#1
I think I pulled a good job considering I'm still a beginner.

I'm not sure though what's missing. Maybe some of you pros can enlighten me on the pros and the cons of this mix.

Things I'm not sure about:

- Rythm guitars panned hard left and hard right ( 100 % )
I hesitated to boost the high ends. Rhythm guitars sounded clearer, but some clipping was heard when I did that.

- Lead guitars : Mid frequencies boosted

- I didn't master, I don't know what to do to master this.


Here's the link : http://www.speedyshare.com/files/29460794/rock_mix.mp3
The symphonizer
#2
Sounds pretty good to me.

The drums sound a bit flat. I know that usually pretty inevitable with programmed drums, but to make them a bit better you could change the velocities of each hit.

Did the drum package you used have the option to mix each channel separately or did you just have a master fader for the drums? If it's the former, go back and check some of your levels to make things a bit clearer.

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#3
Not too bad at all, pretty good in fact, but a few pointers.

Never ever pan hard left and right. Go for about 20 or 30 but not full

Leave space for every instrument. So on the rhythm guitars try reducing both the bass and treble and boosting the mid. On the lead boost the treble but reduce mid slightly and bass.

I can't hear the kick so you need to EQ that; increase the lows. If you reduce the lows on the rhythm guitar as well the kick should start to come through.

Snares ok but could be punchier, try compressing it.

If things sound flat (which they do a bit here) add reverb. A good reverb can fix most stale mixes.
Last edited by no lolage at Jul 17, 2011,
#4
Thank you !

I can actually separate all the sounds in different inserts, and that's what I did.

But I don't know what's wrong to change.
The symphonizer
#5
Quote by no lolage
Not too bad at all, pretty good in fact, but a few pointers.

Never ever pan hard left and right. Go for about 20 or 30 but not full

Leave space for every instrument. So on the rhythm guitars try reducing both the bass and treble and boosting the mid. On the lead boost the treble but reduce mid slightly and bass.

I can't hear the kick so you need to EQ that; increase the lows. If you reduce the lows on the rhythm guitar as well the kick should start to come through.

Snares ok but could be punchier, try compressing it.

If things sound flat (which they do a bit here) add reverb. A good reverb can fix most stale mixes.



Allright I ll give that a try right now


and can you explain to me why hard pans won't work
The symphonizer
Last edited by Sympho at Jul 17, 2011,
#6
Quote by Sympho
Allright I ll give that a try right now


and can you explain to me why hard pans won't work

Can't listen at work, but just thought I'd say "ignore the bit about hard panning; that is wrong and anyone who mixes music to a level above beginner should know that as you were rightly suspicious".
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#7
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Can't listen at work, but just thought I'd say "ignore the bit about hard panning; that is wrong and anyone who mixes music to a level above beginner should know that as you were rightly suspicious".



Are hard pans the reason why rythm guitars sound faded on monitors ?
The symphonizer
#8
Quote by Sympho
Are hard pans the reason why rythm guitars sound faded on monitors ?

No, the reason for that is people mixing with speakers too far apart and a weak stereo image, so they have the centre of the stereo field louder than it should be, to subconsciously compensate for the quieter middle in their environment, when really they should mix the middle quieter or bring their speakers closer together. If you mix correctly, or set your speakers up properly, the guitars will be balanced fine, and you will often find a lot of heavier music has the guitars very upfront and present as a result of hard panning.
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#9
Guitars sound like they are clipping a bit, might lower them in the mix a tad, they are very bright and trebly, I'm guessing a strat.

Overall the mix sounds pretty good, drums are a bit flat as said. Don't listen to that guy about the panning thing, panning your rhythm guitars when double tracking is much better than trying to pan them 50 percent or 30 percent, if your tracking is not perfect
(which it never will be), they will clash in the center stereo field and it'll sound messy and muddy.

