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"printing' mixes? How many do you do.
View Poll Results: When printing the main mix do you
Get one version a perfect as possible
48 Votes - 52.17%
Do several versions & pick the best version later
21 Votes - 22.83%
Do several versions & edit between them later
1 Votes - 1.09%
With stereo "stems", to balance later
4 Votes - 4.35%
"the mix" and a "vocal up" mix
18 Votes - 19.57%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

Old 21st April 2003
  #1
"printing' mixes? How many do you do.

OK lets just forget the accapela mixes & TV mixes or no lead vox mixes.

What do you normally do for the main version of a mix?

Enter the poll!

Feel free to suggest different options and I may include them..(dont vote untill I do in that case)
Old 21st April 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Good topic!

I'll be mixing a project in the next few weeks where the client will not be attending, so I'm considering using the stem approach instead of the usual vox up, vox down, etc. method.

I'm thinking that at least I can make any needed changes without rebuilding the complete (analog console + HW) mix.

The only concern is the 2-Bus I usually have inserted. My thoughts are to mix like normal (only bussed to the stem ins) and bypass the 2-Bus comp for the actual transfer. Then when client approves, I'll mix the stems to 2-track with the comp (re)inserted.

Theoretically, at least, it SHOULD be the same...

Any potential 'gotcha' I'm overlooking?
Old 21st April 2003
  #3
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Generally...

β€’ a main mix we would consider "well balanced"
β€’ another with the vocal pushed slightly forward
β€’ if it's a dance thing, another with the kit pushed forward

come back to it the next day and see which one feels the best.
Old 21st April 2003
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
It depends on the client. For artist types, I'll do two - the way I like it, and vocal up (since a lot of artists really like to hear themselves...) for my usual clients, they get what I think best, but they also get stems of the lead vox, BGV's, and a stereo track. If they don't like what I gave them, they can change it.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Usually, I'm a stem mix kind of guy.

Once I set all my stereo stems to unity, I try to get one version as perfect as possible, if necessary I would adjust, balance or remix a stem later.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #6
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One mix. Might take me while, but I like to commit to one final version. A vocal up/down version would change the relation of other instruments in the mix as well.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
2 ways

I go one of 2 ways.
If a client is on a label with a budget, I'll do stems for Calbi to master.

If it's me to the finish, I'll work to get one mix
and tweak after living with it.
I think our best friend is the deadline (except when I'm looking at one, like now)
off to work,
chap
Old 22nd April 2003
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not down with any of the above. If it's a demo I'll do one mix unless there's something that the band loves but is really bugging me. For an album I'll do between 2 and 4 mixes and let the band pick 'em later. Usually it's 2 mixes, sometimes 3 and very very rarely I hit four. I'll do one mix that I like and then make a few changes on whatever I have doubts on. The second version might be a vocal up, maybe it'll be a guitar and snare up with less 'verb on the BGV's. Who knows. I never do stems.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #9
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
one mix.

if things need to be changed its very easy to do. of course i might have umteen versions by the end
Old 22nd April 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
jazzius's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
People very often bring several versions to master..........it normally goes like this:

Vocal version = vox at the right volume give or take 1 db

vocal down (-3db) version = vox too quiet

vocal up (+3db) version = vox too loud

the point i'm trying to make is that these multiple versions are normally a waste of time......what i suggest to people is to try and get the vox at the best volume and then do up/down versions +/- 1db or maybe even less. Then you have some real choices.

A few months ago i had a guy bring up/down versions +/- 8db

!
Old 22nd April 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm doing ridiculously simple mixes, no fader moves, no compressors, minimal EQ, and only 4 tracks. In analog land.

I've been printing many versions of each with the tiniest little tweaks, mostly relative volume levels, total volume level, and little adjustments to the process controls on the HEDD (mixing to digital).

It's astonishing how different the mixes sound- some are so very, very much wide open, engaging, dynamic, etc., it's very hard to predict which ones will be, but obvious enough in retrospect- one usually is hands down the best.

I don't envy y'all with your lotsa lotsa tracks to mix- that's got to be gruelling!
Old 23rd April 2003
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jazzius
A few months ago i had a guy bring up/down versions +/- 8db
I could be one of those guys. I remember mixing the first song of an EP and the artist and I were taking a long time to hammer out the instrumental stuff and at one point we just threw the vocal in there really loud while working on guitars and some ear candy stuff. We kinda left it there and after printing the first version of the mix and taking a break we came back and thought the vocal was a bit too loud so I dropped it 1dB.

Not enough. Let's make it 1.7dB. Still not enough, let's go for 3dB down.

Ahhh, that's better. Print mix #2 and then A/B #2 to some other stuff. ****, we're still too loud, drop it another -1dB, nahhhhh... make it 2dB. The end result was the first mix, #2 was ld vox -3dB, mix #3 had the vocal down a total of 5dB from mix #1. And then, there was mix #4 with some other minor changes like more attack on the kick, less snare verb, second guitar fill up 1dB etc.

Yeah, I can be a nightmare. I'll also do shakers up or down 2-4dB if I'm feeling it. heh
Old 24th April 2003
  #13
Gear Head
 
Fat Cat's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I usually do 1 mix and send it home with each band member for them to listen to and list any adjustments. Meanwhile I stick the mix in Wavelab4 and do a rough mastering job on it to see what comp/limiting/BBE etc... does to it. Than a few days later we make adjustments and do a second/final mix.

