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When do you get your air? At mixdown or in mastering?
View Poll Results: When do you add "air" to your mixes?
In a mastering session after the mix (various methods)
35 Votes - 29.66%
With indevidual channel EQs on my mixer
32 Votes - 27.12%
With an EQ across my mix buss
25 Votes - 21.19%
With multiband compression across my mix buss
3 Votes - 2.54%
With an "exciter" (Aphex, BBE etc) across my mix buss
2 Votes - 1.69%
I don't do anything special to enhance high frequencies or request or even expect it in a mastering situation
21 Votes - 17.80%
Voters: 118. You may not vote on this poll

Old 8th May 2003
  #31
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

So you got an SMC2!

Great to hear it...we can share notes. Let me know how you like it on the 2-bus.

For the mix bus, I usually set the xovers in the 100-200 Hz and 3-4kHz ranges, leave the makeup gains pretty close to 0 dB, low ratios, set threshold for 0.5-1.5dB of GR, with slower attack/release on the bass band, faster on the other two.
Old 8th May 2003
  #32
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've always found a lot of it is in certain mike preamps. The other common source of air is microphone leakage. You can emulate this somewhat by using a speaker rather than headphones for overdubs.

Air would frequently get lost after beating the dfegad out of 2" tape so it became common to tweak 15k in mastering to find an optimum tradeoff between the missing air and the tape hiss. I've found this to be way less effective with well recorded and mixed digital sources and suspect hiss may have been a critical part of the effect.
Old 8th May 2003
  #33
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
So you got an SMC2!

Great to hear it...we can share notes. Let me know how you like it on the 2-bus.

For the mix bus, I usually set the xovers in the 100-200 Hz and 3-4kHz ranges, leave the makeup gains pretty close to 0 dB, low ratios, set threshold for 0.5-1.5dB of GR, with slower attack/release on the bass band, faster on the other two.
yea ... didn't take to long deciding to keep it either when they brought it in .... refused to give the demo unit back actually. still waiting for our 'new in the box' version.

Yesterday a dangerous 2 bus demo unit arrived. Going to spend the weekend mixing through it and test combinations with the cranesong and the smc2b.

I'll definately give your settings a go .... thanks ....


was actually preparing an email in my mind to send to you ... will send it when I'm ready forming ideas in my mind and ask you for some advice / thoughts on them.
Old 8th May 2003
  #34
Riffer
 
lflier's Avatar
 

Preferably I get my "air" during tracking. It's called tape hiss. heh

If that isn't possible, ambient room mics help a lot.
Old 22nd May 2003
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
My current favourite is a Tubetech SMC-2B which we bought a couple of weeks ago together with a Cranesong STC-8. I'm currently switching / testing between both on the mix bus.

I used the smc-2b for tracking the other day, backing vocals ... using it almost as an eq ... the result was great. Definately intend to do that more.

For plugins I use C4 and MC2000 ... depending on the occasion ... I like both.
Chris

I started a demo of the MC2000 today and I am really pleasantly surprised by it. It's very nice.

I wonder how much better the Tubetech is or how they compare..

could you comment?

thanks
Old 7th April 2005
  #36
Old 7th April 2005
  #37
I don't add any "air" to my mixes 'cause I don't need to. Since I record through "high speed" devices, (the same one's Fletcher always teases me about) the air that was missing with standard audio bandwidth devices is intact. Since I use lossless analog and the most advanced converter chipsets, nothing is lost like what happens through other recording gear.

The proof that most gear sucks out the natural air is in the comments made here. Does anyone ever complain that the instrument/voice they are recording doesn't have enough natural air? Or are the complaints about the electronic's effect on the air?

A view of the analog console (which is also based on wide bandwidth semiconductors) will show that there is no high boost EQ going on. In fact, many times I use top EQ cut as I have so much natural air sometimes I need to tone it down. I've stopped using top boost mics like AKG C-12's as they end up being too bright, I now stick to flat mics and that works out great.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 7th April 2005
  #38
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon
For the mix bus, I usually set the xovers in the 100-200 Hz and 3-4kHz ranges, leave the makeup gains pretty close to 0 dB, low ratios, set threshold for 0.5-1.5dB of GR, with slower attack/release on the bass band, faster on the other two.
wow, thats pretty low on the top end for xover... i usually go 100hz-150hz on the bottom and 8k on the top, yet i long for a 4band to get <120hz, 120-2k, 2-6k, and >6k.... and no, the waves C4 just sounds like ass. then again, you track to tape and it already does "something" with that 4-5k region that digital doesnt do, at least from what i hear.


