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Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?
Old 9th May 2020
  #1681
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The immaturity and ego displayed here is quite extraordinary. A new low on GS. That is saying something....
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1682
Gear Head
 
<Troll removed; comment redundant>

anyway I actually agree with you re: wanting Serban to be more open about his technical process, especially as people like Manny Marroquin and Greg Wells speak about it often. He doesn't even need to release The Vocal Chain or even mention plugins, I'd just love to hear how he approaches new files and what kinds of techniques he uses to get everything sounding so alive.

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 9th May 2020 at 02:43 PM..
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1683
Lives for gear
 
thedberg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy ➡️
Yeah, it was interesting to listen to them, and to see Serban in real-time-video. :-)

Definitely bits and pieces worth considering when producing and mixing music.

The main take-away for me was:

* Pick a bunch of plug-ins, and learn them well, instead of having 100+ plug-ins that you don't know very well.

* Commit to the sound, when recording, when producing and when mixing. Don't strip away plug-ins when sending the project to the mixing engineer.

* Always try to stay curious, about music and music technology. Learn the rules, and then break them.

* When collaborating with other producers and songwriters, don't take away other peoples tracks, they might come in handy at a later stage in production.

* Label everything, provide documentation about the song's key etc, make everything nice and tidy. Time not spent cleaning up a project is spent on mixing it.

* You don't have to have 300+ tracks, strip away what might not be needed and work on the essential elements of the song.

* Provide a rough mix to the mixing engineer for him or her to control listen to, and check that production tracks mix the same way.

* The artist and producers have lived with the rough track for weeks and months, and even if you are told that you have carte blanche, your mix is still going to be judge against the rough mix - that's just the way it is. If you wander off too much from the sound of the rough, chances are you are going to have to go back to the basics and spend more time than needed on the mix.

* They are working remotely via Source Connect, FaceTime etcetera, to play their current work to their clients. Which is a great way of checking if they are 'in the ballpark' with the current mix. [Personally, I find those moments so much more rewarding than having to wait a day for notes on what needs to be changed. Notes are important too, but 10-15 minutes real-time audition of the mix and instant feedback is great. There are great-sounding plug-ins that let your clients connect to your DAW and audition the mix in high quality]


A bit too much time was spent on "you worked with this and that artist, and I worked with this and that artist", which is kind of the American way of promoting yourself - when really no promotion is needed for mixing engineers at their level of success. But, that was all fine, me thinks.

Hopefully, they found it interesting and want to do it again.

Off to bed.


I wish you all a really nice weekend! :-D
Fred
Very good summary. Thanks.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1684
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don’t you guys get it?

N1Greg has surpassed the need to learn from others. His unprecedented wisdom has allowed him to transcend the physical and merge with the universal consciousness.

It won’t be long before he formulates a Top 40 hit without ever making a sound at all, using pure alpha brainwave energy to manifest a mix that’s so spectrally pristine it literally wipes Spotify off the face of this earth.
Old 9th May 2020
  #1685
Lives for gear
 
Ribbonmicguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Let's just put him on the ignore list and not entertaining his trolling behavior guys.

I really like what Fred's takeaway post.

I really hope they do it again. All of them gave great insight on how to support artist and to help them keep being productive.

I'm gonna share the video to some artists friends.

I was a little bummed it didn't go in depth, but I realize that they're trying to provide a foundation on how to support the creative process during this tough time.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1686
Lives for gear
 
ghostman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepulse101 ➡️
I'm a huge fan of Serban Ghenea and have been following his work for about a year now. Here's what I have been able to find out about him so far: He works out of his house in Virginia Beach with his assistant John Hanes. He was born in Romania, and moved to Montreal at age 6. He has a degree in jazz guitar from Concordia and a masters in sound recording from McGill. He got his start with Teddy Riley, and at age 26 mixed his first number 1 hit "No Diggity - Blacksteet". As far as I know he has 11 American Grammys and 3 Latin Grammys. He is now 45 years old. His website is:

Welcome - Mixed by SERBAN GHENEA

He's very private and doesn't do interviews very often, aside from a recent interview for the Montreal Gazette following his 2018 record of the year win for Bruno Mars - 24k Magic:

Grammy winner Serban Ghenea has 24K Magic touch as mixing engineer | Montreal Gazette

