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Best MIXING TIP you've picked up on GS Analog Processors (HW)
Old 3rd December 2010
  #1
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Best MIXING TIP you've picked up on GS

I'll start:

Using vocals as key input to duck vocal verbs and delays... absolute gold.

and I'll add one more:

Subgrouping: where each group like drums goes to a separate subgroup that INCLUDES ALL RETURNS for that group... so when turn down the drumsub fader all drums, and ALL VERBS on the various drums go down in perfect proportion without affecting comps, etc.

OK, and one more:

Dropping all my itb levels to -6 or lower, and keeping my master in the same range.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #2
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Panning only hard left, hard right, or center, it seems to work better.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #3
Most valuable tip for me was the importance of proper gain staging, from this thread.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #4
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I was trying to think if there was any real mixing techniques I'd learned from GS, and I couldn't think of anything.. though I've surely learned much but.. then when you said this one I remembered:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
Dropping all my itb levels to -6 or lower, and keeping my master in the same range.
I still need to learn to discipline myself butter on this but.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
I'll start:

Using vocals as key input to duck vocal verbs and delays... absolute gold.
Please go on...

Relating the phase of a drum kit using the kick as the main focal point.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #6
Vum
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Eq and Compress without soloing too much
Old 3rd December 2010
  #7
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Turn off the computer screen.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #8
Best MIXING TIP you've picked up on GS

Hey Apollo soul, do you mind explaining a little more about ducking the vocals? I'm not sure I understand and it sounds very interesting.

Thanks,
Kyle
Old 3rd December 2010
  #9
D K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogo_c View Post
Most valuable tip for me was the importance of proper gain staging, from this thread.

+1

By far the biggest for me - changed everything about how I work

also ..adopting Katz's K- System - which when combined together gave me consistency in how I work...

Learning not to "level hunt" from my daw and instead using my monitor's gain knob properly..all tied together is helping me immensely!!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #10
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
I'll start:

Using vocals as key input to duck vocal verbs and delays... absolute gold.

ERR WHY NOT JUST PUT A PRE DELAY ON THE REVERB?..not the same but what is the purpose..clarity?

and I'll add one more:

Subgrouping: where each group like drums goes to a separate subgroup that INCLUDES ALL RETURNS for that group... so when turn down the drumsub fader all drums, and ALL VERBS on the various drums go down in perfect proportion without affecting comps, etc.

ERRR INCORRECT... SENDS FOR VERBS ARE NORMALLY SET "POST FADER" SO THEY WOULD NATURALLY FOLLOW RELATIVE VALUE TO THE RIDES OR MOVES YOU DO



OK, and one more:

Dropping all my itb levels to -6 or lower, and keeping my master in the same range.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #11
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If you make the mix sing and the mix makes you sing, you´re on the right track.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #12
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"There are no rules in mixing"

and after much thought, I seem to agree.

Careful to not let your attitude/experience prevent you from learning something new.


Regard
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com
Old 3rd December 2010
  #13
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcoosticZoo View Post
"There are no rules in mixing"
Truth be told, what I have learned here at UGS (Universitatis Gearus Slutzus) is that there are lots of rules in mixing.......

.....and that it is very helpful to know them before you commence to breaking them.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
I don't think he deserves a face palm for explaining the thing little unclearly. I think he ment that when all drum effect returns are routed to drum bus then you can turn down the drum bus and the effects go down even when the sends are on individual drum tracks, do I get it right OP?

And I haven't tested ducking the vocal reverbs with the vocal track but I can't imagine it sounding the same than pre-delay.

EDIT: great thread BTW, should make a sticky some day if it keeps civilized!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Truth be told, what I have learned here at UGS (Universitatis Gearus Slutzus) is that there are lots of rules in mixing.......

.....and that it is very helpful to know them before you commence to breaking them.
No doubt "no rules in mixing" isn't very helpful at first glance. I was outraged at the thought of that (initially)... They "Speaketh lies" I thought.

Then mathematically, there's no absolutes in music, it's just a matter of taste.

There's no wrong "art" :- just as someone's "Fantastic ART" is another person's JUNK.

Every sound has a different origin, tone/colour and purpose. Therefore logically, sweeping statements about mixing with X or Y and using A or B to get Z will ultimately run into exceptions.

Hence, good taste is something you develop over time. And it regards to using your tools better, it's a matter of experience - getting up everytime someone/some engineer knocks you down (for doing something that doesn't connect with others).

As one realizes this, then you are trully free to express your "taste"/"art" to the best of your inner ability.

Just as not every mic, compressor, eq, preamp, monitor speaker, reverb, etc are built equally - so too the Journey of discovery for each engineer will vary.

The beauty and curse of music is a double edged sword imho , you can mix with rules if you choose too - It's a perfectly valid way of working too.

