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Thread: What did you do and why

  1. #1
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    Default What did you do and why

    Tell us about your editing, processing, tricks and tips, what worked in your own mix and what didn't. Take care Logan

  2. #2
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    I thought it was interesting to see how different everyones mix was. I don't have the feeling that any of the people involved are bad mixers ... what was recorded good sounded good. There was a lot to fix in this project. I thinkt the best sounding track on the song was the vocals and everyone did a good job on vocals. Where it got hard is glueing it all together. I took the approach of distracting the listener. Meaning ... I tried to fill in a lot of the gaps with layers. I actually edited twice as long as I mixed. And, when I got to the mix ... I was out of time and had to just through something down. So in some ways I am more interested in what others felt about the editing and if it helped the track or killed it. Six hours into editing I started feeling like I was doing a hack job ... and at the same time wondering how I heard that much stuff to edit.
    I felt the song had a lot of energy but wanted to pump it up even more and build some more excitement. So I went for the big intro. I stole the big guitars from the bridge. That is ... bridge one and two. I also found some other guitars with the same chord. So I ended up with like six guitars on the intro. And, because the song was recorded to a click .. thank God!!! ... I was able to fly in other stuff. So on the verse which was mostly acoustic if I remember right ... I took the electric guitar from the second verse and layered that with the acoustic gtr. I then flew the acoutic gtr into the second verse. I mixed in such a way that it still felt acoustic for the most part but you had a sense of the electric gtr which I think helped tie in the bridge and chorus. I did a lot of the same layering with the bridge. I took the little gtr themes from the second bridge and layed them into the first and first into the second bridge. So now I had double tracked guitars on the verses, bridge, and chorus. The BGV's were pretty bad. I used them where I could and where made sense. I think the harmony thing is a big part of their music. If you visit their web site and listen to other stuff you could hear that the harmony thing is something they like to work. So I did my best to tuck that BGV in there tight but so you won't hear any issues.
    Drums were real tough with this one. Nothing felt connected as a kit. More so the kick. I used some brutal EQ to try and bring things in and flipped the phase. It worked out ok but it was real hard to find some punch in that tone. I rolled off a lot of low sub but it was still probably not enough. I never got the low end where I wanted it. Here i did a two hour mix and that low end clean up I normally get to when I'm working at a longer pace. I did focus on getting the punch with the intention on smoothing out the low end later. My main focus for short was ... clean it up, find some punch, and somehow glue it all together. I think the editing helped glue things.
    I didn't do things too different from other mixes I do. I did make a point not to use any plugins though. Just thought it would be a good contrast sense everyone else probably would be using plugs. Everything was done on a console and outboard.
    With my mix ... the bass is too loud and too much 260Hz ... and the hi hats just bug. I did make a mistake with my two buss patch though. I have a special Black Box on my two buss. It was patched to my monitor path but not the record path. Someone else as working on a christmas TV special in the studio and took it out of line for the record path. The Black Box would have given more punch, tighter low end, more smooth sheen on the top, and make everything thicker ... including those hi hats.

    Logan ... I'm ready for the next one ...

    Devin DeVore
    TSC

  3. #3
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    I used a rather unorthodox approach to mixing this. I am always experimenting and I used Springtime as yet another guinea pig

    First step was listening to all the tracks to get the gist of what was going on. I then summed the drums to stereo in my TL Audio 8-channel mixer. I used the mixer's EQ, a little on every track. No compression was added to the drums at any point. I was able to monitor this drum mix against a very rough mix in DP. A little plate verb on the Lexi 91 as I recall.

    Then I summed all the distorted guitars in the TL mixer to stereo. I panned the bright tracks fairly hard left right. Mid range more central. A little plate verb as well. Subtle EQ from the mixer with some bass attenuation. Similarly I summed all the available acoustic guitar tracks with some bass roll off here and there. No compression anywhere. I mixed the distorted guitars loud because this is where the energy was for me. I wanted the guitars to have an over-the-top, you're swimming in it feel. Most new rock I hear on the radio has this similar approach.

