Main Forums >> Recording Techniques
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new
      #1029437 - 20/01/13 12:18 PM
I've always wanted to achieve more with my mixes (READ : I am very poor at mixing my tracks), so decided to spend the money on Mike Senior's 'Mixing Secrets' book to add to the collection. It's a great book so far and I am getting a clearer idea of what I need to do with regards to my mixes, however, there's a couple of things that I thought I already understood that I'm now confused about...

..first - panning and mono compatibility. I had always read and believed that to mix in mono first is more worthy of your time because you can deal with any nasties up front before using the stereo width effectively. The book says :

Quote:

Stereo panning needs sorting out, for a start, because its otherwise impossible to judge the effectiveness of the mix in mono




But in a previous chapter discussing mono signals it says :

Quote:

Central sounds therefore feel just as solid as those at the stereo extremes, so it becomes possible to judge exact level balances in your mix with pinpoint accuracy, regardless of stereo positioning.

Mono listening also forces you to work harder to achieve clarity for each of the sounds in your mix, because you cant make things more audible just by shifting them to less cluttered areas




It then goes onto explain how we never hear a true stereo picture anyway. So why must we look to pan to achieve a balance? Surely it's better to just have everything straight up the middle and deal with thing such as the 3db increase in central sound that was explained, phase irregularities etc?

For example, when recording a mono point source such as an electric guitar wouldn't it be better to leave it up the middle and get it sitting right alongside everything else (as per the quotes above) before panning it later. You would be safe in the knowledge that sounds work in mono before spreading them out to achieve more separation if required.

As an aside to this, I am looking at a mix where I have been trying to balance in the way described and encountering a drop in volume from wider panned instruments when listening in mono. I'm undecided whether this is a drop in volume there or an increase in volume from central sources?

The next question is much more simpler and concerns high pass filtering. I understand that you need to clear junk frequencies out of the way, and I also understand why with regards to multi-mic sources. However, I've always read things like "you can high pass filter the snare up to 150hz" and other similar things. How does this relate to :

Quote:

Restrict your use of high-pass filtering here to just removing frequencies well below the range of the lowest instrument




I understand that it then goes onto say that you should judge more filtering later on so I may be jumping the gun, but still I'd like to know how this advice relates to other general advice I've read and whether this is accurate or not.

If you've read this far then thanks, and I hope you can help!
Tom


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21541
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029445 - 20/01/13 01:26 PM
I'm sure Mike will be along shortly to answer in person, but in the meantime I'll shsare my own views on this.

Quote tomdot:

It then goes onto explain how we never hear a true stereo picture anyway.




Stereo is an illusion -- it is a clever way of fooling our ears (or the ears of most of us -- some people really can't hear stereo! Their brains are too clever to be fooled! ) into thinking that there are discrete sources of sound laid out before us between the speakers.

Quote:

So why must we look to pan to achieve a balance?




Because the inherent action of the pan control results in small changes of levelof the panmned signal to each channel -- and thus upsets the critical balance slightly relatice to a pure mono balance. Consequently, a suitable compromise must be found, which will involve minotr alterations of level relative to the original mono mix.

Quote:

For example, when recording a mono point source such as an electric guitar wouldn't it be better to leave it up the middle and get it sitting right alongside everything else (as per the quotes above) before panning it later. You would be safe in the knowledge that sounds work in mono before spreading them out to achieve more separation if required.




That is certainly my preferred approach -- born from years of working for a mono-concious broadcaster! To me, the hardest part of making a mix work is sorting out the overlapping spectrum issues, where sources with similar spectral content overlay one another and thus confuse or mask each other. Fundamental issues like this are easily ignored and overlooked if you work in stereo from the outset -- and then become major pains in the behind to sort out after you've already spent hours building your mix.

So, I always start in mono, and sort out the arrangements, EQ and balances to make the thing work reasonably well in mono. After that, I pan things to where I want them to be and fine-tune the balance as necessary, and then check mono again to ensure it still works acceptably well.

