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Best technique, plugin, piece of information you wished you knew years ago?
Old 16th February 2013 | Show parent
  #61
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazz Noise ➑️
A quote I'll always remember is "What you're aiming for is awesome".

And it is. Wether that's sticking a vocalist through a guitar amp or using a floor kick for a kick drum or just taking your time getting the mic and placement right. If you're not feeling something, think about what might make you feel it.
Absolutely...dead on...
Old 17th February 2013 | Show parent
  #62
KCH
Here for the gear
 
KCH's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Mix related:

Mess and noise and distortion is interesting.
Pace yourself. Monitor as quiet as you can get away with.
Work on music which you enjoy.
Reply to emails.
Old 17th February 2013 | Show parent
  #63
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCH ➑️
(...)Monitor as quiet as you can get away with.
Work on music which you enjoy.
(...)
Sticky, please!
Old 17th February 2013 | Show parent
  #64
Gear Nut
 
foge's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The biggest things for me are:
1) seeing how talented people work in person. Easy to learn loads thus way in a short time.
2) listening to multitrack stems of commercial projects and reflecting on the arrangement, the sound choice and what changes between sections.


G
Old 17th February 2013
  #65
Lives for gear
 
voodoo4u's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by KCH
(...)Monitor as quiet as you can get away with

Aaah... not quite.

85db (give or take a few) is the ideal listening level. It's where all frequencies carry the same weight more or less evenly (equal loudness contour). If you monitor too quietly, your mixes will tend to be a little heavy on the top end and low end as your ears are most sensitive to mid frequencies at a low level.

The piece of information I wished I learned years ago is that success in this business, as in most businesses, is more about relationships than anything else. How you make them, how develop them and how you maintain them. Your clients (the musicians) tend to be fairly sensitive and insecure people overall. If you're hard to work with or disrespectful of their skills, they won't be back. If you treat them with openness, respect and honesty, they will tend to be loyal clients and choose you as their careers develop. They'll rather work with you than the guy down the street with the latest and greatest new _______ (Neve, SSL, whatever) that's met them four or five times and still still can't respect them enough to remember their names. Relationships first... gear later. Very unslutty, I know.
Old 18th February 2013
  #66
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Mixing with super low volumes, and I wish I could hear compression and distortion as I can hear now, it has a lot to do with the speakers, good speakers changed my life.
Old 18th February 2013
  #67
Gear Addict
 
RoadToNever's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Good monitoring trumps them all.
Old 22nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #68
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brassmoose ➑️
Please elaborate. I know what transients are, but how does one preserve them? Especially while applying compression & limiting & EQ. Perhaps a little 101 discussion would be great.

It's not about preserving transients, it's about shaping them as well as the spaces in between. Sometimes that means preserving them, sometimes that means creating them, but more often it's a mix of both.

You have to learn to focus on that tiny little burst of sound on the leading edges of the elements and use compression to get them to subtly 'pop' the air in a way that creates the almost-subliminal template, or outline, of the groove.

Then you shape the release and tweak the threshold to create the movement in between those spaces that enhances, deepens, or even redefines the groove.

You can use parallel blends, if needed, to add greater definition to, or a more interesting movement to, the groove, but always stay focused on making sure that those little 'pops' are clearly defined, rhythmically meaningful, and tight, fast.

People think of eq as tone benders, and they are, but I'd argue that they're more important as clarifiers of transients. You use them to suck out the energy that muddies the transients, and/or you use them to add focus or punch to the transients.

When you get all your sounds tightly compressed, with meaningful transients and well-articulated envelopes in between, you will be shocked at how easy the rest of the work becomes. You just balance the transients of all the different sounds, and (ideally) they interlock like pieces of a jigsaw, each one contributing it's pattern of 'pops' to the overall groove.

What's more shocking is how much space and definition you will hear in the mix. Having well defined transients gives the ear and brain very clear cues as to where sounds begin and end, making them much easier to hear when tucked into mixes. So your mixes have as much or more perceived space as they do sound, even if you have a lot of sound going on, because the contrasts between attacks and releases are so beautifully crafted and clearly articulated.

