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Final Mixdown Tips.


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Could you please help me (and others) on how to do the final mixdown.... Maybe some tips,or a step by step guide,or even some links to such things would be really helpfull!

 

Thanks!!!! :)

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Well this is how i usually do it..This is just a rough guideline the main idea is to use your ears, if it sounds good its good..

 

First i make sure the kick is peaking at -8db and both the kick & the bass around -6db..

 

As for the rest of the elements i usually have a group with my high hats..Another with my snare & other percussion sounds & one for the synth sounds..

 

Another important thing is to make sure that you're highpassing everything except the kick & the bass..This can vary from 100Hz to 300Hz, again it depends on each sound..

 

The rest just comes with time, a good idea is to make sure that when you're setting levels & eq'ing your synth sounds you don't solo them but listen to them with all the other elements..Otherwise you might spend ages making it perfect on its own & then when you put the sound with the rest you'll notice it getting drowned out in the mix..

 

Finally its really important to have good monitoring, my mixing skills really improved once i got a good set of monitors..Before that it was just hit & miss, i had to listen to lots of other sources & go back & correct the mix..With a good set of monitors i pretty much nail the mix the first time round..

 

Hope this helps..

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Could you please help me (and others) on how to do the final mixdown.... Maybe some tips,or a step by step guide,or even some links to such things would be really helpfull!

 

Thanks!!!! :)

r u talkin about final mastering??? u can use mastering pluggins n make a mastering suite urself n use it .
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  • 6 months later...

Read this one, cause this guy knows his stuff.

I could also add, use a high pass filter on kick and bass so that it filters out frequencies below ~ 35 Hz. It might sound less good on your system, but for larger sound systems its better to keep away from them lower freq's.

+1 to what you just said and the above quote +1 as well. but I am not expert, so i might be totally wrong in doing the same. Colin?
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+1 to what you just said and the above quote +1 as well. but I am not expert, so i might be totally wrong in doing the same. Colin?

Personally I don't highpass my kick. Ever. I occasionally highpass the bass, but only if it contains low-frequency rubbish below the fundamental of the lowest note in the track. Remember, basslines in some keys have fundamentals below 40Hz.

 

My thinking is that each soundsystem has a different low-frequency cutoff point, and they are generally all highpassed by the system controller unit. Even then, highpass filters (whether electronic in the controller unit or physical in the response of the sub-bass drivers themselves) are not brick walls; they have a slope, so frequencies below the cutoff point are still reproduced, albeit at a progressively lower level.

 

I want my tracks to sound as good as they can on a given system, so I don't want to second-guess the PA engineer by removing frequencies in the kick or bass that the system will actually be able to reproduce. So far (as far as I can tell) we have had no issues with inaudible sub lowering system headroom, either.

 

Also, if you're producing for a release, I would recommend leaving any hipassing of the kick/bass to the mastering engineer, as they are likely to use higher-quality processing than you have available. Bass is very sensitive to phase-shift because of the long wavelengths, and some EQs smear transients quite badly in this area.

 

[EDIT] Not saying this is actually the 'right' way to go about it, it's just what I do.

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E Z on the highpass and never boost the high more than teensy weensy little, when a sound is muddy try cutting low-mid 500 hz - 1200 hz

 

never use eq's to boost more than a little, use compressor r shiet, always!

 

and when ur done, send to me for mastering! :)

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Andi Vax mixing secrets.

 

It's a video tutorial made by Andi Vax from SYNSUN. You'll find a lot of usefull information if you're a beginner like me.

He talks about mixing electronic music in general, but it focuses on psytrance I think.

 

In details:

1. Basic skills of equalization

2. Main principles of equalization

3. Frequency’s conflicts and instrument groups

4. Main principles of compression

5. A little bit about mastering

6. A little maximizing hint

7. FAT sound. Three methods of making kick drum.

8. FAT sound. Fat and pumping bass.

9. FAT sound. Synth double track.

10. FAT sound. Unreal wide bass.

11. FAT sound. Percussion and cymbals processing.

12. Virtual Room Hints. Main principles.

13. Virtual Room Hints. 5 reverberation hints.

14. 10 advices from ANDI VAX

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I get click when my cubase project is set to 88.200 sample rate and I cant record in 88.200 in external recorder if cubase is set to 44.100 on same audio card(logical).. So what should I do?

How to do a mixdown with twice as much sample rate to preserve quality when I hear clicks and have no quality at all cause of them..

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  • 2 weeks later...

I get click when my cubase project is set to 88.200 sample rate and I cant record in 88.200 in external recorder if cubase is set to 44.100 on same audio card(logical).. So what should I do?

How to do a mixdown with twice as much sample rate to preserve quality when I hear clicks and have no quality at all cause of them..

You must increase latency. Make sure to increase it above what sounds click-free the first time.

If you are just recording, it will be fine you can always put it back down when your done recording a final project.

I did this a few times because I was convinced the frequency transients above 20kHz needed saving.

now I just record to 24bit 44.1

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If you are just recording, it will be fine you can always put it back down when your done recording a final project.

I did this a few times because I was convinced the frequency transients above 20kHz needed saving.

No, it happens also when I'm editing.. It wouldn't be the problem otherwise..

So u are not convinced anymore? Why not?

Try to record concert at 44.100 and u will see what I mean..

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  • 1 year later...

In all honesty, there's not much here already that I can't add to so I'll leave you with a rather obscure piece of advice passed down to me from a rather wise audiographer.

 

The mono-speaker test.

After all is said and done, the likelihood of your music being played on anything with the clarity of what your listening to in the studio is slim-to-none. Sure there may be times where you'll hear your music on a huge 20kw full range performance sound system. But in the end, it is likely that the original source will be an audio cd (192kbps audio) played through a series of likely to be sub-quality cables and the sound system utilized at every gathering in your area.

