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Old 01-19-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
Tmusician
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The Difference Between a Cluttered and a Big Mix?

Trying to make a big mix is a goal of many, but too many instruments can quickly get cluttered. How do you handle this?

Last edited by Tmusician : 01-19-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
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This is a plug disguised as a question.

I am not a fan of such leading on.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
This is a plug disguised as a question.

I am not a fan of such leading on.


I don't know what you are talking about, good sir.

Last edited by Tmusician : 01-19-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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The difference is frequency control (and a proper arrangement)
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Simply put, every instrument has to have its own space in the spectrum, without too much overlap, and extraneous bands have to be turned down to make dynamic room for the rest of the track.
If you want us to crit your mix specifically, post it in Crit My Mix. It doesn't need its own thread.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
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Big mixes are normally helped out massively by using LCR panning. Which is, only panning hard left, right or centre.

Most people aren't gonna be in a perfect stereo environment so subtle panning is kinda useless in most cases. Panning hard makes the mix sound nice and wide.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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BAM! Thanks to the ability to edit posts now it looks like I didn't link any mix and now everyone will be confused. MUWAHAHAHA
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmusician
BAM! Thanks to the ability to edit posts now it looks like I didn't link any mix and now everyone will be confused. MUWAHAHAHA

And thanks to the quote button, I can keep this post where you can't edit it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
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LCR Panning, EQing to give space & proper levels. Also, layering virtual instruments or synths behind parts depending on the Genre make things larger. Though, more instruments doesn't always mean bigger sound.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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I don't know why LCR would make a mix sound bigger.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
I don't know why LCR would make a mix sound bigger.

This is why:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Most people aren't gonna be in a perfect stereo environment so subtle panning is kinda useless in most cases. Panning hard makes the mix sound nice and wide.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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That isn't an adequate explanation. Do you think I didn't read that post?

Exclusively panning LCR isn't going to help anything...considering most guitars in rock music are instantly hard panned anyway. Pushing everything else that isn't centered out to the sides isn't really going to accomplish anything in making it sound "bigger".
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
That isn't an adequate explanation. Do you think I didn't read that post?

Exclusively panning LCR isn't going to help anything...considering most guitars in rock music are instantly hard panned anyway. Pushing everything else that isn't centered out to the sides isn't really going to accomplish anything in making it sound "bigger".

I've started pulling my guitars in a bit lately (say, 85L/85R), and I think it makes the mixes sound more cohesive. You lose a tiny bit of that initial 'BOOOM!' factor, but it's much nicer on headphones, since you have no natural crosstalk.

How to make a mix sound huge without being cluttered?
Spend at least 25% of your time working in mono. It forces you to focus on the frequencies and composition instead of using stereo and phase trickery to balance everything.

Also, sidechaining
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
That isn't an adequate explanation. Do you think I didn't read that post?

Exclusively panning LCR isn't going to help anything...considering most guitars in rock music are instantly hard panned anyway. Pushing everything else that isn't centered out to the sides isn't really going to accomplish anything in making it sound "bigger".


Most big radio rock mixes are panned LCR. Don't knock it till you've tried it. It gives it space, everything is nice and separated but it gives it huuuuge girth.

Like it's not a heavy mix, it's a wide mix.

I still don't use it completely, but it works pretty well tbh.



And yeah, working in mono is pretty awesome. I don't tend to mix in mono but I do check my mix in mono with the mono button in StudioOne



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Old 01-21-2013, 07:33 PM   #15
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Ya I've watched all that guy's videos on the subject, but he seems to be the only "professional" advocating it, and it still doesn't convince me conceptually or aurally.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
Ya I've watched all that guy's videos on the subject, but he seems to be the only "professional" advocating it, and it still doesn't convince me conceptually or aurally.



Well, if you're looking for "big" "pros" who advocate it pick a rock songs producer or mixer and I bet its panned LCR. Mutt Lange, Andy Sneap, Joey Sturgis. It's a pretty common thing among Rock and Metal genres.

As for the concept, it doesn't really make it "big" so much as "wide" and wide in most peoples mind and ears translates to big. I personally think another big (heh. pun. heh) part of a huge mix is just knowing how to compress properly and more importantly WHEN.

EDIT: here is a great example of what I consider a "big" mix (infact its one of my favorite mixes of any rock song in recent history)

this is all LCR (watch in HQ)

EDIT 2: It's TECHNICALLY not a "true" LCR mix because the toms aren't panned hard.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
Ya I've watched all that guy's videos on the subject, but he seems to be the only "professional" advocating it, and it still doesn't convince me conceptually or aurally.


I can pull up a video of Chris Lord-Alge advocating LCR panning (The guy who's mixed every Green Day album since Nimrod, AFI, Daughtry, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41 & various others). A lot of Pros aren't going to come out and say "Oh yeah, I LCR pan, use these EQs, this Preamp, these compressors & such" but they do.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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Are we talking LCR ...on guitars, stereo overheads, and shit like bass/kick/snare....or LCR on every single possible track in a mix. You're going to hard pan a tom? A harmony?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
Are we talking LCR ...on guitars, stereo overheads, and shit like bass/kick/snare....or LCR on every single possible track in a mix. You're going to hard pan a tom? A harmony?


Everything. Like I said, most people aren't going to be able to position any of your subtle panning as they aren't in a perfect stereo environment like you are in front of your monitors.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 AM   #20
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