Aside from this, to my knowledge he has only done 3 other interviews/articles: one for Digidesign, one for Metric Halo, and a third entitled "how to mix a hit in 2000 easy steps". Here they are:

Grammy-Award Winning Mixer/Producer Serban Ghenea Comfortable Working In “The Metric Halo Box”

Pro Techniques from Serban Ghenea

How To Mix A Hit In 2000 Easy Steps - EMusician

Also I have heard that he does web conferences with his clients so they can do revisions remotely. As others have stated he is completely ITB, I think he uses Metric Halo Channel Strip, and I also remember reading somewhere that he likes McDsp and UAD plugins too, judging from a few pictures I've seen of his studio, his monitors are Quested VH208 and Pro Tools is his daw of choice.

Also, you will notice that he works on a lot of songs written/produced by Max Martin. And a lot of his mixes were mastered by Tom Coyne at Sterling Sound until Tom passed away in 2017.

There is very little information about Serban available except for a few Gearslutz threads that don't really offer much about his workflow or techniques.

But he seems to have some secret sauce that no one in the game can touch IMO, especially when it comes to top 40's pop. His vocals are insane (Greg Wells said in an interview that he can tell a Serban mix just from the consonants on the lead vocal). Also his mixes (especially the low end) sound really good on anything from an iPhone jack to a nice club pa system. (I know there is no low end on an iPhone speaker but he finds a a way to make the overtones come through even on the ****tiest playback systems, could be a mastering thing though, but probably both) If you want to know what I'm talking about just listen to a few examples:

Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars
Can't Stop The Feeling - Justin Timberlake
Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo

Sorry for the long post, but I've been trying to get some insight into this guys technique for a while now and have found very little about him. He's like ****ing Willy Wonka or something. And his studio is like the chocolate factory, no one knows anything about him but he keeps cranking out consistent magic.

Anyways, if anyone knows anything else please share. And for God's sake someone try and convince him to do an episode of Pensado's Place or something.

Cheers

Edit: As Pentagon said, his monitors are not Quested VH3208, but are actually Pro Ac 100's and Quested H208's

..... thanks very much for sharing that info.

i wondered if you could help me out re: the third and fourth links you posted please? they both lead to main web pages of the sites and having done a preliminary keyword search for the articles (that are also linked in other (Far lesser forums) ....it appears the linked pages have been moved to somewhere i can't find.

(Or i should wake up more before i post)



I am just beginning my own research into serban as a result of studying some of max martins songwriting technique.....and i had no idea serban mixed blackstreet....

i love the balance of mid/late 90s r and b ....its a sound Khalid and the engineer Denis Kosiak have brought back with great success IMO.

Im aware of katy perrys dark horse...and uptown funk obviously .but i don't listen to much commercial pop casually, as i find the genre a bit overwhelming musically, lol. So much incredible skill and technique and musical knowledge applied to quickly disposed art.

(said with respect for the trade and to qualify, I'm talking industry created artists....not songwriters)

so ill dive into his old r and b stuff first if there's more out there.


Its also been helpful to catch site of a few mentions on here as to his attention to the 200hz point ....ill have a little gander at that in my current projects.


Im aware from bob power of the pultec eq1 c.60hz boost and adding a little bump/dip in front of any corresponding boost/dip elsewhere in the low mids.

...and the 250 and 450 dips seth firkins spoke of....


Im currently enjoying chucking out all my "analogue style " plug ins and keeping it all as clean and surgical as poss.....eq and compressions wise. I don't think i use any eq that's not dynamic except for the bob power/pultec style 60hz boost and a McDSP filterbank on my buses

...all compression is side chained or paralleled ...a standard from my uk club music roots...(except a little "mixed into " -2db max on a 2:1 ratio with the ssl six which i run the 2bus mix thru to max out headroom, having summed through the ssl and the folcrum, ......which is fun )

dynamic eq has pretty much replaced all my insert compression at this point and along with (mike dean inspired) accurate/content-based drum tuning and eq points correlated to the harmonic frequencies of which key the music is in....


slowly getting there .....and loooooving the science behind it all.



but i come from a musical world where if you don't have a sub you're basically not involved in the party (drum and bass, garage ...r and b / hip-hop) ..and

to quote the great , late nate dogg....

"the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the melody"....


so getting THAT to translate onto a phone speaker..lols.

