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  #16  
Old 11-04-2017, 11:04 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
If you go to my webpage and just listen to a snippet of each song, you would hear a wide variety of screw-ups.
If I can offer up one small tip -- the ear is always pulled toward the "new thing." When a vocal first comes in, that's definitely a new thing and it's easy to have it be a bit too loud. Maybe a bit too bright as well. You don't want to pull the listener out of the moment and make them reach for the volume control.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2017, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If I can offer up one small tip -- the ear is always pulled toward the "new thing." When a vocal first comes in, that's definitely a new thing and it's easy to have it be a bit too loud. Maybe a bit too bright as well. You don't want to pull the listener out of the moment and make them reach for the volume control.
Listening on Genelec monitors I also hear your mixes as being a wee bit bright.
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2017, 02:19 PM
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Thanks guys, I agree. I see them as being too bright. I hope to remedy that soon.
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  #19  
Old 11-23-2017, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DupleMeter View Post
The best thing you can do for yourself is to use a reference mix to gut check everything you're doing. By that I mean, choose a commercially released song in the same general style & same general feel as the one you are mixing and go back & forth between it & your mix to highlight the differences. It will help you keep a target clearly in sight as you mix and let you know when you begin to approach it.

Check out these 5 videos put together by Izotope & Berklee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Gtbt2oxso (this is 1 of 5, the other 4 should be in the sidebar as related). In one section they go in depth into the reference mix process.

And. Use a spectrum analyzer (FFT) to see what your EQ looks like vs what a commercial release looks like. That will help you train your ears to know what you're hearing and to know how to get to what you want to hear. Here's a very nice free one that also is a great meter plugin: http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/
I'm by no means an expert when it comes to mixing or mastering but definitely the single biggest thing that helped me get more consistent was creating a good personal reference CD and getting to know this CD extremely well and how it sounds on different systems.

While mixing, I'll have some of my references mixes pulled up into some of the DAW tracks so I can A/B all the time.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2017, 03:31 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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I think compression is a major tool in terms of consistency - along with mic positioning and good eq.

Compression needs to be used cautiously. A lot depends on your playing a vocal style - I have a powerful voice and find I get consistent results with two compressors on the vocal channel - the first is a very quick attack and quick release to tame the attack a little.

On fingerstyle guitar sometimes I donít use compression at all - depends on the track.

One great go to for me is to set up a bus channel that uses a .25 delay - this offers a full and rich sound which often minimises the need for track compression. Try it on both vocals and guitar.

Finally, with compression ignore presets and use your ears !!!!
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  #21  
Old 11-25-2017, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
There are plenty of mistakes one can make but there's no one right way to do any of this stuff. To get consistency, you have to first figure out what sounds good to you. In this regard, reference tracks are important. Find a recorded song you think sounds really great, grab the wav file from the cd, and import it into your session. As you're sculpting sounds, refer back to that wav file and try to get yours close to theirs.

It's also important to understand the role different tools play in getting a mix sounding good.

EQ is where a lot of people get in trouble. Instruments and vocals exist within frequency ranges. It's very easy to muddy up a mix by having various components of the mix stepping on each other. And if you're not recording in a well treated room, that opens to door to all sorts of nasty sounds showing up on a track.

This video explains eq pretty well.


This video explains the issue of overlapping frequencies (the source of muddiness) and how various frequency ranges can affect a mix.


In this video, the same guy shows how to create separation between instruments.


The next most important thing, imo, is compression. Compression is used to reduce the dynamic range of a track or mix by bringing down the levels of the loudest parts. This can be dangerous territory for beginners who often tend to over compress and squash a mix so much that the dynamic range disappears.

This video explains the concept.


This video does a decent job of showing how to use compression.


In this video, Dave Pensado focuses on compressor ratios but he gives a good demonstration of how to use compression for a purpose.


There's a lot more to a good mix (reverb, delay, etc.) but learning better use of EQ and compression is a good starting point.
Look forward to some weekend video learning. Thanks for posting, and bonedigger, thanks for asking the question.
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  #22  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:21 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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I guess my only comment about the Pensado compression video would be that he's talking about a pop-record context where there's 12 things going on at once and competing for the ear's attention. My guess is that most of the folks here are making recordings that are far more sparse and natural and call for much more subtlety in the processing.

What Dave's doing is appropriate in that context, but way not subtle.
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
I appreciate the feedback! I should have also mentioned I have Ozone 7 and use it as a plug in and it has great EQ abilities, or at least seems to.