Regards
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com
Old 3rd December 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcoosticZoo View Post
.....good taste is something you develop over time. And it regards to using your tools better, it's a matter of experience.............As one realizes this, then you are trully free to express your "taste"/"art" to the best of your inner ability.
Very well put.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #17
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Thread Starter
Since a couple people have asked about the ducking:

Vocal generally sound better with SOME processing, but the processing itself can start to cause problems.

Step one would probably be finding a general type, length, etc. of verb to use, and do a little reading up on predelay.

Assuming you have the verb you want, I generally find that almost any type of vocal music can be made just a touch sweeter with a timed delay (8th, quarter, etc.) Or... you may prefer a slapback. In either case, while there are benefits, they can also cause problems.

One of the main issues is that verbs and delays in particular can muddle things. You need to hear the transient for the current syllable, but the echo from the last one is on top of it. You get the idea. So... a better solution is to have LESS verb and delay at the moment there is something happening vocally, but still keep that beautiful tail on it with maybe just a faint echo.

Solution: set up a compressor (some do this on a buss with all vocal fx retuns sent to it. I prefer on each effect since I may want different amounts of ducking) So, if you're doing it individually, set it up as an insert AFTER the verb itself. Now, the way I do it is with the hardest knee, a short attack, and usually a high ratio, though I may adjust that.

Set the sidechain to either the vocal track, vocal buss, or whatever you want to be the trigger to dip the verb. Add a decent amount of verb to the vocal, and start adjusting the threshold. Adjust the amount of the send, and the threshold on the comp until you get a nice clean sound on the vocal, and a nice trail on the verb. The release needs to be short (I generally time it to the beat.) Generally, you want a nice smooth transition into the tail, so it sounds like it's naturally ringing out as if it were never ducked.

The effect is more pronounced wih delays. I love delays and use them all the time, but they wreak havoc when they're ON TOP of your vocal. Use the same tip for them, though you may wish to duck them more severely.

Together with some very serious automation, and compression that took me forever to get right, this is the best thing I've found for vocals... and it works with whatever verbs and delays you like to use.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #18
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasarski View Post
I think he ment that when all drum effect returns are routed to drum bus then you can turn down the drum bus and the effects go down even when the sends are on individual drum tracks, do I get it right OP?
Yeah. If you already have a drum buss that you're compressing or whatever... I'm not talking about that. Im talking about when you're DONE with your drum send... take EVERYTHING that's a part of it... fx returns and all... and route them all to a masterdrum buss. Now, that masterdrum buss with one fader move takes your completed and perfected sound up or down while retaining perfect balance. You could have dozens of fx, nine different reverbs each with a custom amount per sound within the kit, etc. It doesn't matter. It keeps the whole thing tidy and perfectly balanced.

I do the same with vocals, etc... there's a master vocal fader that has all verbs, fx, etc routed to it as well.

This way, if I decide it needs a touch more or less vocals, drums, or whatever, I'm not messing up my level vs verb ratio, messing up my comp gainstaging or anything else... my carefully crafted sound retains it's character exactly, but the whole sound of it just goes up or down. Drums a little too loud? Vocals cutting through just a hair too much? Touch one thing once and be done with it, and know it was done perfectly and without other unwanted side effects that now need to be remedied.

I'm amazed at how many engineers have laughed at me when I described my bussing... until they got it... and then the lightbulb goes on.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #19
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Truth be told, what I have learned here at UGS (Universitatis Gearus Slutzus) is that there are lots of rules in mixing.......

.....and that it is very helpful to know them before you commence to breaking them.
Amen.

As with anything, it's generally only amateurs who think there are no rules. The best rulebreaking pros are the best BECAUSE they understand the rules inside and out... including when to break them.

My mixing hasn't gotten 100x better since GS because I DIDN'T learn rules... even though I do sometimes break the ones I've learned.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
Yeah. If you already have a drum buss that you're compressing or whatever... I'm not talking about that. Im talking about when you're DONE with your drum send... take EVERYTHING that's a part of it... fx returns and all... and route them all to a masterdrum buss.
Now I get it, very simple and cleaver indeed!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post

As with anything, it's generally only amateurs who think there are no rules. The best rulebreaking pros are the best BECAUSE they understand the rules inside and out... including when to break them.

My mixing hasn't gotten 100x better since GS because I DIDN'T learn rules... even though I do sometimes break the ones I've learned.


this may be best comment i have ever read on gearslutz because it is the worst comment i've ever read on gearslutz but probably indicative of the most accurate thing i've not learned on gearslutz which is to not think that a comment that is this good is also bad unless i don't think that because it probably is the best worst comment ever or something else too also because.

or something.

