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Mix Ignoramus Seeks Enlightenment
Old 22nd January 2006
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Saudade's Avatar

Mix Ignoramus Seeks Enlightenment

Hi all First of all I must say it took me a lot of courage to post here because I am a total amateur. This is a shoe-string indie project for a self-funded artiste and I have to do everything myself: arrangement, programming, playing the instruments, mix (!!!???). I know my talents are very limited but I want to help this good artiste/vocalist/songwriter see through this song as best as I can with our budget. So bad playing/arrangement aside, I need some serious help on the mix.

I am trying to make this track sound as "live" as possible, as if one is sitting in front of a live band playing in an outdoor space (drums not miked up at all), with almost zero compression or even eq (is that possible?) I like the way it sounds (refering to Mix A) in the sense that it is "open" and "natural" with all the dynamics jumping at you. Much as I revere those Lord-Alge type of "airtight-punchy-compact-sonic-fist" mixes, I am aiming to do an exact opposite in the concept for this song.

Problem is when comparing to similar genre CDs, I can tell the low end is overly dominant and totally wrong. The kick is too "full" (too much of that basketball kick sound) and the bass sounds like an elephant farting with some notes jumping out and others too soft. I can't get the snare's "thang" sound (around 700hz?) to cut through without cutting too much of "weight" in its sound (100+ to 300+ hz region ?) which makes it sounds like trash can cover.(pls refer to Mix B to hear how I totally screw it up when I try to get everything to cut through)

(Can't get worse than that right? )

Since the drum track is done on Drumkit from hell I have separate files for each drum mic and even separate ones for close and bleed signals for each mic, plus ambient mics and mono room mics. But all that control is useless to a mix idiot like me cos whenever I start doing the slightest eq, I screw up the "natural" sound of the kit immediately, like when I eq the overheads and the hihats and snare starts to kind of "flange" with the close miked hihats/snare etc. And the bass is....a total disaster. I am totally at a loss of what to do with it. (pls refer to Mix C for drum and bass sounds solo'ed to have a better idea of what they sound like with nothing eq'ed or compressed, only with some "ambience" I mixed in)

So, my question is, how do I preserve the natural and raw sound (of the drums especially) with the low end nicely balanced and unhyped and nothing sounds even compressed?

I need some pretty specific instructions here (what freqs to cut, boost,how much,what Q value) as I don't even have monitor speakers (just a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M40 headphones and cheapo mini hifi speakers). I only have Cubase and a UAD-1 (stock plugs) to work with, so suggestions like "compress the snare with a Distressor" sadly will not be helpful.

I am not expecting it to sound like a superb mix, but just something that will sound "spectrally balanced" on most home stereos.

Thanks for any guidance.
Attached Files

mixA.mp3 (1.02 MB, 780 views)

mixB.mp3 (687.7 KB, 538 views)

mixC.mp3 (1.91 MB, 547 views)

Old 22nd January 2006
Lives for gear
No4PCs's Avatar
good gear

Hi , im engineer student yet, but the other guys will help you here soon.
You said about "flanger sound" in shnere and hi hats, this mean the 2 mics in phase, need correct the phase to avoid flanger sounds, mean, not close mic capsules directly one in front another. Sorry my english. About bass, need compression to round the bass sound. Good luck
Old 22nd January 2006
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