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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Of course, we aren't talking about total separation here. That would literally be impossible by instrument choice alone. Overlapping however can cause masking, where the human ear rejects the quieter sound. Or cancellation, or a myriad of other problems. If it is intentional then cool. But in general practice your mixes will be far more effective if you think about the mix and how it stands, and choose sounds at each stage that fit, rather than just wildly bashing shit out and then trying to crow bar it in to the mix.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:20 pm 
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Ok, question about mixing and club experience.

If you're in a club and a track is completely in mono, vs one in stereo, how much difference will the listener be able to hear?

I hear a lot of 'club music' ie house and techno these days over headphones. I just don't go to clubs anymore. I mean over headphones I hear lots of stereo flourishes and stuff done, that I'm pretty sure I've never heard in a club.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Very little in my experience. I can't remember the last time I went "oo that panning on that _____ is really nice"

Might be because I'm too fucked to realise, but if thats the case that everyones too fucked to notice, then again you have to question what the point would be, I guess


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:38 pm 
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I don't think the difference is that drastic. Berghain is stereo but you don't really notice it unless there is some really wild L-R panning going on.

A lot of the small stuff that tends to be stereo will get lost on a big soundsystem anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Plyphon wrote:
, then again you have to question what the point would be, I guess


Because it creates space in the mix and makes it easier to fit sounds together.
Panning is one of the most basic production tools in the toolset.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:52 pm 
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jordanneke wrote:
Ok, question about mixing and club experience.

If you're in a club and a track is completely in mono, vs one in stereo, how much difference will the listener be able to hear?

I hear a lot of 'club music' ie house and techno these days over headphones. I just don't go to clubs anymore. I mean over headphones I hear lots of stereo flourishes and stuff done, that I'm pretty sure I've never heard in a club.


the answer to that can only ever be, it depends.
However, if a club does run in stereo, and the stereo field has been used as a mixing tool to help sounds fit together, then it will work on a stereo system, especially if it has been mastered well.

It is incredibly unfortunate however, that we are still having this conversation in 2017, and it shows the state of audio fidelity in clubland.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Cool so as an update, the track I posted earlier in the thread is sounding like this:

https://soundcloud.com/futrohouz/octobe ... 14/s-8TXUl

The kick is too loud I think and still needs further EQ work to trim it down a bit in places, but it's getting much better.

Steps I took:

- Took off all buss processing (saturation, mainly)
- Removed a lot of the tape saturation from individual channels, used subtler distortion if required instead
- Made the main hi-hat with some really subtle drive, and bit reduction/filters through decimort and then resampled it. Gave it a grittyier/moodier texture.
- Went through and checked all my gainstaging. Made it so there was not gain increase between inserts
- Panned a few bits subtly here and there to make some space
- Checked levels (though I need to revisit this)

It's a lot better. Big thanks to everyone here.

From now on I'll use the tune feedback thread as suggested here rather than update this thread, but thought a single update would be cool.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:22 am 
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Mix is a little dry, but this sounds alright, I wouldn`t say you need serious help.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:26 am 
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Plyphon wrote:
Cool so as an update, the track I posted earlier in the thread is sounding like this:

https://soundcloud.com/futrohouz/octobe ... 14/s-8TXUl

From now on I'll use the tune feedback thread as suggested here rather than update this thread, but thought a single update would be cool.

Cheers


No major problems happening. Everything is balanced and sits nicely. Overall mix is a bit mono and could use a bit of shine in the highs however.

But overall, good work. The thing thats going to make your tracks much better is good ol' TIME. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:03 am 
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You guys say the nicest things at times

Yeah the clap needs work, sounds dry af - my next task is to finish the tune....


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:59 am 
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I just miss some on the sound design side: smooth subtle movement from delays and or some springy verb.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Yeah my task for tonight/this weekend is to figure out how to use reverb and bit better to bring alive some elements. That snare sounds so weak and flimsy.


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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:48 pm 
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a few of my personal essential learnings:

1. low cut, but not too much. often sounds like hi hats (or anything else) can contain loads of unwanted sub frequencies, which "muddy up" the bass. cut those. but only as much as needed, otherwise the sounds become too thin. i just use a 12 db soft curve low cut at anything between 100 and 400 hz for most sounds.