It is noticably harder to build a mix in mono (or it appears to be much easier to mix in stereo, if you prefer), which is why few force themselves to work this way. The same issues arise when working in surround -- the additional spatial imaging makes it even easier to create fantastic sounding mixes in surround... but which don't work well at all in stereo or mono!

Quote:

As an aside to this, I am looking at a mix where I have been trying to balance in the way described and encountering a drop in volume from wider panned instruments when listening in mono.




Yep, that's the inherent compromise involved in stereo-mono compatibility. Central sound sources will always appear to be 6dB louder than widely panned sources of the same source level. There is no way around that. That's why you will need to readjust the balance slightly, and decide on the best compromise mix that satisfies in stereo and is still aceptable in mono.

Quote:

I'm undecided whether this is a drop in volume there or an increase in volume from central sources?




Either. It depends on what you consider to be your reference point, and how the panning laws are configured. Some attenuate the edegs, some boost the centre... But the same 6dB variation between edge and centre will always exist.

Quote:

I understand that it then goes onto say that you should judge more filtering later on so I may be jumping the gun, but still I'd like to know how this advice relates to other general advice I've read and whether this is accurate or not.




Most source recordings contain a degree of subsonic rubbish which is detrimental to the final mix, even if not directly audible, so high-pass filtering of each source is generally a good thing. But clearly, you don't want to remove important fundamental frequencies, and you don't want the inherent phase-shift associated with high-order high-pass filters to have an audible affect on the source, either.

Consequently, where you set the HPF turnover has to be judged on an individual basis, removing only the irrelevant and unhelpful LF content, without detracting from the source contribution. And that can really only be judged as the mix is being constructed.

Sometimes it is beneficial to be quite heavy-handed with the HPF. For example, heavily cutting the bottom end out of an acoustic rhythm guitar might sound horribly savage when you audition the tarck on its own, but it might well make it work far better in the mix, avoiding muddying up the lower midrange of the overall mix.

So there are no hard and fast rules, and it has to be judged by ear. However, as a rule of thumb, I normally high-pass filter everything at between 30Hz and 75Hz or so when recording and tracking simply because there is nothing but rumble and rubbish down there anyway (the lower setting being used for bass, kick drum and other sources with lowish fundamentals, and the higher setting for everything else). And then I would typically introduce a second high-pass filter at a higher frequency as I start to build the mix, to remove unwanted LF spill or unhelpful lower mid that is cluttering the mix.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029448 - 20/01/13 02:17 PM
Thanks Hugh, I think that's as good an answer as any.

Is it safe to say that we only look to use the pan pots as a 'nicety' rather than any fundamental sonic reason then? I've certainly always thought that mono recordings make more sense simply because there's nowhere you will ever hear the stereo image you've created other than in front of your own monitors and over headphones.

It's also nice to see that I'm not experiencing anything out of the ordinary, and I understand now that it's more of a "whatever works best" type of thing rather than anything else.

As for the filtering question, I already high pass filter a lot because I understand about subsonics and unwanted frequency. My question was specifically relating to Mike's take on high pass filtering ensemble recordings. He says to filter from the range of the lowest instrument. This is fine in principle, however, why all the fuss with filtering each individual instrument (ie, kick, snare etc)? Couldn't we just zero the faders, put an EQ over the stereo bus and filter out there and then look at fader balance and pan etc?

I know that phase etc plays a part when individually filtering multi-mic'ed instruments, and this is why the advice was given, however, when you hear that you can filter a lot higher on certain instruments (ie snares), I wonder why you hear of filtering so high when you could disrupt the phase between instruments?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
chris...
active member


Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 4576
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029451 - 20/01/13 02:40 PM
Quote tomdot:

Is it safe to say that we only look to use the pan pots as a 'nicety'



We use the pan pots to make stereo, which is something most people like the sound of.


