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Final Mixdown Tips.


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You dont have to use the same reverb and delay on every track. Try sticking a different verb or delay on some tracks. Also, actually use the predelay knob and learn what it does. I didnt when I started off.

 

Be super careful with compressors and limters m8! Learn what the controls do before you use them, eg attack, decay, knee, threshold, ratio... I reckon there are a stack of old tracks that had no compression whatsoever in production.

Chorus effect sounds cool. :)

 

Try boosting the top end of a kick to make it cut though a bit more in the track.

 

It might be a bad idea to put a high pass or low pass on percussion of basslines. I used to do this when I started off. I would think, oh its a bassline, it doesnt need any top end and I would filter off all the mids and highs. The mids and highs are the character and let you know what the instrument is! Same with the kick. The mids and highs of a kick really give it lots of character, dont discard them completely all the time.

 

Take some time to lean the core tools of the mixer (eg you)! (this is for the young cats. =P )
Take some time to learn what an EQ is. What are the types of eq and how does each affect the sound?

Learn about dynamics processors (compressors, limters, gates ... )
What do the controls on the reverb do?

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Be aware of the psychological phenomena knows as "If it sounds louder then it sounds better'!

Keep this in mind when you are mixing. In practical terms, when you are comparing 2 sounds, like for example if your compression made the sound better, match the levels with the output gain knob so that when you bypass the compressor, both pre compressor and post sound the same level. this is important because if a shit sound is louder it will sound better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^

that sounds like a quick and dirty way of doing it (not mixing by ear cannot be the ultimate solution), but i guess it helps a lot in those situations when you're completely lost concerning the levels. i'll try it out when i'm stuck with that again...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right. It helps a lot in those situations when you're completely lost concerning the levels or in the case you are such dumb like SatanicElectro who is showing a method presented by a professional engineer :) I read in an article this method saves time ... sometimes :)

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I don't really see the point in using this technique, as said you're not mixing by ear in that case, plus it differs from each track - not every track has the same dynamics. If you leave enough headroom (which can be a lot in a digital environment) you won't really have a problem.

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  • 8 months later...

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..

 

 

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.

 

Getafix does it properly and good addition from Franklin. Not so much to add, this is how I'm doing it:

 

Kick & Bass

I am using for the kick fabfilter pro-q. I always set a lowcut (shape 48) to ~ 35hz and a highcut (same shape) to ~ 6000hz. And I'm doing the same stuff on the bass. On the bass eq I always set some bells (very slim band) and pull it up to detect the disharmonics. After muting the disharmonic frequencies down a bit with the gain of the bell band. You will hear that the bass sound comes alot smoother. Finally you can add fabfilter saturn (a good setting to start you'll find in the presets calles -> mastering ->bass) and then mess around a bit. The level peaks I leave like -11db bass, -10.5db kick. I'm using a fx bus with sugarbytes turnado in Cubase as send bus for kick and bass to automate beatmanipulation and lowcut / highcut filter.

 

EQ

http://www.fabfilter.com/products/pro-q-2-equalizer-plug-in

 

Multiband Distortion

http://www.fabfilter.com/products/saturn-multiband-distortion-saturation-plug-in

 

Beat Manipulation

http://www.sugar-bytes.de/content/products/Turnado/index.php?lang=en

 

 

Drums

I leave the peaks around -15db, depending on the drumsound, also with fabfilter proq on the snare I leave more sub freqs (~ 180hz) then on the other drums (~ 400hz). And I'm routing them into a drums bus for several effects on the drums. Eddie kramer drumchannel from waves is nice for hihats.

 

Waves Drumchannel

http://www.waves.com/plugins/eddie-kramer-drum-channel

 

 

FX & Leads

Also here I'm using fabfilter to eq (at least ~ 280hz lowcut), the levels around -15 to -18db, depending on which sound it is. Reverbs are nice for putting a room answer, for example Trueverb or Roomworks from Cubase. With the predelay you set how 'far away' the sound is, from 5ms - 30ms it sounds far away and everything above 30ms will be recognized as delay.

 

Trueverb

http://www.waves.com/plugins/trueverb

 

Roomworks

https://cdn.tutsplus.com/audio/uploads/legacy/15_thickandcrunchy/add%20roomworks%20to%20group.jpg

 

 

Very useful to have an fx channel (to use it as send) for a nice delay (Dubstation f.e.) to use it on several channels.

http://www.audiodamage.com/effects/product.php?pid=AD006

 

Before exporting make sure you removed all effects (limiter, compression, mulitband etc) from the master!!!

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  • 1 year later...

We do 2 things i can reveal to ya folks:

 

- more headroom on master channel for master guy (cca -6dB to -10dB it depends how low we start)

- silent test: cutoff volume down completely and then slightly add until you hear first sound. if you hear "whole track" mix is pretty "flat" and should be pretty much ok on any PA. If something pops out in front before you hear whole mix, then its probably too loud anyway. not too bad starting point to go from.

 

One more advice - no plugins on master channel. Don´t touch level of master channel, instead aim the mix to get to desired value without it. It will force you to practice your skills :)

 

Ah yeah - and one thing that´s universal - do not trust anyone/anything else but your ears. No ear hears the same. Take track you like the most, but which is in HQ master. Compare your stuff to it just as reference (You don´t have to try to copy it, just to get similar sound in levels and warmth for example). With time, you will get automatic memory of "good sound" and your ears will point you in right direction.

 

No graphic plugin can tell you whether you did ok or not (although its definately good for general reference), there will always be difference to what your ear hears, but ears are more human and more trainable to get this feeling than steril look of some graphic interface.

 

My 2 cents :*

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