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Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2761
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by IM WHO YOU THINK ➡️
And Prince Albert comes in a can? Ok, forget I said that.
It’s in the right spirit.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2762
Gear Maniac
 
To move on to geeky stuff, @ TheHanes how do you approach mixing bell sounds and other type of sounds (smooth organ, other types of "clean" sine-type sounds) that feature a proeminent fundamental harmonic and just few upper harmonics?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2763
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi ➡️
Hi John.

Thanks for all your wonderful answers.
Aside from not having time in your schedule what are the biggest reasons for not accepting a mixing job?

Does your management push absolutely everything through to you to decide or is there any sort of filtering process before you even get to hear the project?

Many thanks for your time.
Answered here:

Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2764
Gear Head
 
octopi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by quarantinebeats ➡️
Thank you quarantinebeats, I didn't look far enough back.

Apologies John.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2765
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi ➡️
Thank you quarantinebeats, I didn't look far enough back.
No worries, it's a lot to go through.

For you and anyone else new to the thread, John starts sharing in post #1 ,767 of this thread Serban Ghenea Mixes - all ITB?

The discussion also spins out into a formal Q&A, topics located here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-a-...er-john-hanes/

I would really recommend setting aside some time each day for a week or two to read through a few of the topics and posts, definitely worth the effort.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2766
Here for the gear
 
Adam Peter Shinn's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi John,

Big fan of yours and Serban’s work over the years! Goes without saying but I have read all of your responses to questions here and really appreciate all the inspiration and direction.

I particularly love the stuff you guys did for Musiq Soulchild. ‘Luvanmusiq’ is a sonic masterpiece and one I constantly reference in my R&B work. Was curious to know how much of a roll saturation, tubes, tape, transformers, etc played or didn’t play in those tracks. Tracks like “Lullaby”... Musiq’s vocal is so fat and warm! So are the synths. The midrange just has such a smooth quality to it! How did you guys approach that?

More recently, also loved the tones you guys got on “Senorita” (Camila and Shawn Mendes). Just another great sonic presentation with this full and punchy character and thick in your face vocals and 808s that stayed present.

Any way you can help me draw the lines on those tracks?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2767
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sircuit ➡️
To move on to geeky stuff, @ TheHanes how do you approach mixing bell sounds and other type of sounds (smooth organ, other types of "clean" sine-type sounds) that feature a proeminent fundamental harmonic and just few upper harmonics?
I guess I don't have a specific general answer. What space do they have in the production? If a true "bell" chime, probably add some reverb to flesh out the sound. Might also add a bit of saturation. A true bell hit in the world would never sound dry, in your face, and pure in my mind.

for sine-type synths, these are best used by producer's as a fill beneath other sounds, or as a lead-line synth where it can be high in the mix and prominent.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2768
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Peter Shinn ➡️
Hi John,

Big fan of yours and Serban’s work over the years! Goes without saying but I have read all of your responses to questions here and really appreciate all the inspiration and direction.

I particularly love the stuff you guys did for Musiq Soulchild. ‘Luvanmusiq’ is a sonic masterpiece and one I constantly reference in my R&B work. Was curious to know how much of a roll saturation, tubes, tape, transformers, etc played or didn’t play in those tracks. Tracks like “Lullaby”... Musiq’s vocal is so fat and warm! So are the synths. The midrange just has such a smooth quality to it! How did you guys approach that?

More recently, also loved the tones you guys got on “Senorita” (Camila and Shawn Mendes). Just another great sonic presentation with this full and punchy character and thick in your face vocals and 808s that stayed present.

Any way you can help me draw the lines on those tracks?
Thanks, the Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott era stuff remains with me as some of my favorite working experiences.

First off, kudos to the amazing producers, writers, and artists. Jeff Townes' (DJ Jazzy Jeff) Touch Of Jazz production crew were amazing to work with.

Without pulling up the actual sessions, I think that a lot of that warmth was available because the productions were kind of open. These were not crammed full of every synth and sound available; but carefully chosen, often real recorded instrumentation, analog recording processes. That leaves a lot of the sonic space available to allow a vocal to be warm and present without having to hype it to overcome synthesizer mid and high end hype.