...i think mixed by ali has the goods at the mo, for my taste


...and have been a long time fan of kerri chandler and dennis ferrers mixes ....Nasser Bakers doing good things at the mo too.


...and bob katz's book on mastering is actually revising my intermediate knowledge of proper mixing techniques ...id highly recommend it to anyone at my stage of learning.

Best take way...any eq that requires more than a +/-0.5 db change...theres something wrong with the mix.


Anyhoo, sorry for the meandering post.....




The 200hz bump should give me some fun with the eq today



....thanks again for that info.

have a good day
Old 9th May 2020
  #1687
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The troll has left the building.

Or the thread, I forget which.

He commented elsewhere that he “doesn’t come on this thread anymore”.

So I thought I’d just help with his resolve.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1688
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg ➡️
Alright, how come you people keep coming at me and then whine that I make threads unpleasant? You whine, whine, whine, and then the very next thing you do, is a random stab at me. Of course you're gonna get a reply, is it really hard to figure out? I'm a polite person and I always respond to people, so here's my response to you.

You do make good mixes, I listened to them. But you also make them 100% identical. All you mixes (whatever's on your website discog page) sound precisely the same, to the T. You definitely have a signature sound and I can tell that you match each mix to whatever own mix you use as a reference, but with that you also strip each band of whatever grain of personality they had in their songs. You make all those bands sound like they're one and the same band. If I were in a rock band, I wouldn't let you mix my music. Cause you'd make us sound exactly like the band you mixed yesterday, which in turn sounds like a band you mixed the day before. No thanks.

Basically, you seem to know to do just one thing, like a potato dish. And whatever people bring, lettuce or beef, you turn it into a potato dish somehow.

In my book that makes you a not a very good mixer. You posts are smug. But your skill doesn't quite match your smugness. Your mixing skill is a one-trick pony. I've never heard anyone make such monotonous mixes.

Learn something from SG, make great mixes that actually sound different, and retain character and personality of each band. That's what they all were talking about in the webinar today. And that's probably the rule of mixing #1 which you completely ignore as a mixer. Mixers like you why people like me think all rock sounds exactly the same.
Woof dude, buy me diner first. I’m gonna forward this to all the labels I work for. I’d hate to hear what you’d say to CLA or David Bendeth
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1689
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana ➡️
Woof dude, buy me diner first. I’m gonna forward this to all the labels I work for. I’d hate to hear what you’d say to CLA or David Bendeth
Can he just buy you dinner rather than a whole diner?
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1690
Lives for gear
 
noiseflaw's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, ok - So that's why Serban's high end is so amazing, so silky...




Quote:
Attached Thumbnails
Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?-dog-ears.png  

Last edited by noiseflaw; 9th May 2020 at 07:48 PM..
Old 9th May 2020
  #1691
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Dear Serban Ghenea. You are here somewhere, I know. I do not know your nickname in the GS. Show setup or something, please.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1692
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 ➡️
Can he just buy you dinner rather than a whole diner?
After that shakedown, the least he can do is the whole diner. At the very least first dibs at brunch service post COVID
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1693
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6833614 ➡️
You posts are smug. But your skill doesn't quite match your smugness.
This was my favourite part by the way, the part where the pot called the kettle black.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1694
Gear Guru
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➡️
The troll has left the building.

Or the thread, I forget which.

He commented elsewhere that he “doesn’t come on this thread anymore”.

So I thought I’d just help with his resolve.
sitting here on hold waiting for the Next Available Representative and I did tally marks for the past seven pages of this thread. Comments by, about and responding to our resident troll were running two to one against posts actually about Serban Ghenea or his mixing. That includes two pages with a lot of people live-tweeting the webinar. Any posts about mixing "in general" that were disconnected from the bickering went into the SG column.

I wish SG had mixed this hold music. It's dreadful and catchy at the same time.
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1695
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostman ➡️
to quote the great , late nate dogg....

"the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the melody"....
WHAT?!?

you butchered the line mate, it’s

“The rhythm is the bass and the bass is the TREBLE”
Old 9th May 2020
  #1696
Lives for gear
 
ghostman's Avatar
oops I stand corrected

.....memory failed me

apologies....