When you listen to it on headphones or on a good stereo system, it sounds just fine, in a pro monitor mix, it might sound empty in the middle, but that's because pro monitor systems respond better, and give you a clearer spectrum of the stereo field for mixing purposes. They are also flat response, so yeah.
#10
Quote by DisarmGoliath
No, the reason for that is people mixing with speakers too far apart and a weak stereo image, so they have the centre of the stereo field louder than it should be, to subconsciously compensate for the quieter middle in their environment, when really they should mix the middle quieter or bring their speakers closer together. If you mix correctly, or set your speakers up properly, the guitars will be balanced fine, and you will often find a lot of heavier music has the guitars very upfront and present as a result of hard panning.


Allright I see. So hard panning is the best solution for having rhythm guitars present?
The symphonizer
Last edited by Sympho at Jul 17, 2011,
#11
Quote by ethan_hanus
Guitars sound like they are clipping a bit, might lower them in the mix a tad, they are very bright and trebly, I'm guessing a strat.

Overall the mix sounds pretty good, drums are a bit flat as said. Don't listen to that guy about the panning thing, panning your rhythm guitars when double tracking is much better than trying to pan them 50 percent or 30 percent, if your tracking is not perfect
(which it never will be), they will clash in the center stereo field and it'll sound messy and muddy.

When you listen to it on headphones or on a good stereo system, it sounds just fine, in a pro monitor mix, it might sound empty in the middle, but that's because pro monitor systems respond better, and give you a clearer spectrum of the stereo field for mixing purposes. They are also flat response, so yeah.



Haha I actually used an Ibanez Rg 2228 Gk.

About the pans, in every mix I did, I hard panned left and right. Today I tried the guy's advice on not fully panning. I panned like 70 % instead of 100 %, they sound good enough.

However, you guys are making me rethink that strategy.


But I m cheering for the hard pans, I really love the way they sound on my headsets
The symphonizer
Last edited by Sympho at Jul 17, 2011,
#12
My position, to clarify, is as follows:

Everything should have it's own space in the mix - why limit yourself to cramming everything into a narrow stereo field by only panning up to a certain amount? If most individual elements go down the centre (lead vocals, kick, snare, bass, lead guitar etc.) then surely you want some distance and space instead of cramming more things in towards the centre where it is already getting muddy and space has to be created with other tools (EQ, reverbs/delays that push that element back in the mix, etc.)? If you answered those rhetorical questions as 'you shouldn't' and 'yes' in that order, then I probably don't need to explain further
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#13
Quote by DisarmGoliath
My position, to clarify, is as follows:

Everything should have it's own space in the mix - why limit yourself to cramming everything into a narrow stereo field by only panning up to a certain amount? If most individual elements go down the centre (lead vocals, kick, snare, bass, lead guitar etc.) then surely you want some distance and space instead of cramming more things in towards the centre where it is already getting muddy and space has to be created with other tools (EQ, reverbs/delays that push that element back in the mix, etc.)? If you answered those rhetorical questions as 'you shouldn't' and 'yes' in that order, then I probably don't need to explain further



That's why you pan your rhythm guitars hard left and hard right, leaves room for everything else up center. I don't see what you're getting at...the only time you wouldn't pan all your rhythm guitars hard left and right is when you quad track them.

#14
Quote by DisarmGoliath
My position, to clarify, is as follows:

Everything should have it's own space in the mix - why limit yourself to cramming everything into a narrow stereo field by only panning up to a certain amount? If most individual elements go down the centre (lead vocals, kick, snare, bass, lead guitar etc.) then surely you want some distance and space instead of cramming more things in towards the centre where it is already getting muddy and space has to be created with other tools (EQ, reverbs/delays that push that element back in the mix, etc.)? If you answered those rhetorical questions as 'you shouldn't' and 'yes' in that order, then I probably don't need to explain further



I'm sorry mate, I misread your last post and I edited mine after I understood your position.

Anyways I totally agree with you.

But him mentioning that hard pans were a bad choice got me wondering, because it's true that the monitor / headset difference can be a bitch.

Nothing worse than the feeling of having something sounding so good on headsets, to then find out that it's weak on monitors
The symphonizer
#15
Quote by ethan_hanus
That's why you pan your rhythm guitars hard left and hard right, leaves room for everything else up center. I don't see what you're getting at...the only time you wouldn't pan all your rhythm guitars hard left and right is when you quad track them.


