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How long does it take you to mix a song?
Old 7th September 2015
  #61
Here for the gear
 

I've been having the habit of spending weeks to month mixing a song...only to have it sound worse when compared to the rough mix. What the heck am I doing wrong!! So frustrating.
Vocal editing, hours and hours on reverbs and delays and eq. Need some pointers here because I'm doing something wrong.
Old 7th September 2015
  #62
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Whack Doofa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterfish View Post
I've been having the habit of spending weeks to month mixing a song...only to have it sound worse when compared to the rough mix. What the heck am I doing wrong!! So frustrating.
Vocal editing, hours and hours on reverbs and delays and eq. Need some pointers here because I'm doing something wrong.
I used to do that all the time. It doesn't take long to suck the life out of a song. It took me over a decade to find the "right" way to mix.

It's that first emotional response that you are trying to use when mixing and translate on as best you can to the listener, so going with your first instincts are often the best way.

Mixing in piecemeal is a good way to kill a mix too. Unmuting channel 1, spending 20 mins on a kick sound, and on and on until 4 hours later you get to the vocal and everything else is already over EQd and sounding flat.

What I've taught myself to do is push up the whole mix and get it working and sounding good just on faders first. Then it will be obvious what tracks need processing. Once you've gone through the song a few times, written a few fader moves and compressed things to get them sitting right it becomes apparent that you don't need to EQ as much. That guitar just needed to be a certain level to sound good rather than adding a bunch of midrange to try and pull it out of a bad balance.

My mixes sound so much better now and take about half the time they used to. If the song isn't happening after about 3 hours I probably need to tear it down and start again. An average mix is about 4-5 hours now. A bit longer if there is heavy automation. Although I ride quite alot (corrective fader moves) using clip gain which makes things nice and fast.

I've also just started reading "Zen And The Art Of Mixing" and there is a lot of great info in there about mixing headspace.
Old 7th September 2015
  #63
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterfish View Post
I've been having the habit of spending weeks to month mixing a song...only to have it sound worse when compared to the rough mix. What the heck am I doing wrong!! So frustrating.
Vocal editing, hours and hours on reverbs and delays and eq. Need some pointers here because I'm doing something wrong.
In addition to what Whack said, always think of the big picture. There are moments in a mix where you're focusing on fine detail, but that should be so it works in the big picture. Its rare I use the solo function for much beyond finding noises and stuff.

There's a couple great mind thing I like to do when mixing. Once there's a basic tone dialed in, and the major automation is written, I like to give an off axis listen. Often I turn up the monitors and go into the live room. I'm listening for things that jump out that I don't want jumping put, or things that I know are there that aren't speaking when not right in front of the monitors. I go in and adjust those things, and often have a direction to continue.

When I'm feeling like I don't know where to go next, I put the mix on loop and sit back on the couch and do something besides listen. Often I check in on Twitter, or play a game on my phone. The brain perceives things differently when it isn't focusing on something. When I'm feeling really confused, I take a walk.

Depending on the client, I'll often send out a mix I know still needs some work. I do this because I need a different set of ear on it. This also helps be take the client's temperature on the mix, and can be quite helpful. Sometime it is instead sent to a trusted engineer friend, because he'll hear it more technically than the client.
Old 7th September 2015
  #64
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

How long is a piece of string?

i'm happy with my results in 3.5-5 hrs. shorter if i tracked it. longer if it's a quagmire of edits.
Old 8th September 2015
  #65
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
In addition to what Whack said, always think of the big picture. There are moments in a mix where you're focusing on fine detail, but that should be so it works in the big picture. Its rare I use the solo function for much beyond finding noises and stuff.

There's a couple great mind thing I like to do when mixing. Once there's a basic tone dialed in, and the major automation is written, I like to give an off axis listen. Often I turn up the monitors and go into the live room. I'm listening for things that jump out that I don't want jumping put, or things that I know are there that aren't speaking when not right in front of the monitors. I go in and adjust those things, and often have a direction to continue.

When I'm feeling like I don't know where to go next, I put the mix on loop and sit back on the couch and do something besides listen. Often I check in on Twitter, or play a game on my phone. The brain perceives things differently when it isn't focusing on something. When I'm feeling really confused, I take a walk.

Depending on the client, I'll often send out a mix I know still needs some work. I do this because I need a different set of ear on it. This also helps be take the client's temperature on the mix, and can be quite helpful. Sometime it is instead sent to a trusted engineer friend, because he'll hear it more technically than the client.

Very similar workflow over here. Almost to the "t". 6-10 hours a mix here by the way. 2-3 days if it's not tracked well. I like to do tops and tails editing on the first day. Maybe reamping bass, keys and augmenting the kick and snare then leave it for a day or two. Then I'll come back fresh and mix on a separate day.
Old 8th September 2015
  #66
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine Misner View Post
How long is a piece of string?

i'm happy with my results in 3.5-5 hrs. shorter if i tracked it. longer if it's a quagmire of edits.
Quagmire of Edits is a great record title, or production company.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Very similar workflow over here. Almost to the "t". 6-10 hours a mix here by the way. 2-3 days if it's not tracked well. I like to do tops and tails editing on the first day. Maybe reamping bass, keys and augmenting the kick and snare then leave it for a day or two. Then I'll come back fresh and mix on a separate day.
I always say I'm gonna reamp the bass, but rarely do.
Old 8th September 2015
  #67
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Quagmire of Edits is a great record title, or production company.
you're free to it if you want. i come up with funny little names all the time.
Old 8th September 2015
  #68
At the moment I have two approaches - if I know the client has their **** together and is sending me good takes in good order, I quote half a day per song, then allow two tweaks included, then add two days for stems mixes/pre-master mixes. For this I am charging my full day rate.

