You are here

Mixing this little educational project

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Mixing this little educational project

Postby DanielBeach » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:29 pm

Hi all,

I'm doing some Musical Theatre backing tracks for an educational project I work for. They're mainly only guides for the kids to practise with at home, but if lockdown continues, we may have to use my backing tracks instead of a live band.

Here's a link to a few bars of one of them...El pno, Pno, Gtr, Bass and Drums.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YIAYCB ... sp=sharing

I've done a little bit of rudimentary EQ and panning.

If anybody has useful suggestions for how to mix this further, to make it sound more "professional", I'd be grateful. Everything can be heard fairly clearly, but that's almost the problem. I'd quite like things to "blend" a bit more, and sound a bit more polished -- everything's almost too clean and clear at the moment.

Thanks,

Daniel
DanielBeach
Regular
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Bromley
Daniel Beach
----------------
Logic Pro X 10.5, Yamaha MODX8 keys, NI Komplete 12, AmpleSound Guitars, various other software!

Re: Mixing this little educational project

Postby The Elf » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:43 pm

Nothing much wrong with that, but if you want a bit more attitude I would maybe look to adding a more aggressive compression to the drums specifically, and maybe the mix as a whole. Some distortion on the bass and some upper mid boosts might add some nice grit too.

Other than that it's a pretty lightweight piece with a very simple, uncluttered arrangement, so not surprising it sounds clean and clear.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 15248
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Mixing this little educational project

Postby James Perrett » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:46 pm

For use as a live backing track I'd probably keep it fairly dry but maybe bring the drums up a bit to help keep the singers in time. I find that a sparser sound helps with backing tracks as the venue reverb will often fill in the gaps.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9892
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Mixing this little educational project

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:09 pm

In my (fairly limited) experience a successful backing track mix can be quite different from the sort of mix you'd want to listen to at home. It usually needs to be quite open and dynamic without much compression, and also fairly dry, because it will be playing out into a reverberant space.

For me the bass guitar feels a touch too prominent in your mix as it stands, and I would probably want the drums to sound drier and less roomy. I assume they're coming from a virtual instrument? Either way I'd back off any room mic tracks or reverbs and focus more on the overheads and close mics. I'd also rein in the panning on the drum kit so that it doesn't sound too wide.
Sam Inglis
Moderator
Posts: 2688
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Mixing this little educational project

Postby blinddrew » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:53 pm

Not quite sure what the plan is but if the end goal is to use them live in a theatre, then I'd just mix in mono from the start.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11949
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Mixing this little educational project

Postby DanielBeach » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:52 pm

Thanks for all the replies - really useful.

I understand about mixing in mono for theatre, but it’s likely that given the current situation this will be a filmed/online presentation so I’ll keep it in stereo.
Incidentally, how do they cope in theatres when using a click track but still wanting a stereo track....?

For the same reason I’ll probably keep some reverb on it, as it’s unlikely to be played in a theatre at this term - normally we would (but then we’d use a live 30-piece orchestra).

When I complain it being too clean and clear, I’m thinking of a lot of times I see/hear stuff on TV especially, and even when it’s just one guitar, kit, bass and a piano sound, they seem to make everything sound more “moulded” and rounded. I guess this is mainly down to mixing experience, and being better at it than I am :-)
DanielBeach
Regular
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Bromley
Daniel Beach
----------------
Logic Pro X 10.5, Yamaha MODX8 keys, NI Komplete 12, AmpleSound Guitars, various other software!