Quote:

why all the fuss with filtering each individual instrument (ie, kick, snare etc)? Couldn't we just zero the faders, put an EQ over the stereo bus and filter out there



You might want to filter bass frequencies out of, say, a vocal mic, but not out of, say the kick drum.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: chris...]
      #1029544 - 21/01/13 08:09 AM
Hi tomdot, and thanks for the kind words about the book!

Quote tomdot:

For example, when recording a mono point source such as an electric guitar wouldn't it be better to leave it up the middle and get it sitting right alongside everything else (as per the quotes above) before panning it later. You would be safe in the knowledge that sounds work in mono before spreading them out to achieve more separation if required.




As Hugh has already mentioned, unless you're using an unusual panning law, any panning you do will change the balance in mono. This is why I suggest setting the pan controls early on, so that you don't knock that balance out later. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't monitor in mono, however, because I agree with Hugh that mono monitoring tends to make you work harder and achieve a more robust balance.

As Hugh said, though, you can leave the panning until later if you want, as long as you make sure to reassess the balance once the panning's in place. Remember that the step-by-step method presented in the book is only there to simplify and structure the mixing process to begin with, for learning purposes. As you gain confidence in the principles at work, you can (and should!) move to a more instinctive workflow that's adapted to your own personal preferences. (There are more details about making this transition later on in the book -- chapters 15 and 20.)

Quote tomdot:

The next question is much more simpler and concerns high pass filtering. I understand that you need to clear junk frequencies out of the way, and I also understand why with regards to multi-mic sources. However, I've always read things like "you can high pass filter the snare up to 150hz" and other similar things. How does this relate to :

tomdot Quote:

Restrict your use of high-pass filtering here to just removing frequencies well below the range of the lowest instrument




I understand that it then goes onto say that you should judge more filtering later on so I may be jumping the gun, but still I'd like to know how this advice relates to other general advice I've read




I'm guessing that you might not have reached chapter 11 yet:

"One other point to make is that you may wish to reassess the high-pass filter settings you initially decided on while balancing, in the light of your increased knowledge of the mix. If you remember, we set them fairly conservatively to start with in order to defer dealing with additional phase problems. Now that we’re better equipped to handle those issues, you should feel free to clear out unwanted low end more astringently should you so desire."

Again, I decided to separate the 'subsonics-removal' and 'low-end balancing' functions of the high-pass filter in order to provide a step-by-step teaching method. However, it would be a bit pedantic to work that way once you're confident with balancing and EQ techniques.

Quote tomdot:

As for the filtering question, I already high pass filter a lot because I understand about subsonics and unwanted frequency. My question was specifically relating to Mike's take on high pass filtering ensemble recordings. He says to filter from the range of the lowest instrument. This is fine in principle, however, why all the fuss with filtering each individual instrument (ie, kick, snare etc)? Couldn't we just zero the faders, put an EQ over the stereo bus and filter out there and then look at fader balance and pan etc?




I only suggest filtering out below the range of the lowest instrument to start with. If you're following the step-by-step process, then you should expect to adjust the high-pass filter settings further while working through chapter 11.

Quote tomdot:

I know that phase etc plays a part when individually filtering multi-mic'ed instruments, and this is why the advice was given, however, when you hear that you can filter a lot higher on certain instruments (ie snares), I wonder why you hear of filtering so high when you could disrupt the phase between instruments?




The issue of phase and multi-miked ensemble recordings is a complicated one, which is why I tried to separate basic balancing and phase issues from questions of EQ'ing for teaching purposes. I didn't want to sweep those complications under the carpet, though, so I tackled the phase implications of EQ'ing ensemble recordings head-on at the end of Section 11.3.

Hope that helps!