You do realise I said the complete opposite to what I believe you think I mean? Re-read my post, and make sure you read every word this time ethan


And no probs sympho, probably me rambling is confusing people - it's cos it's crap at work and I'm still here at 9:20pm GMT (my local time)
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jul 17, 2011,
#16
Well you usually mix down on monitors and screw heaphones. You mix down on your best system; monitors if you have them.

And not everything else stays in the middle. Drums should be panned ever so slightly to represent the position of the drums; snare and hi hat on the left, kick in centre, floor tom to the right. All of this only slightly though. I don't know but I would never pan 100, 100 but I would consider maybe 50, 50. And if your only reason is the fact that the two parts aren't similar enough to sound good together in the middle then that's a pretty weak excuse. I've mixed hundreds of songs and never really done such wide panning. I go up to 50ish quite a lot but not much over and I've mixed down tracks with multiple guitar parts; 3 or 4 a lot.

You can create ample space by only EQ'ing and getting the faders just right. There are actually many passes to a good mix. Faders first to adress clipping then gating then compressing then EQ'ing and finally reverb. If you follow this rough process you'll go through one track about 4 times minimum.

BUT; and this is a massive but. IF it sounds better hard panned then it sounds better hard panned. Do it if it sounds better but I know from experience that usually it won't. The aim of mixing is just to make things sound better to put it extremely simply, and if it does your way over mine then that's ok. I'm going on my gut feeling and it may be wrong. That's ok; I'm wrong sometimes haha. I have been working in a recording studio for a fair while and been on a lot of mixing courses prior to that. Try it both ways; it's up to you.

Edit: I want to clarify; I'm not attacking anyone's opinion I'm just stating what I've found from experience.
Last edited by no lolage at Jul 17, 2011,
#17
Quote by no lolage
Well you usually mix down on monitors and screw heaphones. You mix down on your best system; monitors if you have them.

And not everything else stays in the middle. Drums should be panned ever so slightly to represent the position of the drums; snare and hi hat on the left, kick in centre, floor tom to the right. All of this only slightly though. I don't know but I would never pan 100, 100 but I would consider maybe 50, 50. And if your only reason is the fact that the two parts aren't similar enough to sound good together in the middle then that's a pretty weak excuse. I've mixed hundreds of songs and never really done such wide panning. I go up to 50ish quite a lot but not much over and I've mixed down tracks with multiple guitar parts; 3 or 4 a lot.

You can create ample space by only EQ'ing and getting the faders just right. There are actually many passes to a good mix. Faders first to adress clipping then gating then compressing then EQ'ing and finally reverb. If you follow this rough process you'll go through one track about 4 times minimum.

BUT; and this is a massive but. IF it sounds better hard panned then it sounds better hard panned. Do it if it sounds better but I know from experience that usually it won't. The aim of mixing is just to make things sound better to put it extremely simply, and if it does your way over mine then that's ok. I'm going on my gut feeling and it may be wrong. That's ok; I'm wrong sometimes haha. I have been working in a recording studio for a fair while and been on a lot of mixing courses prior to that. Try it both ways; it's up to you.

Edit: I want to clarify; I'm not attacking anyone's opinion I'm just stating what I've found from experience.

You worded this politely, despite my possibly blunt and harsh statement to ignore you earlier - I commend you for this


As for the content of the reply - I did actually say most individual elements go down the centre, and didn't mention hi-hat or toms, so what I said still stands with what you believe However, I disagree to placing the snare off-centre for anything heavier (i.e rock and metal) than guitar-driven pop, as you tend to want the snare and kick smack down the middle to give a solid foundation in the centre of the stereo field. As for the hi-hat, I rarely settle for a mono overhead, so this would cover the position of the hi-hat and I don't use an individual hi-hat mic too often unless I feel the track(s) need it (in which case yes, it would be panned a little off-centre perhaps).

And panning and level-matching should easily make most of the space you require in a mix to get everything audible and fairly balanced before you even come to look for EQ and compression (assuming you tracked everything to a decent standard), and then EQ and compression provide extra definition and harmony to the elements of the mix, before putting the polish on with the delays and reverbs. Of course, that's only my opinion but I believe it to be a pretty effective way of mixing and to my mind it is more logical than having a narrow stereo image.

