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Mixing
Old 10th August 2002
  #31
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
While it's part of my job as producer / engineer, I really hate mixing, it's my least favorite part of the whole process, I enjoy finding the band, meeting them, pre production, tracking and overdubbing... but not mixing.

It all seems to come together at the last moment for me. A day per song or the much favored day & a half is ideal for me... but I dont do it all in 'one hit'....

.....What I do with PT, is hop from one song to another, all day, even all week... I gradually get them all towards being 'mix ready'.

Then I like to get the clients in and get their opinions, often asking them (I usually work with rock bands) to write down all their ideas on one piece of paper.. (it's good when they argue amongst themselves!)

It takes me a minute to swap between mixes, add to that a maximum of 5 mins of careful outboard reset / recall.

Then I work through the ideas filtering the **** ones out of course...

Then I put the 48k 24bit source analog mixes onto Masterlink @ 24bit 44.1 (or a second PT rig) via a Cranesong Hedd.

Usually I import those 44.1 24bit PT mixes to a "junior' / DIY mastering session - then send the final dithered mix to 16bit to a Masterlink where I create the Red Book CD.

If there is budget for mastering I call ahead to see what the best format to deliver the mixes on...
Old 10th August 2002
  #32
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
WOW! 9 in a day. I feel great if I get 2 or 3 (even 1 good one) . I did take a budget project one time where we tracked 11 songs in a day (the bass player had to take 'pinkies') and mixed them all the next day. I forgot about it until I got a producers copy from Oasis. You know what? It wasn't half bad but I sure won't tell you where to find it.
peace,
chaprollz
Old 10th August 2002
  #33
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by chap
You know what? It wasn't half bad but I sure won't tell you where to find it.
Neither will I.
Old 10th August 2002
  #34
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Dave, a career is at stake here.


Hey Jules,
Have you installed a bigger hard drive in your Masterlink? Alesis gave me one ( as part of an endorsement deal) before they cleaned house and I've ignored it. Do you like it better than 'bouncing'? I'm building a new room so I'm trying to get to all the details first this time.
Here's the designer Chris Huston . He's from your neck of the woods and engineered Led Zep 2.
Thanks,
chap
Old 10th August 2002
  #35
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
No I haven't messed with the Masterlink, I dont need to keep TOO much in there at one time... Many folks have swapped out the hard drive though, with good sucess I am assured.

Your studio designer Chris has quite a track record there..!

Old 9th November 2004
  #36
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
well Dj if you whishheh

I start either with the drums first or with the lead vocals (mostly lead voc). I'm always fighting with my singers (I can't stand any singers) - so I get the vocal track to work first.
When I have a feeling for the vocals I start with the drums. For me it's much simpler to do the drums after the vocals. I know where the vocal sit - so the drums better don't mess with the vocal
btw when the song works with drums and vocals up - that's a great feeling

I need on day per song - but most of the time I have to work faster - np I just don't like it, but my clients don't care

My fastest project: 14 songs in one day. The band was terrible the record sounds like **** and my name isn't on the cover

Jo
Old 9th November 2004
  #37
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I do rock only and it's always a band situation where I'm also producing.
I try not to start mixing before ALL tracking is done, but I've never succededheh .
When I do start the actual mixing process, I start building the drums: getting the balances and overall frequency balance of the drums right takes me about a day for the first mix. Next is mixing in the bass and guitar, trying to get the midrange working together. With drums, bass and guitars, the song must be happening already or I start over...
After that the leadvocal where I do spend quite some time on automation and FX. I think the first song takes me about 2-3 days, after that it's about a day per song and then 1-2 recalls where I tweak a little.
I mix the songs one by one, but try to get some homogenity with my balances. My final album that is send to master is definitely not one of the "no need to touch anything" . Especcially levels and some overall eq between songs needs to be matched.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 10th November 2004
  #38
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't have a default level for my vocals. I probably have em around -10dB - I open the fader and have my monitoring level at the place where I know it's ok for the whole mix. Then I listen to the vocals opening the channel 'till it feels good (levelwise). My monitoring level is quite low: around 72dB - for me 80dB is too loud to mix in the studio (my peak point at concerts is 96 dB - I don't like music too loud.


