hopscotch44 wrote:ladies & gents, hello:)
I'm being extra civil because my question is so so basic!
After following the thread about Avontone mix cubes & revisiting Q&A's (especially about TRS/TS and what they can, can't, shouldn't do)....
I took a gamble and ordered a Mixcube.
My mixes are pretty low key but important to me and my friends who ask me to record and mix them.
It's all a bit congested and I'm hoping the mono idea will help to open things up a bit.
my very basic questions:
how do i actually configure my software and hardware properly?
How do i choose and use the correct cables etc?
does the Mixcube sit in the middle of my set up?
If you've stopped cringing, i'm eternally grateful and hopeful for some advice
If you are using a DAW your master fader should have a button on it somewhere that clicks between mono and stereo, I would think most DAWs would default to "Big Mono" and send the same single channel output to both L & R outputs, meaning you can connect the Mic Cube to either output (I don't remember if they are powered or not, this assumes they are)
Your interface may have a "Mono" option as well, but make sure you have your DAW M.F set to mono, otherwise, you'll probably be getting a summed composite of your DAW's stereo outs. This is a great way to check for phase issues, but I don't think it's what you're looking to do. You want to track in mono to make sure every element of your arrangement compliments the whole, that nothing clashes and everything serve a purpose.
I think you'll find much success when elements have nowhere to hide it is very easy to see MAJOR flaws in arrangments (Too many guitars with sounds that don't compliment one another, synth "Pads" that have the sonic effect of dumping mud in a clear glass of water, Synth parts clashing with the bass, which is not in the proper register to complement the guitars, over-layering of everything, which is a huge problem, lead vocals being stepped on by supporting instruments, instruments flat out playing in the wrong register to support the vocal) You will instantly be made aware of what is in essence a "Perspective" problem.
But don't be further mislead. The issue is unlikely to be a "Mix" problem, if you have these sorts of problems when you sit down to "Mix" then the track is not ready to mix.
It's also less likely to be a "production" issue either.
It goes back to the arranging phase.....or, and people don't like to hear this. All the way back to the songwriting (Beatmaking...whatever you call it) phase.
If you are recording your friends or yourself, take it back to the song its self, a good song just tends to "come together" when recording/mixing, bad ones never sound right.
If you're confident in your material, then be BRUTAL on the arrangement phase, make a new policy that anything in the arrangement has to EARN its way into the song. And set priorities, is the song in the vocal? Then change that guitar part and maybe the whole key of the song, Is the beat the most important thing? Then get rid of that sub bass that eats up the kick drum and makes the drums sound weak in comparison.
Working in mono will help you with everything.