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029553 - 21/01/13 09:36 AM
Thanks for coming and contributing to this Mike. Generally it's not often that you can ask a question about a book and get the bloke wot wrote it and an ex-BBC engineer to sort it all out for you! You know what best selling book could really do with this kind of approach? The Bible! Imagine if all it took to figure out a passage was to jump onto the forums at 'Smote Unto Smote' and ask "John, what did you mean when you said..."

I think this book is the best thing for people such as myself - I've been doing this for years and have knowledge on most things regarding mixing, but no real grasp or reasoning. It's meant that I twiddle and tweak and wonder why it's never sounded great ever, even though it should because I did 'X, Y, and Z'. I'd then just settle for a bad mix until next time when I convince myself I'd crack it.

I'm a fan of workflows and linear approaches to learn from (so I was a really fun kid), and this book offers that approach before ruffling it's hair up it seems, so I'm essentially trying to forget everything I've learnt and start again - hence the confusion around quite simple things.

Thanks again everyone who answered, it really did help :-)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
Posts: 3189
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029575 - 21/01/13 12:50 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:



Because the inherent action of the pan control results in small changes of levelof the panmned signal to each channel -- and thus upsets the critical balance slightly relatice to a pure mono balance. Consequently, a suitable compromise must be found, which will involve minotr alterations of level relative to the original mono mix.





New phone, H?


Quote tomdot:


Is it safe to say that we only look to use the pan pots as a 'nicety' rather than any fundamental sonic reason then?




Only so far as colour TV is a nicety. B&W gives you most of what you need to know but colour is more better.

--------------------
Dear Mr God,
We called but you were out - B Dylan Deliveries (Intntl)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: shufflebeat]
      #1029584 - 21/01/13 01:30 PM
Quote shufflebeat:

Only so far as colour TV is a nicety. B&W gives you most of what you need to know but colour is more better.




While I see what you mean, compare someone in front of the TV with a visual impairment to the average person listening to a piece of music. The visually impaired person doesn't get to see either B&W or colour so they can't really care about anything other than the sound - now they're obviously only getting half the information required to understand everything going on.

Take the average person listening to music though. There is no visual information with music, only aural. As we all know, the majority of people never, ever hear the stereo image you created, even over headphones. They (ie nearly all of us) are essentially "blind" to the image you carved out.

My question was along the lines of "why must we bother with the way Mike said it?" Of course I know we have to bother to cater to all, so really my question should have been "why did Mike decide to advise us in the way he did?"

I must say I have never been put off by a piece of music due to it's stereo spread. There are plenty of tracks released in mono only that I still listened to repeatedly. I don't hate stereo or mono, just wondered why did Mike advise stereo first then mono rather than the other way round - it's become clear that both are valid.

Anyway, I think the complete answers are above, so thanks everyone for the input!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029667 - 22/01/13 06:57 AM
Quote tomdot:

You know what best selling book could really do with this kind of approach? The Bible! Imagine if all it took to figure out a passage was to jump onto the forums at 'Smote Unto Smote' and ask "John, what did you mean when you said..."




Where's Doris Stokes when you need her...

Quote:

the forums at 'Smote Unto Smote'




That so should exist!

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1029709 - 22/01/13 11:18 AM
Quote Mike Senior:

Where's Doris Stokes when you need her...

That so should exist!




Well, Doris Stokes is dead, but maybe that Glenn Hoddle spiritualist woman can channel her in some way...this is getting complex

Back on topic slightly, I feel a big thing that will help is the mix referencing stuff - though a trawl round the forums shows that people are just picking their favourite albums which is probably not the best way. I don't feel objective enough to judge tracks - I've likely got all I need in my own collection but I don't think I can tell what's good bass as opposed to bad bass for example or what are various good uses of spatial effects. Is it really as simple as what I think sounds good? I think until I am more confident at picking out sounds I'd like to work from guaranteed stonkers, but stuff mentioned on things like Bob Katz website are not all that current - does this even matter if the sounds are mixed well?