Considering all this: one problem I have is getting the gain staging at 2 correct. I always struggle with this . I compensate with my 747 or with the C2 - but I dunno whether it's a good idea. Should I lower all channels when my 2bus is too hot??? - That's what I'm asking myself a lot while I'm mixing. (btw I got my 2bus processing inserted at the L/R bus)

You got me thinking DJ

Do you guys have any set levels, like say Kick peaking at ... dB - and vocals at ... dB?

thanks for the hint Dj

Jo
Old 10th November 2004
  #39
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
first I think of the other songs on the record and the artists overall intent for the record

then I bring up all the faders and hear the song

then a pass or two of quick panning and eq and levels to get a blend that's fresh and appropriate

quick check of output levels to tape, thinking about tape artifacts and level to tape (30 ips)

(no comp or eq on the 2 mix)

then the details, eq, comps, effetcs, as many ideas and tweaks as it takes to get it sounding 'right'. 'right' is what the song tells me it wants to be plus what the artist says must be there.


when fine tuning and printing the mix i monitor off the repro head AND post converter 16 bits, MAYBE with a little L2 but usually not.
Old 10th November 2004
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Gie-Sound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a quick mixer too...heh
The last DVD I mixed, took me 2,5 days. And I didn't even make a lot of hours. I think it had 16 songs (or 14? ) so you do the math

So I spend most time on the first song for a basic balance without vocals. And when I'm happy I'll mix one song after another, starting with the settings of the song before (vocals muted). First I make sure the drums are at the same level as before and then I'll try to balance all the instruments (and automate them a little bit when needed, and tweak the eq's and fx a bit when needed). When I feel that the instrumental thing is 95% there, I'll add the BV's, and then the leadvocal.

I like to mix on a analogue desk with pro tools HD as a tape machine / editor / automation. And I use mostly outboard, and just a little bit of plugins.
I print my mixes back into HD with Apogee convertors.
Most of the times I have a trident EQ (little top, little bottom) + 1969 (big on) on my mixbus. Sometimes I'll add a SSL buscompressor after that. I almost never compress drumtracks. But I do bus my drums, and compress that bus with a SSL buscompressor (with a customized highpass in the sidechain)
I do have my favorite chains for a lot of instruments / vocals... but they keep changing over the years... (my favorite mix-chain for a lead-vocal right now is: Tubetech CL-2A-->1176-->Manley Voxbox (just using the eq and the de-esser)-->desk-eq(?!)

About starting the first/basic buildup. Well that's not always the same... but... i do like to start with just drums, finding the different eq points I think I'm going to need... So basicly I dial in the freq's by cutting and boosting, but once I "found it", I set the gains back to 0. So I do look for freq's in solo, but I only cut and boost within the content of the mix.
Then comes bass... and then guitars and keys (first the underlying sounds, than the "leads")
EQing is done all the time...heh
Old 11th November 2004
  #41
Gear Nut
 
sharpeleven's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I start by kicking everybody else out of the control room...

Old 12th November 2004
  #42
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
If I get one done in a day that great, I tend to do projects with alot of tracks. If I'm lucky and they're easy, not too many tracks, I can get two. I start with an SSL FG384 on the 2 buss. I set it up so a tone has to get to +1 to start to compress. Sometimes I push everything up and see what I've got, but most of the time I've tracked it, so I know what I've got. So I'll start with the overheads, then the kick, snare hat, then I bring in the room tracks then the bass, then the lead vocal.
I start bringing everything else in around that. I listen from the return of what I'm mixing onto, usually a masterlink. I tend to use alot of compressors at low ratios. and patch in eq's where I need them. I get a static mix pretty happening then I start adding fx. Then I do mutes, faders till the mix or I'm cooked.
Old 8th December 2004
  #43
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
During downtime in tracking I'll start doing basic mixing stuff with plug-ins. Nothing too crazy. When it comes time to mix, you are halfway there.
Old 14th July 2009 | Show parent
  #44
Gear Maniac
 
cazdell's Avatar
i don't mix my music
Old 14th July 2009 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
Osse_87's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Interesting subject, but I would like to twist it a little(if it's ok with the moderator?)

I'm wondering what people is thinking about mixing all tracks in the same project, with the same processing of each song?

It certainly goes a lot faster, but to my ears the total consistent sound can be rather boring in the long term, it can be interesting with different drum sounds, different focus on instruments on the tracks.

How do you approach this?

How consistent do you mix the songs in an album? Do you replace with different drum samples on different songs, or just focus on different instruments depending on song?
Old 14th July 2009 | Show parent
  #46
Lives for gear
 
strewnshank's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osse_87 ➑️
Interesting subject, but I would like to twist it a little(if it's ok with the moderator?)

I'm wondering what people is thinking about mixing all tracks in the same project, with the same processing of each song?

It certainly goes a lot faster, but to my ears the total consistent sound can be rather boring in the long term, it can be interesting with different drum sounds, different focus on instruments on the tracks.

How do you approach this?

How consistent do you mix the songs in an album? Do you replace with different drum samples on different songs, or just focus on different instruments depending on song?
Its great to see this 2002 thread back up...lots of cool stuff in here!

I try to use similar routings and HW settings throughout a record for consistancy and simplicity, but do different things to each song to make them stand out from eachother. That also allows me to AB stuff throughout the session, so if I like what I did to the guitars in song 4, I can go make the changes to songs 1,2,and3 if need be. For stuff I've tracked that I'm producing, I track a lot of my FX, and print tape delays and such, so a lot of the sonic landscape is alread designed, it just needs to be mixed.
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