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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:47 pm 
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In more seriousness, I think relating to the OP and the tunes linked here..... Yo can overthink thinks.
Nothing that special has been done to the pads in the tunes linked, really what makes it work is the musiciality of it.
I think it's something that dozzy does well. To me his mixes always sound very natural, not overly sculpted, no overly harsh cuts. I could be wrong, but generally his elements fit together very well because he is picking the right elements from the get go.
So in being careful and musical about the sounds he chooses and where he places them he is not having to work so hard to the mix to slot together.
So you have basic techniques here, smooth subtractive EQ work, reverbs and delays.

It's something always to keep in mind when producing, and it's easy to forget or lose your way and stray from the path. But the musicality of it all is as much a part of the technical production as stuff like EQ, Compression, Mid-Side work etc.

So sometimes you might be fighting to get a part to work, and you start to think there is some secret technique your fave producer must have that you don't, and you trawl the net for the "secret"....
When it just turns out, you are trying to squeeze an elephant in to a shoe box, and the part is simply not right for the tune.

Of course sometimes it IS a certain technique that can help.

But in the case of what is happening in the tunes linked by OP you have simple techniques but very accomplished musicality.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:33 pm 
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True that. It was just an impulsive comment on mixing pads in general. With secret waepon I meant that proximity will help you with its psychoacoustic abilities to create the illusion of distance very easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Proximity is a very handy little effect for sure. It`s great for pushing vocals around a mix in rock and hip hop.

I wasn`t commenting on what you were saying in regards to proximity, I was replying to the OP.

It`s very easy to get buried in technique sometimes when the actual problem is the sound itself.

I do this all the time, I`ll fight and fight with a tune, sometimes for days.
Eventually I`ll realise that a certain part is just wrong, and needs scrapping, or changing completely, and then the tune works.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Ah ok... misunderstood that. Yeah it´s easy to get lost. I read an interview with Tolkachev and he says that sometimes he is looking all day long for one sequence which suits him and then he records it. I find myself deleting and reworking all compromises I made in the track. It´s hard to delete or rework a sequence or something else with special techniques, if you know that on that day you made it, it has touched you in some way... oh fuck my english is so bad I need to live on your island for some time :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
In more seriousness, I think relating to the OP and the tunes linked here..... Yo can overthink thinks.
Nothing that special has been done to the pads in the tunes linked, really what makes it work is the musiciality of it.
I think it's something that dozzy does well. To me his mixes always sound very natural, not overly sculpted, no overly harsh cuts. I could be wrong, but generally his elements fit together very well because he is picking the right elements from the get go.
So in being careful and musical about the sounds he chooses and where he places them he is not having to work so hard to the mix to slot together.
So you have basic techniques here, smooth subtractive EQ work, reverbs and delays.

It's something always to keep in mind when producing, and it's easy to forget or lose your way and stray from the path. But the musicality of it all is as much a part of the technical production as stuff like EQ, Compression, Mid-Side work etc.

So sometimes you might be fighting to get a part to work, and you start to think there is some secret technique your fave producer must have that you don't, and you trawl the net for the "secret"....
When it just turns out, you are trying to squeeze an elephant in to a shoe box, and the part is simply not right for the tune.

Of course sometimes it IS a certain technique that can help.

But in the case of what is happening in the tunes linked by OP you have simple techniques but very accomplished musicality.


Nice post. I am a massive fan of Dozzy and will think about this when I next listen to some bits of his. This idea of musicality as part of production is a good thing to keep in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:02 am 
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Planar wrote:
soulstar606 wrote:
you realize that too much low end is really tiring on someones ears....


