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How guitars sound in the mix??? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 18th December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
How guitars sound in the mix???

Yesterday I downloaded some Mogg files (only for educational purposes) just to know how do pro-mixes sound...

I got really depressed. For example, distorted guitars sounded horrible when solo'ed, lacking bass, lacking treble and fizzy.

The fact is that in the overall mix they sound good, but it's like: I would never EQ a guitar like that.

How can you consider that a crappy sound is going to sound good in the mix?
Old 18th December 2010
  #2
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NeedsMoreFuzz's Avatar
 

That's the precise reason that you should avoid eq-ing things in isolation, for the most part -- unless you are trying to fix a specific problem (eg, an unwanted resonance).

A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.

Guitars can be especially dramatic with regards to this --- often they'll sound a lot thinner, and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd. A lot of the time bass tracks can also be a lot buzzier and brighter when solo'd than you think they are --- again, it's all about how they work in the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why this depressed you though? At the end of the day --- the mix is your final product --- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd --- if they sound great in the mix, that's what counts. That's why I avoid eq'ing stuff while solo'd as much as I possibly can
Old 18th December 2010
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
That's the precise reason that you should avoid eq-ing things in isolation, for the most part -- unless you are trying to fix a specific problem (eg, an unwanted resonance).

A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.

Guitars can be especially dramatic with regards to this --- often they'll sound a lot thinner, and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd. A lot of the time bass tracks can also be a lot buzzier and brighter when solo'd than you think they are --- again, it's all about how they work in the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why this depressed you though? At the end of the day --- the mix is your final product --- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd --- if they sound great in the mix, that's what counts. That's why I avoid eq'ing stuff while solo'd as much as I possibly can
+1 I could not say it any better. My guitars and bass sound horrible when solo'd but in the mix........heh
Old 18th December 2010
  #4
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Boschen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
SNIP
A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.
SNIP
This is the best description I've heard in some time.
It's all smoke and mirrors.
Old 18th December 2010
  #5
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
I'm not sure why this depressed you though?...
Because I don't know if someday I will make a good mix, but I'll follow all your words .

I heard the guitar track of a Good Charlotte song, Dance Floor Anthem... Guitars sounded like DI recorded. I don't like their tone in the global mix either, but the guitars really sounded like digital clipping.

I'm posting a 5 sec sample of the crappy guitar

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Old 18th December 2010
  #6
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kafka's Avatar
Honestly, the need to radically EQ is often a sign that the arrangement sucks. If instruments are stepping all over each other, or not moving enough to give each other room, the only alternative is to carve out that space using other means.
Old 18th December 2010
  #7
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
That's the precise reason that you should avoid eq-ing things in isolation, for the most part -- unless you are trying to fix a specific problem (eg, an unwanted resonance).

A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.

Guitars can be especially dramatic with regards to this --- often they'll sound a lot thinner, and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd. A lot of the time bass tracks can also be a lot buzzier and brighter when solo'd than you think they are --- again, it's all about how they work in the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why this depressed you though? At the end of the day --- the mix is your final product --- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd --- if they sound great in the mix, that's what counts. That's why I avoid eq'ing stuff while solo'd as much as I possibly can
This may be the pest post on mixing I've ever read.
Old 18th December 2010
  #8
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janek 68's Avatar
My guitars are fat in the mix and fat soloed.If you have good sounding source it should sitting in the mix without dramatic changes.But it depends on music style and how song is arranged of course.
Old 19th December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Next time you play through an amp, set the eqs how you like, then point the speaker directly at your ears. That is what your fav tone actually sounds like.

Most people play at home with an amp on the ground not pointing right at them, and get used to the thickness of the sound. That sound is sort of an illusion too. Plus in those situations there is no bass guitar, or kick drums, low end of vocals and drums getting in the way, so it feels right playing with such a thick tone.
Old 19th December 2010
  #10
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Um... I don't really agree with the idea that the mix is smoke and mirrors, or that it's an illusion.. the thing is.. wether we are taking music, painting, or just consciousness.. what a thing is is how it relates to the context.. to a kind ecological norm.. that's how the mind works.. I mean that's what it is in the mind..