(sic)


best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 3rd December 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul
I'll start:

Using vocals as key input to duck vocal verbs and delays... absolute gold.

ERR WHY NOT JUST PUT A PRE DELAY ON THE REVERB?..not the same but what is the purpose..clarity?

and I'll add one more:

Subgrouping: where each group like drums goes to a separate subgroup that INCLUDES ALL RETURNS for that group... so when turn down the drumsub fader all drums, and ALL VERBS on the various drums go down in perfect proportion without affecting comps, etc.

ERRR INCORRECT... SENDS FOR VERBS ARE NORMALLY SET "POST FADER" SO THEY WOULD NATURALLY FOLLOW RELATIVE VALUE TO THE RIDES OR MOVES YOU DO



OK, and one more:

Dropping all my itb levels to -6 or lower, and keeping my master in the same range.


Not sure why he got the facepalm at all.

I am guessing that the semi-rude comments in CAPS are Mike Tarsia's.

Pre-delay would not pump the volume on the verbs and delays - it's not the same effect at all really. For me, predelay is a size and depth control.

If you have all your drums routed to a bus and then drop the bus fader, you have not changed the level coming from your channel sends one iota, so you'd have lots of ghostly drums still in your mix.

I am not sure sure I agree about just dropping your levels itb as a matter of course - I'd recommend just recording things at a healthy level to begin with - maybe this is the facepalm? However, I do agree that the Master fader is not what you should use to correct for poor gain staging in the box. You would not do this on any console.

I don't know - and this is not a dig - but coming from a legacy like Sigma Sound, I'd expect a different level of sophistication and comportment.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #23
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamsilent View Post
Turn off the computer screen.

good. someone has learned something here.

best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 3rd December 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixman499 View Post
this may be best comment i have ever read on gearslutz because it is the worst comment i've ever read on gearslutz but probably indicative of the most accurate thing i've not learned on gearslutz which is to not think that a comment that is this good is also bad unless i don't think that because it probably is the best worst comment ever or something else too also because.
I did not understand that comment
Old 3rd December 2010
  #25
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsearles View Post
I did not understand that comment
exactly.

best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 4th December 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixman499 View Post
exactly.

best,

jchristopherhughes
but as it turns out.. i did understand the guy you were quoting lol
Old 4th December 2010
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by locosoundman View Post
If you have all your drums routed to a bus and then drop the bus fader, you have not changed the level coming from your channel sends one iota, so you'd have lots of ghostly drums still in your mix.
Not sure that this is the best mixing tip I've picked up.....but it sure is the most recent. This tip reminds me of why I eventually always bounce all of my submix tracks to a stereo track when I am ready to make that commitment.

This has the potential to become a very instructional thread.
Old 4th December 2010
  #28
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ciro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamsilent View Post
Turn off the computer screen.
Old 4th December 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 

make sure to save when you're done............................... learned the hard way of course
Old 4th December 2010
  #30
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
Since a couple people have asked about the ducking:

Vocal generally sound better with SOME processing, but the processing itself can start to cause problems.

Step one would probably be finding a general type, length, etc. of verb to use, and do a little reading up on predelay.

Assuming you have the verb you want, I generally find that almost any type of vocal music can be made just a touch sweeter with a timed delay (8th, quarter, etc.) Or... you may prefer a slapback. In either case, while there are benefits, they can also cause problems.

One of the main issues is that verbs and delays in particular can muddle things. You need to hear the transient for the current syllable, but the echo from the last one is on top of it. You get the idea. So... a better solution is to have LESS verb and delay at the moment there is something happening vocally, but still keep that beautiful tail on it with maybe just a faint echo.

Solution: set up a compressor (some do this on a buss with all vocal fx retuns sent to it. I prefer on each effect since I may want different amounts of ducking) So, if you're doing it individually, set it up as an insert AFTER the verb itself. Now, the way I do it is with the hardest knee, a short attack, and usually a high ratio, though I may adjust that.

Set the sidechain to either the vocal track, vocal buss, or whatever you want to be the trigger to dip the verb. Add a decent amount of verb to the vocal, and start adjusting the threshold. Adjust the amount of the send, and the threshold on the comp until you get a nice clean sound on the vocal, and a nice trail on the verb. The release needs to be short (I generally time it to the beat.) Generally, you want a nice smooth transition into the tail, so it sounds like it's naturally ringing out as if it were never ducked.

The effect is more pronounced wih delays. I love delays and use them all the time, but they wreak havoc when they're ON TOP of your vocal. Use the same tip for them, though you may wish to duck them more severely.

Together with some very serious automation, and compression that took me forever to get right, this is the best thing I've found for vocals... and it works with whatever verbs and delays you like to use.

Very nice...simple...I've been automating that which is a PITA...and compression may be more musical...def gonna try this one out!
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