    I mixed the 2 bass tracks with a fair amount of EQ. I probably cut the mids a bit. Again no compression.

    Vocals were again mixed in the TL Audio mixer. I applied some compression to the lead with the Millennia Origin. Compressed the backing vocal with Presonus ACP-88. A subtle amount of delay was given to the lead which I hoped would give some power and depth. A little plate verb as well. Little or no EQ on the vocals.

    In my DAW I now had vocals L/R, drums L/R, bass L/R, guitars L/R. I did some additional EQ’ing of these submixes with the Renaissance EQ. I added some upper mids to the drums. I think I cut some low mids out of the guitars. At this point I realized I wanted a little more lead guitar in the mix. So I carefully shifted the original lead guitar track to be in phase with the guitar sub and was able to bring it up. It still sounded a little out of phase despite my efforts.

    I did some fader automation here and there. Primarily on the lead vocal. The lead vocal also got a touch of L1 to tame a few jumpy notes.

    Summing of these submixes was done in DP3.

    All I did for mastering was convert to 44.1kHz in DP and run the mix through Native L2 for limiting and dither. No EQ or buss compression.
    Last edited by grekim; 11-02-2005 at 03:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    To me it seemed like a very dynamic song, so I wanted to mix to enhance that.
    The only tracks that bugged me were the Bass and Overheads....oh yeah, and BGV's .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default my springtime mix

    First, mine was #3.
    And a number of you pointed out some obvious poor qualities of my mix. So the following are not excuses, just a "what happened".

    My dog ate my mix.

    Okay, seriously. I upgraded to Windows XP SP2 and my old PTLE wouldn't run on it. So I decided that I had to submit a mix (I paid, and lobbied for a delay). My only option was to use my home computer, use Sonic Foundry's Acid 4.0 and Sound Forge. My speakers? The Harmon/Kardon speakers and subwoofer that came with my Dell PC in my 9'x11' office. Really. ...and it shows.

    One view I like to take with a mix is this: The artist gave me these parts to work with and choose from, I should try to get a feel for what they want, from these sounds. Even though I like what other mixers did with editing, (eliminating the intro and outro) I would not do it without the artists initial approval. That's not editing, that's arranging and producing, right?

    First I chose which guitar tracks or rather which sounds to use. Very few solid state guitar sounds ever please me. Though for one of the parts I used both solid state and tube.

    For the acoustic guitar it seemed like the direct and the mic were the way to go. It seemed as though it was tracked with that "in your face" acoustic sound - who am I to stop them.

    For the drums, I took each track, individually into Sound Forge where I gated, compressed, EQed, and reverbed each track. (this may be what lead to a comment of "dual mono" from a listener -- very observant)

    For the piccolo snare after the standard gate/eq/comp I raised its pitch. Come on! It's a piccolo snare, it should not sound meaty. It should have a "ping", or "kank" to it! I should have tuned it higher.

    The vox I thinned out a bit too much via EQ. Again, EQ, compression, reverb in Sound Forge, then dropped back into Acid. Here is a great example of applying EQ outside of the mix. This is why they tell you "change the eq settings within the mix, not while soloing the part". The harmony was panned slightly to set it apart without making it too loud.

    I tried to pan the electrics to keep them from being one big mass of midrange in the mix.

    I then mixed the piece and at the last minute, boosted the volume of the intro and outro in Sound Forge, tightend up the gaps, and took out part of the instrumental open of the full band. I did not edit out any vocal or verses.

    After (seemingly) indescriminatly boosting the volume of the intro and outro (it was now about 1am the night before the due date) I did not listen to the piece, burned it to CDR and sent it to Logan.