So you're thinking you'll never get a mix to sound good? Well.. that's just crazy talk!

Here's the deal.. err.. well there's a couple deals.

When you mix.. and you're making choices while hearing all the other elements? Well you're making your choices in context.. so you actually will make choices about elements that you wouldn't make if you were hearing that element on its own.

The second point I'd make is... Guitars.. perhaps more then any other instrument save keyboards.. are meant to be EQ'd. They take up a huge amount of frequency space.. and when mixing.. you decide how you want to crave up that space.. say to make room for whatever other elements you might like.

I mean this is part of what makes the guitar great from a mixing perspective.... its just very flexible.

In general.. the problem with EQ-ing instruments is.. you still have to make the thing you're EQ-ing sound like the thing it is.. another words.. we've all heard what a snare drum sounds like, an acoustic guitar, etc.. so how you EQ-it.. in part.. well.. its going to be compared to all the other snare drums or acoustic guitar sounds we've heard in our life..

but I guess just cause of how processed the electrical guitar is.. I mean in comparison with acoustic instruments.. we don't have as fixed an idea about it... so we can kinda knock our selves out a bit more.

But yeah.. that's also the thing about having a thickly layered mix with a tun of stuff going on.. generally you have to make each thing.. each part.. smaller.. as a result.. so that all of it can kinda fit together
Old 19th December 2010
  #11
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by janek 68 View Post
My guitars are fat in the mix and fat soloed.

Same here.

A lot of this depends on how you hear, how you set the balances.

I should also add that I'm not big into modern guitar tones, they sound thin, fizzy, and over-processed to me when they're in the mix so I imagine they sound that way when solo'd.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 19th December 2010
  #12
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AcoosticZoo's Avatar
One of the hardest but most important thing to master in terms of mixing is EQ/Tone. There's so much that can go wrong here. It theory, EQ is a basic tool, however, the EQing requires good tastes and a strong sense of what sounds good on your speakers. This is where most beginners have problems when mixing. Just check out mixes with hobby DIY mixes and you'll notice a wide range of poorly eq'd tracks that don't balance musically. There's no exact science and measure for what sounds good in regards to shaping the tone of instruments with EQ - thus it's also why it takes someone a long time to get the balance just right.

At the end of the day, it will be worth it if you persist long enough, you too can EQ very well.

Regards
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com
Old 19th December 2010
  #13
Registered User
How can any modern music mix be anything else other than an illusion?

Apart from possibly dummy head stereo recordings of a live performance, recorded music has always been an illusion of some sort. Practically every piece of hardware or software that we use is all to add to the illusion.

The very concept of 'mixing' means an illusion of some sort: adjusting the relative levels and placement of different sound sources in a way that just didn't happen in reality. Never mind all the psychoacoustic mind games that we play ... artificial reverbs and delays to create an illusion of space ... layering tracks to give an illusion of more artists playing together than their could be in real life ...
Old 19th December 2010
  #14
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NeedsMoreFuzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsearles View Post
Um... I don't really agree with the idea that the mix is smoke and mirrors, or that it's an illusion..

Fair enough -- just my way of expressing things

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsearles View Post
what a thing is is how it relates to the context.. to a kind ecological norm.. that's how the mind works..

I mean that's what it is in the mind..


so you actually will make choices about elements that you wouldn't make if you were hearing that element on its own.

The second point I'd make is... Guitars.. perhaps more then any other instrument save keyboards.. are meant to be EQ'd. They take up a huge amount of frequency space.. and when mixing.. you decide how you want to crave up that space.. say to make room for whatever other elements you might like.

I mean this is part of what makes the guitar great from a mixing perspective.... its just very flexible.

