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Most useful mixing trick you learned from pros
Old 4 weeks ago
  #151
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Well the Dolby-A stretch was a trick, most likely developed by George Martin who was one of two people that received the first pre-production units and it is clearly obvious on Abbey Road.

I’m not going to spell it out, you should research it.
Dolby A 301 units are hard to come by.

I have heard it in action in the control room. The first time it was dialed in the hair on my arm stood up.

The producer who drug the two big ass units around had them encased in two plain black boxes with only holes for XLR ins and outs.

By this time it had already hit the net and people had learned about it in small circles. I remember a time if you mentioned it you got nothing but silence.

It was a heavily guarded trick. Lucky for us it comes in plug-in form now. Just do a search here on GS in the plug-in section for Dolby or Dolby Stretch or Dolby A.

Pat
Old 3 weeks ago
  #152
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proxy's Avatar
 

Turn it up or off.

Saw Mike Dean being interviewed by Dave Pensado, and he talked about either turning up parts vs turning them off, and it really stuck with me.

As I’m producing/arranging/recording, it’s a great mindset to keep arrangements focused and minimal.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
Turn it up or off.

Saw Mike Dean being interviewed by Dave Pensado, and he talked about either turning up parts vs turning them off, and it really stuck with me.

As I’m producing/arranging/recording, it’s a great mindset to keep arrangements focused and minimal.
I take it the concept is that, rather than try to carve tracks up to fit them into a mix while still being heard, one should take the approach that “if it’s important, turn it up; otherwise turn it off”? I like that way of putting it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
I take it the concept is that, rather than try to carve tracks up to fit them into a mix while still being heard, one should take the approach that “if it’s important, turn it up; otherwise turn it off”? I like that way of putting it.
It's as pragmatic as it is rewarding. How often do you discuss all those nice overdubbed guitar parts with the guitarists? He'll go: “That arpeggio sooo important, just tuck it in so you rather feel than hear it.“ I'll go: “If it's so important, why not turn it up?“ He'll go: “ Nah, that's too much, now you can't hear the delay line I overdubbed last night.“ l'll go: “Sure.“ And mute both after he's gone. He'll go: “Man, your mix is so clear and focused, how did you do it? I love how I can still feel that arpeggio in the background.“
Old 3 weeks ago
  #155
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proxy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
I take it the concept is that, rather than try to carve tracks up to fit them into a mix while still being heard, one should take the approach that “if it’s important, turn it up; otherwise turn it off”? I like that way of putting it.
Exactly. It’s become part of the everyday language of an artist I’m producing. When reviewing ideas, either one of us will say... “I wonder if that’s in up or off territory”

And if we can’t make it work turned up, we take it out.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
And/or de-essers on the inputs to reverbs!
Interesting! Thx. I’ve never tried this. When and why do you do this?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #157
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proxy's Avatar
 

I imagine it’s much harder when one is purely a mix for hire, where you have to educate people that density and clarity are often trade-offs.

I’m one stage earlier than that, producing and arranging and rough mixing, trying to do the work that hopefully avoids those issues when I send it to the mixer.

It’s kind of applicable to all of life... so much noise accumulates. Is it important? Lean into it! Is it not? Let it go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
It's as pragmatic as it is rewarding. How often do you discuss all those nice overdubbed guitar parts with the guitarists? He'll go: “That arpeggio sooo important, just tuck it in so you rather feel than hear it.“ I'll go: “If it's so important, why not turn it up?“ He'll go: “ Nah, that's too much, now you can't hear the delay line I overdubbed last night.“ l'll go: “Sure.“ And mute both after he's gone. He'll go: “Man, your mix is so clear and focused, how did you do it? I love how I can still feel that arpeggio in the background.“
Old 3 weeks ago
  #158
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
I take it the concept is that, rather than try to carve tracks up to fit them into a mix while still being heard, one should take the approach that “if it’s important, turn it up; otherwise turn it off”? I like that way of putting it.
Similarly, you can think of a mix as a series of events on a timeline rather than a blend of sounds. You direct the ear toward this thing, then this other thing, then that thing, and so on. To a great degree, it's the way film and TV sound designers and mixers approach it and sometimes it's not out of place in record mixing. If a part doesn't have a place in the timeline it may just be getting in the way.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #159
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
“I wonder if that’s in up or off territory”
It is much more efficient to ask this question during tracking!
.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Interesting! Thx. I’ve never tried this. When and why do you do this?
I'm mixing a celtic record right now and de-essing the verb sends. It makes a huge difference because if you have a more atmospheric verb, or something that needs a bit more brightness than usual a stray S can really make it poke out way too much. You dial those down and it's smooth as glass.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #161
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proxy's Avatar
 

Exactly!

