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Mixing/Mastering help

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jaysummers759885
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Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:17 AM Reply

You know, I have spent years playing. Almost 25 to be more specific, but when I have ideas that I think are great, I bog them down with distortion, and clipping, and the compression seems to be wrong most of the time. This usually happens when I am playing "metal" type tunes, but it still happens in "jazz" and such.

I am really trying my best to learn on my own with this, and I hate to ask but, I know that NG and its musicians have always been supportive of each other, and I was wondering if there is someone out there that would be willing to set a guideline for me to follow. Or maybe even a reference to something that might help.

What I am trying to do is setup up the proper chain of effects that will allow for good mastering, and mixing. When to add them, how much is too much, and how to make a clean mix.

Help out an old musician will ya? Its not like I have real job or anything!!! Throw me a bone I tell ya!!! I promise if you help, I will write full length beautiful music. Or at least try my ass off doing it, and of course I will always do it for free here on NG.

~J

Ragamuffin
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:27 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 01:17 AM, jaysummers759885 wrote: You know, I have spent years playing. Almost 25 to be more specific, but when I have ideas that I think are great, I bog them down with distortion, and clipping, and the compression seems to be wrong most of the time. This usually happens when I am playing "metal" type tunes, but it still happens in "jazz" and such.

I am really trying my best to learn on my own with this, and I hate to ask but, I know that NG and its musicians have always been supportive of each other, and I was wondering if there is someone out there that would be willing to set a guideline for me to follow. Or maybe even a reference to something that might help.

What I am trying to do is setup up the proper chain of effects that will allow for good mastering, and mixing. When to add them, how much is too much, and how to make a clean mix.

Help out an old musician will ya? Its not like I have real job or anything!!! Throw me a bone I tell ya!!! I promise if you help, I will write full length beautiful music. Or at least try my ass off doing it, and of course I will always do it for free here on NG.

~J

Something that might help is if you don't look at the displays.
Some people get too interested in exactly how much of whatever is happening and loose track of how it sounds.
I'm not saying that the displays are useless though.

If I'm having trouble finding the sweet spot for something, I'll close my eyes, and turn it all the way up, then back down slowly until it sounds right. If I just fuck it up worse, I'll try again the other way.

This is just a really crazy way to do things. It's by no means the best method, just gets you thinking about it differently, which always helps me.


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Paranoidhumanoise
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:33 AM Reply

The information is out there, i often have a hard time wrapping my head around compression/limiters myself. I'm not sure exactly what i would do in your case other than find some youtube videos that are out there. What are you using to record your tracks?


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jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:33 AM Reply

The concepts of compression, EQ, and Mastering all seem to have an order they should go in. Compression last, EQ first, so on and so forth.

Maybe what you are getting at is maybe... I should just deal with ONE track in a a piece that I am working on. Simply play my guitar in the left channel, and add compression and screw around with it.

I have tried this method, and you are wise to advise me to repeat it. However, I do this method, and when the final product is done, I find that some of the instruments are not clear, there is too much white noise, and the track isn't clean. Like I am adding too much to the track, but layering I have heard is very important.

I have so much to learn still. Thank you for taking the time out to give me your advice. ^.^

~J

jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:37 AM Reply

I am using Abletone Live 8.2.2

lol, some people have said that it my first mistake, but really it isn't all that bad when you are trying to organize things. I do have to admit the samples in the program are complete shit. The mastering and mixing part is pretty detailed though, I tend to like that about it. This software I think is really made for Electro/House/DnB/Dubstep type of music. Which I am more of a live oriented musician.

I guess maybe that is part of my struggle. Maybe I should head out to Ableton's website, and see what's up.

Thanks for your advice,

~J

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:51 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 01:37 AM, jaysummers759885 wrote: I am using Abletone Live 8.2.2
lol, some people have said that it my first mistake

It's not. Ableton is more capable than FL Studio, from my experience with both of them.

I do have to admit the samples in the program are complete shit.