Either way , the low end is the anchor
Old 9th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1697
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
My two cents

I used the metric halo channel strip tdm to eq and comp that vox. I was referencing a Serban mix. You can't reach his sound. My sound it's just average compare to him. Bytheway client was happy and payed.

https://youtu.be/z-pq3tgNL9k
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1698
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea19837 ➡️
I used the metric halo channel strip tdm to eq and comp that vox. I was referencing a Serban mix. You can't reach his sound. My sound it's just average compare to him. Bytheway client was happy and payed.

https://youtu.be/z-pq3tgNL9k
I think we are forgetting that the average productions that some of us get to mix have nothing to do with the productions mixers like Serban are getting.

Yes, he is a genius, but I think that recieving the Bruno Mars 24K Magic Pro tools sessions to mix makes the job easier to get to that pro sound. You have to be really bad to screw it up.

I mean, if I have to mix an unknown/amateur indie band, which I may have tracked or not, the quality of that song/production/tracking will be so much lower than something done by Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson.

The songs I get to mix are not international hits, they lack of any memorable and catchy chorus, don’t have the instrument execution level of a top of the chart song, and the arrangement is probably more mundane. No matter how good I’m mixing (which I’m not by the way, cause if I were, my work would have more demand), I will never be able to make it sound like the big boys. Even they couldn’t.

I think that more than one of you would have a nice surprise if they had 24k Magic raw tracks and mix it.
Old 10th May 2020
  #1699
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Hey, I spent some time trying to recreate the SG mix of Love me Harder from the unmixed stems, so that they null as much as possible. The steps to recreate what i found (if you find the stems) are:

Step 1 -- add MH channel strip to every channel, LPF at 17.5k ... a lot of channels perfectly nulled with just this. No further EQ got anything closer (i tried on each channel)

Step 2 -- automate levels of a few things in different sections by 0.5dB max, to get things nulling as much as possible.

And that's it. Here's a file of the difference I was left with after doing that, except boosted by 16.5dB coz the differences were very quiet. Hopefully this link is allowed... (BTW it's silent for like the first 20sec coz he hadn't done anything at all to that section clearly.)



With all the drums for eg, I had a perfect null on most of the elements within the drum stem, so what you can hear that's left is possible something he'd added on a parallel chain (basically just a bit of extra punch). Also the bass I think he'd maybe added extra sidechain OR extra distortion, but I couldnt find a setting that made the null any better. I'm sure whatever it is is very subtle.

Otherwise, most all you hear is the level rides on the vocals, which is interesting but pretty simple still. Seems like he really did almost nothing to it, so I guess he thought that Max Martin's mix was close to perfect anyway. Obviously that wouldnt be the case with all producers, haha...


Would be interested to see if anyone has further thoughts on the difference file.
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1700
Registered User
 
Podgorny's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SongsByGROVER ➡️
Hey, I spent some time trying to recreate the SG mix of Love me Harder from the unmixed stems, so that they null as much as possible. The steps to recreate what i found (if you find the stems) are:

Step 1 -- add MH channel strip to every channel, LPF at 17.5k ... a lot of channels perfectly nulled with just this. No further EQ got anything closer (i tried on each channel)

Step 2 -- automate levels of a few things in different sections by 0.5dB max, to get things nulling as much as possible.

And that's it. Here's a file of the difference I was left with after doing that, except boosted by 16.5dB coz the differences were very quiet. Hopefully this link is allowed... (BTW it's silent for like the first 20sec coz he hadn't done anything at all to that section clearly.)



With all the drums for eg, I had a perfect null on most of the elements within the drum stem, so what you can hear that's left is possible something he'd added on a parallel chain (basically just a bit of extra punch). Also the bass I think he'd maybe added extra sidechain OR extra distortion, but I couldnt find a setting that made the null any better. I'm sure whatever it is is very subtle.

Otherwise, most all you hear is the level rides on the vocals, which is interesting but pretty simple still. Seems like he really did almost nothing to it, so I guess he thought that Max Martin's mix was close to perfect anyway. Obviously that wouldnt be the case with all producers, haha...


Would be interested to see if anyone has further thoughts on the difference file.

Fun experiment. It really goes to show that the difference between a great record and a not great one happens long before the mixer ever touches it. In addition, a lot of what makes great engineers great is knowing when to leave a good thing well enough alone.
Old 10th May 2020
  #1701
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Well said Kyle.

That gives the recording engineer and the producer a little extra kudos.