It is really the style of writing, production, and artist that brings that out. Each night as we were leaving the studio in Philly after one of the trips up there for a project, we put on Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" and marvel at its sonic quality. Maybe that influenced the mixing a bit. That era had some wonderful music.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2769
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
It is really the style of writing, production, and artist that brings that out. Each night as we were leaving the studio in Philly after one of the trips up there for a project, we put on Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" and marvel at its sonic quality. Maybe that influenced the mixing a bit. That era had some wonderful music.
Do you think this because back in the 90's most instruments has to be recorded with a mic or DI rather than being rendered inside a DAW host?

And also meant that the performance had to be on point as it couldn't be easily tweaked after the fact?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2770
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethem ➡️
Do you think this because back in the 90's most instruments has to be recorded with a mic or DI rather than being rendered inside a DAW host?

And also meant that the performance had to be on point as it couldn't be easily tweaked after the fact?
No not necessarily; synthesizers and samplers were certainly well established by then.

I think that the artists and producers creating that New Philly Soul sound chose live instruments and live musicians because they wanted that special performance and sound.

The talent around that area at that time was amazing. The Roots had a studio in the building where we mixed, Larry Gold owned the studio and did string arrangements, and the team at Touch Of Jazz was outstanding.

Also, I believe that live performances, with their human quirks and "mistakes" are a beautiful part of music. Too much cleanliness and perfect performances sterilizes the music.

Check out their story;

https://youknowigotsoul.com/the-stor...who-were-there
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2771
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnHonestMix ➡️
Hey John, bit of a different question. How does the magnitude of your work strike you after all these years? Does it eventually feel normal to be mixing #1s every day?

Your & Serban's work has been the soundtrack to our lives the past 30 years... high school proms, first dates, late night drives, trips to the grocery store, nights out. We've laughed, cried, fallen in love, broken up to music that you've had a role in creating.

The other day I was chatting with a friend over dinner, and 5 Serban mixes came on the radio outside in a row.

Is it weird that your work follows you around just about anywhere you go?

I'm just wondering if it ever gets old or if there's still a sense of freshness
Hi John, realize this may have gotten lost in the fray. Curious your answer to this one?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2772
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnHonestMix ➡️
Hey John, bit of a different question. How does the magnitude of your work strike you after all these years? Does it eventually feel normal to be mixing #1s every day?

Your & Serban's work has been the soundtrack to our lives the past 30 years... high school proms, first dates, late night drives, trips to the grocery store, nights out. We've laughed, cried, fallen in love, broken up to music that you've had a role in creating.

The other day I was chatting with a friend over dinner, and 5 Serban mixes came on the radio outside in a row.

Is it weird that your work follows you around just about anywhere you go?

I'm just wondering if it ever gets old or if there's still a sense of freshness
It is a bit odd. I'll be working out at the gym and some days the music seems like all our work; It does feel like I've not left work.

I don't really listen to music outside of work. When I workout, i'm listening to a podcast (Penn's Sunday School my fave). In the car it is sports talk or news.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2773
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
... I believe that live performances, with their human quirks and "mistakes" are a beautiful part of music. Too much cleanliness and perfect performances sterilizes the music.
...

I remember seeing Christina Aguilera's producer for the "beautiful " record telling a story about how she had to literally physically block Christina from getting back into the vocal booth and re-do the take that became the final take for the record that blew up around the world.

She said all christina could hear was flaws and mistakes and hated it.....but the mixer knew it was the money take


TO echo what many have said already, thank you so much for all your help here John.


If you got a second ....(no worries if not)....

I just wondered what your approach to reverb is on Bass.


You guys have incredible depth on the low end, but it remains crisp and punchy....i wondered if you had a rule about how low (hz) you'll go with the use of reverb and if so, will you go more mono in the bass ambience the lower you go....


