Poll: Whose mix sounds best?
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View poll results: Whose mix sounds best?
3 17%
15 83%
0 0%
Voters: 18.
So, finally, here is the finals thread for The Pit's Mixing/Master Competition I. First off, good job to all who participated, it was a lot of fun. Also, I apologize for my rather poor running of the competition at times. Real life got in the way a bit.

When voting, be sure to use good headphones or speakers.

But the winner's of the three first round voting threads are as follows, please vote on these three to give us our winner:

BobMarleysGhost - http://soundcloud.com/bobmarleysghost/ug-mixing-and-mastering-1

Mixed in ProTools 8 LE.


Guitars - Digidesign Eleven Free ampsim, 4-band EQ, Compressor/Limiter, AIR reverb, panned hard left and right respectively, automated EQ for intro.
Bass - Digidesign Eleven Free ampsim, SansAmp PSA1, 4-band EQ, Compressor/Limiter.
Main Vocals - Compression, 4-Band EQ, Digirack De-Esser, AIR Reverb.
Backing Vocals - Panned hard left and right, 4-Band EQ (giving 'telephone voice' effect), Compression, small amount of delay on backing tracks 1 and 2, AIR Reverb.
Drumkit - Kit panned to correct positions, Compression used on each track individually, 4-band EQ on each individual track, whole kit sent to Aux channel with AIR reverb.

Slight EQ applied in mastering stage, with some compression, and slight reverb applied to whole mix (I don't really know much about mastering, so I didn't do a whole lot at this stage).

Brendan.Clace - http://soundcloud.com/breakcoreproductions/pit-comp-final-mix

26 tracks, 60 some odd plugs.


Drum bus:

Hard compression.

Sample replaced Kick.
Duplicated kick track.
Clipped both tracks about 4.0dB

Sample replaced Snare.
Duplicated snare track.
Clipped both tracks about 6.0dB
Reverb on both tracks.

Clipped about 5.0dB


Overhead Bus:
Highpass at 700Hz
Stereo Image Spreading.

==Bass Guitar==

Bass Track 1:
Autotune - Graph Tuned.
Super hard compression to even out the notes.

Bass Track 2 (duplicate)
Highpass / Lowpass

==Electric Guitar==

Guitar Bus:
Harmonic Excitation

All Guitar Tracks:
C4 Compression
POD Farm
Highpass / Lowpass


Duplicated Lead vocal track.

All Vocal Tracks:
Autotune - Graph Tuned
Compressed to hell and back
EQ High Shelf from 5k upwards of about 6dB
Small Room reverb.

On the duplicate of the lead vocal I applied a chorus/delay effect.

U]maggot9779 - http://soundcloud.com/maggot9779/ugmix-final

Drums: I replaced the kick with the AndySneap sample then I added a Transient Designer to bring out the attack and reduce the sustain. After that I added an SSL Channel for EQ and gave it a highpass at 70hz, boosted at 120, cut at 580, cut at 900 and cut a little at 4.7k.

For the snare I replaced it with a Megadeth sample and added a Transient Designer and SSL Channel to it as well. I brought out the body and the crack a little with the EQ

All I did to the hihat was compress it a little.

For the Toms I reduced a little high end to get rid of some of the clickyness.

For the overheads I added a SSL Channel and gave it a pretty dramatic highpass, reduced some lowmids and brought out some highs.

For the room I just gave it a highpass.

Each drum (except the kick)was then sent to a separate bus where I loaded a room impulse for reverb. The kick was sent to a different bus which I sidechained with the bass.

Bass: I duplicated the bass and on one track I compressed it and inserted a virtual bass amp called Mark Studio 1, on the other I compressed the crap out of it and added a distortion pedal sim. I sent them both to a bus and added a SSL Channel to reduce some lows and add a tiny bit of pick attack.

Guitars: The lead guitar uses the Amplitube SLO model. I added a highpass and EQed out some fizz at 5k. The rhythm guitar uses a Tubescreamer sim, LePou's Lecto sim and a Catharsis impulse. It also has a highpass and a cut at 5k. Both were sent to a bus with a Waves Center on it to widen them a little.

Vocals: I added a compressor and a distortion pedal sim to the intro vocals. I also highpassed at 280 and added a little boost at 8.5k.

The lead vocals have quite a lot of compression on them and I also added a Waves Jack Joseph vocal plugin to give them some presence and a tiny bit of delay and some width. I highpassed them aswell.

