Mixing for me is like rocket science

Discussion in 'Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B' started by Rainy Keys, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. famouslut

    famouslut Audiosexual

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    I guess it's just knowing the basics that you (with eq) boost, sweep (find the harshness) and cut. Most of the stuff is just about cutting out problems, but don't be afraid to boost. Thinking of a soundspace and using pan and "distance" can help clear up what you're doing in your mind.

    I found that (with bass and drums) using eq on different (isolated snr / kick etcs) or complete drum tracks - sweeping / cutting / hp / lp - while simultaneously playing bass can really help you hear what's going on when you're mixing, what the end result will be. One of the most revelatory things I found. Same goes for the rest of the instruments. And relationships, can teach you how much weird, unexpected stuff is going on above / below what you expect / assume! Often, cutting more than you imagine is even possible is an option, still magically leaves enough stuff for your brain to fill in. Compression adds noise, and I always used to be rly afraid of that, but don't be too afraid!
     
  2. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Most of the people have trouble mixing bass drum with the bass. A lot of bass in the mix from both will make your mix sound muddy. Having too much of low mids [around 400-500 Hz], too. Have you ever tried recreating some of your favourite tracks? Mix and all? There's a lot of sacrificing to be made, but the most important thing is to know where to "sacrifice" [cut] and where to boost frequencies. I'll give you an example. Drum and bass mix usually has focus on bass, not the kick drum. A dancy track usually has a focus on the kick drum, and bass is there to give the kick drum some musical support, so cut some bass on it even though it sounds illogical. Try listening to different genre tracks and hear what I mean. Mixing is not that much science, as much it is an art, and a lot of this art is the art of being able to listen and balance sounds properly for the track [or genre, if you will].

    It's all in the right balance. Get the balance right. Sacrifice some important frequencies in some tracks, so some other more important track in the same frequency spectrum will get its rightful place in the mix. Same with vocals and guitars. You sacrifice some 1.5-2.5kHz of the guitar so that the vocals can be heard clearly. These are the things that usually clash and make a mix sound good or not: kick and bass, vocals and guitars or lead synth sounds. Think about it. However, when they don't play together, you can make them both sound as good as possible. :wink:

    I've heard from many mixers that the secret to a good sounding mix is actually in the mids. I don't completely agree, but there is something to it. What they actually meant is that if you get the 100-10000 Hz right, everything else is easy. Focus on the 100-10000 Hz because that's the most important part of the frequency spectrum.

    What also helps a great deal is that you start with just determining the right volume and pan for all the tracks, and getting rid [or putting in the background] of some sounds that clash too much with other, more important sounds. Just determine which one is more important and make that one sound nice, loud and clear, while putting the other one, less important one, more in the background. Only then you apply processing like EQ, and only then compression, if it needs to be compressed at all. Only the loudest sounds in the mix need some compression. A bit old school, but it works, and heaps of great mixes have been done based upon these principles.

    Mixing is a lot like painting. You put too much of some colour on it, or just too many colours, and you get an annoying looking painting. Get the balance right between the colours and your painting will look far more appealing.

    Cheers! :wink:
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  3. Kluster

    Kluster Ultrasonic

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    It's all about your ears and your hearing.
    My sister played piano for 3 years.
    One day, I sat down at the piano out of boredom and in 5 minutes was playing better than her.
    It's not in the fingers, it's in the ears.
    If you can hear the difference, you can be the difference.
    Playing by ear and especially, listening by ear.
    If your hearing isn't naturally sensitive try smoking a joint first :wink:
     
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  4. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    But I wouldn't advise mixing or mastering when high on THC. You are mixing for people who are not high, and your judgement is impaired under the influence. I love marijuana, but there's a time for it, and it's not in the mix. It heightens your senses too much. It's great for creativity and focus, though. :wink:
     
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  5. ThrashHead

    ThrashHead Noisemaker

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    Less watching and more doing will greatly help you.
     
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  6. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Audiosexual

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    If your main issue is getting the drums and bass to sound good together, your are tackling one of the more difficult parts of mixing. Low end is where all your head room goes and the harmonics from it affect everything else up the sonic spectrum. It has a lot to do with EQ, filtering, and placement so things don't cancel each other out with phase differences and frequency clashes. I have been recording all my life before VST existed (studio work), watching and learning from engineers. There is still nothing easy about it. These are the most useful tutorials I have seen. I have been posting this link here for years. https://www.recordingrevolution.com/5minutes/https://
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  7. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    In the old time, composers didn't try to mix. They focussed on music only, and there where those specialised ingeneers, not only able to do a good mix, but to bring something more to the music, by adopting the composer's statement and bringing their own creativity into it, like a musician would.
    And today, many people pretend to do both, but from what I hear, many fail, at least partially, at one or the other task.
    Both music and mixing need so much knowledge and experience that it's difficult for one person to achieve both.
     