personally, i dont go for "air" and dont usually want it... not a fan of it in a lot of recordings i hear so it isnt an influence for me to have on a mix. more often than not, im cutting the tops out on tracks rather than adding anything up there.

but when mixing, i do everything that i feel that is needed for the mix and leave nothing up to mastering....


jules, next time you boost a vox like that try multing the signal.... sending the effected one first to a de-esser, then boost the highs and bring it back up under the flat singal.
Old 7th April 2005
  #39
Lives for gear
 

[QUOTE=Jim Williams]I don't add any "air" to my mixes 'cause I don't need to. Since I record through "high speed" devices, (the same one's Fletcher always teases me about)



which are???
i know i'm asking for an add here but can't help it....
Old 7th April 2005
  #40
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
When tracking... I try my level best to get the tracks so you can bring up the faders with a yard stick and have the song right there... it never works that way, but that's the goal.
Same here...I try to get it the way I want it while tracking.
Old 7th April 2005
  #41
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
The EQ's with the best air on the mix:

1)Sontec
2)Millenia Media
3)Avalon AD2077
4)Pultecs/Massive Passive
5)Sometimes NTI-EQ3

When mixing on analog:

1)GML8200
2)Avalon AD2055
Thrill, you really, really need to try the IBIS!

It sounds like butter next to a GML
Old 7th April 2005
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog
Thrill, you really, really need to try the IBIS!

It sounds like butter next to a GML
Cdog sometime this year i will get around to picking one up to try.

I think my next purchase will be a Great River EQ though.

I rarely use any EQ on the mixbuss period.

For some reason these days adding Air to the mix is not a problem.

My focus on my mixes these days is the bottomn end more.

I am starting to mix a lot of Reggaton and in listening to what's out there already i want my stuff to be bigger with an extended bottomn.
Old 8th April 2005
  #43
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I am starting to mix a lot of Reggaton and in listening to what's out there already i want my stuff to be bigger with an extended bottomn.
Sorry to jack the thread all. Thrill. How are you feeling the Reggaton? IMO that stuff skims the surface and takes the tiredest parts of both dancehall and hip hop then cooks it down into a 2D melange. Then again IMO dancehall has been groveling at the table of hip hop for a few years now.
Somewhat back on topic. Lately I've been doing a good deal of remastering for some older Jamaican producers. They want to put out a bunch of stuff they did in the 70's and early 80's. Quite an interesting experience in getting a feeling for their sound. Air is definitely not something they want even with the few tracks they provide that can have some pulled out of. Also no interest in the kind of punchy bottom that everyone loves in their car systems. For them it's all about the low mid bass guitar frequencies and a bit of high mids of the voices. A nice break from the tss, tss, bwoom. Again all apologies for veering off topic. Love some nicely done air but currently enjoying some rolling earth.
Old 8th April 2005
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jon
Sorry if this sounds like an ad, but since moving to the 9k a year ago, I haven't felt the need to put EQ on the mix bus like I used to...the air is pretty much there when the basic mix is done.

You get a tad bit more air with the SMC2B on the mix bus...using a very slight amount of 3-band stereo comp. Following this, my experience has been that there was enough air to avoid the EQ stage at mastering.

I hope to try following the SMC2B up with a pair of EAR comps with hand-matched valves on a mix this Sunday, which will be printed to Emtec 900 1/2" tape on an ATR102. Those comps are great.

sounds nice, oh how i love to hear 1/2" mixes you might try some mixes with nothing on the 2 mix and send those to mastering as well as the ones with the SMC2B and the comps. see what they can do.

I've done extensive tests this week with mixes to 1/2" unprocessed then mastered with EQs, STC-8, Requisite -> AD and mixes that are eq'd and comp'd to tape (or digital) ... same chain and settings (as possible) and for some reason it always sounds a little bigger and a little better with the processing happening at the final stage. There is something to the subtle phase in a slight eq that adds a certain something that can only be gotten at mastering as it's not covered over by future processing (there is none!) Even with excellent mixes, the best masters that leave here get an eq (or 3) -> STC-8 -> L2M ->AD, Weiss (very subtle) L2 and HEDD.

The eq at mastering is like the HEDD at mastering , where it really shines as long as it's last, and not messed with.