All of the backing vocals have pretty much the same things on them, a highpass, a compressor and Waves Center.

All of the vocals were sent to a bus with a room impulse like the drums.

For mastering I just added a Maserati GRP to the master bus and tweaked it a little.

Thanks again everyone.
i think they were all pretty far from good. all of their drums sounded like they just put the drums into ezdrummer and didn't tweak it any further, they're all just mediocre.

Quote by EJD
Reminds me of that drunkard who ran out of beer... he was so desperate, he drank furniture polish.

He came to a horrible end... but a beautiful finish.
Brendan wins. He had not only balance of instruments, but balance of frequencies, and a master that maintained a nice volume while still retaining dynamic range and not pumping it unnaturally.

Essentially, he had what could be considered a professional result, I don't think anybody else had this. My suspicion is that came about from the mastering process. Just remember to AB your mix and master to make sure you are actually making it sound better. If you already have a great mix then you shouldn't be worrying about thumping the kick too hard with subs (which reduces your mastering headroom and is a large reason why some people pumped their mixes to the point of those dance tracks where the song fluctuates in volume around the kick), extreme EQ (often making it too thin by turning up the treble and overshadowing the bass/mid), or chucking a brickwall limiter on it (especially without finessing the overall level coming into the limiter - just slamming it up 10dB is ALWAYS a fail).

Just for those without too much mastering knowledge, I might make a few points about the process:

In an ideal situation you should be able to AB every single chain in your process without massive volume changes/delay (especially volume - if it's louder, you naturally perceive it as better).

Unless applying effects, a good mix won't need more than subtractive EQ for resonant frequencies and a master EQ to get the overall tonal balance right (although changes of more than 3dB either way shouldn't be necessary) - unless you're adding a specific effect (HPF on a section to make it sound like a crappy radio).

You will get better results with your limiter if you apply compression before the limiter, either by way of physically automating the track to counteract huge shifts in volume (as you would for a wayward vocalist), or chaining together combinations of a light comp, parallel comp, and a multi-band (usually won't need this so much if you've mixed the track yourself).

Also, if you mixed it and you're finding it hard to master, it probably means you should re-mix it and fix some of your biggest issues. Don't be lazy and try to fix it in the master, because you're generally sacrificing something to fix something else. Only resort to extreme measures if you have to (you're mastering someone else's mixes and can't get them to remix - likely to be common).
Quote by matt360
i think they were all pretty far from good. all of their drums sounded like they just put the drums into ezdrummer and didn't tweak it any further, they're all just mediocre.

Just to clarify a bit.

The drum tracks given to us were programmed in Superior Drummer. Essentially, we did not have a lot of control over the dynamics of the hits etc etc. I resampled the snare and kick, and processed them quite heavily, however still had no control over the snare dynamics. If we were given the MIDI, we would have obviously had much more control over the dynamics. However, it would have also eliminated some people from the competition as not everyone has the software or the money to afford said proper software.

Either way, just thought I'd throw out some things that were mentioned in the original thread but not really mentioned since then. Thanks for your thoughts though!

And thanks fleaflicker. There wasn't much done in the mastering I don't think. If I remember correctly, a couple C4's and a couple Ozone's, each doing something different subtly, and then final loudness max. with ozone.
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
Last edited by Brendan.Clace at Jul 1, 2011,

Guitars sound much better.

EDIT: I should state that I only listened to the first 30-odd seconds of each track, cos the song makes my ears cry blood

Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders

Last edited by buzz at Jul 1, 2011,
Thanks CrossBack. Really appreciate it.
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
What's ABing mean?

I tried google, and it's convinced I want to know what Abingdon means.
ABing is comparing one to another.
In mastering especially (but still mixing), you should be checking if every process you add is actually improving the song or making it worse. This is more effective if the previous step in the chain is the same volume as the current one, otherwise the louder one will still probably sound better (which is likely to be the one you are trying to evaluate).

You should AB between each step of the process, and also against a separate track containing your initial mix.

Unfortunately, it's not always an easy process. It involves making master busses and playing with levels of things to balance it all, but in theory, you should be able to solo every step and they'll be the same apparent volume.
24 hours later I vote.

Im a retard.

Quote by ShadesOfNight
I'm not a sadistic person, but I'd like to pull the wings off every fly in the world so they all starve to death or get eaten alive by spiders