For a client that doesn't really have their **** together but I want to do the project and make it sound good, I'll allow one day per song, plus two tweaks included, plus two days at end for stems mixes etc. For this I am charging budget rates, and not being so strict with my time. I kind of look at it as a practise project as much as anything. Maybe I can try out some new routing ides or test drive some new plugins.

The "included tweaks" is where you decide to add extra time as needed.
Old 8th September 2015
  #69
Lives for gear
The last album I mixed took 1 year to record, mix and master. The actual recording was done in two parts over 2 days (in 1-2 takes). The drums had to be totally re-recorded (on the second day) as did most of the keyboard tracks (which were done over a period of 5 months) and I waited for months and months for the two guitarists to lay down guitar tracks in drips and drabs. I got feed up waiting for another guitarist and their keyboard player to come to the studio so I played guitar and synth on the track myself that they were supposed to do. The band leader (who I worked with) liked it and my guitar and keyboards featured on the album. The band went through 3 guitarists during the project. The last guitarist has stayed with the band but only features on 3 of the tracks. At the start, a day or two before the recording started, their first guitarist left. Then I had to get the vocalists to add harmonies and re-do certain vocal parts. Autotune was not used at all. Everything was done the good old fashioned way. Once everything was down and roughly mixed it took about 1-2 hours to tweak and edit each track with the band leader. There were 11 tracks on the album. I felt very flat when it ended as it was a very exciting project to work on recording, mixing and mastering. When it was over we had a huge party and the band members listened to the album for the first time. They loved it.

Last edited by waldie wave; 8th September 2015 at 07:40 AM..
Old 23rd September 2015
  #70
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Spede's Avatar
 

I'm usually happy if I can get a song's (whose track count is under 100) first mix revision down in under 6 hours, including all the editing and cleaning if necessary. This for the first song for an album, the rest will come together quicker.

Hopefully the first revision would be the last one (recalls even ITB are boring, I'm already itching working on something new). But if that's not the case, I'll try to be smart about the changes so me and the producer won't end up chasing our tails.
Old 1 week ago
  #71
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Look man idk what everyone is talking about with an hour or less mix on each track. You CAN do that but who would want to listen to that poor of quality? With r&b you want to dedicate a minimum of 6-8 hours per track. That's assuming you've mixed R&B before. Depending on the song, you'll have anywhere from 17 to 50 tracks on each song. All of which have to be mixed individually into the track. Lord help you if they miss a note or go flat/sharp that's an extra 15-30 minutes per note.
Old 1 week ago
  #72
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Midnight Oil Audio's Avatar
If well recorded and the file are name appropriately: 2-4 hours.

If poorly recorded and the file names are a mysterious slew of ****?: 6-8 hours.
Old 1 week ago
  #73
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For other people 2- 4 hours.

For my stuff, as long as it takes until it is utterly stunning :-)
Old 1 week ago
  #74
8-10h over 2 days. Usually Nailing most of the mix in 3-4h then additional 2h to get into rough tuning the first day. Then i usually spend 2h the next day with fresh ears, doing fine tuning and automation rides to add some excitment to the song.

Im mainly doing metal, with track counts from 60-150tracks.
Old 1 week ago
  #75
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cjogo's Avatar
Mix 4 hours first day -- 4 hours next -- client "lives" with it a few days === then back for final --- We are automated -- maybe have grab a fader or two >> mostly vocals ...
Old 1 week ago
  #76
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Jess Jackson's Avatar
1 day
Old 6 days ago
  #77
Here for the gear
mixing time is dependant on the quality of the tracking and the complexity of the arrangements.

a serious mix is a day in the making. and thats not mucking around.

demos/ quicker if you want.

these days I've retired from commercial work so just work on projects i like. makes it more fun.

good luck Buddha
Old 6 days ago
  #78
Gear Maniac
 

The more time I have with a mix, the better. I always end up with a better result the more time I spend with the music. Its also good to have different things going on at the same time so that I can switch as soon as i get tired of working on the current mix. I never want to work on something after I've reached an aural saturation for that day. A full day gets me to where I am happy, another day or so for automation, fx and anything else.
Old 5 days ago
  #79
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as much time as i need for that song. Never just one day. I always like to take at least 2 days or more break and come back.
Old 3 days ago
  #80
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stardustmedia's Avatar
I just came across Airgigs and saw there "professional" mixes offered for 50$, with pictures that imply they work in a serious pro studio, with big consoles, highend gear, etc.

I mean I could do a "mix" within 30 minutes (not counting the prepping of the session). I wouldn't call this a mix, but a mere first balancing.

For electronic music (techno, house, etc.) without vocals and about 10-15 tracks, for a first good mix, I usually need about 2-3 hours. No automation, not much of effects (just one, two reverbs for a little space). A simple good sounding mix. The next session, another 1-2 maybe 3 hours, adding just a few volume automation, plus some revisions from the customers. Let's say half a day.

I understand that, here in Switzerland, I cannot compete with salaries in other countries. But 50$ for one song mixed in a highclass studio, is just not realistic, nowhere. Right?

I just hope, that most of their customers won't be satisfied with those 50-buck-offers. A professional will not spend days on a mix, for 50 bucks, right? Even if it's only electronic music.
Old 3 days ago
  #81
Gear Addict
 
chrismeraz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by taherbert View Post
I've read that Bob Clearmountain can do like 3-4 mixes a day, but that's verging on superhuman.
The record for Al Schmitt is 22 mixes started and finished in one day.

God, there was work in the music business back in the day...
Old 3 days ago
  #82
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stardustmedia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
The record for Al Schmitt is 22 mixes started and finished in one day.

God, there was work in the music business back in the day...
If everything is prepped and I just have to set the faders? No automation, no processing, no effects... sure I'll do that many mixes in one day. Not saying on the same level as them, but still
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