In general.. the problem with EQ-ing instruments is.. you still have to make the thing you're EQ-ing sound like the thing it is.. another words.. we've all heard what a snare drum sounds like, an acoustic guitar, etc.. so how you EQ-it.. in part.. well.. its going to be compared to all the other snare drums or acoustic guitar sounds we've heard in our life..

but I guess just cause of how processed the electrical guitar is.. I mean in comparison with acoustic instruments.. we don't have as fixed an idea about it... so we can kinda knock our selves out a bit more.
......as I was saying above, about eq-ing things in context... you can carve out guitars with eq, and they will still fit in the mix, and appear to the listener as big, full tones ---- very smoke and mirrors if you ask me....


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsearles View Post
But yeah.. that's also the thing about having a thickly layered mix with a tun of stuff going on.. generally you have to make each thing.. each part.. smaller.. as a result.. so that all of it can kinda fit together
So to make everything fit, you need to make everything smaller than it would prob be if you were listening to it solo'd, yet still give the listener the impression that everything is full-sounding and fat? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that pretty much the definition of illusion -- to convince someone they're hearing something that they actually aren't really?


Hmmm, I'm confused -- you said you disagreed with my viewpoint in your opening sentence, and then went on to make pretty much exactly the same points as I did......... Strange....
Old 19th December 2010
  #15
Deleted User
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How guitars sound in the mix???

I agree, eq-ing to taste whilst soloing is a bad idea, as you can't judge it as well as when the whole mix is there.

The best example I can think of great guitar sounds that are just really crappy when isolated from the full mix are the Def Leppard guitars off of Hysteria.
Old 19th December 2010
  #16
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Mixing is like fine-tuning a race-car. It's not about having the best of everything, it's about making everything function TOGETHER the best. In terms of audio mixing, it's about getting all of the parts to gel together. First you start with getting it right at source! That means the right mic and pre selection, then the right placement of the microphones, etc. IMHO when dealing with drums, you MUST first get the bass and drums mix right. This is where a bulk of my pre-mixing comes from...which is also a test for "newbies" IMHO. Why? Well, the drums must sound great on their own in both EQ and space (panning). Now, mix in the bass guitar and listen to what happens with the Bass and Kick Drum. You see, they both should be centered as they are the foundation of the mix---but how can you have (2) foundations? Ahhhh there-in lies the test! You see, they BOTH must have that bottom-end on their own, but also must mix in together. They need to have that bottom-end tone to hold the mix together, yet enough top end to cut through everything else including each other. IMHO this is where most people start to fail is right here. ONCE that is where it should be, then start to mix everything in around it.

And yes----a great guitar on its own more times than not will not sound great in the mix, and vice versa. Some of the most popular tracks of all time sound like total crud when solo'd! I have heard original tracks by the Rolling Stones and let me say that the lead vocals when solo'd up are awful! But in the mix, they are perfect!
Old 19th December 2010
  #17
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Ark View Post
Next time you play through an amp, set the eqs how you like, then point the speaker directly at your ears. That is what your fav tone actually sounds like.

Most people play at home with an amp on the ground not pointing right at them, and get used to the thickness of the sound. That sound is sort of an illusion too. Plus in those situations there is no bass guitar, or kick drums, low end of vocals and drums getting in the way, so it feels right playing with such a thick tone.
Excellent, something I have told guitar players for decades! It is the absolute truth.
Old 19th December 2010
  #18
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
I agree, eq-ing to taste whilst soloing is a bad idea, as you can't judge it as well as when the whole mix is there.

The best example I can think of great guitar sounds that are just really crappy when isolated from the full mix are the Def Leppard guitars off of Hysteria.
That is why you pop things in and out of solo. Listen to the mix, solo, make your adjustments, pop out of solo and listen, repeat, etc. Solo is for hearing empirically the things you are changing, it is an incredibly valuable tool. Like any other valuable implement, used properly it really helps. The Hysteria guitars don't really sound that bad by themselves..........
Old 19th December 2010
  #19
Deleted User
Guest
How guitars sound in the mix???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound
The Hysteria guitars don't really sound that bad by themselves..........
You're right, sorry, I should rephrase that. Be it that it's my fave album, fave production, fave mixing and so forth. In comparison to other albums though, the guitars are far from great sounding. Due to the restrictions of the rockman. However, it works. Very, very well.
Old 19th December 2010
  #20
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Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
You're right, sorry, I should rephrase that. Be it that it's my fave album, fave production, fave mixing and so forth. In comparison to other albums though, the guitars are far from great sounding. Due to the restrictions of the rockman. However, it works. Very, very well.
There was a lot of processing to that Rockman sound through the SSL and outboard on that record, the result was very unlike a stock one. I rather liked the way the finished product sounded. You know, there were at least three songs on that record done through amps. See if you can guess which ones. Don't worry, they used real amps on that tour!
Old 19th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post

