Haven't Mixed this yet, should I?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Brendan, Feb 5, 2022.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Kapellmeister

    Apr 3, 2020
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    I'm the kind of guy who overproduces. I start with leveling, then EQ, then compression. All during the arrangement process (so i mix as i go). But when I'm done, like with this one, I noticed I didn't level the track AT all. I only used EQ. and good sound selection.

    Every mix is different right? Well I usually get stumped on where to begin AFTER leveling so I don't overproduce and ruin the track. But I want to ENHANCE This one (this one doesn't even have compression).

    This is due to years of YouTube tutorials, mixed info from blogs, mixing books with differing opinions. And this site too lol.

    I suppose there's no rules, and I should just go by ear and fuck shit up see what happens, have fun.

    But I want that "commercial" "pro" sound every single time. So I need a more streamlined process.

    If anyone can recommend how I should approach mixing this, or just leave it alone I'd appreciate it.

    And an insight into a process that works where the mixes sound like.... this (aka my favorite mixes).

    (and yes I know they aren't gods gift to man aka the best mixes ever but to me, they're heavenly)

    This is the link to the SONG I'm about to mix and release Sunday. ----> Any Help is appreciated.

    Sounds silly but I also don't like to dedicate a ton of time to mixing because, honestly, who's going to care or listen currently?

  3. mk_96

    mk_96 Audiosexual

    Dec 31, 2020
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    Your heart
    It wouldn't hurt to mix it, the reason being the kick and the bass.

    There's a little a tendency regarding those two, and i also see it on your references, the lows and the subs tend to be at around the same level. In this case, the kick on it's own already has that covered, but the first harmonics of the kick overlaps with the bass, making that whole area louder. So, what does that mean? basically that you may have too much stuff going on at around 120Hz or not enough at 60, it's not a rule to match them but it's something that happens a lot and could get you closer to your references since that's what they're doing (intentionally or not). If you want to do some quick mixing, that's where i'd look.

    An analyzer would help a lot. For this kind of wide frequency ballancing shenanigans i'd recommend T-Racks metering or Logic's stock analyzer. SPAN works too, but you'll have to tweak it a little bit.

    Some compression would be nice, mostly to get the song moving a bit more. Since you don't want to spend a lot of time mixing, maybe put one in your mixbus then fiddle with it. The settings are up to you, but make sure to spend some extra time getting the release right.
  4. clone

    clone Audiosexual

    Feb 5, 2021
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    if I had something I felt was "already done" without doing seperate mixing stage (which I am never so lucky), I would still want to limit/compress it together, using very low ratio compression. Like you would with the glue trick, maybe 1.25:1 or less; and doing almost nothing for gain reduction. Elysia Alpha soft circuit maybe.
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  5. Benno de Bruin

    Benno de Bruin Kapellmeister

    Nov 11, 2020
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    Nice track! I like the openness and clear sound. Very musically. BTW, you might have made this track at 115 BPM in your DAW, but i'd consider it 57.5 BPM.

    My mixing approach
    When creating/arranging/mixing, i like to keep the sounds that use most power (kick and bass, as long as they have a prominent role in the track) as a reference, and i make sure these two combined never exceed 0dB, preferably a bit less even. I cut the kick and bass below 50Hz as much as it still sounds decent. Most of the times i side-compress the bass with the kick, as i mainly make techno/disco/house. All the rest is mixed around this reference. And eventhough it might still sound soft or weak, i try to keep at those levels throughout the entire creating/arranging/mixing stage. As tempting as it might be to already compress and limit the hell out of it.

    Next i keep a close eye on the levels of the lower spectrums of other instruments/sounds. That way i keep some headroom for the mastering stage. Also i cut out as much below 100Hz as possible, as long as the channels still sound acceptable without those frequencies.

    Also, i try to avoid overcrowdedness in the mid frequencies, sometimes skipping entire parts, or making sure they don't sound together. this will make EQ'ing in the mastering stage more efficient.

    I then start searching for unwanted or annoying resonances/problem areas, and try to fix them. You could consider this a mastering concern, but this way i'm able to fix it in an early stage, sometimes skipping parts, or choosing other sounds. This might even impact my arrangement.

    Also i use several busses, for drums, vocals, strings, synths etc, and compress or glue some busses, try to make use of consistant reverbs and delays per bus to avoid to make it too muddy.

    If i get the above (fairly) right, the mastering of a track is so much easier: compressing/glueing/saturating; EQ'ing; limiting/pumping; adjusting.

    Your track
    Now concerning Magenta (115), the first thing i notice is a certain imbalance between the kick/bass and the rest. Also there seems to be quite some reverb on the 'rim', but the kick and hats not so much. Perhaps you did that on purpose, i can't tell. Maybe if the hats had a bit more reverb, and the kick would lose some of it top frequencies and a bit more back in the mix, and you'd glue/compress it in a drumbus, it would sound more whole. Also the bass sounds a bit loud compared to the rest, but that might be caused by the kick. But again, very nice track!
  6. zalbadar

    zalbadar Ultrasonic

    Oct 24, 2011
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    I always find it funny when threads go like this.

    It's a question of should or shouldn't and only the first person answers it with a yes or no, everyone else just says what they'd change.

    Now my answer to your problem is do everything.

    Start by putting the original some where safe.

    Then have fun with it, it's only possible if you do this before you sicken your self by trying things, go by ear and do what feels good. when it seems enough or at least before your sick of it, save it somewhere safe next to the original. go clear your head listern to other things, get your love for music back.

    Next is do what you normally do. Everything by the book like it's any other day at work. You need to do this no matter how little faith you have in it working because if you don't you'll always wonder "would it have been better if I'd... like normal". Once again save it seperate and go clear your head.

    Finally try out the suggestions here, expesially the ones that seem strange and weird to you. There's always something, evern if it isn't right it may help next time.

    Now you have 4 tracks, put them all in your DAW sync them up and slowly go through them. One will stand out and that's your real mix.

    This method will let you know if what you normally do is right, should you trust your ears and have fun more or was there something to learn from the people's suggestions. You never know. a belnd of 2 of the mixes may be the way to go.

    Ok it wastes alot of time but it's worth doing when ever you doubt what your doing when mixing.

    Now I will go and hide because I'm not a pro, so i have lots of time to waste on tracks I do and will now be told I'm worng in so many ways by the next few posts.
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Kapellmeister

    Apr 3, 2020
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    No I actually like your suggestion. I used to do that in the past, and i listened to songs I made two years ago. They blew me away, maybe not so much the mixing but the CREATIVITY. How unique and crazy they were while sounding musical and good. Now i try the same thing and keep referring to chords, scales, etc. Structure. Back then I didn't focus on music theory. Just Creating. And the mixes, I used to make three versions, and compare them. Some without certain plugins, others with.

    But at this point I don't bother because I don't have thousands or millions of people hyped to hear my tracks... yet.

    And I've produced tracks that sound just as good as what's out there, yet it didn't get a ton of views THEN the mixes that I barely spend time on or don't mix at all, get a lot of views and love. So it gets discouraging.

    But making music by itself is rewarding and fun. And I've made tracks for artists, one or two famous, that bolstered by confidence. But i always doubt the mixing process as I want my mixes to sound like so and so.

    There is no "proper" way to mix though. Every song is different, and if we all created the same way, mixed the same way, then every song would get stale and it'll feel like a boring job instead of a fun passionate beautiful thing called making music. (much like making love gets boring if it becomes routine)