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Mixing improvements

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Mixing improvements

Postby kinglouis » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:26 pm

Hi all,

I've been a commercial composer for longer than I care to remember but I don't think my mixing is quite up to scratch. I didn't spend my youth making tea or splicing tape in a studio, and if I'm honest mixing doesn't come very naturally to me. I'm not terrible...but I could be much better.

Has anyone got any experience with the online courses? Or would it be more practical to ring a local studio/engineer whose work I like and grab a few days with him... All very possible but I wanted to listen to your two pennies worth please.

Cheers!

Alex
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:18 pm

kinglouis wrote:Hi all,
I've been a commercial composer for longer than I care to remember but I don't think my mixing is quite up to scratch. I didn't spend my youth making tea or splicing tape in a studio, and if I'm honest mixing doesn't come very naturally to me. I'm not terrible...but I could be much better.

I'm much in the same position as you ;-)

There's a good book that a number of knowledgeable folks recommend here, and which I've found very useful also. It's "Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio" by Mike Senior: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/mi ... all-studio

There's a related discussion at https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 0&p=587378
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Wonks » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:25 pm

Hands-on is always a much faster way to learn and also to have possible mistakes or misunderstandings pointed out to you as you go along (which a book simply can't do). I'd suggest getting contact with either The Elf or Zukan (Eddie Basil) to talk about some tuition in addition to your book learning.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:47 pm

I'm not sure but, if composing is your business, I would call it CPD and their fees should be tax deductible as a legitimate business expense.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:52 pm

If it’s been longer than you can remember then you must be doing something right in the mix department!
If you had the time and opportunity to sit beside a real person then you could ask questions more specific to your mix process which is worth its weight in gold.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby blinddrew » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:07 pm

I lobbed a bit of cash at the Elf a year or so ago for an afternoon's 1:1 tuition. Very worthwhile. For me it trumped anything online for a couple of reasons:
1) We were in my room, with my kit, working with my material. All the examples and suggestions were pertinent and directly relevant. I wasn't trying to file away nuggets and tips for future use (though obviously lots of it has been used since!).
2) I don't think you can beat face to face teaching when you get into the detail of things, particularly the detail of something slightly abstract. Does my 'warm' mean the same as his 'warm'? Or does one of us mean 'muddy'? If you're there in the same place you know you're hearing the same thing (pretty much) and you get to ask all those extra little questions.

So in summary, if you can find someone local to spend some time with, I'd rate that as an option.
I think Mike Senior (of the 'mixing secrets' and 'recording secrets' books) does a remote course as well, but I could be wrong on that. His site is here: http://www.cambridge-mt.com/
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby James Perrett » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:22 pm

I'd say that it can be very useful to have someone more knowledgeable to sit with you and work on one of your mixes. I'm helping someone out at the moment with an album project by going round to their studio every few days, making suggestions and showing them how I'd approach an issue. They can then apply these suggestions to their other mixes and spend more time refining them.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby kinglouis » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:35 pm

Thanks so much for all the thoughts.

I think a refresher read would be helpful, I'll look at some of the suggested books.

Someone in my studio sitting with me would be perfect. A remote 1:1 series of lessons would be a close second. I'm near Ledbury / Malvern - any suggestions? If not, any shouts for a remote couple of sessions?

Many thanks,

Alex
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:14 pm

I know that The Elf travels the country to visit clients/students... not sure about Eddie/Zukan.

Why not drop them a PM? :)
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Mixedup » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:38 pm

kinglouis wrote:Malvern

A certain Paul White lives in that neck of the woods...
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Wonks » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:46 pm

Maybe it is Paul White asking. :D
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby kinglouis » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:47 pm

Okay you got me, its Paul.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby kinglouis » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Only joking
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Wonks » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:58 pm

:D
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby The Bunk » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:38 pm

+1 for the 1:1 session. I spent a very useful hour or so with one of the above contributors - actually doing mastering but the principle stays the same - and learned much more than I would have done otherwise.
I'm sure James Perret won't be embarrassed by my mentioning him :oops: but he's not really in your neck of the woods.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby CS70 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:13 pm

Mike's book is very good and 1-1 tuition is always the most efficient way if you can.

As he writes, the key is first and foremost your listening environment - room and playback system - so that you can hear what's going on.

Then, it's all about knowing what emotional effect you want to achieve, and work your decisions and solutions from there.

Which solutions and which decisions, of course , are the "how" and that's where book and tuition can be invaluable.

If you have two remember two things - they are: make sure your room sounds good (or use good headphones and learn them); and don't do anything to the tracks if you don't know why you're doing it.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Zukan » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:35 am

PM Elf and I. We are close amigos and never compete as we handle different parts of the country, so don't feel you are choosing one friend over another. Elf is also better looking than me, so you need to factor that in in your decision making.
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:56 am

Zukan wrote:PM Elf and I. We are close amigos and never compete as we handle different parts of the country, so don't feel you are choosing one friend over another. Elf is also better looking than me, so you need to factor that in in your decision making.

... and both of them are equally friendly and unpatronising. Neither would make you feel awkward or foolish at any point during a 1:1 session.

Would that that could be said of some of the 'sound trainers' that I've encountered. :roll:
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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:32 pm

Hear hear Mike!

There are quite a few patronising folk about :headbang:

However, Zukan and The Elf are all-round nice guys :thumbup:


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Re: Mixing improvements

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:22 pm

Happy to help, if practical. :thumbup:
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