I'm not even sure that I should be comparing a heavy rock track to say a pop track. I understand that different styles require different treatments, but take bass instruments where you gave examples of Skunk Anansie, Sting and Dr Dre - are you judging all bass parts on these tracks regardless of style but whether the part needs to sit above or below the kick, or whether there are subs involved? I'm sure you use more than those three, but you understand my question?

Basically, I'm struggling to understand how to approach looking at reference tracks.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Alibi Productions



Joined: 18/12/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Widnes, Cheshire (UK)
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029743 - 22/01/13 01:47 PM
I think to work on your track referencing it would prob be sufficient for you to dip into your own collection of commercial CDs as most will be at a sufficiently high standard to help raise your mixing skills. The main thing would be to try and match the style as close as possible so you can say judge your own mix's merits against something similar that will help refine it properly. I've found starting out with a list of a few particular things you're trying to compare such as tonality, ie. say my mixes tend to be quite bassy sounding and muffled when compared to a lot of commercial mixes prob because my ears naturaly prefer a less fizzy top end. So then i'll make an effort to try and brighten up the top end while comparing it to the reference track.
Also a good thing to face up to early on is the fact that you're more than likely to be going round in circle with the referencing process until you're blue in the face...........but it's definitely worth it!!

Dave

--------------------
follow me on SoundCloud: AlibiProductions


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1029880 - 23/01/13 08:16 AM
Quote tomdot:

I don't feel objective enough to judge tracks - I've likely got all I need in my own collection but I don't think I can tell what's good bass as opposed to bad bass for example or what are various good uses of spatial effects. Is it really as simple as what I think sounds good?




Yes. I'd like to make it easier for you by saying, for example, that Aqua's 'Barbie Girl' has the best bass sound in the universe ever, but it wouldn't help. (And I'd have to shoot myself.) The point about selecting reference material is that if you take the time to do it properly you'll realise for yourself that your nominations for Best Bass In The Cosmos are what define your identity as a mix engineer, so it's right that you should choose entirely subjectively -- albeit with rigorous cross-checking on different playback systems. If we all chose the same reference tracks, then that'd be detrimental to the general progress of modern music, I think.

Clearly, however, if you're mixing other people's material, or wish to compete with the most recent flavour of the month in the charts, then you have to reference your work against tracks chosen by the client or the record-buying public as a whole. However, if you already have a clear idea of what you think is a good bass sound, then the chances are that you're more likely to deliver a mix that both the client and you are proud to be associated with.

Quote:

I think until I am more confident at picking out sounds I'd like to work from guaranteed stonkers, but stuff mentioned on things like Bob Katz website are not all that current - does this even matter if the sounds are mixed well?




The Bob Katz stuff is good as a hi-fi benchmark, but when I'm working in typical modern chart styles I don't personally get much use out of it. So much of the way modern tracks are mixed is related to how they'll be mastered.

Quote:

I'm not even sure that I should be comparing a heavy rock track to say a pop track. I understand that different styles require different treatments, but take bass instruments where you gave examples of Skunk Anansie, Sting and Dr Dre - are you judging all bass parts on these tracks regardless of style but whether the part needs to sit above or below the kick, or whether there are subs involved? I'm sure you use more than those three, but you understand my question?




Clearly I pay closest attention to those tracks in my reference collection that are stylistically related, but my personal reference tracks also provide a general backdrop that allows me to appreciated how my mix fits in with everything else I've done in the past, and how it's likely to sound on many different systems (because I've heard my reference tracks in so many different monitoring environments), and in that respect they can be useful no matter what style I'm working with. Usually when I mix the client provides some reference-track suggestions of their own, though, so I'm often most strongly led by those. However, my personal reference tracks still then give me a context within which to judge the characteristics and quality of the client's reference tracks, and decide how closely I think I should try to emulate them.

An example may help to clarify here. Let's say, for instance, that the client's reference track has a certain amount of subbass. On the face of it, I could just emulate that level in my mix, but if I've checked my own reference tracks, I might decide that I can get away with more subbass than their reference track has within their style.

