Create an account


ITS THE MIXDOWN THREAD!

#1
hoooray!

actually, i don't have that much to be excited about, as mixdowns have been a constant source of frustration and confusion since i started my foray into the electronic arts. (as i'm sure it has for others, hence "the mixdown thread")

so this thread is a place to pose questions, offer advice, and have general discussion regarding this elusive and time sucking process.

i'll start with a TREMENDOUSLY general question to get the ball rolling :

if you could list the top 5 things/concepts/approaches, what-have-you; that are essential to making your mixdown go well overall, what would they be Icon_question
Reply

#2
ok lets see.. for drum&bass

1) just getting the levels right with nothing but faders first
2) eq out most unnecessary/clashing frequencies of each channel
3) get the drums sound tight as f*ck
4) make the bass sit nicely under the drums and groove well with them
5) fine tuning of everything else (nice and wide stereo image, everything sounds glued together etc)


some other things i find helpful for mixing are
-good room with few reflections
-good monitors
-good desk
-taking breaks every hour
-mixing at fairly low volumes and now and again checking the mix at full blast
-listening to the mix outside the mixing room with the door closed
-not smoking weed while mixing, all the time anyway
-listening to the best mixed tunes you know and making a/b comparisons with your mix
-listening to the mix at different places, car, your mates systems, clubs, etc and making mental notes/writing down what needs to change
Reply

#3
im not real good at mixdowns, but one thing i do to get my bass sounding clean that works real well is when im mixing down i lowpass my main output at about 100hz or so so i can listen only to the subs and make sure they sound clean. Another thing i do is i set the output volume on the EXS or whatever plugin so that all my instruments peak at about -6 db and then move the faders on the mixer to the leves i want things - its kind of anal but i think its a lot easier to work this way.
Reply

#4
mixing for dnb is totally different to a lot of music imo - people want fatness, weight, and crispness or stfu :d so i don't go shy....

note - i mix entirely in cubase sx, so internal clipping isn't an issue, only at the da convertors.

1) never ever ever ever ever move the master fader......... until you come to mixdown, at which point drop it by the clip value +1.5db to avoid clipping at mixdown, and also to maximise resolution.

2) have drums showing at max -6db on the master fader when they are solo'ed, more or less the same for bass, maybe a touch less. everything else is just parsley. then you know your drums are taking up half the headroom Xyxthumbs (which is what i want anyway Icon_razz :d ). use the waves l1 or l2 to prevent anything going over that.

3) fwiw i love the sound of transx>l1 on drums. i don't like the sound of compression really (turn off your compressor and check out the mid range - much better without imho) but don't mind using plenty of limiting, but retaining punch by using transx. then you set the ceiling of the l1 to -6db and happy days. some breaks do need a bit of tube before limiting to get them a bit fatter though.

4) don't be shy with the bass......... i go eq>comp>comp>limit, but carefully. leave a really long attack (50ms or so) and fairly long release (30ms ish depending) on the first, go a bit tighter on the second, then trim the initial peak of the bass hits using (you guessed it!) l1 - but watch the release time on the l1 so you don't get too much growl (can be nice though sometimes).

this way you get the punch due to the attack on the compressors, but iron control of the level. set the output of the l1 to whatever sounds right somewhere around -6 to -7 db, and your mix will be close to peaking, but not. lovely - although often you may have to go back and just tweak your bass patch or eq so it sounds exactly as it did before, but bigger.

5) high pass your reverb at 200 hz or so, depending.


but there are no hard and fast rules, only principles!!
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#5
Reading the comments from macc.. i have so much to learn Roll

but that is what this part of the forum is all about....

great stuff
Reply

#6
Yeh the computer mixdown stuff is deep im still finding it hard , thats why i go out of my emu into my desk then to dat i get better results,

Im still getting my headround my headroom on the emu x, my bass is always spot on, but its the beats, I have to take out most of the sub bass end of my drums say 70 hz and below to that i can get the whole dynamic range in to the track. But with my emu set to a headroom setting of about -6 i get a really low mixdown, Maybe -10 dbs with the sx main out on full, if i turn the headroom on the sampler up i get loads of distortion , So out board it is for me still at the mo,

the emu x is a vast improvment on kontakt, its so much clearer, and you can tell if the sample is shitty at the top end you hear the truth. The interpolation on say bass at lower notes is far better ,when i used to use kontakt i ended up running bass through my akai or emu, because of the horrible aliasing that happend with playing bass notes lower than about 1 octave from the orginal sampled note.

Nice one macc for your opinions might have to bust out the trans x tonight and see what its like, I only really use the sx multiband compression on drums, I have been after a transient shaper for ages , im still waiting on my uad card to arrive, once thats here , i can get my 31 latest tracks fully mixed down and get the tunes to some labels
Reply

#7
sx multiband = Neutral

sounds good but there is definite mush at the crossovers Icon_sad

transx kills it Falcon

multiband one or fullband, but the former preferably.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#8
i lied a bit i used to use the multiband when i used sx warez but im on sl2 and they hav'nt inclueded it, i've been plugin compressor free for a while, i used to use the waves stuff just some how have not got round to putting them back on the computer yet, i use an alesis outboard and i got a dbx 266 on the way too

Btw man that drum slut business is sick Cool
Reply

#9
Thanks a lot man - not bad considering I did it all at work, eh Cool
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#10
Thanks for the tips everyone esp. Macc Cool

Just thinking about compression - I was listening to Equinox doing the old skool thing at Technicality, and someone mentioned how little compression there seemed to be on many of the drums compared to how things are today...yet the tunes still sounded ultra fat. How so? Is it because relative to today tunes were a lot sparser in the mid nineties - you know just a string sample, some 808 and mad apache flex or whatever.