Too much high end is far more fatiguing to the ears. Plenty of genres are dominated by bass.

soulstar606 wrote:
you should know that you never leave much of anything below about 150-200 hZ in any pads


Having mixing "rules" like this are silly; it's entirely dependent on context.

you have to learn the rules and know them well before you can start breaking them

the rules are there for a reason...because countless people have all come to the same conclusions....so it's best to learn why theyve all realized this...and then you can go from there....and break that rule because you can understand how and when to do that...

i agree that you should never have certain "rules" that you never break...but for people who less experienced...we need to have rules in place to grow and develop, then one day you find yourself saying..."hey! why do always do that...maybe I shuold try this little switch up because I can see how it might make somehting better or more interesting"

like for a long time I never put any effects on my bass, and never put delays or any stereo widening...because thats just one of those rules that you see everywhere that poeple say.......so I just followed it for a long time.....and it was better off that i did....because i didn't understand at that time exactly how or why I would make the bassline wider....

yes, lots of people say dont do this and NEVER do that...and now i can say that you should never say NEVER......but thats only because I am more expereience.d......

theres also lots of people who jsut parrot these rules and they actually dont even know themselves why they are rules in th first place....

then theres also people who say NEVER follow any rules, but they have never taken the time to learn any basic techniques and because they think they are a waste of time or not valid..

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:28 am 
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There are guidelines and then there is plain bad advice. What you've suggested is bad advice, any EQ recipe like this is. The advice should be to remove all interfering low end from the pad and then remove anything else according to taste and mixing choices. Suggesting numbers and a curve shape does not help a beginner at all, it is not a "basic technique" to do this, it's a template, a formula and counter productive to learning such a key skill as EQ. All that helps a beginner is research, practice and training their ears. There are no shortcuts (unless you're Timo Maas).

Context is king. Some tracks don't have traditional bass lines. Some tracks don't have kicks. Some tracks want to sound squashed and dense. Some tracks only have a pad and percussive elements. Some tracks need hardly any audible pad at all. music isn't made to a template, and those that do are generally making incredibly generic, throwaway shite.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:13 am 
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Planar wrote:
There are guidelines and then there is plain bad advice. What you've suggested is bad advice, any EQ recipe like this is.

lol. thanks for your opinion on whether my advice is good or not. finished now?

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:34 am 
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I'll take your lack of reasoned response as a sign my opinion is correct, so yes, I'm done.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:15 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
In more seriousness, I think relating to the OP and the tunes linked here..... Yo can overthink thinks.
Nothing that special has been done to the pads in the tunes linked, really what makes it work is the musiciality of it.
I think it's something that dozzy does well. To me his mixes always sound very natural, not overly sculpted, no overly harsh cuts. I could be wrong, but generally his elements fit together very well because he is picking the right elements from the get go.
So in being careful and musical about the sounds he chooses and where he places them he is not having to work so hard to the mix to slot together.
So you have basic techniques here, smooth subtractive EQ work, reverbs and delays.

It's something always to keep in mind when producing, and it's easy to forget or lose your way and stray from the path. But the musicality of it all is as much a part of the technical production as stuff like EQ, Compression, Mid-Side work etc.

So sometimes you might be fighting to get a part to work, and you start to think there is some secret technique your fave producer must have that you don't, and you trawl the net for the "secret"....
When it just turns out, you are trying to squeeze an elephant in to a shoe box, and the part is simply not right for the tune.

Of course sometimes it IS a certain technique that can help.

But in the case of what is happening in the tunes linked by OP you have simple techniques but very accomplished musicality.


Thank you for your reply and the previous explanations Lost to the Void, useful and great informations. :)
I strongly agree on what you said in this post about Donato, I guess also knowing the sound sources well could really make the difference in the processing part, of course depending on the context.
Anyways, I'll try to keep things simple with pads using those techniques and experimenting new chains.
Thank you everyone else too, I'm managing to get to the right direction with your advices!


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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:11 pm 
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Planar wrote:
There are guidelines and then there is plain bad advice. What you've suggested is bad advice, any EQ recipe like this is. The advice should be to remove all interfering low end from the pad and then remove anything else according to taste and mixing choices. Suggesting numbers and a curve shape does not help a beginner at all, it is not a "basic technique" to do this, it's a template, a formula and counter productive to learning such a key skill as EQ. All that helps a beginner is research, practice and training their ears. There are no shortcuts (unless you're Timo Maas).

Context is king. Some tracks don't have traditional bass lines. Some tracks don't have kicks. Some tracks want to sound squashed and dense. Some tracks only have a pad and percussive elements. Some tracks need hardly any audible pad at all. music isn't made to a template, and those that do are generally making incredibly generic, throwaway shite.


Exactly, standardised methods just close creative doors.

