You are here

Mixing / Production

  • link

    Q. How do I approach the process of mixing an entire album?

    Over the last couple of years Ive mixed quite a lot of songs, but only single tracks here and there. Now Im about to mix an album, and Im wondering what would be the best way to do it. The recording has been done in a very decent studio, and they have been adding some programmed elements afterwards. I want to avoid a situation where I mix all the tracks so that they sound great on their own, only to realise later that they wont fit together as a whole. How would you approach this? Would you mix one track, and use it as a reference for the other mixes? Would you re-use some of the settings (for example, use the same plug-ins for the same tracks, with some tweaks)? Sadly, the budget doesnt allow for a separate mastering job, so I would have to do some limiting and final tweaks myself.

    Sound Advice Mar 2009
  • link

    Q. How does parallel compression work?

    Parallel compression is something Im just beginning to explore. Its not something Ive used much in the past, but Im seeing its potential for beefing up groups and whole mixes. However, if I set up a compressor on a send channel, rather than processing the whole signal via an insert effect, wont I get phasing? Also, if I set up compressors on several send channels and filter out certain frequencies on each channel (for example, roll off everything but the low-mid range on one, roll off everything but the high-mid range on another), then wouldnt this just be the same thing as multi-band compression?

    Sound Advice Mar 2009
  • link

    Q. Why can’t I get the right Guitar Rig sounds in Pro Tools?

    SOS reader Gordon Staines of Cheshire emailed us because he was having difficulty using NIs Guitar Rig 3 with his Pro Tools M-Powered setup. Using NIs Rig Kontrol USB interface and controller, with Guitar Rig 3 running in stand-alone mode, he was able to get exactly what he wanted from it, “no latency, and it sounds great live just plugged into the phono inputs on my Marshall AS100D acoustic amp, of all things, or even when I just have the headphones in the controller for practicing. My problem is getting the same sounds out when laying down tracks.”

    Sound Advice Mar 2009
  • link

    Q. How can I simulate a 12-string guitar sound in the studio?

    I have someone coming into my studio to do some recording and I'm looking for a way to achieve a 12‑string guitar sound for...

    Sound Advice Jan 2009
  • link

    Q. What should I EQ to improve my muddy mixes?

    I've only really just started getting to grips with EQ and I've come to a stumbling block. I'm working with Apple Logic 8 and am using all of the preset synth and drum sounds, which sound fabulous on their own (no problem frequencies, in other words). However, there are obviously overlapping frequencies between instruments, because things are getting muddy. Given that I have to remove some frequencies from one already perfect–sounding sample to make room for the other, how do I decide which frequencies are expendable? How can I identify which frequencies are causing the problem? For example, if you have a guitar part, obviously you remove the low end, but what frequency bits should you take out in the rest of the waveform? A little bit of the 500Hz range and 1000Hz? How do you know which bits waste headroom? Also, is it best practice to reduce the overall level of an instrument and then raise certain frequencies containing the essential musical parts ('attack', 'body', and so on)? I'm not asking which parts of specific instruments should be removed, but am more wondering how I can identify which parts of a sound are useful or unnecessary. Is it common to have seven or eight steep (high-Q) 'notches' removing a number of frequencies in one instrument?

    Sound Advice Nov 2008
  • link

    Q. How can I achieve a wider vocal sound?

    I often record double-tracked vocals and pan them left and right, but was listening closely to some other artists and noticed how the vocals seem to be close-up and spread across the stereo field, without appearing doubled up. How can I achieve this?

    Sound Advice Nov 2008
  • link

    Q. Should I EQ the whole mix?

    While I know this is pretty much the job of a mastering engineer, how frowned upon by professional mixing engineers is...

    Sound Advice Oct 2008
  • link

    Q. When should I add delays and reverbs to my mix?

    All of my mixdowns start with a list of all the tracks involved, then each one is introduced and blended into the mix...

    Sound Advice Jul 2008
  • link

    Q. How should I compress a classical recording?

    I recorded a performance of Handel's Messiah recently, and I was wondering what the common practice is when compressing...

    Sound Advice Jan 2008
  • link

    Q. How do I set up a monitoring reverb inside Cubase?

    I use Cubase SX v1 and I want to set up a reverb that the vocalist can hear during recording, but that doesn't get recorded...

    Sound Advice Nov 2007
  • link

    Q. How can I boost bass on tracks for the Internet?

    I have a few tracks that I'd like to put on-line, but I'm having trouble getting the bass to sit forward enough in the mix...

    Sound Advice Sep 2007
  • link

    Q. How do I maximise loudness on tracks?

    I have been recording music for quite a few years now, but I always get the same problem when I listen back to my mixes:...

    Sound Advice May 2007
  • link

    Q. How do I author Surround Audio to disc?

    I understand how to record and mix music for surround, but how do I burn an audio-only disc to share my surround mixes with others on their domestic systems?

    Sound Advice May 2007
  • link

    Q. Which order for mix processors?

    I seem to get different information on the order in which mix processors should be used. What should I have on the master output of Cubase when I export my mix?

    Sound Advice Apr 2007
  • link

    Q. What's the best setup for a DJ producer?

    I'm looking to create a home studio so that I can make beats and improve my DJ and production skills. My current set up is...

    Sound Advice Mar 2007
  • link

    Q. What should I 'normalise'?

    Is there a preferred method of using normalisation?

    Sound Advice Dec 2006
  • link

    Q. Should I apply bus processing while I am mixing?

    I've seen it suggested that compressing the stereo bus is the key to getting a mix to come together and sound 'like a record'. Is this really the case?

    Sound Advice May 2006
  • link

    Q. Why is the signal louder when it is panned to the centre?

    When I plug my guitar into my 16-track and send the same signal to two channels, if I pan both channels to the middle it sounds louder. Why?

    Sound Advice Nov 2005
  • link

    Q. How can I use side-chains in Steinberg Cubase SX?

    In Cubase SX, can signals be 'routed' to a compressor's side-chain to modulate another signal?

    Sound Advice Sep 2005
  • link

    Q. Why don't my mixes sound good on a subwoofer system?

    Even with the subwoofer turned down a bit, the amount of boomy low bass was incredible and pushed the other frequencies to the back. Do you have any tips on how to prevent this from happening?

    Sound Advice Jul 2005
  • link

    Q. Can I use a Mono compressor for Stereo compression?

    I was wondering if it's possible to use a single mono compressor that can be stereo linked (the Focusrite ISA430, for...

    Sound Advice May 2005

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mixing / Production