The thing to realise is that the process of compiling your own personal reference collection is itself an education in listening, and it leaves you with a fund of experience about listening systems and stylistic variables that you can use for any mix, whether it matches the style of your reference tracks or not. Clearly it would be obtuse to select loads of reference tracks that don't relate to the styles you tend to work in, though, so there's usually a certain amount of overlap stylistically in practice.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but if it's any consolation, I think you're asking the right questions! Referencing technique is one of those things that really sorts the sheep from the goats as far as mixing is concerned.

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Alibi Productions]
      #1029881 - 23/01/13 08:21 AM
Quote davegorst:

I think to work on your track referencing it would prob be sufficient for you to dip into your own collection of commercial CDs as most will be at a sufficiently high standard to help raise your mixing skills.




Actually, it sometimes surprises me how variable the field is, so I don't think I'd quite recommend dipping in at random. Perhaps choosing 10 tracks and then eliminating half of them would be a more bullet-proof starter scheme.

Quote:

Also a good thing to face up to early on is the fact that you're more than likely to be going round in circle with the referencing process until you're blue in the face




+1

I bounce down my mix for referencing purposes, and it's not uncommon for me to do a half-dozen tweaked bounces (or more) before I feel I've referenced it enough to send to the client.

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1030008 - 23/01/13 06:24 PM
You know what? I think that this is the key to better mixes over and above absolutely everything else. In fact I think I'm quite overwhelmed by the task! I mean, where to start? How to compare? Do I listen to every record I own, even the Beefheart ones all the way through? Do I run through all my records looking at each instrument in turn? In fact, how best to drill down instruments? Do I compare all slappy kicks, then all the deep thuddy ones, then create a list of 808 kicks?

Oh blimey - I think I'm in too deep Fun times ahead, no doubt, but I feel this is going to take over my life for a bit! Though, if I'm right then this will probably be the best thing I ever do!

I wish I'd never asked...or do I???


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Alibi Productions



Joined: 18/12/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Widnes, Cheshire (UK)
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1030019 - 23/01/13 07:49 PM
Tomdot i think i'm at the same stage as you at the moment as also currently reading through 'Mixing Secrets' - so had an idea that might be useful. i could send over some multitracks for you to work on and vice versa and then maybe bounce a few questions of each other afterwards? everyone has got there own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to stuff like this so if there's a possibility improving skills this way i'm definitely up for it.
Let me know if you fancy giving it a go

Dave

--------------------
follow me on SoundCloud: AlibiProductions


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Alibi Productions]
      #1030117 - 24/01/13 12:54 PM
This actually sounds like a good idea...however...at the minute I'm not able to dedicate a block amount of time to have a shared mixing experience. I'm having to work very slowly anyway, and then let the cat out, then let the other cat out, then let them back in and feed them, then the vacuuming, then some shopping...you know how this goes.

I was also expecting to get hold of some of my old bands multitracks which were a lot better than my poor efforts, however a bit of a falling out means I no longer have access to them...big shame...

Though, I will take you up on your offer eventually because it will no doubt be helpful - it may not be in the swapping multitracks way, but in some way we will have a mix battle that will rock the foundations of beginners mix battling!

In the meantime, have you looked over at the free sets of multitracks from Mike Senior's website? Lots of them (in fact I think its all?) have been Mix Rescue candidates so you can compare directly to Mike's work at the end. Though, I'm upset that two of my favourite Mix Rescue's aren't there - Generals & Majors and The Guest Bedroom. They would be good for the styles I'd work in, but alas, they aren't.

