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Help, Mix Rescue Suggestions!!!
Old 6 days ago
Here for the gear

Help, Mix Rescue Suggestions!!!


As an aspiring producer I have been trying my hand at just composing instrumental songs and mixing them for a while now. Sometimes everything clicks and the mix sounds like it can be sent to a mastering house. But other times I get stuck in this 2 dimensional mess. The mix translates well to other systems, sums to mono well but then I compare it to a reference and it doesn't have the polish and depth of it. BUT this is not always the case with every mix I do and I am at a loss at why I get stuck in the first place. It doesn't really matter if I start with drums or other instruments. This is my current setup so far (all in the box):
1. 2013 imac 2.7 ghz, 32gb ram running Logic Pro X
2. Antelope Orion Studio interface (first edition, not the rev 2017 version!)
3. JBL Lsr 308 monitors
4. Plugins I normally use:
Fab Filter Q2, DS
Soundtoys Bundle: Decapitator, DevilLoc, Little Plate Rev, PanMan, etc
Stock Logic compressors
Sometimes other compressors like the elysia mpressor, alpha, Acme Opticom XLA-3.

This is what I think it could be:

1. Arrangement/Eq: Maybe I still have a ways to go getting this right but I usually sum to mono and mix to properly hear any balance/midrange issues. I don't hear anything that makes my mix sound whack.

2. Not enough compression: I usually end up compressing no more than 3-4db unless absolutely necessary (some very transient synth patches for example). If I try compressing more it doesn't sound good to me anymore.

3. Using saturation instead of limiting. I like the extra harmonic content that saturation provides

4. Mixing completely in the ITB. I have perused the other threads where it suggests to get an analog summer like a Dangerous 2bus but I would be more compelled to believing this is the cause if I consistently got into this situation.

I have attached the outro of a song. Perhaps my fellow slutz can enlighten me!
Thanks in advance.
Attached Files

Razzle Dazzle_Outro.mp3 (1.02 MB, 146 views)

Old 5 days ago
Here for the gear
Mike Lambert's Avatar
OK, I'll bite - but I am far from an expert at mixing and only learning myself so am just a humble musician. Please don't take anything personally.

I've listened a few times and from a mixing point of view I am not really hearing the kick to keep it together. Second thought is the the actual synth part - there seem to be two counter melodies occupying the same frequency. Panning only helps on headphones, in mono its lost. Would it be better to use a different tone for each part?

I can only listen on (decent) headphones though at the moment.

Do you actually like this synth sound? It sounded like an approaching migraine to me. Would be lovely to here some air in here like a real instrument.

I hope something here gets you thinking.
Old 5 days ago
Here for the gear

By the annoying synth part I assume you mean the one that sounds like a mosquito, lol. It's interesting you feel the kick is unclear, as I feel like I can hear it any system i.e. my iPhone, iMac speakers, etc. but then again I am close to the song so that could be clouding my judgement. The thing is I can mute the part or even all the parts except the drums and bass and it still doesn't change the 2d sound of the mix. That's the frustrating part...
Old 5 days ago
Here for the gear
Mike Lambert's Avatar
I just listened more quietly and I can hear the kick - but maybe its too similar in tone to the bass part and would stand out more if it had a bit more attack click?

Yes, mosquito is a good description - I want to swat them

Perhaps a very simple, quiet pad very low in the mix with some hall reverb would give some depth - to me it feels maybe like all the parts have similar frequency components so are competing.
Old 5 days ago
Here for the gear

Point taken, I just muted everything and just started with the drums and tried getting them to a point where it matches the energy of a reference track. It seems to suggest masking problems because of arrangement issues. Argh. The stereo clav sound is interfering with everything as well as the synth bass. I guess I need to substitute these instead of forcing it to try and sit in the mix. One of the questions this arises to is how to determine it won't work during tracking phase without trying to mix it first and then coming back to rearrange or substitute sounds. Perhaps that's just intuition that is developed over a period of time.
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