Finally, please don't take this the wrong way but are you a little older than the typical person here (i.e late 20's onwards) and would you consider yourself more from the old school of engineers, i.e those who learnt on all-analogue gear before computer recording particularly took off? Because it certainly seems to me like that would have coloured your approach, in the same sense that those of us who grew up learning on computer-based systems have learnt to record and mix in a very different way and with a very different attitude. I think this could be a shining example of how thought processes have changed along with the common-place technologies that become 'the standard'. Also, about the panning thing - it might not be your thing at all, but listen to pretty much any well-produced modern metal recording and you should notice the width of the stereo field being utilised fully, and almost 100% guaranteed - the main rhythm guitars are panned hard left and right


Edit: Here's an example of a track from one of my favourite metal productions of late (excusing the occasional, unforgivable mix ****-ups i.e the snare clipping at the start!)


And TS, could you upload your track somewhere I can listen to it without having to download it?
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jul 17, 2011,
#18
Hello there ! If I m not mistaken, you can actually listen to track by left licking instead of right clicking and saving as !

However I am not sure. It works with quicktime ! I'll try to upload on soundclick
The symphonizer
#19
Sounds great to me. What to change in the mix? NOTHING!

The drums sound flat because your drums are flat. Either get a drummer or invest in a better drum machine.

Sure, you can do things to make this one better:

Separate all the drums out into different tracks on the DAW and process them individually.
Compress the kick and snare independently, and yes, alter the velocities.

You can also send all or part of your mix through the acoustic or analog domain to thicken it up and add some ambience - this is cheaper and better than simply adding reverb!

How?

Play the mix as loud as legally possible, or if it's not legal then do it for the length of time it takes the cops to arrive, and when they do say, "Ok," spend the night in jail and return home to a better sound.



Just kidding...

But seriously you can play that back into a room if you have a good one - say an empty bedroom - and simulate an acoustic space for those drums. Might do the same for the leads - or mix just drums and leads and record the room sound that way.

Dry rhythm guitars with "wet" leads and drums might work really well. If not, mute the room channel.



Secondly if you can find some 60 MINUTE cassettes and a decent 80's tape deck (higher end, not just a crappy one), then mix that sucker and record it HARD!!!!! Let those drums get into the red a little bit on a real, live cassette tape.

Play the cassette back into your DAW and record a track of drums that has been pushed hard into the analog domain.

A great example of this technique is Brain's drum sound on Primus' Brown Album. Very edgy, roomy, and really has a presence (literally presence, as in 18kHz overtones) in the mix.

You may or may not like that, but it is a way to "rock out" your kit. Dave Grohl does it, Brain as I mentioned does it, Lars Ulrich did it, but he was just copying all these actual drummers since he is just a spoiled bitch and not an actual musician...

...only stipulation is the delay that this creates. You might like the sound of it with the delay, but I would try and line the WAV files up again after you do something like that. Line it up at the sample level to avoid any possible cancellations.

Also find a forum where people know what the hell they're talking about. I suggest http://www.gearslutz.com

Quote by no lolage
Never ever pan hard left and right.

Never ever EVER say never.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#20
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
Also find a forum where people know what the hell they're talking about. I suggest http://www.gearslutz.com

I think that's a bit harsh - there are a few people here who 'know what the hell they're talking about' a lot better than (approximately) 75% of the Gearslutz actively-posting community. Sure Gearslutz is a great forum - a lot of good knowledge and people, and I've used it in the past plenty of times, but it's also full of so many people who are at a similar level to many in this forum yet consider themselves pro's. I know we get that here too, but it's easier to assess their value here as we have profiles people can post their mixes on here, and I actually feel we have a better 'social community' here than at Gearslutz.

If Gearslutz lost all it's arseholes I'd love the place, but at the moment the people that know what they're talking about are definitely in the vast minority. The same sort of thing applies with ultimate-metal's Andy Sneap forum - some incredibly talented people, but they're vastly outnumbered by a load of kids who know how to program drums and get PODFarm presets off the internet that are supposedly the secret to ____'s (usually Joey Sturgis') 'sound'.