All of this requires monitors that have very good transient fidelity, and (most importantly of all) you need to be in an acoustic environment that is itself fast and well balanced. If you've got that, then it's just a matter of learning how to hear, learning what to focus in on and how to know when you've got it.

I do *not* like to monitor quietly during this shaping phase of a mix. I start off loud --- like 90dB --- so I can really *feel* how the air is moving. As the mix comes together, the volume keeps coming down. By the end, I'm mixing so quietly that someone talking in a hushed voice would make it impossible to hear what I'm doing.

Then I crank it again just to feel the love, because I love gorgeously produced music played very, very loud :-)


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 22nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #69
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Always take Fountain.

-R
Old 22nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #70
Gear Maniac
 
mike-661's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
-Proper room acoustics/Monitors! (including small ****ty ones, which I enjoy!)
-CLASP
-Subtractive EQing
-Quiet room = lower mixing volume
-The right mixbus compression
-EQing room for the vocals
-Room mics
-Drum tuning
-Listening/making frequency decisions BEFORE reaching for the EQ (without SOLO)
-Mixing without a screen glowing in my face!!
Old 22nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #71
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
UBK...

"I do *not* like to monitor quietly during this shaping phase of a mix. I start off loud --- like 90dB --- so I can really *feel* how the air is moving. As the mix comes together, the volume keeps coming down. By the end, I'm mixing so quietly that someone talking in a hushed voice would make it impossible to hear what I'm doing.

Then I crank it again just to feel the love, because I love gorgeously produced music played very, very loud :-)"

Geezus... this is EXACTLY how I feel about it.

I also completely agree with the importance of transients and the amount of definition and space they provide. I keep quoting Al Schmidt but I think he's one of the best there is. And he always used to say that the snare had more to do with defining the "space" that a song was recorded in than any other instrument. Why? Because of the amount of transients it contained and the amount of overall frequency spectrum that it covered. Get that right, relative to how you want the song to be perceived, and the rest is a walk in the park.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #72
Lives for gear
 
hyposonic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
i wish i had known there was no magical piece of equipment.
Old 23rd February 2013 | Show parent
  #73
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyposonic ➑️
i wish i had known there was no magical piece of equipment.

Well, in a way, they're *all* pretty magical.

It just depends on what kinda tricks you expect them to perform, and whether your expectations are reasonable.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #74
Deleted f25ebd2
Guest
Hey UBK, about your earlier statement regarding 'creating a different space for the verses and choruses', were you referring to arrangement or also to production (i.e. change perceived distance of instruments etc.)? Really interested to know...
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #75
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I was referring to both production and arrangement. Making things taller, shorter, wider, deeper, more static, more motile.

Even something as simple as coming out of a dry verse into a chorus with a new sound that's drenched in reverb and that sits in a higher register than anything else. Add fx to the vocal, move an element to a totally different spot in the soundfield, make it darker, and drop its level... that kind of stuff.

Try to literally 'look at' the space you've created in a given section, and give the next section a totally different shape, so the whole song feels like it shifted.

It's a way to create contrast and drama. Those are good things, even if they're more subtle than dramatic. But when in doubt, err on the side of dramatic.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #76
Deleted f25ebd2
Guest
Thanks! Sounds like a very interesting thing to try.
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #77
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
+1 on good monitoring.

Best trick I've learnt over the past few years was how to incorporate massive amounts of room mics into my mixes without them getting mushy. I throw a wildcard room mic in with almost every track i record. Adding rooms really takes the edge off of bright sources like electric guitar and drums. EQing and compressing them correctly is important.
Old 24th February 2013
  #78
Lives for gear
 
hyposonic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
Well, in a way, they're *all* pretty magical.

It just depends on what kinda tricks you expect them to perform, and whether your expectations are reasonable.