Of course great basics is crucial ... yet for this discussion, the later things are processed the better, including eq for air ... as the best tracks and mix eqs get altered if any mastering needs to happen, which it usually does even with a great mix.



I had a record done at a home studio on DP last fall with no eq on any tracks post tracking ... and it needed lots of mastering eq/com/lim, but it turned out great (and the artist/engineer was signed as a result). No phase problems, and the darkness came right up. I mastered some tracks last week mixed by a multimillion selling mixer, same thing but this time on purpose (one would think) ... it was all a bit dark.


OTOH overly bright mixes, especially above 10k, are workable yet they tie my hands to some extent . This is UNLESS they are spot on and need next to nothing ... so rare, even for great mixes ... I have yet to hear the mix that was a flat transfer candidate.




The other factor is what kind of eq you have ... many digital mixes come in dark in the 3k and up range, especially 5-10k as people are not liking (i assume) the digital sound boosted in that range ... again here is where a good analog final stage can really sound best, assuming the balances are right within each eq range that gets a wide boost.
Old 8th April 2005
  #45
Quote:
My focus on my mixes these days is the bottomn end more.

I am starting to mix a lot of Reggaton and in listening to what's out there already i want my stuff to be bigger with an extended bottomn.
clean lows that are not fully maxed out in mixing, boosted (again i suggest) at the final moment are best.

there is no way to keep the hugeness of the low end in a mix carrying through if mastering does anything with dynamics ... which it proably will.

this is where the mix/mastering types get their motivation ... to hold the shape all the way to pressing. which makes sense except that a master can be far more than a mix/master that if the mix and master engineers work together toward the same goal and plan accordingly.
Old 8th April 2005
  #46
Lives for gear
 
Darius van H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
There is something to the subtle phase in a slight eq that adds a certain something that can only be gotten at mastering as it's not covered over by future processing (there is none!)
That's a good point.........eq'ing the 2-buss is like an effect..........you're putting that phase-shift over the whole material, which is a very different sound from air'ing only certain tracks.

I love cranking up air with the Ibis, but i'm often stopped from doing it by sibilant vocals/cymbals......
Old 8th April 2005
  #47
Gear Nut
 
toque-eh!'s Avatar
 

i try to get my air in the air and retain as much as possible through the recording chain. (sometimes) a little air make-up is needed in the mix. as much as i can i like to master by removing the sound that is interfering with the good sound, rather than adding anything, but i'll do what's necessary.
Old 8th April 2005
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahluk
Sorry to jack the thread all. Thrill. How are you feeling the Reggaton? IMO that stuff skims the surface and takes the tiredest parts of both dancehall and hip hop then cooks it down into a 2D melange. Then again IMO dancehall has been groveling at the table of hip hop for a few years now.
Somewhat back on topic. Lately I've been doing a good deal of remastering for some older Jamaican producers. They want to put out a bunch of stuff they did in the 70's and early 80's. Quite an interesting experience in getting a feeling for their sound. Air is definitely not something they want even with the few tracks they provide that can have some pulled out of. Also no interest in the kind of punchy bottom that everyone loves in their car systems. For them it's all about the low mid bass guitar frequencies and a bit of high mids of the voices. A nice break from the tss, tss, bwoom. Again all apologies for veering off topic. Love some nicely done air but currently enjoying some rolling earth.
Grahluk,

Yeah it isn't very deep in the more traditional sense of the word.

The fascinating thing is that most of the top of producers are all kids in their teens.

Its the next generation of the Playstation kids taking over a music genre.

Its done all digitally with plug ins and Fruity Loops software.

Its funny when i introduce analog gear(SSL and outboard) they all get worried because they think it will make the sound worse. heh

Hey every young generation has its own music style.

When i was growing up it was Disco and club music was king.

Then it was Rap and now its Reggatton a combination of all the styles.

Hey its work for the summer.

Also the beautiful girls that love it don't hurt either(they are all hanging out the studio partying as we are mixing).
Old 8th April 2005
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
clean lows that are not fully maxed out in mixing, boosted (again i suggest) at the final moment are best.

there is no way to keep the hugeness of the low end in a mix carrying through if mastering does anything with dynamics ... which it proably will.

this is where the mix/mastering types get their motivation ... to hold the shape all the way to pressing. which makes sense except that a master can be far more than a mix/master that if the mix and master engineers work together toward the same goal and plan accordingly.

Lucey,

When it comes to the low end i am old school and i prefer to control that personally.

Its a pride and sonic signature thing with the guys i came up with.