    Lessons learned:
    1. If you want something bad, that's the way you get it.
    2. eq a part while playing well with others.
    3. it is expensive to use USPS Global Priority mail
    4. I gotta get a better system

    And a question for others... does any else out there get fatigued mixing songs that go longer than 3:15 like I do? Are there lots of epic songs getting airplay that I don't kow about? (other than Freebird, Stairway to Heaven, Kashmir, and Layla).

    That's it...
    "Television without a picture is radio.
    Television without sound is furniture."
    - unknown source.

  6. #6
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    I know what you mean about long songs. I think there was a great 3 and a half minute song in there somewhere, I'm pretty sure I didn't find it but Devin nailed it.
    It seems that this was the song that lots of folks had system troubles on, or changed moniters or something else. I had a nightmare myself system wise, and still really haven't had time to sort out some of the quirks that have possessed my DAW. Haven't had much time for audio at all. Take care Logan

  7. #7
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    Well, I've gotta say that I'm glad I didn't take the time to mix these songs, given the very poor discussion and give and take that resulted from the effort.

    Thanks for sending out the rest of the files, Logan.

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Yes the discussion level has been poor and I must shoulder the blame, I've not been around much to cheer lead. I've been over burdened with work and was down recently with a week long flu that was the worst I've had in decades. And to make matters worse my dog died and it's knocked the family for a loop. Good old Angus, a 100lb Bouvier, was like a family member and I've been only going through the motions for a little while now. I thought more of that dog than I do of most people. I will soon get back on track and at least post my observations. Take care Logan

  9. #9
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    I must say I'm surprised at the lack of invlovement in these discussions from the rest of the mixers. For me at least, an amatuer dabbler, the point of the excercise was to get some feedback from others on my mix (and provide feedback to others). I think this has been slightly disappointing. My thanks to those who have posted comments.

    Perhaps Ryan could be pusuaded to post comments on the mixes of his song (and Logan on his) ? That might stimulate some more discussion.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your illness and loss, Logan. Quite understand that real life takes priority

    steve

  10. #10
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    Oct 2004
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    Here's a brief rundown of my mix. I did it in August or something so I don't quite remember the whole process, but most of it was pretty basic, EQing to make things fit, compressing when needed. In general, I try not to use narrow bands of EQ when I can avoid it, and I also try to always start with cutting EQ rather than boosting it. The first thing I tried to do was to get a mix up using just volume and panning. Then I added compression and EQ as needed, and finally I worked with the reverb. At the time all I had was ProTools D-Verb which in my opinion is pretty crappy. I did the best I could by putting a slap delay in front of the reverb to help bring the instruments forward but still have a nice reverb tail.

    I think in my mix (# 2) I ended up working a little too hard at clearing out the low end for the kick and the bass. The electric guitars sounded somewhat anemic because of the scooping I did in the low mids. I think I could have reined in the high end EQ and not cut as much lows in the guitars and that would have helped a lot. I also mixed first, and then edited the two track of my mix. ( I ended up not having much time to mix this because I sent it in before the original due date, which is why I didn't get into editing the session track by track.) Editing the two track is certainly easier in some respects, but can result in some of the abruptness some of you mentioned in a couple of places. The hardest part about the drums for me was the verse snare and the imaging of the overheads. I ended up adding another snare to the verse snare to get rid of that nasty ponging sound. The verse snare just had no cajones commpared to the chorus snare, but I felt like adding a sample helped that out. My kick was too loud. I was trying to maintain the energy of the song, and at the same time mixing at a lower level, so I probably overcompensated. I was also only mixing in headphones (I'm in the process of acquiring monitors). I had the most fun with the transition between the intro and the main body of the song. I ended up recording reverb of the two voices, reversing it, EQing it and running it through a delay along with the actual voices. I also extended the leslie type guitar sound by editing the end of it and crossfading several times. I felt that the voices alone with just reverb somehow lacked energy and didn't help move the song along, which is why I added the guitar underneath. It was a fun excercise. When it comes up again, if I'm not too busy I will definitely do it.

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