Im kind obsessed with low end and you and serban are like ninjas on the low end....re the decay/sustain of the bass whilst not making it too dry


best wishes . peace
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2774
Between this thread, and some things I heard Greg Wells say about multiband compression on the master (and I think specifically saying he talked to Serban about it, and how he is using it, but I'm sure nothing super specific was revealed, other than Greg's setup), I've spent a few weeks messing with it more. I think between paying closer attention to clip gain envelopes, less compression, and a little better automation on vocals, a big piece is the multiband compression on the master. Adjusting the attack time on a pretty wide mid band can really make the vocals dominate the track or sit back a little bit. This thread is really great, big thanks to John for being generous with time, and info.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2775
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ripley ➡️
Between this thread, and some things I heard Greg Wells say about multiband compression on the master (and I think specifically saying he talked to Serban about it, and how he is using it, but I'm sure nothing super specific was revealed, other than Greg's setup), I've spent a few weeks messing with it more. I think between paying closer attention to clip gain envelopes, less compression, and a little better automation on vocals, a big piece is the multiband compression on the master. Adjusting the attack time on a pretty wide mid band can really make the vocals dominate the track or sit back a little bit. This thread is really great, big thanks to John for being generous with time, and info.
Wow so it basically comes down to multiband compression?
That's really it?

I guess some people maybe have not read through this thread?

These guys are working with the very top producers/arrangers/artists and songwriters. They are getting the very best productions/songs to work with, that are arranged, performed and edited to a T.
We are talking the top 1% of the industry.

That kind of consistent work is only farmed to a certain few.

If you are wondering why "if i put my pants on through the same pant leg as those guys and my stuff still doesn't sound as good" maybe start there.

At that level is all about knowing when not to do something instead of "what should I be doing".
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2776
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➡️
Wow so it basically comes down to multiband compression?
That's really it?
I didn't say or imply that that's "it." Just something I was struggling with that I tried out after reading about in this thread, and hearing about some other people doing. Something I wasn't looking into much, or wasn't very good at understanding. I'm not comparing my work to people at Serban's level, just saying I learned something, and it helped. Jeez.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2777
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
@ TheHanes

Have you ever been tempted to take a break from Contemporary Pop music and work on an different genre like Jazz or Progressive Metal for example, just to take on a new challenge? If Justin Bieber did a Scott Walker and wanted you guys to mix it, would that be something you would be open to?

Also on completely different tangent, I think modulation effects get neglected on GS and in music tech in general. How do you use modulation in your mixes and what do you use?

Last edited by Lethem; 3 weeks ago at 08:42 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2778
XDX
Gear Head
 
XDX's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ripley ➡️
I didn't say or imply that that's "it." Just something I was struggling with that I tried out after reading about in this thread, and hearing about some other people doing. Something I wasn't looking into much, or wasn't very good at understanding. I'm not comparing my work to people at Serban's level, just saying I learned something, and it helped. Jeez.
I went and tried the ML4000 after seeing Tchad Blake use it on his mix buss and then seeing it mentioned here a few times. It has a familiar sound with how it handles transients. Something "round" about it to me.

When really driving it, it sounds cleaner in the low end than my Pro-L2, but not as loud. I don't think I'll use it on my mix buss, for it's limiting or compression, but I think some cool uses for it are on kick/snare, or a drum buss to get that roundness and low mid punch.

And it sounded great on bass, using some expansion into it's limiting. Very controlled sound.

I'm glad this thread put some spotlight on it.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2779
Wait, are you talking about the ML1 or the ML4? I am (probably missing something) a little let down that you can't use the ML4 without hitting the limiter in it, but it's easy enough to avoid. The way I'm using it, I don't want to do limiting at that stage, but I might as well try it where I would.

The ML1 should sound "cleaner" in theory, they advertise it as a serial limiter, but I'm not sure I've seen them describe it in much more detail than that. I'm liking it at the end of things, it for sure sounds very clean to me, but I'm also barely hitting it.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2780
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
I don't really listen to music outside of work. When I workout, i'm listening to a podcast (Penn's Sunday School my fave). In the car it is sports talk or news.
Glad that's not just me -- mostly listen to speech podcasts when I'm out of the studio too!

Incidentally, John, in case you're still on this thread, I just wanted to thank you for these kind words. (Tried to reply on that thread, but it's locked.) It means a lot to me that you've been following The Mix Review, as your work has been an inspiration to me professionally, and tracks like Kacey Musgraves's 'Butterflies', Karmin's 'Brokenhearted', and Selena Gomez's 'Lose You To Love Me' (among many others) provide benchmarks of excellence that challenge us all to work harder at what we do!