Basically who ever gets the best low end and size always gets the most work.

On the mastering thing, not many Mastering guys know how to squeeze it out.

I think its one of the reason Brian Gardner gets so much respect.
Old 8th April 2005
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Lucey,

When it comes to the low end i am old school and i prefer to control that personally.

Its a pride and sonic signature thing with the guys i came up with.

Basically who ever gets the best low end and size always gets the most work.

On the mastering thing, not many Mastering guys know how to squeeze it out.

I think its one of the reason Brian Gardner gets so much respect.

I dig that, i really do ... i'm just looking at it practically

if anyone wants limiting or compression a maxed out bass is going to move and/or be in the way and need adjustment


and ... who's to say that mastering can't make your huge low end bigger if that's what you want? as i see it a mastering pass is uniquely qualified to do just these sort of things.
Old 8th April 2005
  #51
Lives for gear
 
Darius van H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Lucey,

When it comes to the low end i am old school and i prefer to control that personally.

Its a pride and sonic signature thing with the guys i came up with.

Basically who ever gets the best low end and size always gets the most work.

On the mastering thing, not many Mastering guys know how to squeeze it out.

I think its one of the reason Brian Gardner gets so much respect.
'Thrill, have you heard any of BG's stuff recently?...surely you don't consider that good sound?.........sure it sells, but so does the Big Mac
Old 8th April 2005
  #52
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
The 'sheen' button on the Amek Medici eq works really well to get air without getting things too harsh up top in most cases, though sometimes it can soften things up a little too much, in which case when just boosting the top without it with the Medici is still pretty smooth sounding. Kind of cheesy of them to call the option 'sheen' though!

I don't use eq on the mixbus too often however.
Old 8th April 2005
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H
'Thrill, have you heard any of BG's stuff recently?...surely you don't consider that good sound?.........sure it sells, but so does the Big Mac

I am never one to blame and ME, only if he can't accept my mixdown format.

I blame the artists,producers and record labels(A&R's) for the final sound of a record.

Its their call in the end what's acceptable.

To be honest, i think too much credit is given and at the same time too much blame for the ME's in general.
Old 8th April 2005
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
To be honest, i think too much credit is given
(snip)
for the ME's in general.
I agree completely.
Old 9th April 2005
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood
I agree completely.

Brad i didn't mean as a disrespect at all towards ME's.

More like if someone(A&R's,Producers,Artists) has to wait till the very end to make sonic changes to record, than something is seriously wrong somewhere.
Old 9th April 2005
  #56
I read Brad's post as saying that too much credit is given for good records, yet too little blame for some of the clipped/limited ones that could/should sound better tutt
Old 9th April 2005
  #57
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
More like if someone(A&R's,Producers,Artists) has to wait till the very end to make sonic changes to record, than something is seriously wrong somewhere.
thats what i have been saying [and guilty of]
Old 9th April 2005
  #58
Lives for gear
 
Darius van H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I am never one to blame and ME, only if he can't accept my mixdown format.

I blame the artists,producers and record labels(A&R's) for the final sound of a record.

Its their call in the end what's acceptable.

To be honest, i think too much credit is given and at the same time too much blame for the ME's in general.
Agreed....... i was just wondering if you considered anything coming from BG in the last, say, 5 years as sounding "good".......'cause to me it all sounds bad......when everything from a certain ME has the same unpleasant patina on it, you can start to draw some conclusions.
Old 9th April 2005
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H
Agreed....... i was just wondering if you considered anything coming from BG in the last, say, 5 years as sounding "good".......'cause to me it all sounds bad......when everything from a certain ME has the same unpleasant patina on it, you can start to draw some conclusions.

When it comes to ME's though i don't think those conclusions are valid.

I've heard too many good sounding records that Bob Ludwig,Tom Coyne,Brian Gardner and Bernie Grundman have worked on to think that they've all lost their touch.

Again the ME's job is to hopefully tie the knot on the bowtie of the record.

Not to make the suit,get it fitted,make alterations and such.

When this is usually the case the album is crap and they are just polishing crap.

And you know what they say, if you polish crap, you will get crap all over you and end up smelling like it.
Old 9th April 2005
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey
I read Brad's post as saying that too much credit is given for good records, yet too little blame for some of the clipped/limited ones that could/should sound better tutt
Precisely.

No sarcasm at all, thrill. I truly agree. You guys (tracking/mixing) do all the heavy lifting, we're just the polishers.
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