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  8. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    You completely misunderstood the thread. :no:
     
  9. Gyro Gearloose

    Gyro Gearloose Audiosexual

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    yeah right...
    you must part in pure instrumental genres and electronic
    and in both there is something like creative mixing..in electronic more..or soundesign....and you must able to determine what able whats not..or better you get able to do something which others are not able to..thru mixing...
    noisia can mix like hell , thats why their basslines are top of the tops

    on the other site goldie writing always with engineer at site...but he is more famous for his arrangments than his basslines...goldie is good but noisia is way above
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  10. DoubleTake

    DoubleTake Platinum Record

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    I like that smoove groove. To me it only sounds like the drums are a tad loud, or a bit too distinct. With that other stuff as it is I'd like the drums to be like the heartbeat...maybe the same level but some EQ ...actually a barely perceptible slow phase going on would be cool, too without any other EQing, cause that's like a moving EQ. Even if it is just as "present" at times, it would not dominate.
    There are so many things that can be done I never know what to do.
     
  11. PlzNo

    PlzNo Ultrasonic

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    Unfortuantly the Thread said something incredibly different before the edit happened. :)

    ^
     
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  12. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Producer

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    I like the production. Has a relaxed vibe.
    In the mix are definitely some things to improve.
    For example, I would lower the kick by at least 2dB.
    For the "rumble", something is missing in the range between 30-40hz.
    In the range between 500hz and 2500hz are a few nasty resonances. I would take these out dynamically.
    The instruments do not really have their place in the mix yet.
    Most can be done with a few simple steps by EQ and the faders.
     
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  13. Rainy Keys

    Rainy Keys Member

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    Thanks for your critique. Lol yea my mixing sucks lol
     
  14. Rainy Keys

    Rainy Keys Member

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    Yea my mixing skills suck lol. Do I need like expensive monitors or something?
     
  15. Rainy Keys

    Rainy Keys Member

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    Thanks so much this is extremely helpful!
     
  16. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Producer

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    Not really. I've been mixing mainly on HS5 for years. Of course, I also have several more expensive reference systems, but most of my work is done on the HS5.
    All you need is decent acoustics, trained ears and mixing experience.
     
  17. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Normally that's not much of an issue. VSTis are pretty clean and you can use free Audacity to get rid off background or distortion noise with a noise print. With only three parameters to adjust this isn't too difficult.
     
  18. naitguy

    naitguy Member

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    So someone already mentioned some resonant frequencies to clear up. But one thing that also sticks out out to me is that the kick is very prominent but the bass is just a quiet, barely audible sub on my phone. So two main common, possible reasons I'd look at..

    One, your kick is eating up all the bass energy. That means you may need to eq out some space for your bass in there (PLUS anything else that is unnecessarily drowning out bass frequencies). Compressing the kick so it tightens it up may help, but it may also kill the sound you want. Since your bass is a sub, eqing some space under 100hz may help. If you dont want to take much out of the kick, then perhaps sidechain the kick to your bass so you can drive the bass more without it murdering your kick. But then if you're looking at that, possibility 2 probably is likely..

    Two.. The other thing that may help is layering in some mid bass.. maybe with a bit of saturation. This would be especially important if your bassline really doesn't do much above 100hz or so (use a frequency analyzer on it). This I kind of feel is sort of a way to trick the listeners ears a bit. Our ears play a lot of tricks when we listen to things. You can sometimes create the illusion of more bass by having adding another bass an octave up, and maybe with some saturation/distortion. If you isolate either bass layer, they sound like shit.. but together they work and sound fuller. This will require some experimenting. If you listen to tracks and try to hone in on very specific parts of a track, sometimes you can pick out those layers.

    I kind of feel it's probably both things at play. You probably need to make more space for the sub in your kick. You probably also are hitting very low frequency on the sub, making it super nice on a system that is responsive to low frequencies but shit on things like laptop and the average headphones. And doing some eqing to your kick layering in some distorted/saturated mid bass and sidechain compressing at least the sub bass to the kick may help it all.


    I am by no means an expert, and I've overworked some songs I've worked on and had to almost remix from scratch at times, but as mentioned before, I've gotten quite a bit better at this. The reason for that is ive learned that there is only so much room for everything at one point in time, so it's mostly all about managing all that available space somehow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  19. Rainy Keys

    Rainy Keys Member

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    You're freaking awesome dude! Thanks so much for the information.:rofl:
     
  20. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Yes, for electronic genres sound is much more important...
     
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