So to make everything fit, you need to make everything smaller than it would prob be if you were listening to it solo'd, yet still give the listener the impression that everything is full-sounding and fat? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that pretty much the definition of illusion -- to convince someone they're hearing something that they actually aren't really?


Hmmm, I'm confused -- you said you disagreed with my viewpoint in your opening sentence, and then went on to make pretty much exactly the same points as I did......... Strange....
Well.. I'm not sure at what point we might chock up our differences as like.. semantic but... ok,... well I guess a couple of things...

Words mean stuff.. and I feel like the idea of the illusion.. as a way of thinking about what your doing when mixing.. my feeling is that it has implications which.. somehow work against at least.. the sorta of aesthetic thinking I'm doing.. which.. is probably a really complicated point to try and get into but...

When you have a tun of stuff going on, and you have to make it all smaller so that it all fits together.. to me.. it all sounds smaller now.. so where's the illusion in that? You might say the over all mix sound is bigger.. feels bigger and perhaps is bigger.. but now that guitar sounds much smaller, cause it has to be in order to fit in with everything else the right way.

And sure.. how you make an element smaller in terms of the amount of frequency space it's taking up.. different ways have different implications, lets say.. so you have to do it in a way where the sound doesn't seem small... but it only doesn't seem small because you're hearing it with all the other sounds.. another words its the implication of context.

Now what does that context mean? Well.. if you were hearing that many sounds over lapping in nature.. the one thing you would say is nature isn't limited to two speakers to make her sounds.. and doesn't have to worry about if the listener is at the right point in the right triangle to hear what she's doing...

But.. but.. you would say.. "well you'd probably only hear those small parts anyway cause the rest of everything would be masked by the frequencies of everything else."

I mean maybe this is some kind of a psycho acoustic question.. like....

Ok.. so like if you spend your days mixing stuff.. or somehow involved in the creation / production of music.. you're probably going to have a different relationship to sound and music then someone who doesn't spend so much time doing that, right? The way I like to think about it is.. you have a kind of higher perceptual and cognitive fidelity... for that stuff.

So to my mind the only illusion is one that happen for someone with less perceptual / cognitive fidelity...

Another words... you have like "signifiers," like you go "oh, that's a sitar in the mix" and whatever... so that in some kind of a psycho acoustic linguistic way... create this impression of a huge sound scape.... with all these elements....

I mean I think of it if you listen to like Bob Dylan.. on an album where he's ether singing or playing a harmonica.. and there's an acoustic guitar going on.. and thats pretty nearly filling up all the frequency space.. accept it's not the sorta thing where it's like you're trying to jam more frequencies into a box then really fits into that box...

And what you kinda notice is.. there's all these kinds of intimate nuance-e things going on.. where that one acoustic guitar, in some ways.. could be every bit as complex as a giant symphonic orchestra laid out to achieve a huge Charles Ives thing..

But the thing is.. the person with less fidelity in there perception of sound.. would say something stupid about the Bob Dylan stuff like "sometimes less is more."

I mean maybe that's not stupid.. but it strikes me as superficial..

As I write this.. well I come to music from a visual arts background.. and if you're a painter doing photorealistic type painting.. you would call it "memetic" which is to say you're creating the illusion of reality... and the thing is I'm more of an abstract painter.. and its more out of that model that I approach music making..

So that if I'm focused on it in a "formalistic" kinda way... in the wonderful land of abstraction.. there isn't any illusion going on.. but.. if I look at it from the perspective of the phenomenological implications.. maybe then I'd think in terms of illusion... or...