I`ve made a few tunes in my past where the pads were providing the bass of the tune. Had I have cut below 200 as a standard practice, this would have been impossible. I simply made cuts in other areas within the pads to make room for other things.
With the addition of Mid-Side you can have very thick pads with more low frequency pushed out to the sides, and then have room for your kick and sub in the middle.
Essentially there are no standardised rules with EQ, it`s all about context, which is the point you are making right?

Everything depends on everything else. There`s no point cutting the lows on your pads if there is nothing else occupying those lows.
There`s no point cutting the lows on your pads if you want lows on your pads, you just have to make adjustments elsewhere in the mix within this context.

You can apply stereo effects to your bass, for example, and most mastering engineers, should the job be for vinyl, will be able to deal with it, or you can just mono the low lows yourself (it`s only the very low frequencies you really have to worry about in respect to phase). Quite often if I am making a really gnarly bassline, I`ll have the very low part of it in mono, but the rest will go stereo but have the middle cut out to make room for drums.

Cutting too much and too steeply can lead to a very unnatural sounding mix, picking the right sounds in the first place is the key.

So yeah, you hit the nail on the head, there should be no EQ recipes.
You do need to understand the theory of subtractive EQ, and how to fit a mix together, how this works in practice, but it is not a theory of absolutes.
Context context context.

Every tune is different.

Unless you make the same tune again and again of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Mixing pads and atmospheres.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:21 pm 
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aledotm wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
In more seriousness, I think relating to the OP and the tunes linked here..... Yo can overthink thinks.
Nothing that special has been done to the pads in the tunes linked, really what makes it work is the musiciality of it.
I think it's something that dozzy does well. To me his mixes always sound very natural, not overly sculpted, no overly harsh cuts. I could be wrong, but generally his elements fit together very well because he is picking the right elements from the get go.
So in being careful and musical about the sounds he chooses and where he places them he is not having to work so hard to the mix to slot together.
So you have basic techniques here, smooth subtractive EQ work, reverbs and delays.

It's something always to keep in mind when producing, and it's easy to forget or lose your way and stray from the path. But the musicality of it all is as much a part of the technical production as stuff like EQ, Compression, Mid-Side work etc.

So sometimes you might be fighting to get a part to work, and you start to think there is some secret technique your fave producer must have that you don't, and you trawl the net for the "secret"....
When it just turns out, you are trying to squeeze an elephant in to a shoe box, and the part is simply not right for the tune.

Of course sometimes it IS a certain technique that can help.

But in the case of what is happening in the tunes linked by OP you have simple techniques but very accomplished musicality.


Thank you for your reply and the previous explanations Lost to the Void, useful and great informations. :)
I strongly agree on what you said in this post about Donato, I guess also knowing the sound sources well could really make the difference in the processing part, of course depending on the context.
Anyways, I'll try to keep things simple with pads using those techniques and experimenting new chains.
Thank you everyone else too, I'm managing to get to the right direction with your advices!


You`ll get there, it`s frustrating (and that frustration never ever ends as you pay attention to infinitely more minute detail), it`s just a matter of doing it a lot and cramming that ear experience in to your head.

Picking the right sounds is really the key here.
I think I did a long post about this somewhere on here a long time ago.
But sound choice is part of the EQ process.

When making a tune as you add each element, keep in mind where the other sounds are sitting already. If you already have a lot of sounds taking up Low-Mid space, and you want to add, say, another percussion part, then you should be looking at percussion parts that don`t really sit that much in the low-mid already.
that way when you decide to slot the sound in to the mix, it will already be going in to the right place, you EQ will only need to be gentle, and your mix will sound more "natural".

And techno, of course is not "natural" but I use that word to mean........ A mix that sounds like it should be as it is. Like the whole tune emerged as it stands, it was not made, but it is one whole, one piece, all working together harmoniously (or dischordantly) rather than a bunch of disparate elements crammed together unnaturally with heaps and heaps of EQ.

Think of your whole tune like it is an orchestra. The orchestra works together, even though the timpany drums sound nothing like the bassoons, and the trumpets sound nothing like the violins, they all work together fitting in their areas and playing to the same tune.

Every part should fit, both in terms of it`s natural frequency spectrum, it`s frequency equalisation and the notes it is actually playing.





Then distort and compress the fucker and cut it to vinyl :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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