Anyway, here's the link! Raw, unadulterated Multitracks!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Alibi Productions



Joined: 18/12/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Widnes, Cheshire (UK)
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1030147 - 24/01/13 02:25 PM
Yeah no pressure, anytime you want to take me up on that is fine! I know how it is when you're trying to steal time just to work on a mix, sometimes feels like you power on the computer just to power it down again and wash the dishes lol!
I've been dipping into the Mix Rescue multitracks and they've been really handy.
I don't mind sending you over some of my own multitracks if you want to have a go with them in your own time, anyway take it easy and if you fancy it just let me know!

Cheers,

Dave

--------------------
follow me on SoundCloud: AlibiProductions


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1030237 - 24/01/13 08:04 PM
Quote tomdot:

Lots of them (in fact I think its all?) have been Mix Rescue candidates




That was how it started out, but Mix Rescue tracks are actually in the minority now: less than a quarter of the 150-odd productions available.

Quote:

I'm upset that two of my favourite Mix Rescue's aren't there - Generals & Majors and The Guest Bedroom.




Unfortunately The Guest Bedroom decided that they'd rather not provide their multitracks for public consumption, which they were within their rights to do. I agree it's a shame, though, because it's a great track that I had a blast mixing!

I might still be able to dig up the Generals & Majors for you, though. I'll have to dig pretty deep into my filing system -- it was a long time ago, that one! That said, it might not be that useful as mixing practice, as I seem to recall it was a bit of a heavy-duty salvage job on the mixing front. I'll post again here, though, if I find it.

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Jeraldo



Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 2322
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1030319 - 25/01/13 02:17 AM
Going a little OT here, but do you have more books planned, and if so would you like to say anything about what might be in them and when they might be released?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1030350 - 25/01/13 09:12 AM
Quote Mike Senior:

That was how it started out, but Mix Rescue tracks are actually in the minority now: less than a quarter of the 150-odd productions available.

Generals & Majors...it might not be that useful as mixing practice, as I seem to recall it was a bit of a heavy-duty salvage job on the mixing front.




So where do your multitracks come from now? Is it bands you work with or do they apply?

G&M - Yeah, you had to start with fader moves to get a decent kit sound, and you also had to keep the kit in mono, and heavy limit the close mics, and compensate for a bad choice of vocal mic where the singer was moving around

It's maybe not an ideal example of nicely recorded tracks, but...it seems as though the type of recordings made there are going to be typical of the people you may meet and deal with day to day ie they've bought good one mic and used it on everything regardless, along with some 57's and other odd mics they had lying around and now they want you to mix it. If I remember there was also a picture of one of the band working in front of a Digi002 and Mackie mixer - again, typical kit for those at the bottom of the ladder. There also seemed to be a talent and technique deficit in some important areas too - vocal tachnique and stamina and timing at the drums.

Like I say, it may not be a great mixing experience per se, but much more of a typical one. It would be good to tackle after a few "practice" runs using nicer recordings.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
tomdot



Joined: 05/01/12
Posts: 192
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Jeraldo]
      #1030351 - 25/01/13 09:19 AM
Quote Jeraldo:

Going a little OT here, but do you have more books planned, and if so would you like to say anything about what might be in them and when they might be released?




As you'll read above, Mike's next book will be a follow up to the manual handed out by the forum mods at 'Smote Unto Smote'.

I always felt the first couple of books ended on a bit of a cliff hanger - it really needs the final one to complete the trilogy.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Jeraldo]
      #1030418 - 25/01/13 02:44 PM
Quote Jeraldo:

Going a little OT here, but do you have more books planned, and if so would you like to say anything about what might be in them and when they might be released?




Still trying to work that out myself! Most of my research time is currently directed towards live-room activities at the moment, so that's probably the most likely area, but alternatively I might do some kind of listening course based around commercial releases.

Too many hair-brained ideas, not enough hair...

Quote tomdot:

I always felt the first couple of books ended on a bit of a cliff hanger - it really needs the final one to complete the trilogy.




Sadly the title 'Return Of The King' won't do here -- they already squeezed that in at the end of book two. Weren't they thinking of the long-term franchise?!