Well I guess I can't fault anyone too much for calling it an illusion.. lol, but still!!!
Old 19th December 2010
  #22
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Colonel Blues's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
That's the precise reason that you should avoid eq-ing things in isolation, for the most part -- unless you are trying to fix a specific problem (eg, an unwanted resonance).

A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.

Guitars can be especially dramatic with regards to this --- often they'll sound a lot thinner, and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd. A lot of the time bass tracks can also be a lot buzzier and brighter when solo'd than you think they are --- again, it's all about how they work in the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why this depressed you though? At the end of the day --- the mix is your final product --- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd --- if they sound great in the mix, that's what counts. That's why I avoid eq'ing stuff while solo'd as much as I possibly can
I recognize it took time to me to admit this, but now I can't believe how THIS point of view had made my mixes better !
When you mix, give up your role as a player, and try to "see" the mix as a producer do… in "the mixer" seat, forget that you played any of those instruments while tracking… I know, it's hard to "chop" in a sound you loved so much some days ago…
Old 19th December 2010
  #23
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evangelista's Avatar
 

Guitars have different mix roles in different genres/songs.

Clean funk guitars are essentially a percussion instrument that lives in the upper mids and highs.

Thick blues guitar is very melodic and often lives in the lower mids.

Etc.

The better my tracking has gotten, the less I eq in the mix. Arrangement and source tone is easily 99% of it.

If I'm mixing something tracked elsewhere, and the arrangement/tones aren't right, then anything goes. I'm sometimes shocked to look at my eq settings when I see how much high end I'm adding to guitars.

I'd also like to add that I don't really hear things differently solo'd as opposed to in the mix. Yes, I hear the masking in a mix, but I guess I hear "past" that. I dunno. Sure, sometimes it's a bit harder (where does the fuzz bass end and the guitars begin?), but for the most part, it is what it is.
Old 19th December 2010
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
the drums must sound great on their own in both EQ and space (panning). Now, mix in the bass guitar and listen to what happens with the Bass and Kick Drum. You see, they both should be centered as they are the foundation of the mix---but how can you have (2) foundations? Ahhhh there-in lies the test! You see, they BOTH must have that bottom-end on their own, but also must mix in together. They need to have that bottom-end tone to hold the mix together, yet enough top end to cut through everything else including each other. IMHO this is where most people start to fail is right here. ONCE that is where it should be, then start to mix everything in around it.
Isn't this what side chaining is for? If having trouble balancing the drums and bass, duck the bass out of the way when the bass drum hits.
Old 19th December 2010
  #25
Gear Nut
 

It's interesting that, while this thread is sort of focused on obtaining studio magic, the same thing applies to live guitar tones. You can spend forever dialing in your best patches when playing at home alone. Then you show up to band practice with those tones, and they don't work well. Way too wide a frequency range, competing with other instruments, so everybody turns up, and things get perpetually worse.

I remember coming to this realization a long time ago and dialing some patches in while the whole band was playing. Sounded VERY thin and sort of piercing without the band - I'd never have arrived on those patches otherwise. But it worked. For guitar-only interludes etc. I'd revert to my "larger" patches.

It's fun to crank up a tube Marshall and dial in a fat tone. It's some serious room shaking low end. But that tone often does not work well with a band. It muddies up the low end of the live mix and blunts the low end impact (wow factor) of the kick drum and the bass guitar. Got to let them have something. When guitars sound that huge and just steamroll over all the other instruments, it sounds, I don't know, kind of assholish or amateurish or something. To me. Maybe not the right words. I'm not saying I don't like metal guitars that effing burn. I do. But they're usually EQ'd to coexist with (and not ruin) the rest of the music.
Old 19th December 2010
  #26
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NeedsMoreFuzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave999z View Post
Isn't this what side chaining is for? If having trouble balancing the drums and bass, duck the bass out of the way when the bass drum hits.
Yep, sidechaining is one way of helping kick and bass sit together. It's by no means the only way, and will certainly not suit every track
Old 19th December 2010
  #27
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NeedsMoreFuzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave999z View Post
It's interesting that, while this thread is sort of focused on obtaining studio magic, the same thing applies to live guitar tones. You can spend forever dialing in your best patches when playing at home alone. Then you show up to band practice with those tones, and they don't work well. Way too wide a frequency range, competing with other instruments, so everybody turns up, and things get perpetually worse.

