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Old 16th May 2003
Here for the gear

Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
hmmm ..... Tek, .... I read your post earlier and actually started a reply ... but then ended up not posting it because it felt wrong.

To be honest with you ... I don't realy know where to start. I don't have a clue of what your skills are and what your level is. How good or bad do your mixes sound ??

Trial and error would be my best possible reply for you now, as in mixing there are as many rules as there are no rules at all. Every song is a new mixing experience. Sure there are basic skills one has to master like knowing how to use basic tools like compression and eq. If you don't 'master' those tools there is no use in even considering to go to the next step. What is the next step for you ... I am completely clueless.
Understood. To give you a bit of insight, I know what compression and EQ do and are used for, but if I was to sit down at a "console" (be it Reason's or Pro Tools or a desk) and you said your bass drum is interfering with your bassline, or that lead is eating at the vocals, fix it up. I wouldn't know how. I know it would obviously require notching out some EQ somewhere, but where? I also know that the sounds used depend on where that cut or spike would fit, but generally speaking I still don't know if I'm doing it "correctly". That's about where my skills are at. I know it's all a bit zen and subjective in the end.

One thing though. The tools you use ARE important. To be honest with you I do think there is a difference between ProTools and Reason and I do think that spending thousands of $$ on high end equipment is necessary if you want to mix professionally. You mention Reason as your main mixing tool. How can you possibly expect me or anybody else to help you mix in Reason. As much as I think it is a perfectly usable programm I also think that it is completely useless as a mixing environment. Now don't go out spending thousands of $$ either because IMHO you would be throwing your money away right now. First you need to understand WHY reason isn't a mixing tool. Not a serious one anyhow.
I don't disagree. The tools you use are important, definitely. My larger point there though was that the same PRINCIPLES should apply regardless of how much you spent on your "system", no? Reason and Pro Tools don't have the same algorithims more likely than not so you're most likely not going to get the same sound out of them. I understand that part just fine. But you kind of left it hanging there. WHY isn't Reason a mixing tool? It has a mixer interface. Granted it's probably not as advanced as something high-end, but it should still do the basic job, yes?

On the other hand one has to use the tools at hand and I'm sure you can learn a lot from mixing within Reason.
For now, the next logical level for you would be to understand that with reason alone ... you're limited .... VERY limited to say the least. And so are my solutions for helping you to create a better mix within reason.
On the one hand you tell me that I'm severely limited and then you say that I can learn a lot. Which is it? As I said before, I understand that to some of you more advanced/in-debt studio geeks, Reason is a mere toy and probably a "cheesy" one at that, but I still think that you can learn and understand the basic principles of how to use your tool (any tool) to mold the sound in the way you desire. If you disagree so steadfastly, please enumerate the reasons why for me. Otherwise, I just get the sense that you're being elitist about it.

Originally posted by Dave Martin
I started a reply as well, and also gave up on it. But I gave up for a different reason. a 'mentor', among other things, needs close by - you can't mentor someone, especially about mixing, without actually being there to listen to how they do it. More important is WHY they do it. But you have to BE there; you can't do that sort of thing via e-amil or telephone.
The other thing Reason allows for is file sharing. So if I was to send someone a mix of something I had done, they could see it for themselves, top to bottom, and mix it how they see fit and send it back to me so I could see for myself. That's how you or Dave or somebody else could possibly help me. That's why, in a way, Reason is perfect for the job, no? It's all self-contained right there for the tweaking.

Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
For now, if you would ask me what to do if your mix has too much bass ... my dumb answer would be ... take out some bass ... does that help you ... I don't think so. My best guess is that your mixes sound muddy too ... layering tons of unprocessed loops that come standard within reason will do that to your mix. Well ... try understanding what frequencies you need and which frequencies you don't. And get rid of the ones you don't need using eq.
Right you are. However, I almost never use the Factory Sound Banks that came with Reason. Maybe for some of the synth patches, but I try to keep the actual loops to a minimum as the sound quality is (ahem) "interesting" at best and I prefer to make my own loops or use individual hits whenever possible.

All in all I appreciate your insight so far, but I also get the feeling that I'm being disregarded as I'm not using the "proper" tools (i.e. I haven't spent the required and proper amount to "learn"). An analogy would be if you came to me for design advice and I critiqued your website for you. I tell you that from a design standpoint it's horrid, you've included all the obvious and overdone bells and whistles that are the trademark of an amateur, but I bet you don't give a toss what my personal feelings are about it. For you, it gets the basic job done. You have the elements there and people can find what they need for the most part. Now imagine that's all I tell you besides the fact that you're not using the latest and greatest tools for the job. Oh, and a bit of a trial and error will get you there. How's that helping you with your site in the end? Not really, right?

What you may or may not know is that an amazing site can be written in your basic text editor without need of fancy and expensive tools. It just requires know how. That's what I'm after here. The know how. I've heard many "pro souding" tracks composed solely in Reason. So it's not SO horrible as a creation and mixing tool. I know that in the end I'm going to need to expand my palette of tools, but it's seems bollocks to me that I need to go spend thousands to learn to mix properly.

In any case, thank you for your time. If you have more to share, I'm all eyes/ears.