And it’s even *more* efficient to do it in the arranging stage, and yet even *more* efficient to just have the whole picture of the entire thing in your head prior to anything.

But I find that sometimes you have to get the music out, and then evaluate it. Particularly when you’re in a co-write, co-produce, co-record collaboration.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
It is much more efficient to ask this question during tracking!
.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #162
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Bramley's Avatar
 

A great trick to tighten up a bass track with out using EQ -

Send from the track to a Roland Dimension D then feed it back into itself on the return channel, push the send from the return channel almost to full feedback then back it off a little. Another good trick to combine with that is to send to an AMS RMX 16/ non-lin with decay time set as short as it goes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #163
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
Well the Dolby-A stretch was a trick, most likely developed by George Martin who was one of two people that received the first pre-production units and it is clearly obvious on Abbey Road.

I’m not going to spell it out, you should research it.
Dolby A 301 units are hard to come by.

I have heard it in action in the control room. The first time it was dialed in the hair on my arm stood up.

The producer who drug the two big ass units around had them encased in two plain black boxes with only holes for XLR ins and outs.

By this time it had already hit the net and people had learned about it in small circles. I remember a time if you mentioned it you got nothing but silence.

It was a heavily guarded trick. Lucky for us it comes in plug-in form now. Just do a search here on GS in the plug-in section for Dolby or Dolby Stretch or Dolby A.

Pat
I was so happy when AudioThing made TypeA.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #164
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Mixing at low listening levels, getting it right at lower levels almost always translates into sounding even better when cranked concerning choices like reverbs and seating vocals into a mix. Of course you should listen loud to check it at times, but it's far easier to hear relationships in the mix at low volume (and saves your ears).
Old 3 weeks ago
  #165
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy View Post
[...] and yet even *more* efficient to just have the whole picture of the entire thing in your head prior to anything.
By all accounts, that's exactly what Freddie Mercury did when Queen did Bohemian Rhapsody:

Everybody involved reports that they just trusted that he knew what he was doing whenever they got confused. (That's a whole lotta trust to bestow when you're droppin' that kinda coin on a project!)

I find it most interesting that when Weird Al did a parody of it, he payed Mr. Bulsara the ultimate honor that Mr. Yankovic has ever extended to one of his "victims":
HE DID NOT CHANGE A WORD!
.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateHawkins View Post
I'm mixing a celtic record right now and de-essing the verb sends. It makes a huge difference because if you have a more atmospheric verb, or something that needs a bit more brightness than usual a stray S can really make it poke out way too much. You dial those down and it's smooth as glass.

OK. So only for vocals then? That makes sense.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #167
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateHawkins View Post
I'm mixing a celtic record right now and de-essing the verb sends. It makes a huge difference because if you have a more atmospheric verb, or something that needs a bit more brightness than usual a stray S can really make it poke out way too much. You dial those down and it's smooth as glass.
Are you on a console and putting a physical de-esser in the signal path, or ITB and putting the de-esser before the reverb on the aux channel?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
OK. So only for vocals then? That makes sense.
Makes sense for instrument verbs, too. You can keep some air in the verb while having it still tucked intonthe back.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Are you on a console and putting a physical de-esser in the signal path, or ITB and putting the de-esser before the reverb on the aux channel?
De-essing on the aux just before the reverb. I roll off a lot on the verb but still needed the air it was giving me so didn’t go too far. The side effect of that being the Ss a little sharp and washy.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I was so happy when AudioThing made TypeA.
Yes! That is the company and the plug-in. I was very impressed with the demo. It’s going on the must have plug-in list!

Pat
Old 3 weeks ago
  #171
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
By all accounts, that's exactly what Freddie Mercury did when Queen did Bohemian Rhapsody:

Everybody involved reports that they just trusted that he knew what he was doing whenever they got confused. (That's a whole lotta trust to bestow when you're droppin' that kinda coin on a project!)