So I guess I do 2 and a half mixes.
Old 8th May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
alternate mixes would be left side of the stereo buss +0.1 db up.

another would be right side stereo buss out of phase.

maybe one more along these lines if the girl singer wont sleep with me.
Old 8th May 2003
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a one mix type. I think I might do vocal-up version this weekend.
Old 8th May 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I just finished producing/mixing the new Phoebe Snow record. I brought one mix of each song on stems and it worked out great. This is the second record I've done this way and I'll never go back.
It allows for micro adjustments at the last minute.
One example is that I cut the drums out of a breakdown while mastering (on a whim of course)
and it worked out great.

cheers,
chap
Old 9th May 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
One mix. Might take me while, but I like to commit to one final version. A vocal up/down version would change the relation of other instruments in the mix as well.
C'mon dude, you sayin' that you don't do a vocal up?heh

I have a client who makes me do like 10 mixes per song. I yell at him and call him insane but I do it. What a crock of ****.
Old 15th April 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Most of the time one. If I do a mix in less than 3 or 4 hours, I will do a vocal up. That is if it is up to me, and sometimes it isn't.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 16th April 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
C_F_H_13's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
generally I do.

Main Mix
Inst
TV
Acca
Vocals +1db
Vocals -1db

However, sometimes I am asked to do a few alt mixes like with and without a certain FX (like if I flange a guitar in the intro).

I also always print stems, not cause they ask, but just for me in case they want to rebuild something months or years down the road. Excessive, yes....safe..definetly. It never sounds exactly the same, but bigwigs at labels havn't noticed yet.
Old 16th April 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
My main mix.
Vocal up .5dB
Vocal up 1 dB
Vocal down .5dB
Vocal down 1 dB
Tv track
Instrumental.

if there's ONE major contentious thingy, like for example, we can't all agree about a banjo or some odd thing, I might take a 1dB less banjo with generic vocal level mix.

I try to decide based on the song and arrangement whether to take the vocal options with only the lead vocal or ALL the vocals being trimmed.


I also, tend to think of the generic as the mix.. until I get to mastering, and only then decide if after EQ the vocal seems too loud or too soft.
Old 16th April 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Even though I'm mixing with a Folcrom, everything else is printed (outbard FX etc.) so total recall takes 2 minutes.

So one mix is all I need. If I'm mixing on an Analog Console I would do 16 different mixes to ensure that I didn't have to recall it. They almost never sound the same. Especially after the studio owner swaps channel 16 and 23 from the old Neve.
Old 16th April 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Nightshade
I don't envy y'all with your lotsa lotsa tracks to mix- that's got to be gruelling!
Sometimes it's easier -- if the arrngement is tasteful and the playing is pocket (rhythm & dynamics -- i.e.: the players are playing the PART and playing to the flow of the SONG), sometimes it can be easier, I think. Well, at least it makes it so the work is 'cut out for you.' I mean, if you have only a few elements and something's not sitting right, it's a lot harder to mix around it or to change perspective and build the mix on something else.
Old 16th April 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chap
I just finished producing/mixing the new Phoebe Snow record. I brought one mix of each song on stems and it worked out great. This is the second record I've done this way and I'll never go back.
It allows for micro adjustments at the last minute.
One example is that I cut the drums out of a breakdown while mastering (on a whim of course)
and it worked out great.

cheers,
chap
1) Which mastering places are dealing with stems? I brought 'em once and the guy went straight to my 2-track.

2) How do you deal with master bus compression when making stems?
Old 17th April 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I don't see why it's in anyway a good idea to delay mixing decisions until mastering.

if you have to mix on speakers you cannot trust... mix somewhere else.

The idea of mastering is to get that sound I heard at mixing on to the final record... not to 'rethink' ANYTHING.
Old 17th April 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Exactly.
Old 17th April 2006 | Show parent
  #26
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
My main mix.
Vocal up .5dB
Vocal up 1 dB
Vocal down .5dB
Vocal down 1 dB
Tv track
Instrumental.

if there's ONE major contentious thingy, like for example, we can't all agree about a banjo or some odd thing, I might take a 1dB less banjo with generic vocal level mix.

I try to decide based on the song and arrangement whether to take the vocal options with only the lead vocal or ALL the vocals being trimmed.

I also, tend to think of the generic as the mix.. until I get to mastering, and only then decide if after EQ the vocal seems too loud or too soft.

I hear you...

This is why I like to stem mix. Micro adjustments to vocal levels and such can be made and recorded to the final stereo medium at anytime.

If we need to drastically change something I'll just remix the stem that needs the updating. I try to keep my stems to four stereo tracks (set to unity gain) sometimes I use more stems.
Old 17th April 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano

1) Which mastering places are dealing with stems? I brought 'em once and the guy went straight to my 2-track.

2) How do you deal with master bus compression when making stems?


1) Most Mastering houses can handle stem mixes. But, I usually give them a finally stereo mix.

2) I place a stereo buss compressor on each stem. If there are not enough available I would do a few different passes with the same compressor. Doing it this way gives you the opportunity to adjust each stem differently.
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