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Wease



Joined: 17/07/03
Posts: 2238
Loc: Sunny Walsall
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: tomdot]
      #1030642 - 27/01/13 10:06 AM
I sent in some tracks for the book, because Mike asked on this forum.....

My tracks have a typically "home" studio feel....we're recorded with minimum cost mics (sm58s, rhode (cheaper pencils) akg cheap) in a rehearsal room....with focus rite 10/10 and a MacBook Pro in logic.

There was a particularly nasty buzz on the bass guitar....caused by some ground loop issue I think....and the acoustics of the room we recorded in was particularly non-constructive to good room recordings.....and we did it all in 4 hours....I suppose the idea would be to fix the issues and try to get a good sound. The tracks also served to remind the user that time spent getting the right sound at source saves a lot of heartache....but that also finances and mainly time constraints play an important part in home recording....we all have to work and look after kids and appease the wife etc etc......

Were the tracks I sent in useful?? Maybe.....but at least they were true to how I have to record...with the limitations of gear, time and place!

As for mix referencing...I actually choose recordings for their various elements as well as "whole song" references.....so I like the foo fighters drums....but also bob marley...the skints have some great production....as does the higher end dance/dub step of skrillix....all of whom I find very clear and direct....especially positioning of guitars to create an overall wall of sound, sounds from the drums (very in your face) and use of digital sounds and effects with organic sounds....that mixture is hard to achieve IMHO.....

I'll listen to stuff you'd find on radio 2 as well....country, easy listening (like Claire teal....but I know her) just to hear some mellowed and more directed mixing....and listen to the clarity involved.

Then there is listening for arrangement values....the cardiacs....depeche mode (they are very precise and clean)....snow patrol....Michael Jackson....all worthwhile IMHO

The common link I find in all the reference tracks I like is the clarity of each voiced instrument...the placement in the stereo field, the placement in the frequency spectrum and the depth created...more and more it seems done with delay rather than reverb.....I also like to keep an ear out for what "the kids" are listening too right now...gangnam style....especially on "other media" like YouTube...can be quite an eye (ear?) opener!!!

Wease

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5636
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Wease]
      #1030654 - 27/01/13 12:12 PM
Quote Wease:

There was a particularly nasty buzz on the bass guitar....caused by some ground loop issue I think....and the acoustics of the room we recorded in was particularly non-constructive to good room recordings.....and we did it all in 4 hours....




Unfortunately this sounds as if you got 4 hours of unusable recordings. Better to have spent 2 hours fixing the buzz, then at least the remaining 2 wouldn't have been wasted.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Wease



Joined: 17/07/03
Posts: 2238
Loc: Sunny Walsall
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1030666 - 27/01/13 01:24 PM
I understand what your saying.....but we didn't notice the buzz till afterwards.....one of the lessons learned on the recording (listen to what you've got!)

You can still I believe download the tracks...under big stone culture.....the buzz was actually (rather luckily) not in the useable frequency of the bass....a high pass filter got rid of the noise......which is a technique covered in the book.

These recordings were done a good while ago....I think I've got better....am certainly better prepared when recording.....I found the best thing about mikes book is that not everything is perfect and sometimes there are things that go wrong that one has to "fix". As long as the fixing doesn't really impede the mixing process....then I can live with it.

Also...the performance captured, for the time, was quite good (for us anyway) and isn't that the most important thing???

It was an interesting project to be involved with....and even my minor input was I believe useful....even if as a "how not to do it" piece!

I shall have to look at the tracks again as posted by mike....been a while since I visited mikes resource!

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5636
Re: Questions From Reading 'Mixing Secrets...' [Re: Wease]
      #1030681 - 27/01/13 02:34 PM
Maybe it was more a hum than a buzz? It's very hard to notch out a buzz.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
0 registered and 10 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Forum Admin, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor,  
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating:
Thread views: 6224

August 2014
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the
SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for August 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media