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Mixing for vinyl
Old 14th February 2003
  #1
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palebluedot's Avatar
 

Mixing for vinyl

Hello all,

Much of what I'm working on gets mastered to vinyl,

I'm generally happy with my mixes but consistantly change my mind over what the bass should sound like,

its the old 50Hz region, is it better to pull it out before mastering, or leave it hot. This may be a really silly question but I have heard numerous and varied opinions on this from engineers I really respect.

From one school of thought, It would be better to flatten it out and the mastering engineer can pull it up if they want to.

Other engineers seem to argue that its good to leave it quite heavy on the bottom end.

Some people I talk to are really keen on having limiters on low end sounds and instruments (something I really don't do that often!)

Though I know it is mainly down to the track in question I am interested in other peoples opinions.

any help would be grately appreciated

reagrds
nathan
Old 15th February 2003
  #2
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hi N.
i mixed 100's of club trax and generaly the problem is not the bottom end its the top end that effect the niddle. do what u wanne do as long as the top end is not jumpy(sibs on vox for example or nasty hh) i find that the more smooth the top end it the better and louder it cuts on a vinal.
dont cut anything that a mastering engineer can cut with better equip. and as long as you dont have any jumps in the bottem end i find that you can have as much as on a "normal mix".

from my exp the louder your mix is on a vinal the better it sounds in a club and to get the loudest mix possible you need to be very accurate with your dynamic range (yes i love limiting and compressing ) .

hope this helps

M.
Old 15th February 2003
  #3
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and how far you go with the hights? to the 16k? is everything above unimportant (just gentle rolloff?)

it seems I can get the bass and the heights "right", but my mixes for vinyl don't have so good mids, it is (IMHO) because I'm working hard to have impressive lows and smooth hihats, and paying less attention to the balance the mids... any advice there?
Old 15th February 2003
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
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thanks for your replies so far
about mids

I used to have real isues with the middle of my mixes, if I can give any advice it would be:

* Always have a pair of rubbish speakers on your desk - I use a pair of really cheap computer speakers, truely the best way to get the mid working on other systems!

* Though you probably already do, I always try to eq reductivly these days wheree possible, I find much improved smoothness and definition in this region.

* I often notch out quite narrow mid bands on snare's kicks etc

* be careful that there is seperation, as you quite rightly pointed out, many people don't pay enough attention to the mids over the top and bottom end, makesure instruments are eq'd to work with each other in the mid.

Sometimes I slave over low mid harmonics at around 180hz. But these things are usually sorted out at the mastering stage.


Form a technicl perspective I maybe talking complete guff, but these things seem to work for me.

regards
nathan
Old 15th February 2003
  #5
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thanks, I'm doing intensive "find&kill" job with hiQ most of the time now. I do it on separate tracks and than try to do it on the whole mix, at this point I'm trying to find freqs, where something adds together and then find what tracks and try to sort it out via another cutting. However there are times I think I'm overdoing it... not every resonance is bad... or it is ;-)??????

good luck
Old 15th February 2003
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
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well, resonance is a funny thing,

If the resonance is the fundamental harmonic of an instrument then pulling it out gives the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve,

In a snare drum there are often resonances at around 340Hz and on bass drums there is usually something around 400Hz(depending on the sound of course). I find nothching these fellars improvesw the seperation loads.

regards
n
Old 15th February 2003
  #7
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cutting fundamental isn't good most of the time ;-)))

however when I think about kick I think about 40-200Hz most of the time and snare? 200 and more... (the bottom of the snare for me). Your nrs are pretty high to me ;-). Maybe that's my problem... I'll have to reconsider some views...
Old 15th February 2003
  #8
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i think there are 2 big no-no's with mastering for vinyl......out of phase bass and extreme sibilance in the hi-end (5k and above).........when i master for vinyl, i normally mono the bass end below about 100hz and then eq to fix any problems this might cause (like the kick getting too powerful)....for the sibilance, maybe a bit of hi-band compression and/or a hi-end roll-off......cause if you don't do it, those neumann limiters kick in and they're ugly sounding.......

..also, there's no point pushing the loudness level to the same mad extremes as with CD......i don't think vinyl can handle it, and you'll just end up with a ****ty sounding record.....i mean, levels were never pushed so hard in the days of vinyl, and i think there's a reason....
Old 16th February 2003
  #9
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I learned to have kick&bass always mono... but it restrict me of using a (a small, stereo) reverb on it. Is it important to have freq. under ~200 absolute mono? or is there a small amount of out of phase allowed?
Old 16th February 2003
  #10
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i don't think it has to be totally mono below 200hz but you are minimizing your chances of problems later.......and increasing your chances of getting a 1:1 cut done........find a good cutting house and go and supervise the cut personally.....make sure they don't roll of at 10k and 60hz like a lot of (cheap) places do.......make them do a test cut and carefully A/B with the original. I know you've got some very bad places in czechi so be careful.
Old 17th February 2003
  #11
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I know ;-) they don't want to cut the master hard... so there is no other way then paying something to the cutting guy...
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