It comes with free sampler packs, you're not meant to really use them. That said, Drum Rack and MultiSampler are amazing tools, and very powerful, if you don't already use them.

This software I think is really made for Electro/House/DnB/Dubstep type of music. Which I am more of a live oriented musician.

This is where I disagree. I feel like Live is designed more for organic musicians. Certainly the program is great for EDM styles, but it's also the most natural feeling DAW I've used, as a musician. Other DAWS like FL Studio and Reaper are much more in the Electro area.


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Ragamuffin
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:56 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 01:37 AM, jaysummers759885 wrote: I am using Abletone Live 8.2.2

Oh, and also, Ableton Live's native effects are extremely detailed.
I would download simplified Effects, I know their out there. (Two knob compression, etc.)
Makes life easy.


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jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 03:01 AM Reply

Something that might help is if you don't look at the displays.
Some people get too interested in exactly how much of whatever is happening and loose track of how it sounds.
I'm not saying that the displays are useless though.

If I'm having trouble finding the sweet spot for something, I'll close my eyes, and turn it all the way up, then back down slowly until it sounds right. If I just fuck it up worse, I'll try again the other way.

This is just a really crazy way to do things. It's by no means the best method, just gets you thinking about it differently, which always helps me.

I took your advice, and mixed some Reggae. I closed my eyes, and adjusted the Bass Mid Treb, and compression Queue, and Freq... all that jazz. I think I did well. Maybe you can come have a listen and tell me what you think. ^.^ Thanks for you help.

~J

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 03:09 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 01:37 AM, jaysummers759885 wrote: I am using Abletone Live 8.2.2

lol, some people have said that it my first mistake [...]

No, Ableton is awseome, and it's way more intuitive when it comes to recording & live performance than.. FL Studio for example. Or Reason. And the built in effects are great.

What I find very helpful is the Spectrum Analyzer in Ableton, apart from EQ EIght, which I use on nearly every single track / channel. You can also try out some of the presets in the Audio Effect Rack - The Mastering & the Channel Strip presets, for example. They are effect chains with a simplified interface. Unfold them and see which effects have been used & how they effect the overall sound.

jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 03:37 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 03:09 AM, wandschrank wrote:
At 2/14/13 01:37 AM, jaysummers759885 wrote: I am using Abletone Live 8.2.2

lol, some people have said that it my first mistake [...]
No, Ableton is awseome, and it's way more intuitive when it comes to recording & live performance than.. FL Studio for example. Or Reason. And the built in effects are great.

What I find very helpful is the Spectrum Analyzer in Ableton, apart from EQ EIght, which I use on nearly every single track / channel. You can also try out some of the presets in the Audio Effect Rack - The Mastering & the Channel Strip presets, for example. They are effect chains with a simplified interface. Unfold them and see which effects have been used & how they effect the overall sound.

A Channel strip I have seen it when I was messing around with effects and such. I have no idea what it is used for. I use the mastering presets man, I love those. lol. I will throw a channel strip on the master track and see what it does.

Thanks for the advice man!

~J

wandschrank
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 04:12 AM Reply

A Channel strip I have seen it when I was messing around with effects and such. I have no idea what it is used for. I use the mastering presets man, I love those. lol. I will throw a channel strip on the master track and see what it does.

Thanks for the advice man!

~J

You're welcome! :)

Try a channel strip on each channel / track, that's what they are made for! :) Channel strips are like the single channels of a mixing desk ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_strip for further information).

And like I said, make sure to unfold the channel strip effect chain and the master effect chain so you see what's going on behind the curtains.. ehrm.. macro knobs!

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 06:08 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 01:51 AM, ATTW7-Envy wrote: Reaper [is]much more in the Electro area.

*swallows tongue*
*coughs it back up* :P
Reaper has a really good recording system and is a bit limited compared to some in the midi department (I'm told, though I've never had any issues).

Simple fixes:
Having issues with distortion/clipping? Turn it down.
Bass is overpowering everything, the drums have no room? The bass of the kick drum sits below 100hz. Get rid of frequencies below 100hz from your bass (for rock/metal) to let the kick drum take over.
Everything sounds muddy? Use LESS compression rather than more on guitars that are distorted. Distortion already compresses the guitar to hell, you don't really need more.

erm... There's more but I forget.