I find it most interesting that when Weird Al did a parody of it, he payed Mr. Bulsara the ultimate honor that Mr. Yankovic has ever extended to one of his "victims":
HE DID NOT CHANGE A WORD!
.
I saw him a couple of weeks ago, backed by a full band and orchestra.

You know what, that guy is one of the best stage performers of the past fifty years. We all should kinda suspect that, but when you see what he does in person...the level of control he has over very nuanced stage moves... it is kind of a WOW moment. It’s so easy to not take him seriously because it’s the whole point of what he does!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #172
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Sybille's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I saw him a couple of weeks ago, backed by a full band and orchestra.

You know what, that guy is one of the best stage performers of the past fifty years. We all should kinda suspect that, but when you see what he does in person...the level of control he has over very nuanced stage moves... it is kind of a WOW moment. It’s so easy to not take him seriously because it’s the whole point of what he does!
How did he recreate those harmonies so well ?!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #173
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
... that guy is one of the best stage performers of the past fifty years.
And some of his parody records sound at least as good as the originals.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #174
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Mixing at low listening levels, getting it right at lower levels almost always translates into sounding even better when cranked concerning choices like reverbs and seating vocals into a mix. Of course you should listen loud to check it at times, but it's far easier to hear relationships in the mix at low volume (and saves your ears).
I was going to reply in the same vein. As far as a mix is not an attempt to balance everything perfectly flat. Generally only two things that are happening are making the song groove. And people don’t generally have the ability to focus on more than that.

Take a lot of Beatles tunes or Motown tunes; it’s the bass and vocals that are selling it. Or 70’s hard rock, it’s loud guitar and vocals. And on and on.

A fun thing to do is listen to a favorite song and then turn it down till you hear the two most important elements they decided to push out front. Or the old walk out of the control room and leaving the door open, turn a corner and listen to your mix. Whats popping out? Is it making the mix exciting? Do you feel like you want to hear more?

Pat
Old 3 weeks ago
  #175
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I saw him a couple of weeks ago, backed by a full band and orchestra.

You know what, that guy is one of the best stage performers of the past fifty years. We all should kinda suspect that, but when you see what he does in person...the level of control he has over very nuanced stage moves... it is kind of a WOW moment. It’s so easy to not take him seriously because it’s the whole point of what he does!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybille View Post
How did he recreate those harmonies so well ?!!
He's actually amazing in the studio. There are a couple of different YouTube clips of him doing vocal stacking. His sense of pitch and phrasing is really great. He's a big part of the song Time by Ben Folds, and there's a ton of great harmony on his music.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #176
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
As far as a mix is not an attempt to balance everything perfectly flat.
Yes I didn't imply flat is ever best, but make that **** ROCK at low levels and it is normally more amazing when cranked!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #177
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Yes I didn't imply flat is ever best, but make that **** ROCK at low levels and it is normally more amazing when cranked!
At really low levels, I can also hear and correct tiny under-loud bits in vocals, often the ends of phrases. And for me it's easier to hear and address things like grabby compressors and bass-player slop.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
He's actually amazing in the studio. There are a couple of different YouTube clips of him doing vocal stacking. His sense of pitch and phrasing is really great. He's a big part of the song Time by Ben Folds, and there's a ton of great harmony on his music.
Yes...a year or two ago he did a tour of his original songs, not the parodies. He would also play a straight ahead song cover. While I didn’t see the show, somewhere I heard a mega-edit of all of those straight ahead song covers, and it was very very competent, and a bit surprising.

His usual vocal approach is definitely done for comedic effect, people shouldn’t necessarily judge his overall skill as a singer by that.

And live, he just nails the notes. He is a very “in control” performer. A hell of a talent.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #179
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Yes I didn't imply flat is ever best, but make that **** ROCK at low levels and it is normally more amazing when cranked!
Sorry Warren that didn’t read right. My bad. I wasn’t implying just agreeing with you.

Pat
Old 3 weeks ago
  #180
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I was so happy when AudioThing made TypeA.
I put Type A on a cello track and dialed down the mix. Only used one of the bands, I can't recall if it was the 3rd or 4th button on Type A. It pulled all the bow detail forward so well.
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