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mix your own stuff??
Old 31st May 2003
  #1
Gear Head
 
Gijs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
mix your own stuff??

Guy's I am puzzled by this simple question:
Should you (and/or are you really able to) mix the music you make yourself?

I always wanted to know everything bout engineering and mixin' to be a autonomous musician/producer.
Now I heard the new album of my favourite band (names not important for the subject...) and this time they mixed it themselves.
guess what?
It sounds good but not as good as before (when a great job was done in the Real World Studios)
Different vocal treatment, less spacious, less "together"

Is it just a golden rule not to mix your own musical stuff or can this rule be broken??

I'd love to know what you think about this and how you takle this wierd rule
Old 31st May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jazzius's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
yo Foxxy, you already know what i think, but i'll answer anyways........ i think you're more than capable of mixing your own stuff.......'course the better your monitoring (or at least the better you know how it'll translate) the better the mix will B.

ga jij vanavond toch lekker niet naar de Panana gozer???
Old 31st May 2003
  #3
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
OF course this sort of rule can be broken. But look at it this way; you may have spent 10 years honing your craft as a singer/guitarist/songwriter. Unless you've spent at lest that long working on your engineering chops, why expect to be able to mix (or record) as well as you play? Most of the engineers I know have been engineers a lot longer than 10 years (but then, most of the musicians I know have been playing a lot longer than 10 years, too); there are good reasons to hire the professionals.
Old 31st May 2003
  #4
Gear Head
 
Gijs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
JOJO jazz!
ik ga dansen!


Quote:
there are good reasons to hire the professionals.
Yes but were is the matter of knowing your material, knowing what to communicate with the audiance: (your) music?

Does the proffesional always know whats better you think?
This unbiased ear?
Old 1st June 2003
  #5
jho
Lives for gear
 
jho's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I got started in engineering by mixing my own stuff many years ago. It formed the foundation of much of what I know today. I don't see any problem with mixing your own stuff, unless there is some sort of mental block or you just can't get it how you want it IMHO.
Old 1st June 2003
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fox

Yes but were is the matter of knowing your material, knowing what to communicate with the audiance: (your) music?

Does the proffesional always know whats better you think?
This unbiased ear?
No, the professional does NOT always know better, but he should be more familiar with the tools and techniques involved with getting the best mix possible from your tracks.

As to whether you know best how to communicate with your audience via a recording, I don't know. You know how YOU want your project to sound, but you can't know whether that sound will communicate with the audience as you wish to. And you may have problems getting from wnating the project to sound a certain way, and actually getting it to sound that way.
Old 1st June 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
covert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: mix your own stuff??

Quote:
Originally posted by fox
Guy's I am puzzled by this simple question:
Should you (and/or are you really able to) mix the music you make yourself?

I always wanted to know everything bout engineering and mixin' to be a autonomous musician/producer.
Now I heard the new album of my favourite band (names not important for the subject...) and this time they mixed it themselves.
guess what?
It sounds good but not as good as before (when a great job was done in the Real World Studios)
Different vocal treatment, less spacious, less "together"

Is it just a golden rule not to mix your own musical stuff or can this rule be broken??

I'd love to know what you think about this and how you takle this wierd rule
Sometimes you know the results you're reaching for better than anyone esle could.

Sometyimes a fersh set of ears is a good thing.

It's easy to get lost in the trees producing your own, and miss the forest. Tweaking that guitar sound to the ends of teh earth while the song dies.

Familiarity can also kill you. I have stuff I mixed, with the vocals way buried. I always heard the words, because I knew the words.

There is no rule, but finding ways to avaoid the disasters is a good idea. Let a mix go for a few days, or even weeks, then listen to it, and see what jumps out and goes boo. Don't send it for mastering the immediately.
Old 1st June 2003
  #8
jho
Lives for gear
 
jho's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: mix your own stuff??

Quote:
Originally posted by covert
Let a mix go for a few days, or even weeks, then listen to it, and see what jumps out and goes boo. Don't send it for mastering the immediately.
Wise words indeed.
Old 1st June 2003
  #9
Gear Head
 
Gijs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes that's indeed how I do things:
Let it rest, listen to it, wait a bit and then come back again.

Massive Attack, Bill Laswel are the kind of examples where it does work.

What Dave says is also true: Those years of practise might get you there sooner.


I guess I'll stick to my plan: mix it myself
thanx guy's
thumbsup
Old 2nd June 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fox

Yes but were is the matter of knowing your material, knowing what to communicate with the audiance: (your) music?

Does the proffesional always know whats better you think?
This unbiased ear?
Why does it have to be an exclusive proposition? Who says that if you are working with a professional mixer that you stop being involved in the decision making process?

When I mix someone's music, the client is often present for all or much of the time. At any point if my instincts or inclinations are taking the music away from the vision of the artist, they are rarely shy about steering me back on track. Even if they are not present, they will be constantly evaluating my mixes at every stage, offering criticisms and comments about what they like or don't like.

I can't tell you, in your own personal situation, which will be the better result: self-mixing or hiring it out. A lot of that depends on how good your skills are, what equipment you have, etc. But the argument that somehow the artist is less involved in the decision-making when working with a pro engineer is not valid, at least in my experience.

Another way of looking at it is: if the artist is the only one who can truly realize their own artistic vision, then they should consider playing all the instruments - drums, bass, guitars, keys, horns, percussion, vocals, etc. After all, as soon as you hire pros to play anything, you are giving up some level of personal control of the results.

Yet most of us don't do this. Partly because most of us don't have the skills, but more importantly, the synthesis of other people's creative input into a project is usually considered a plus, not a minus.
Old 2nd June 2003
  #11
Gear Head
 
Gijs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by littledog
the synthesis of other people's creative input into a project is usually considered a plus, not a minus.
That is so true,
That's what gets us making music in the first place.
So that's indeed true for mixin also.....hee.....
I think that is why the previous release of my favourite band is done so well. He (the mixer) takes/mixes the music a step further.

I think I'll take my (mixin-)friend (Jazzius, you might know him) with me next time, to get the creative proces started while mixin!

Maybe it's even true that you try to hide anything that you think is not well played while someone else doesn't notice or thinks it contributes to the song.

So that is something to be careful about!

Nice angle littledog!
Old 2nd June 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the reason i ended up mixing for others all the time is related to the fact that i bought gear many moons ago to record my own stuff. i'm an ok musician, but i've become a better engineer. i still record my own stuff mind you, so i'd encourage you to try.

however, i have also been in many other studios and paid for other peoples assistance as i've needed it in the past. their expertise earlier in my journey was a huge help. keeps you from getting stuck too much in one mindset. as you can, at least occasionally work with pro's and you'll get a new look at your own material.
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