Sorry I've gone off on a mini-rant, but I hate anyone telling people to leave this place for another forum, when we have plenty of valid opinions here and I feel most discussions here are a bit less egotistical... maybe that is because we're all lesser producers/engineers than the other two aforementioned forums, but if it's true at least we subconsciously acknowledge it rather than shooting everyone down who has a differing opinion.


On-Topic: Dunno why I couldn't listen before but it's working now - I was probably just tired at the time lol. Anyway, some very tasty lead guitar in this song! I like the mix but think the drums are a bit too low in the mix, and right at the start the guitar has a nasty hissing between playing which might be solved with gating to some extent (though I wouldn't cut the noise completely - just reduce it enough to lessen the hiss). Also, it might just be the player in my browser when I click the track, but my interface was showing red lights on the output... check the track for clipping, and if there's none then maybe the player the site uses for FireFox on a Mac is a bit naff
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jul 19, 2011,
#21
Sure, but the folks at Gearslutz know a lot more. I get advice like, "When I was recording Dani Filth for the new Cradle of Filth album I..." and so on.

It's a good site.

This is a good site, too, but more of a consumer site.

# consumers >> # professionals

Not bad, just a fact.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#22
Quote by Bubonic Chronic
Sounds great to me. What to change in the mix? NOTHING!

The drums sound flat because your drums are flat. Either get a drummer or invest in a better drum machine.

Sure, you can do things to make this one better:

Separate all the drums out into different tracks on the DAW and process them individually.
Compress the kick and snare independently, and yes, alter the velocities.

You can also send all or part of your mix through the acoustic or analog domain to thicken it up and add some ambience - this is cheaper and better than simply adding reverb!

How?

Play the mix as loud as legally possible, or if it's not legal then do it for the length of time it takes the cops to arrive, and when they do say, "Ok," spend the night in jail and return home to a better sound.



Just kidding...

But seriously you can play that back into a room if you have a good one - say an empty bedroom - and simulate an acoustic space for those drums. Might do the same for the leads - or mix just drums and leads and record the room sound that way.

Dry rhythm guitars with "wet" leads and drums might work really well. If not, mute the room channel.



Secondly if you can find some 60 MINUTE cassettes and a decent 80's tape deck (higher end, not just a crappy one), then mix that sucker and record it HARD!!!!! Let those drums get into the red a little bit on a real, live cassette tape.

Play the cassette back into your DAW and record a track of drums that has been pushed hard into the analog domain.

A great example of this technique is Brain's drum sound on Primus' Brown Album. Very edgy, roomy, and really has a presence (literally presence, as in 18kHz overtones) in the mix.

You may or may not like that, but it is a way to "rock out" your kit. Dave Grohl does it, Brain as I mentioned does it, Lars Ulrich did it, but he was just copying all these actual drummers since he is just a spoiled bitch and not an actual musician...

...only stipulation is the delay that this creates. You might like the sound of it with the delay, but I would try and line the WAV files up again after you do something like that. Line it up at the sample level to avoid any possible cancellations.

Also find a forum where people know what the hell they're talking about. I suggest http://www.gearslutz.com


Never ever EVER say never.



Thanks for the tips !

Btw I actually posted on gearslutz , 0 replies , 100 views, so I'm guessing they don't want to help :P

I think it's about time for me to change my drum machine. I am still hesitant though about the choice.

I've separated each drum part into different inserts and tried modifying each sound. I didn't compress because I've been told that the kits are already compressed and preprocessed by engineers.

There's nothing much I can do about ezdrummer. Bad investment I guess.
The symphonizer
#23
I have EZdrummer...

The basic Rock/Pop kit is not bad. It's better than the Drumkit from Hell, imho. I've heard Nashville is pretty good, though. It's basically a larger rock kit with more cymbals and toms. I haven't played with it too much.

Google "how to write midi drums" or similar. There are a lot of good sites and forums written by drummers that explain things very simply. Stuff like, "get rid of your hi-hat during a flam or a fill" because flams and fills require both hands and playing the hat is physically impossible!

That's kind of, like, "Duh!" but I didn't think about it until I read up on this stuff. I went back and deleted all the hats and rides I had programmed in during my fills.

"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."