I remember coming to this realization a long time ago and dialing some patches in while the whole band was playing. Sounded VERY thin and sort of piercing without the band - I'd never have arrived on those patches otherwise. But it worked. For guitar-only interludes etc. I'd revert to my "larger" patches.

It's fun to crank up a tube Marshall and dial in a fat tone. It's some serious room shaking low end. But that tone often does not work well with a band. It muddies up the low end of the live mix and blunts the low end impact (wow factor) of the kick drum and the bass guitar. Got to let them have something. When guitars sound that huge and just steamroll over all the other instruments, it sounds, I don't know, kind of assholish or amateurish or something. To me. Maybe not the right words. I'm not saying I don't like metal guitars that effing burn. I do. But they're usually EQ'd to coexist with (and not ruin) the rest of the music.
Very true --- in my last band I actually ended up having to dial in the other guitarist's and the bassist's tones for them, for precisely the reasons outlined above A very common problem unfortunately....
Old 19th December 2010
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
That's the precise reason that you should avoid eq-ing things in isolation, for the most part -- unless you are trying to fix a specific problem (eg, an unwanted resonance).

A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments to be running full-bandwidth all the time ---- so when you think you're hearing a huge distorted guitar for example -- as you've just found out, when you hear the guitar in isolation it's often very, very different to how your brain perceives it in the context of the full mix.

Guitars can be especially dramatic with regards to this --- often they'll sound a lot thinner, and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd. A lot of the time bass tracks can also be a lot buzzier and brighter when solo'd than you think they are --- again, it's all about how they work in the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why this depressed you though? At the end of the day --- the mix is your final product --- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd --- if they sound great in the mix, that's what counts. That's why I avoid eq'ing stuff while solo'd as much as I possibly can
Smack on.

It takes a while to learn that. Since many recordists are also instrumentalists (or singers) they have to learn how to take off that hat and put on the producer/mixer hat when it comes time to put it all together.

For more than a while when I was starting out, I would lavish time on getting a 'great' guitar sound, big, rich, full, lots of character, you could lose yourself in it.

And then, in the mix, I'd start whittling it down, rolling off the bass, gating it to try to soak up some of that lugubrious reverb the Dick Dale part of me had dialed in at the amp... regretting the amount of distortion I'd used.

One thing I did was really start listening to my favorite guitarists on record and I realized that, basically, I had developed knob fever. I turned everything up to 11. After a while I started realizing that I my problem was too much of everything and I started recrafting my guitar sounds at the amp to get more of what I liked in other folks' guitar recordings.

(For me, one of the big things was way, way, way less distortion. For others, it will be different, of course, since my idea of a great guitar sound for rock might be something like Jimi Hendrix's guitar, which almost borders on clean tone by today's standards.)
Old 19th December 2010
  #29
When listening to those MOGG files keep in mind that they are usually not even CD quality. Also, a lot of those MOGG files sound different than the actual album tones. I think that some of those Rock Band songs are re-recorded versions of the original songs or at least some parts of the songs are re-recorded and some of the songs are from the original studio tracks but they are not mastered.
Old 19th December 2010
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedsMoreFuzz View Post
...
A mix is largely an illusion --there's just not enough room in a typical mix (esp modern pop/rock/etc) for all the instruments ....

Guitars can be especially dramatic.... and sometimes even quite unpleasant when solo'd...- it really doesn't matter how individual elements sound when solo'd ...
NeedsMoreFuzz ....needs to make more mixes it seems...

there is a point in the mixing learning curve where this idea makes you feel better about your work...however..the truly great mixes don't have the same shortcomings....

if you are feeling this, keep working
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