaki, creator and lead on the ninja gaiden games.

He is revered for his creativity as well as his refinment.

When asked how he knew he was done with a game by an interviewer, he responded by laughing... Then saying "you're never finished. There is always more you can do. I've never finished a project in my life. I stop working when someone comes and takes it away from me."

As for a mix: I'm always finished at the deadline. And it's not a coincidence if you catch my drift...
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
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clivek's Avatar
Often I think im done !!! But then I get the revisions list !!

Doohh

Different ball game for your own productions tho !! Over mixing things come to mind !!!
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
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Usually there is some kind of external force that will determine when it's done. Usually when the client says it's perfect. But it could also be a budget or time limitation, or whatever.

I think if you are mixing your own stuff you have to create some kind of split personality thing and play the role of the client to force you to stop at some point. Otherwise you never will.
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoLeoLeo View Post
If not for budgets & deadlines I'd most likely be working on the 1st song I did still today.
heh very true. Us engineers are tweakers by nature!
Old 15th September 2011
  #10
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Storyville's Avatar
I stop when the client is happy. Otherwise it's never done.
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
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I always do the best work I am capable of doing. It's done when it's done; but if it goes longer than a day you start losing perspective. The question you need to ask is "are any of these tweaks actually making the song better?".
Old 15th September 2011
  #12
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Especially when you a/b it to some other mixes... cqn be hqrder to get the sqme vibe becquse the elements cqn be totqlly different... but usually i would feel deeply unfinished... or maybe I am...
Old 15th September 2011
  #13
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
i'm done when it sounds like the radio
Old 15th September 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
I stop when the client is happy. Otherwise it's never done.
It's much easier to be done than satisfied huh?!
Old 15th September 2011
  #15
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I tend to hear things much better in the morning. What about your mix guys? Do you wait next morning before you send a mix to a client?

Sent from my GT-I5800 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 15th September 2011
  #16
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combfilter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahuel View Post
I tend to hear things much better in the morning. What about your mix guys? Do you wait next morning before you send a mix to a client?
Yes. I always wait the next day, in order to do a last check with fresh ears.
Old 15th September 2011
  #17
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It's much easier to be done than satisfied huh?!
By leaps and bounds!
Old 15th September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi Yeah View Post
I always do the best work I am capable of doing. It's done when it's done; but if it goes longer than a day you start losing perspective.
Generally speaking, I feel that I need to span a day. For a lot of pop and r&b mixes they are so complicated that doing them in under a day is often just not possible. But even for a simple rap song that I can get done in a day I find that giving myself the opportunity to sleep on it is critical. You need some time away for your brain to reset and then listen fresh first thing in the morning.
Old 15th September 2011
  #19
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Yea, if I have the luxury I will always wait til the next day to come in with fresh ears and print.
Old 15th September 2011
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
Generally speaking, I feel that I need to span a day. For a lot of pop and r&b mixes they are so complicated that doing them in under a day is often just not possible. But even for a simple rap song that I can get done in a day I find that giving myself the opportunity to sleep on it is critical. You need some time away for your brain to reset and then listen fresh first thing in the morning.
+1.

Not that I'm at your level, but I find a 6-7hr batch doing the "mix" is ideal, then probably another few hours of tweaking, split into another session or two (often alongside client comments).

The benefits of working hybrid!
Old 16th September 2011
  #21
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if i can compare it to a similar track in the same genre (that i think is well mixed) and feel like its on that level or better.

rarely i win
Old 16th September 2011
  #22
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tdot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
I think if you are mixing your own stuff you have to create some kind of split personality thing and play the role of the client to force you to stop at some point. Otherwise you never will.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi Yeah View Post
I always do the best work I am capable of doing. It's done when it's done; but if it goes longer than a day you start losing perspective. The question you need to ask is "are any of these tweaks actually making the song better?".
I guess months is too long...
Old 16th September 2011
  #23
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Question for the mix engineers

Hopefully not too far off the topic:

Do y'all find it easier to finish by mixing one song at a time or having a few cooking at once?

I've tried it both ways, but I'm normally tasked with one at a time. Recently I had been given 6 tracks, all from the same artist, to mix.

The upside is I'm able to switch gears when I'm feeling bogged down. I also feel that it was especially productive when doing the house keeping: colors, basic editing, vocal alignment.

The downside is that it's hard to maintain a tight emotional connection to each track: so many times I feel like I'm birthing a baby! But with multiple projects cooking, it's hard to have that irrational connection I've found so essential to producing stellar results.

