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Whats your approach to building a mix?
Old 15th June 2004
  #1
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MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 

Whats your approach to building a mix?

Mike,
I am interested in how you approach building a mix. It seems that every heavyweight mixer has a different way. What is yours? Do you start with the vocal? Bass and Drums? How loud and at what stage to you monitor different levels at? Do you build the foundation with out FX and then start integrating them? How many different systems do you reference with to find that perfect balance? How soon do you start automating and why?

Thanks so much for your time and your valuable information.

Michael Greene
Old 17th June 2004
  #2
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Mike Shipley's Avatar
 

I always make sure that I get a rough mix of whatever record I'm going to be working on well in advance so that I can listen on the way to the studio or wherever , even if its a one off mix, because I want to get to know the music and to know how ready we need to be incase its a salvage job , or a really well recorded song ,and 'cos I like to get a first impression of the music to get the feel of what they were going for and then and decide how I want it to sound .
And so I know what's ahead of me in terms of fixing and sound enhancement or replacement if neccesary.
I will put up a rough mix myself in the studio to see how it feels once I get my hands on the faders ,There can be a lot of suprises!!. Then Generally I will build from the drums up knowing how I want the song to sound and will thrrow the bass and various other instruments in and out to see if the energy is right or wrong and keep building the mix.
I only use two different systems to reference on, one small set of speakers and one medium , but I eq everything on ns10'S and always have so I know how to judge the bass on them and all that. The only time I use any other speaker is for when the artist wants to hear it "loud".
As for mixing levels , I mix very softly mostly, I change the volume up and down a lot to make sure I'm not getting too use to one volume but mainly its quiet enough to easily talk over with a couple of blasts to make sure the top and bottom end is ok.
I start various parts of automation quite fast because I already know what I am going for , whether it's mute automation or instantly needed level rides to get the right cohesion in the drum part or whatever , ironing out loud bass notes that dont work with compression by evening out the notes etc. otherwise there is no foundation .
Having said that it all gets modified by degrees as the mix goes on, the vocal goes in pretty quick because that really sets the tone for the song and then you also know how to wrap the other instruments around it , doing vocal rides and treatment as the whole mix gets buit . Each song is entirely different in how it gets treated , tho we know ho to be ready for anything.
If the mix isn't feeling right , then a rebuild is in order and I'll try a different aproach. And do what I need to do to get it right hopefullly !
Old 17th June 2004
  #3
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MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 

Mike,
Thanks for the reply. I find it interesting that you use the NS-10s for eq. So I am assuming that you use the KRK's for the louder system and to also check bottome end?

Thanks for your time,
Michael Greene
Old 17th June 2004
  #4
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Mike Shipley's Avatar
 

MJ , I don't use any other speakers to check the bottom end , the KRK's are for band or producer playback. I know it sounds ridiculous but having spent all day every day in front of ns10's for the last 20 yrs or whatever I can judge bottom end without the need for other speakers.
Even uttering the words NS10 can be sacrilege to audio purists but I know 'em so well.
Old 17th June 2004
  #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by shipshape
MJ , I don't use any other speakers to check the bottom end , the KRK's are for band or producer playback. I know it sounds ridiculous but having spent all day every day in front of ns10's for the last 20 yrs or whatever I can judge bottom end without the need for other speakers.
Even uttering the words NS10 can be sacrilege to audio purists but I know 'em so well.
Hi Mike,

To revive another thread here, you had mentioned (a while back) you were going to throw the ADAMs up and do a mix; Did you get a chance to do this, and if so, what were your impressions?

Thanks!
Old 17th June 2004
  #6
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anodecathode's Avatar
 

Mike..

Good to hear that a legend like yourself still uses NS10's.. I love mine to death.. but I'm mercilessly forced to use Genelecs at the post house where I work. Have you heard of anyone using a 5.1 NS10 setup? Or do you know of any 5.1 systems that sound as flat as the NS10s?

scott
Old 18th June 2004
  #7
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Do you use a sub with the ns10s? Also do you let a mix sit over night then make final changes the next day?

All the best
Old 19th June 2004
  #8
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studjo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by anodecathode
Mike..

Or do you know of any 5.1 systems that sound as flat as the NS10s?

scott
don't wanna be a smartass - but I woudn't call NS10 flat

Jo

I know I'm a smartass
Old 19th June 2004
  #9
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Mike Shipley's Avatar
 

You are sure right when you say that NS10's are about as far from flat as is possible!!, but I like'em.
I do know a couple of AE's who mix 5.1 with them
I don't use a subwoofer at all when I use them for stereo mixing , as Thrill said, judging speaker excursion is a helpful way to go, as is filtering digital tracks so there is no unwanted energy taking up valuable meter space, and making the bottom end "untidy"
Talking about compressing and all that , well I always put an eq before and after the compressor , before , primarily so that I can filter the bottom end so the compressor doesnt have to deal with unnecessary frequencies, again because how unwanted bottomend energy end can severely mess with the way a compressor functions due to so much loose information getting to it.
Old 20th June 2004
  #10
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That's a great tip Mike, I have never considered the bass energy going into the compressor. Kind of targets the compression for a specific range vs the shotgun approach.
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