I also just bought the FL Studio DAW and hope to start working with it some soon too. Reaper never did it for me. I haven't tried anything else yet. Is there a different daw you would recommend that's user friendly but also good? I am hoping FL Studio meets this requirement. It consistently seems to get good reviews by users and music websites.
Just a comment on your choice of DAW. I used to use FL Studio for years up to version 11 when I ditched Windows for Mac OS-X and FL Studio is not ready yet on their OS-X conversion so I now use Logic Pro X which I like a lot.

FL Studio tends to be very popular with the electronic dance music crowd and last time I looked it didn't seem to support linear audio tracks as well as more traditional DAWs. It has many excellent features such as pattern based sequencing, full automation of everything, excellent piano-roll editing for midi based stuff, excellent handling of samples of audio, easy drum programming etc. I hope you like it as it is very powerful but may take a while to learn.
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by paulp1960 View Post
Just a comment on your choice of DAW. I used to use FL Studio for years up to version 11 when I ditched Windows for Mac OS-X and FL Studio is not ready yet on their OS-X conversion so I now use Logic Pro X which I like a lot.

FL Studio tends to be very popular with the electronic dance music crowd and last time I looked it didn't seem to support linear audio tracks as well as more traditional DAWs. It has many excellent features such as pattern based sequencing, full automation of everything, excellent piano-roll editing for midi based stuff, excellent handling of samples of audio, easy drum programming etc. I hope you like it as it is very powerful but may take a while to learn.
I appreciate the input. I actually returned FL Studio unopened and decided to stick with what I have. I have Mixcraft, Reaper, and Harrison Mixbus 32. Between them, I should be able to do what I need.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2017, 05:02 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Bonedigger

Aloha Bonedigger,

The BEST thing you can do to achieve consistency in your recordings is to make sure that your tracking space, mixing space & the whole room are adequately treated. Gotta treat those early reflections & know where the problems are in your space.

It wasn't until I finally made the commitment to ROOM TREATMENT, that I was able to get the control I needed, especially in separation of the full spectrum of frequencies, and finally, the session-to-session consistency I was looking for. It took me decades to make that commitment. Learn from my mistake. If you haven't, do not hesitate to DIY treatment, Bonedigger. Put a meter on that room!

RE: DAW's.

I used to recommend trying out all the free DAW samples to find one that works best for your sensibilities. Now, I say if you are spending lots of time recording, it makes no sense to use any DAW that is not fully professional. And that limits the field to Logic Pro or Pro Tools.

Those are the pro DAW's that are found in every pro studio. That's important if you want to take tracks to a Mastering Engineer for the magic touches. FL Studio, or Reaper, are not in most studio's & it doesn't translate in PT or Logic. Those two have everything you need, Bonedigger.

I went with Logic Pro 10 years ago & haven't had a crash yet. Love the workflow & Apple & Apogee completely integrated the soft & hardware. The most stable computer/DAW/interface combo I've ever experienced in home recording. And Apple's one-to-one training program will teach you how to use that wonderful DAW. Check it out, Bonedigger.

Treatment is the place to start, my friend. Once treated, do yourself a huge favor & move up to some pro level monitors & headphones. That really helps with mixing consistency & eliminating ear fatigue as well. For over 40 years I've used AKG Studio 240 cans & for over 10 years, my monitors have been Adams A7x monitors, which I really love.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/adam-a7x

All the best!

A Hui Hou!
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Last edited by alohachris; 11-25-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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  #26  
Old 11-27-2017, 09:42 AM
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A while back, I posted a question not unlike this and got excellent advice (just like everything here):

EQ, compression, and good reverb (lately, I've been in love with the Waves Abbey Road plates plugin; it just glues everything together wonderfully).

This all assumes that you're using halfway decent mics, placing them well, and playing well on instruments that track well.
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  #27  
Old 12-01-2017, 11:48 AM
rickwaugh rickwaugh is offline
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I picked up "Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio", by Mike Senior. He presents a process for mixing, which is excellent. He does not follow it step by step all the time, and says that most professionals tend to move around, too. But it's a great starting point, and he really makes you think about the steps, the order in which you should do things. Small stuff, like, there is not point in slapping a whole bunch of effects/eq/reverb on your guitar when you haven't recorded the vocal yet.

Definitely worthwhile if you're trying to build consistency.

https://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secret...e+small+studio
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