 

Then there's the personal listener who download it at .mp3 compression into a player and pumped through tiny full-range speakers placed directly in their ear. Or maybe they're listening on the computer speakers, designed for efficiency not performance. Or maybe in their car, through those wonderful stock 6x9 three-ways in the rear and 4" cones in the front, past the engine noise and whatever rigged interface.

 

Which means that despite your efforts, the common listener will never get to hear it like you do.

 

So it's wise to divert all channels to center and give a solid run through on the mono frequency. This will give you the "worst case" listening scenario. So if it sounds good on some POS mono speaker... it'll sound GREAT anywhere else.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest nectarios

+1 on the mono tip!

 

Something regarding the bottom end and the "ringing" one might get when they are making the kick and bassline patches...always try different sets of rooms/speakers/listen on headphones (bare in mind headphones are not flat either, but at least you don't get your room's characteristics, messing up the spectrum).

 

Very narrow and deep notches will get rid of the problematic ringing, but it might induce new ringing around the notch frequency, sometimes you have to get into surgical EQing that will help, but also sometimes a bit broader range and less dip will work best. I do both.

And try different EQ plug ins. Logic's linear Phase EQ introduces a lot more ringing that the good ol' Channel EQ.

 

Don't do the final mixdown at loud levels as your ear drums tighten up and their "resolution" is not as sharp.

Yes we all listen to this music at silly SPL levels, but Fletcher & Manson curves are what you must take under consideration.

 

Peace out.

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 2 weeks later...

After using cubase for many years I am now trying to learn pro-tools. I could not work out why in pro-tools when i moved the fader in the mix window it would not effect the meter next to it. after doing some research i soon discovered why & came across this extract from "pro tools 8. Music Production, Recording, Editing & Mixing" by mike collins.

 

Quote

According to Bob Katz, mixing engineers would be better off dispensing with meters altogether & using their ears instead! As he explains "having calibrated monitor gain is just as important as metering peak-to-average ratios. It is possible to mix an entire album "blind", without any metering at all, yet never overloading the digital system! All you need to do is set a sufficiently high monitor gain (e.g 83dB at -20 dBFS RMS). When mixing this way, mix engineers can mix using their ears without the arbitrary constraints or influence of meters. The mixes which result will likely have a better crest factor (peak-to-average ratio) than typical mixes made while watching meters &, later on, in mastering, should produce louder masters with far less sonic compromise"

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  • 4 weeks later...

id just like to add if your going to get some master done on your track leave -3db of head room, (your master fader level should not go above -3db) this will leave room for the master engineer to add plugins to your mix without clipping.

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  • 10 months later...

If you'd ask my opinion I'd say, the first thing to do is to make sure you've got a decent audio reference, decent monitors I mean or decent headphones, second I should tell you about the EQ stuff or just the plugins in general. If you process a tune, you'll always have to make sure that your adjustment actually IS a step forward. You can check this by bypassing (switching the on/off button to you know on and off) and see if it makes your audio sound better or not. Second, if you use a plugin, you'll always have to make sure you use all parameters of it in all it's positions, just fiddle around until you find the perfect setting. If you found it and you're sure it makes your audio sound better then leave it. Same for EQ, you'll just have to fiddle around browsing all frequency areas using a slight boost or cut and try to find the perfect setting. You can either do this horizontally by using a slight boost or cut and sweeping through all frequencies ranging from 20hz to 20khz, to find the perfect spot. Or you can do it vertically by picking a random frequency spot and sliding up and down till you found the perfect spot. If you found it just release your mouse button and remember it's important to boost AND cut. This goes for all the other plugins/instruments too, find the perfect setting and make sure you're 100% correct about the fact it makes your audio sound better before actually saving the changes. Then, the final thing you have to do is the rendering, you save the file of your whole track either as a wav or HQ mp3. Then play it using Winamp (if you have it, if you don't, download it), check the spectrum analyzer (or visualisation plugin or whatever that shows the peaks of the total frequency spectrum of your track) and check the frequency spectrum itself. Are there any obvious peaks or gaps in the frequency spectrum that you keep finding on every song you've made that show up like that no matter how you processed it? And do you notice a difference in the frequencies when you compare them with music that other people have recorded? If yes, then your audio reference (ie your monitors or headphones) is not a trustable reference and you should invest in better or try to change it in a way that it becomes better. Also small changes in processing audio are way more efficient than big changes since they're more precise and less abrupt, you should always work in small steps.

 

Having trustable gear is always the main thing you need to check before you make or release music.

 

Ah, feel quite drunk at this moment...

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  • 2 years later...

Dont forget about automation. Some ideas:

- have a synth quieter in certain more mellow parts of the track.

- automate the master volume slightly though out the track, eg have the intro slightly quieter.

- automate EQ on some percussions during one part of the track.

.. some things to think about. use your imagination!

 

Think about the space in your mix. Not all sounds have to be front and centre. You have left and right to work with also. You also have the other dimension of front and back. Sounds can be upclose but also further back in the mix. You can simulate this depth with:

- volume (sounds are quiter the further away they are)

- simulation of the proximity effect eq (sounds that are close are more boomey)

- tweaking of the predelay on the reverb (sounds further away have less predelay). the theory behind this I can explain like this: Imagine there is a back wall of you mixing stage. Imagine you have one sound that is close to you. The sound travels to the back wall and series of reflections return to you and you hear it as reverb. The close sound has a larger predelay. There is a larger time before you heard the verb because there is a distance. A sound further away that is right up close to the wall has less predelay.

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