Last edited by triviul; 3 weeks ago at 03:15 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2781
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by triviul ➡️
Glad that's not just me -- mostly listen to speech podcasts when I'm out of the studio too!

Incidentally, John, in case you're still on this thread, I just wanted to thank you for these kind words. (Tried to reply on that thread, but it's locked.) It means a lot to me that you've been following The Mix Review, as your work has been an inspiration to me professionally, and tracks like Christine Kacey Musgraves's 'Butterflies', Karmin's 'Brokenhearted', and Selena Gomez's 'Lose You To Love Me' (among many others) provide benchmarks of excellence that challenge us all to work harder at what we do!
Thank you! I think that your reviews are amazing and very well done. You have the knowledge of musical theory, musical history, and an ability to analyze musical talent that I wish I had.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2782
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
Thank you! I think that your reviews are amazing and very well done. You have the knowledge of musical theory, musical history, and an ability to analyze musical talent that I wish I had.
>blush< What can I say? You're a true gent! More power to you and your work -- the world is a better place for the magic you add to your mixes!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2783
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethem ➡️
@ TheHanes

Have you ever been tempted to take a break from Contemporary Pop music and work on an different genre like Jazz or Progressive Metal for example, just to take on a new challenge? If Justin Bieber did a Scott Walker and wanted you guys to mix it, would that be something you would be open to?

Also on completely different tangent, I think modulation effects get neglected on GS and in music tech in general. How do you use modulation in your mixes and what do you use?
I think that is would be fun to try things like that, but I'm afraid I'd probably just embarrass myself. I did do a spec mix of a Saint Ansonia song "The Hunted" that didn't win the project (and my mix is not released), but did get some nice reviews from the label. What I found out from that was that some genres have some very specific needs and unspoken requirements that you really need to be versed in to compete in those fields.

I'm sure that I could work in those genres with the producer sitting next to me and working with me on the mix, but working remotely as I do, I don't have the depth in those areas to compete on my own.

As far as modulation effects; I like to use them where I can. I've got a few sends in my preset set up to a couple of auto-pans, a flanger, and a chorus. I like to try sending things to them and see how they fit. Having them on send like that allows me to quickly try them out with any sounds in the mix.

I think that they can add a lot of subtle movement and interest to otherwise static and boring sounds.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2784
Gear Maniac
 
prog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi John,

I've been following these thread from the start and of course I read the whole Q&A so I'm very sorry if you already answered this question but; do you have any strategy when there's too many tracks and a lot of work to do just to get a decent rough mix going?

Ever start just by "prepping" each track individually before actually mixing the song? i.e: going track by track in solo filtering unnecessary low end/hi end, printing fx, bouncing down submixes for layered stuff and such? In other words, shaping each track to the point you would have taken it in production/recording.

Sometimes there's just too much work to do and it can become very overwhelming just deciding where to start.

Thank you! This thread is awesome

Last edited by prog; 3 weeks ago at 04:45 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2785
Lives for gear
 
JanZoo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi John,

First, let me express my deepest gratitude for sharing with us here !

And second, could you tell something about vocal effects on Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus, I think it's mixed by Serban as well?

What is that modulation on her vocals, especially on the hook ?

Are those tightly double tracked vocals, or some eventide harmonizer-like effects or both ? Also, are there some programmed vocoding underneath like izotope vocal synth or something ?

The song sounds amazing and interesting, in the same time modern and retro, amazing stuff !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2786
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hey John, can you talk at all about Jason Derulo's -Take You Dancin' mix?

Specifically all the (good distortion)...
Did it come in with that or did Serban add a lot of it? (and what did he use!?)
Thanks so much.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2787
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by prog ➡️
Hi John,

I've been following these thread from the start and of course I read the whole Q&A so I'm very sorry if you already answered this question but; do you have any strategy when there's too many tracks and a lot of work to do just to get a decent rough mix going?