Sorry slightly off topic in this thread but an interesting tangent.
Reply

#11
i always wonder about how much you should do in mastering and how much when your making the tune.

do you tend to get everything eqd/fattened up perfectly whilst writing the tune as you add things one at a time, or just write what you want keeping it vaguely good sounding and then try and master it all together at the end?
Reply

#12
Logos Wrote:yet the tunes still sounded ultra fat. How so?

herbal soundsytem Hahaha Hahaha

think you could be right tho in that cos the tunes were alot more simple things cut through on their own without the need for compression ....
Reply

#13
yeah, thanks mac - thats a huge help Grin
Reply

#14
panda Wrote:i always wonder about how much you should do in mastering and how much when your making the tune.

do you tend to get everything eqd/fattened up perfectly whilst writing the tune as you add things one at a time, or just write what you want keeping it vaguely good sounding and then try and master it all together at the end?

something i'd also like to know Oops
Reply

#15
M.T.NesZ Wrote:
panda Wrote:i always wonder about how much you should do in mastering and how much when your making the tune.

do you tend to get everything eqd/fattened up perfectly whilst writing the tune as you add things one at a time, or just write what you want keeping it vaguely good sounding and then try and master it all together at the end?

something i'd also like to know Oops

Firstly, mastering and mixing should be cleared up. U shouldn't think of mixing as mastering. Mastering is the final stage before press after u've done ur mix and this has to be done within a decent acoustic environment with near perfect monitoring and trained ears. Try not to use to much exciters etc on a mix as a mastering engineer will struggle to correct any over working. Also over compressing a mix can be a nightmare to correct. It is better give a mastering engineer more to do than something he/she can do nothing with.

As far as the creative process there are no rules. Some like to get the tune out while the vibe is there and then get it sounding right at the mix stage. The more you work the quicker you will be at getting your sounds right as you go along, but try not to get too hung up on a sound for too long. I've had many a case where I find an imperfect sound adds something else to the tune. If that makes sense. Adds another angle. It's a constant learning process. I find capturing the vibe is all important and when u hear more and more producers making tunes in a day then u realise that mixing comes later.

The other point i must stress is listening. Sounds stupid i know but how you listen is all important. ALWAYS give urself ear breaks, we all know how easy it is to sit with loops for hours on end, but you need to gain objectivity. Your ears will start to fill in gaps and leave important things out. When mixing rest every 15-20 minutes.
Reply

#16
1) Mixing is more important than mastering, at least the latter is worthless without the former.

2) You can't really edit and mix in the same session. You can but Neutral

3) Mastering is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake.

4) Drunk.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#17
Jeez Macc, you go to sound engineering school or somethin'?

I find that my approach is far different than what some of you guys have advised. I tend to mix, apply edits, chop and write all at once... Perhaps that why I'm not too efficient.

Blah.
Reply

#18
I have a physics degree, but I am simply a fucking geek when it comes to this. I dunno, I just...... understand it, I think. It's just that that is why my music has no soul Hahaha

No, and you are right man, you can (and I do) do everything all in one session, chop, arrange, edit, mix blah blah, but when it comes to the FINAL mixdown, I do that and that alone.

Smile
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#19
Macc has improved all of our mixdowns by this post ( Thats 6 people from our crew ) , Were all hardware heads and are now only starting to like the benifets from mixing on the computer, Its weird using analog mixers for years sort of don't apply to digital mixing at all the headrooms compeatly different and the scope of what can be done now is far more than i orignally realised,


BiG ups macc :P :P
Reply

#20
Oops <-------- Should be Blush but it isn't here any more Icon_sad

Thanks.

The best thing about computer mixing, at least using a prog like SX, is that cos the internal signal path is 32-bit floating point you can clip the channels to FUCK if you want. As in over 300dB (or something, I forget) above zero, but the ONLY thing that matters is the 'bit bottleneck' at your DA convertors. So even if your master is clipping like a hairdesser on a busy day Teef , you just have to turn the master fader down to stop driving your DA convertors and happy days. Wink


Not that I ever clip any channel anyway :smugcunt:


The best mix technique on SX or anything like that is to NEVER move the master fader EVER until it is time to mix down.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#21
Yeh i loaded up some old tunes and i had the master on like -60dbs, I should of noticed but some times the tune is taking over your brain and you don't hear how fucked it sounds untill you here it else where.


Living and learning thats what its all about.

There are loads of people hating the software studios but i spose its how you do it not what you've got, LOL I used a soundblaster live for about 4 years, it don't take much to clip them da's belive Roll
Reply

#22
Former soundblaster massive say Oops

Hahaha
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply

#23
Macc Wrote:Oops <-------- Should be Blush but it isn't here any more Icon_sad

dedicated server massive say nay!

Cool
Reply

#24
been reading all this stuff (and a lot of other things about mixing) and it still doesn't work for me

i heard a few of my tunes on a 'big' system last night and it was pure horror Icon_sad Baffled
Reply

#25
What was wrong with them?
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
Reply



Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  hurry up! finish a mixdown before the demos run out!!!! jcb 10 2,500 25th May 2008, 20:10
Last Post: jcb
  do you mixdown you final bounced out tune oplin 49 5,474 21st July 2007, 13:49
Last Post: Macc
  Mixdown thru valve compressor? thush-ara 30 5,582 27th November 2006, 15:37
Last Post: Macc
  THA MIXDOWN QUESTIONS THREAD ALPHA OMEGA 57 7,292 16th September 2006, 13:24
Last Post: subvert
  how do you guys feel about bouncing to stems for a mixdown? dodz 57 6,712 9th March 2006, 18:07
Last Post: Macc


Forum software by © MyBB Theme © iAndrew 2016