Main Forums >> Production - Mixing, Mastering, Gear & Techniques
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
The_Big_Piano_Player
active member


Joined: 13/05/04
Posts: 1615
Loc: Lincolnshire
Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new
      #816020 - 02/03/10 02:02 PM
I've just recorded a folk group as a composite recording. (one instrument/voice at a time). This isn't my usual kinda thing.

The tracks...

Female Vocals x 5
Male Vocal x 1 (lucky sod)
Accoustic Guitar
Accoustic Bass
Wood block (yes, you read that right, wood block)

I mixed it in my usual manner, but it's sounding a bit too shiney/pop for my liking. Not like a folk group, if you know what I mean.

Has anyone else recorded or produced a folk album? Any tips specific to that genre? You don't have to use your real name.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

Andy

--------------------
Touch & Go


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



Joined: 16/07/05
Posts: 1130
Loc: London
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816031 - 02/03/10 02:21 PM
Get a good balance of all the tracks without EQ or compression then treat as a group recording - gentle compression, room reverb etc. Only then tweak each track if it needs anything else. Be gentle with the EQ and compression.

JP

--------------------
Mac Pro, Logic Pro, lots of software and 17 hard drives!


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



Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 459
Loc: Mumbai
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816039 - 02/03/10 02:58 PM
Would it help to stick a finger in your ear?

--------------------
You live. You learn.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816042 - 02/03/10 03:13 PM
I used to find that one of the short, 'fluffy' Lexicon room presets could do wonders to help gel an acoustic/folk mix. The cleaner the source tracks, the better the reverb glues itself to the sound.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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


Joined: 13/05/04
Posts: 1615
Loc: Lincolnshire
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The Elf]
      #816050 - 02/03/10 03:29 PM
Quote The Elf:

I used to find that one of the short, 'fluffy' Lexicon room presets could do wonders to help gel an acoustic/folk mix. The cleaner the source tracks, the better the reverb glues itself to the sound.




The only 'verbs I have are KSR, and UAD's Plate 140 and EMT250. I'll give the KSR's room reverb a go.

--------------------
Touch & Go


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



Joined: 07/01/06
Posts: 1847
Loc: Northants, England
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: MarcusH]
      #816059 - 02/03/10 03:59 PM
Quote MarcusH:

Would it help to stick a finger in your ear?





No but it would be good if you stopped promoting stupid stereo types


Normally folk/traditional music performers will want a pretty naturalistic sound with a bit of gloss

Elf's suggestions are good

--------------------
Matt
www.krcollective.org


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816061 - 02/03/10 04:03 PM
Quote The_Big_Piano_Player:

Quote The Elf:

I used to find that one of the short, 'fluffy' Lexicon room presets could do wonders to help gel an acoustic/folk mix. The cleaner the source tracks, the better the reverb glues itself to the sound.




The only 'verbs I have are KSR, and UAD's Plate 140 and EMT250. I'll give the KSR's room reverb a go.



If you're struggling to find something suitable, just drop me a wav and I'll send you a reverb-only file to mix back in.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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


Joined: 13/05/04
Posts: 1615
Loc: Lincolnshire
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The Elf]
      #816067 - 02/03/10 04:21 PM
that's very kind. I'll have a fiddle, but if I can't quite get there, I'll send you a dry wav.

--------------------
Touch & Go


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Bob Bickerton
active member


Joined: 20/12/02
Posts: 2957
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816173 - 02/03/10 09:25 PM
I've mixed a number of albums for a five piece women's vocal folk group with acoustic guitar and acoustic bass (but no wood block).

My approach is to concentrate on voices first, working EQ to achieve a natural, rather than hyped sound. Perhaps avoid enhancing the highs as you might in a pop recording as 'cut through' will (hopefully) be less of an issue. I would generally use a little LA2A (if you have it) on all voices to settle dynamics a little too.

Then bring the acoustic guitar and bass into the mix. A little compression on each of these instruments may help. Not sure how you miked them, but I tend to go for a natural, but perhaps slightly larger than life sound.

As to reverbs your Plate 140 and EMT should be fine. I often use plate 3 on the 140 maybe 2 to 3 secs with a little pre-delay and high EQ lift. I'd keep the bass pretty dry and maybe use 50% on the guitar to move it towards a similar space. I've only just got the EMT so still learning there. Alternatively if you have Logic you can use a Spacedesigner hall to place everything into a 'real' space and then add a little extra 140 on the vocals.

As to mastering I'd use a hint of Fairchild plus Precision Limiter.

What you do with the wood block is up to you

Bob

--------------------
www.bickerton.co.nz


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


Joined: 13/05/04
Posts: 1615
Loc: Lincolnshire
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #816269 - 03/03/10 09:17 AM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

I've mixed a number of albums for a five piece women's vocal folk group with acoustic guitar and acoustic bass (but no wood block).

My approach is to concentrate on voices first, working EQ to achieve a natural, rather than hyped sound. Perhaps avoid enhancing the highs as you might in a pop recording as 'cut through' will (hopefully) be less of an issue. I would generally use a little LA2A (if you have it) on all voices to settle dynamics a little too.