Cheers
Old 10th May 2020
  #1702
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If even Serban gives you all his settings, presets and tools do you really think you will mix like him?

Of course not. You should listen like him, hear like him, have his experience and so on. Even that wouldn’t be enough.

You could learn a lot from him and still at the end it’s gonna be a different result. Not bad, different, maybe be good, maybe even better, but not the same. There is no magic elixir, channel strip, reverb, resonance remover, compressor, EQ that will make you a good engineer.

This webinar was great and they said exactly what is important today, nobody was bored, all of them were listening to each other and all were very respectful.
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1703
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by temnov ➡️
If even Serban gives you all his settings, presets and tools do you really think you will mix like him?

Of course not. You should listen like him, hear like him, have his experience and so on. Even that wouldn’t be enough.

You could learn a lot from him and still at the end it’s gonna be a different result. Not bad, different, maybe be good, maybe even better, but not the same. There is no magic elixir, channel strip, reverb, resonance remover, compressor, EQ that will make you a good engineer.

This webinar was great and they said exactly what is important today, nobody was bored, all of them were listening to each other and all were very respectful.
They were all truly professional and respectful and no one would expect any less.
But i bet money part 2 will never come, unless their obligation to the Grammy crew is beyond their control.

It seemed pretty poorly designed to me to have that level of talent ‘in the room’ and yack about the surface beginner stuff they did.
If their market was inexperienced producers and songwriters and beginning home recordists (Which is who they were talking to it seemed) they should have had a different panel.
Weird to me that ‘The Grammys’ couldn’t put together the market with the product a bit better than that.
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1704
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle ➡️
They were all truly professional and respectful and no one would expect any less.
But i bet money part 2 will never come, unless their obligation to the Grammy crew is beyond their control.

It seemed pretty poorly designed to me to have that level of talent ‘in the room’ and yack about the surface beginner stuff they did.
If their market was inexperienced producers and songwriters and beginning home recordists (Which is who they were talking to it seemed) they should have had a different panel.
Weird to me that ‘The Grammys’ couldn’t put together the market with the product a bit better than that.
As far as I know they planned Q&A for at least 30 minutes, maybe more. But it never came to it, really. Why? They talked about the things that are most important for them. As somebody said already it wasn’t GS oriented webinar

Nice Otari, by the way!
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1705
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLS ➡️
For those that missed it here's a recording of it:

https://yadi.sk/i/setgWEsa2pNGoQ
thank you
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1706
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by temnov ➡️
As far as I know they planned Q&A for at least 30 minutes, maybe more. But it never came to it, really. Why? They talked about the things that are most important for them. As somebody said already it wasn’t GS oriented webinar

Nice Otari, by the way!
Thanks! Its a nice board.
Old 10th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1707
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle ➡️
Thanks! Its a nice board.
I’m missing these big things mine were PM2000-3000 and I’m still using D5000 and Rev7!
Old 11th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1708
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by temnov ➡️
I’m missing these big things mine were PM2000-3000 and I’m still using D5000 and Rev7!
Nice. My Rev7 got noisey so i replaced it with another spx-990. I adore those things.
Ive actually found a pretty damn close alt for the symphonic preset in these boxes....
https://tal-software.com/products/tal-chorus-lx
Not quite as active but widens nice and has a similar tone.
Old 11th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1709
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle ➡️
Nice. My Rev7 got noisey so i replaced it with another spx-990. I adore those things.
Ive actually found a pretty damn close alt for the symphonic preset in these boxes....
https://tal-software.com/products/tal-chorus-lx
Not quite as active but widens nice and has a similar tone.
Nice! Thank you, I’ll check it out. Symphonic is very unique.

I was able to model d5000 vocal templates 1 and 2 in KHz plugin ( Slate bundle), but just that, too many options to use, although it’s not that hard.
Old 11th May 2020 | Show parent
  #1710
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by temnov ➡️
Nice! Thank you, I’ll check it out. Symphonic is very unique.

I was able to model d5000 vocal templates 1 and 2 in KHz plugin ( Slate bundle), but just that, too many options to use, although it’s not that hard.
Nice. I just used vx template 2 in a mix last week.
I tried to get an ir from symphonic and my computer burst into flames....

Last edited by GreenNeedle; 11th May 2020 at 04:55 AM..
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