Any thoughts? Advice?
Old 16th September 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
I guess months is too long...

Not if you're still learning.
Old 16th September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ray View Post
Hopefully not too far off the topic:

Do y'all find it easier to finish by mixing one song at a time or having a few cooking at once?

I've tried it both ways, but I'm normally tasked with one at a time. Recently I had been given 6 tracks, all from the same artist, to mix.

The upside is I'm able to switch gears when I'm feeling bogged down. I also feel that it was especially productive when doing the house keeping: colors, basic editing, vocal alignment.

The downside is that it's hard to maintain a tight emotional connection to each track: so many times I feel like I'm birthing a baby! But with multiple projects cooking, it's hard to have that irrational connection I've found so essential to producing stellar results.

Any thoughts? Advice?
I pretty much always have at least one (usually more) songs to mix in my cue. I mix one song up to the point where I will send it to the client for approval and then I start working on the next one while I wait for them to get back to me. Some folks are fast and get back to me in like 30 minutes, but most take a day (every now and then a week, which is painful). At that point making tweaks is largely separate from the emotional processes because it will be things like "turn the hi harmoney part @ 1:57 - 2:08 up a tiny bit" so it's much more of just a technical process. I can go and make that change and fire off a new mix for approval and jump right back to the other song I was mixing. I mix hybrid so it usually doesn't take too long to switch from one song to another and I keep the notes for outboard gear in the session file rather than having to dig up a piece of paper.

I MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer to get multipel songs from the same artist at the SAME time as opposed to one... wait.... another....wait....one more.... wait. I can keep my brain in the same mode as far as creative a cohesive vibe. And usually there will be similar problematic issues - ESPECIALLY if its' the same engineer every time. If I get 'em onesy-twosey I will take some previous songs I mixed and put them on tracks at the top of my session, level match them if necessary, and rout them to my two-track return. That way at any point in the mix I can just hit a button and flip back and forth between the current song and a previous song. Just helps out a little more in maintaining consistency and if I feel like I need to remind myself of the vibe it's right there as well.
Old 16th September 2011
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

i'm with chris on that one, mixing a few songs for an artist in one go is nice, it keeps you in a certain vibe for that artist. it usually help all the mixes and it makes you work a lot faster.

mixes usually take 1-2 days including an overnite break. the 2nd day is usually nothing big, just minor tweaks and adjustments. To me mixes are never finished. whenever i listen to mixes i've done theres always things i would do different. a mix is an in the moment thing, mixes for the same track done on different days never come out the same. i personally feel thats the beauty of mixing, there unlimited angles to apprach a mix. and theres always something new.
Old 16th September 2011
  #27
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Question for the mix engineers

Thanks for the replies, fellas! I think I will grow to strongly prefer having multiples, but it's a new phenomenon for me, again, having been used to the one at a time approach. It sounds like I need to adjust to the learning curve on the workflow...

What's funny to me is that the advantage of continuity seems to carry a set of disadvantages as well. Mostly in that, once I discover, say cla-76 into rvox is great on his voice in song one- I feel it compromises my judgement on the chain for the next song... As if I have to argue against using it once again, when maybe it IS the best, or maybe I'm not exploring enough options. Mix that with a deadline crunch and it's the most paranoid I've been about my mixes in a long while. (and this is the most visible project I've been given... Which is exciting and scary all at the same time anyway: I'm excited to share details when it's out!)

I'm probably making a bigger deal out of the negatives than need be... Again, y'all, thanks for the reinforcement and guidence.
Old 16th September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
Just wondering, when you 'finish' mixing a track, do you usually finish when you feel like the mix is absolutely perfect and feel you don't have to touch a thing, or do you usually finish when you get to the point of '**** it I can't possibly mix this any further - I'v done everything I can possibly do', or is it somewhere in between?

I guess really, in both situations you feel like you mixed it as best you can, its just a question of the reason you felt it finished.
the track is finished when they run out of money

if its for me the track is finished real fast
i do not obsess about meaningless tweaks that may be different but are not better just different

same as i do with images for the photo club contest
once through the workflow and done
rarely if ever one final tweak or a redo of some steps

others in the club spend days and weeks over one image
they dont win any more ribbons by doing that
they are merely obsessive compulsive types that waste a lot of time and effort on meaningless diddling
Old 16th September 2011
  #29
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
Not if you're still learning.
....lol....only that never stops......
Old 17th September 2011
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaye b View Post
A mix is an in the moment thing.
That's the beauty of it, maybe when the moment is gone the mix is done.
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