Then bring the acoustic guitar and bass into the mix. A little compression on each of these instruments may help. Not sure how you miked them, but I tend to go for a natural, but perhaps slightly larger than life sound.

As to reverbs your Plate 140 and EMT should be fine. I often use plate 3 on the 140 maybe 2 to 3 secs with a little pre-delay and high EQ lift. I'd keep the bass pretty dry and maybe use 50% on the guitar to move it towards a similar space. I've only just got the EMT so still learning there. Alternatively if you have Logic you can use a Spacedesigner hall to place everything into a 'real' space and then add a little extra 140 on the vocals.

As to mastering I'd use a hint of Fairchild plus Precision Limiter.

What you do with the wood block is up to you

Bob




Thanks Bob! Like you,I'm a big fan of my UAD, so I've gentle LA2A compression on each vocal track. Good call on the plate reverb, I've tried it and that works fine. I've strapped an SSL buss compressor on the mix, but that sounds a little too upfront for the material, so I might give your idea of a fairchild a go.

My main problem now is vocal sibilance. All those vocals combined and slightly compressed - everything's a little too ess-y.


--------------------
Touch & Go


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Bob Bickerton
active member


Joined: 20/12/02
Posts: 2957
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816314 - 03/03/10 11:07 AM
This is my Fairchild start point for mastering acoustic music:



Note the position of the DC Bias controls.

Interesting about the sibilance. What mics did you use?

Bob

--------------------
www.bickerton.co.nz


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
BigAl
Just The Bass Player


Joined: 24/01/02
Posts: 2672
Loc: The King's Height
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816388 - 03/03/10 03:12 PM
Try and make sure there isn't too much going on in the music.
I recorded a folk group once (I used to be in one myself), and it was a 12 string, accordion, another acoustic, fiddle and three vocals, but everyone was in ALL THE TIME and it was too busy in the mids/highs.
I stuck a bass down and it sounded much better but the arrangement was poor.
Depending on the piece, I would use a short room type reverb with the top end not set more than somewhere like 4kHz, but again, it depends on the piece.
Some of the folk music I have been involved in is slightly less traditional and open to more conventional recording treatment.

--------------------
Jack of all trades, master of some.


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


Joined: 13/05/04
Posts: 1615
Loc: Lincolnshire
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #816402 - 03/03/10 03:48 PM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

This is my Fairchild start point for mastering acoustic music:



Note the position of the DC Bias controls.

Interesting about the sibilance. What mics did you use?

Bob




Thanks for that, Bob, I'll give it a go. The mic I used was a "Newmann Retro", a large diaphram mic. It normally sounds nice, but I suspect with so many voices so high in the mix, it's inherently hyped sound is not helping.

P.S. How does the DC bias effect the fairchild (I tend to use mine only for piano compression).

--------------------
Touch & Go


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


Joined: 15/05/02
Posts: 2966
Loc: uk
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: matt keen]
      #816417 - 03/03/10 04:42 PM
Quote matt keen:

Quote MarcusH:

Would it help to stick a finger in your ear?





No but it would be good if you stopped promoting stupid stereo types






Oh but it's folk music, such a rich seam to mine ... always affectionately of course.

--------------------
Original artwork and unique devices inspired by vintage technology http://www.thisisobsolete.com


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Bob Bickerton
active member


Joined: 20/12/02
Posts: 2957
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Any tips on mixing Folk Music? new [Re: The_Big_Piano_Player]
      #816484 - 03/03/10 08:16 PM
Quote The_Big_Piano_Player:



Thanks for that, Bob, I'll give it a go. The mic I used was a "Newmann Retro", a large diaphram mic. It normally sounds nice, but I suspect with so many voices so high in the mix, it's inherently hyped sound is not helping.

P.S. How does the DC bias effect the fairchild (I tend to use mine only for piano compression).




You'd have to look up the UAD site for an accurate description and I remember it was hard to find! But as I understand it the DC bias control is like a 'ratio' control and is probably the most import control on the whole thing (even though it's the smallest). But it isn't 'exactly' a ratio control. I read somewhere that the Fairchild has a fixed ratio, but it's a soft knee compressor and the DC bias actually extends the knee, which is pretty much the same as ratio I suppose. Even tiny adjustments to this control have a large effect, and for each adjustment you need to tweak the other controls concurrently to stay in the same ball park. Don't expect to see the meters moving much, use your ears.

Oh, and by the way, I'm no expert, but the Fairchild intrigues me and I have really enjoyed the subtle nature of the beast when used in this way. It can just bring a mix together and add a little of that elusive 'warmth', without being over the top.

Re sibilance you could try the high frequency attenuation on the Pultec.

Bob

--------------------
www.bickerton.co.nz


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

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
1 registered and 13 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, Will Betts 
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is enabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Rating:
Thread views: 7143

May 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 May 2014
DAW Tips from SOS

 

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

Advertise | Information | Digital Editions | 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