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jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 12:42 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 06:08 AM, MetalRenard wrote:
At 2/14/13 01:51 AM, ATTW7-Envy wrote: Reaper [is]much more in the Electro area.
*swallows tongue*
*coughs it back up* :P
Reaper has a really good recording system and is a bit limited compared to some in the midi department (I'm told, though I've never had any issues).

Simple fixes:
Having issues with distortion/clipping? Turn it down.
Bass is overpowering everything, the drums have no room? The bass of the kick drum sits below 100hz. Get rid of frequencies below 100hz from your bass (for rock/metal) to let the kick drum take over.
Everything sounds muddy? Use LESS compression rather than more on guitars that are distorted. Distortion already compresses the guitar to hell, you don't really need more.

erm... There's more but I forget.

NICE bruh.. Nice. I wil try to keep in mind that the overall recording has a hertz range, and if I put too much stuff in one area of the hertz range... it will get muddy. Am I assuming right? If I put like.. the bass and the kick drum about at 50Hertz they are going to fight for that range.

~J

Ragamuffin
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 12:50 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 12:42 PM, jaysummers759885 wrote: NICE bruh.. Nice. I wil try to keep in mind that the overall recording has a hertz range, and if I put too much stuff in one area of the hertz range... it will get muddy. Am I assuming right? If I put like.. the bass and the kick drum about at 50Hertz they are going to fight for that range.

~J

Yes. That's exactly what will happen, and that's what we have EQ, Sidechain Compression, and sometimes formant shifting for.
Ableton live has a spectrum analyzer to help you see what's happening, but I vastly prefer Voxengo's Span as a free alternative.


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wandschrank
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 12:55 PM Reply

Yes. That's exactly what will happen, and that's what we have EQ, Sidechain Compression, and sometimes formant shifting for.
Ableton live has a spectrum analyzer to help you see what's happening, but I vastly prefer Voxengo's Span as a free alternative.

Version 9 has (finally) improved this issue A LOT. You can have the analyzer directly in EQ Eight. <3 Everyone who bought Ableton can already download the beta and give it a try!

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:08 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 12:55 PM, wandschrank wrote: Version 9 has (finally) improved this issue A LOT. You can have the analyzer directly in EQ Eight. <3 Everyone who bought Ableton can already download the beta and give it a try!

I'm already on 9 beta, and I do enjoy the EQ8 spectrum, but I still prefer a more featured, easy to read spectrum on my master buss at all times, on my second screen. (Because live STILL doesn't have dual monitor support.)


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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 01:28 PM Reply

(Because live STILL doesn't have dual monitor support.)

Yes, that really sucks. :/

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 04:00 PM Reply

For anyone who wants to learn mixing and producing, this is a MUST SEE !!!
http://www.pensadosplace.tv/category/into-the-lair/

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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 04:11 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 04:00 PM, sorohanro wrote: For anyone who wants to learn mixing and producing, this is a MUST SEE !!!
http://www.pensadosplace.tv/category/into-the-lair/

Thank you!
I will definitely enjoy this.


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MetalRenard
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 06:08 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 04:00 PM, sorohanro wrote: For anyone who wants to learn mixing and producing, this is a MUST SEE !!!
http://www.pensadosplace.tv/category/into-the-lair/

I like this guy's tutorials, he says many times that you have to be creative and a lot depends on your choice, the vibe you feel from the song. Good man.


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jaysummers759885
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Response to Mixing/Mastering help Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 09:48 PM Reply

At 2/14/13 04:00 PM, sorohanro wrote: For anyone who wants to learn mixing and producing, this is a MUST SEE !!!
http://www.pensadosplace.tv/category/into-the-lair/

Wow broseph, I am addicted to this now. lol... I watched like 4 of his videos in a row, and have learned so much. Kick ass man thanks for the reference.

~J