2. sidechain. i recently disovered the "kickstart" plugin which is a super fast and easy way to sidechain, easier actually than using a compressor.

3. find the right plugins/techniques. the right plug or technique can give you the sound you look for pretty mkuch instantly, while if you don't know it, you can search endlessly. that's what this forum here is for, or ask an experienced friend to show you what you can't figure for yourself. for example i was always searching how to create those massively distorted industrial kicks which e.g. slam use - with "izotope trash 2" you get them quite easily, still some tweaking involved, but i really feel discovering this plug got me lightyears ahead.

4. don't think you need 10.000 € of hardware gear! as nice as it is for many people to have machines they can touch with their hands, learning the necessary skills is 10 times more important than expensive gear. the only exception for me here is a good soundijng room. that really does help you to work faster and more efficiently, if you really can hear what's going on in your music. if your room sounds like shit: use headphones for the mixdown stage.

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:20 pm 
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oh and i forgot: bounce your track, hide your daw and take notes!

your eyes need a lot of "brain cpu time", so taking away visual distraction helps a lot to understand better what goes on in your music.

and it takes away the temptation of immediately starting to work again on little details, while it might be more helpful at times to take a look at the big picture and to write down all things that come to your mind, and then tackle one after the other afterwards

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:50 am 
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Lots of the heads round here might call this cheating but using the izotope neutron pushed my mixes far forward. Not only that it visualises where the frequencys are overlapping, it also gives you suggestions, where your elements have peaks and how to reduce those via dynamic eq, which is very helpfull for a nice master.
Above this I do most of my production and mixing on my headphones, as I know I can trust them more than my monitors. But the most important part of all in my opinion is the choice of samples. You cant go wrong if you choose a kick which is bumping the shit out of hell :). Try the Kicks from Waves alchemys techno sample pack.
When it comes to stereo placement - I only mix and produce in mono :) ... but thats just my personal taste

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:17 pm 
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Overlapping is not necessarily bad. Not enough of it can result in a pretty sterile mix (depending on the genre and the vibe of the tune).

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 Post subject: Re: My mixes suck. I need serious help.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:01 pm 
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rktic wrote:

Sure!

I've got my drum bus and all other tracks, maybe bussed, maybe individually. Depends on my decision wether they "belong together" or not. No science here, gut decision. Well, not 100% - sometimes there are midrange tracks that communicate together, sometimes there aren't.

Everything is already balanced, transients, dynamics and space is already there.

My idea with the parallel busses is adding energy and loudness without affecting the original punch. If I'd throw the entire mix into one singular bus pumping and all sorts of artefacts are likely to be introduced. Instead, I'm running the low end material like kick, low percussion, bassline through one bus. Same with the mid and high end material. Working that way allows me to bypass kick-based pumping and add only the amount of loudness I need in the particular frequency area.

Now, I don't have any rules about how to distort those busses individually. Except, quite a lot. Then I'm pushing up the busses until the effect becomes apparent and problems occur. There might be phase issues. Some transients interfering with the punch of the unprocssed material. I'll try to minimize these effects with EQs, compression or something like Cableguys volumeshaper. Then I bring the entire bus down to nil again and keep raising the fader until the additional loudness becomes apparent.

For the mids I might also give the 4khz a positive kick on the sidebands to increase the stereo depth.

What this gives me is much more control over the overall loudness and energy that's going on without fucking up the balance.

Been using that eg here:

That particular track didn't need much mastering, just a bit of glueing. I achieved the loudness beforehand already.


Thanks for this!

I just tried this and it makes a lot of sense, but I can also see that it could lead to other issues if not used carefully as you said.

Any tips on a best way to go about this in Ableton?
My "template" consists of 3 buses by grouping the tracks (bass, mid & high) and then using an Audio Effect rack with two chains (dry/wet). I guess another way would be to create return channels (for the bass, mid & high wet distortion) and 3 audio tracks for the buses. Routing the 3 return channels back to each bus. The difference, as far as I can tell, would be to have control over how much of each element is being sent to the wet channel (through the send-knobs on each track).

Any thoughts on this? More than happy to have any of you chime in..!


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