Ever start just by "prepping" each track individually before actually mixing the song? i.e: going track by track in solo filtering unnecessary low end/hi end, printing fx, bouncing down submixes for layered stuff and such? In other words, shaping each track to the point you would have taken it in production/recording.

Sometimes there's just too much work to do and it can become very overwhelming just deciding where to start.

Thank you! This thread is awesome
It is a big problem and doesn't seem to be getting better. There also is not a good solution that fits all instances.

So luckily I don't have a track count issue where I need to submix just to hear everything.

Also, I would not put this much work into it if the project doesn't reward you in some meaningful way; money, fame, etc. This is above and beyond your normal duty as a mixer. If it isn't worth the effort, ask them to bounce down stems and mix from there.

That being said.

First you need to get the mix to match the rough mix from producer / artist. They need to send you a rough instrumental and rough acapella as well. Start with their rough instrumental and go bar by bar through the song; looping 1 bar at a time, get that bar to match their rough mix. As you progress down the track, new elements come in, match each one; level, eq, panning, effects, etc.

As you go through it this way, you'll find those problems to fix like noises, excess low end, etc.

Then do the same with the vocals. Bar by bar looping each bar until you get it the same as the rough mix.

After that is done; you've re-created their rough mix; now the work of actual mixing starts.

As I said, don't do it unless it is worth it. You deserve a bit more respect as a mixer than to deal with this much work just to re-create a rough mix that someone already has somewhere.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2788
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Congrats on another #1 with Silk Sonic 👌 also thoroughly enjoying the re recorded Fearless - the sonics are amazing!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2789
Gear Maniac
 
prog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHanes ➡️
It is a big problem and doesn't seem to be getting better. There also is not a good solution that fits all instances.

So luckily I don't have a track count issue where I need to submix just to hear everything.

Also, I would not put this much work into it if the project doesn't reward you in some meaningful way; money, fame, etc. This is above and beyond your normal duty as a mixer. If it isn't worth the effort, ask them to bounce down stems and mix from there.

That being said.

First you need to get the mix to match the rough mix from producer / artist. They need to send you a rough instrumental and rough acapella as well. Start with their rough instrumental and go bar by bar through the song; looping 1 bar at a time, get that bar to match their rough mix. As you progress down the track, new elements come in, match each one; level, eq, panning, effects, etc.

As you go through it this way, you'll find those problems to fix like noises, excess low end, etc.

Then do the same with the vocals. Bar by bar looping each bar until you get it the same as the rough mix.

After that is done; you've re-created their rough mix; now the work of actual mixing starts.

As I said, don't do it unless it is worth it. You deserve a bit more respect as a mixer than to deal with this much work just to re-create a rough mix that someone already has somewhere.
Thanks again!!

I can play everything but sometimes the track count isn't really manageable to mix for me (let's say, 150+ tracks for instance).
It can get pretty daunting to have that much control; particularly when the rough mix is pretty bad and filled with unresolved (and uncomitted) problems because you can "fix it in the mix" ; that's the situation I meant.
Thank god PT has folder tracks now, I guess

But you're totally right, it has to be worth it. It's just that I'm seeing this trend a lot nowadays that most musicians are self recording and self producing at home by themselves (at least in my end of the spectrum).
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #2790
Special Guest
 
TheHanes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by prog ➡️
Thanks again!!

I can play everything but sometimes the track count isn't really manageable to mix for me (let's say, 150+ tracks for instance).
It can get pretty daunting to have that much control; particularly when the rough mix is pretty bad and filled with unresolved (and uncomitted) problems because you can "fix it in the mix" ; that's the situation I meant.
Thank god PT has folder tracks now, I guess

But you're totally right, it has to be worth it. It's just that I'm seeing this trend a lot nowadays that most musicians are self recording and self producing at home by themselves (at least in my end of the spectrum).
Oh My! TBH I didn't even think of this situation with a bad rough mix, self-produced and recorded project.

I'm seeing this in medium to big budget projects, experienced producers, signed artists, record company budgets, and good rough mixes and good productions.

It is a "cram everything in and fix it in the mix" because "I can't make a decision if like this or not" situation.

I don't envy you doing this at "your end of the spectrum".
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