Gregory Scott - ubk
i think i understand what you're saying - i've had my share of "wow" moments when trying new tools.

i was referring to my very inexperienced, early days, when i fantasized about gear... and had unreasonable expectations.

realizing that most of the magic lies in the operator's hands was some kind of satori/epiphany to me.
Old 24th February 2013
  #79
Gear Nut
 
Andy Warren's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Appreciating this thread very much.
Old 24th February 2013
  #80
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Knowing where all the sweet spots are on instruments,use of hpf,lpf, getting better at eqing between 200hz-1khz changed a lot. For edm putting everything under 175-200hz in mono on the 2buss. This especially gave more power to my mixes and made it easier to place things. Also proper use if distortion/ saturation to bring out elements...dont have to use as much compression anymore
Old 25th February 2013
  #81
Gear Maniac
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Because of this thread (and some recent mixing frustrations during a project), new monitors are #1 on my list of Things To Get Next. Though I have decent headphones and expensive active computer speakers, GS has made me rerealize their limitations; I knew a replacement would have to happen soon, but I'd sort of "backburnered" the purchase due to lack of funds and, perhaps more, a bit of a midwinter mic-buying frenzy. Danke, folks!
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #82
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
i'm still learning.

Thanks for all of the great posts and insight, everybody. You guys are teaching me so much! Here's what I have learned in my short time spent making bad recordings of myself:

Performance trumps everything.

I think the songwriting sets the bar for how good a song can be, the performance of the artist during tracking is where the magic(or potential for magic) happens, and the mixing and mastering phases are used to flavor/color the song, highlight select moments, and sprinkle fairy dust.

You can define much of the character and quality of a tune in tracking, with your choices of room, mics, mic placement, pres, eq, compressors, conversion, etc. They all have some type of sound. However, I think that a good song and a magical (not perfect. magical!) performance are the most important things. Those two factors can, and often do, overcome sonics. So, focus on tracking. If it doesn't sound right and move you before you even mix it, you can't fix it!
Old 25th February 2013
  #83
Gear Maniac
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Stay mentally and emotionally present and constantly reference your mix.
Old 25th February 2013
  #84
Lives for gear
 
8 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Lower monitor levels

Waves VEQ3 (I know, it's very basic but it works for me)

Putting vibey performances over caring too much about mic bleed, perfection, details
Old 25th February 2013
  #85
Lives for gear
 
Electric Sugar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The importance of arrangement.
Old 25th February 2013
  #86
Lives for gear
 
Sotsirc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Sugar ➑️
The importance of arrangement.
I thought it said "The importance of arrogance". But this is good too.
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
Electric Sugar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc ➑️
I thought it said "The importance of arrogance". But this is good too.
To be honest I don't have enough arrogance! That's something I need to work on more.
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #88
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sloper ➑️
+1 on good monitoring.

Best trick I've learnt over the past few years was how to incorporate massive amounts of room mics into my mixes without them getting mushy. I throw a wildcard room mic in with almost every track i record. Adding rooms really takes the edge off of bright sources like electric guitar and drums. EQing and compressing them correctly is important.
Could you elaborate with an example? This sounds quite cool.
Old 25th February 2013 | Show parent
  #89
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
It's not about preserving transients, it's about shaping them as well as the spaces in between. Sometimes that means preserving them, sometimes that means creating them, but more often it's a mix of both.
....
When you get all your sounds tightly compressed, with meaningful transients and well-articulated envelopes in between, you will be shocked at how easy the rest of the work becomes. You just balance the transients of all the different sounds, and (ideally) they interlock like pieces of a jigsaw, each one contributing it's pattern of 'pops' to the overall groove.
Hey Gregory, thanks for the elaboration! This gives me lots to chew on & experiment with. Much appreciated!
- Moose
Old 25th February 2013
  #90
Deleted 7a0e5c3
Guest
Technique: proper gain staging, clearing low mids using subtractive EQ, using LPF/HPF to retain headroom and constantly comparing the unlimited mix to reference tracks @-12dbfs
Plugin: Lexicon PCM Bundle and UAD Pultec
Gear: Acoustic treatment, better converters and better monitors.
Information: somebody pointed me out that my mixes where too clean and needed more agression in the 1K-5K range. Took me months to re-develope my ears.
Tutorial: Chris Carter's Mix Walkthrough and Ken Lewis' Audioschoolonline
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