#1
First I want to say that I do not aspire to make CDs or whatever, I just want to make mixes of my songs with a decent sound and not as "midi improved".
I use GuitarRig 4 for guitar/bass, EZdrummer for drums, other VST/soundfonts for other instruments... Then I mix everything with Reaper.

I am a super-beginner with mixing process, I don't know anything about EQ, compression, frequency, dynamic, depth etc.
I simply adjust volume levels and panning, and maybe add a little reverb where I need. But of course the result is not the best.

The problem is that I can't find anywhere a guide, a tutorial, an explanation, a finished reaper file with a mixed song... etc.
just to see how it's done and to understand all those concepts I'm missing (compression, EQ, depth etc).

Here a section of an Alcatrazz song I tried to mix, tell me what you think (no lead guitar).

Alcatrazz - Too Young... (Backing Track)

What do you think is wrong? That made it sound unrealistic?
Also, where can I find information/tips/tutorial/guides etc. or finished reaper file to see how they are made​​?

Thank you
#2
With EQing, as a general rule, give each instrument it's own dominating frequency so that it all blends together and the whole mix is even across the frequency range. To help with this I would recommend getting a frequency spectrum analyzer such as voxengo span, so you can see which frequencies need cutting/boosting.

Avoid boosting 2 different instruments at the same frequency or it will get muddy. This can especially be a problem with the kick drum and bass guitar. What i do is give the kick a very narrow boost and the bass guitar a general low end boost, with a narrow cut at the same frequency that i boosted the kick.

I would say the only thing you'll need compression on is the bass and maybe a little on the guitar. I'd set the ratio at like 5:1 or something and play around with the threshold until it makes a difference.
#4
Thank you for your advices!
I'll try with EQ and I'll check the sites

Anyway, if I post my Reaper project file with all the .wav etc.
would someone try to adjust the mix, so I can see in practice what I can do with it and where I'm wrong/lacking?

Thanks
#5
Here is a guide someone showed me for EQing different instruments more a more cleaner and professional mix
http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
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#8
Best way of doing it is something that I think is called "Balanced EQ" Which is where you cut in one instrument to boost in another. The most common useage is probably Cutting 50-100hz in the Bass and boosting 50-100hz in the kick drum to let the kick drum come through.
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#9
Ok guys, I tried to put more effort to do a mix.
I took the easiest song I know ("all the small things"), I recorded bass and guitar with GuitaRig, then the drums with EZdrummer and I mixed it all with Reaper.

Here's what I came up with:

All the Small Things [MIX TEST]

Can I have your opinion and know what you think and where I could improve?
Thanks
#10
Definitely do a high pass on your guitars so that way your over heads can be heard more clearly and I would tighten up the bass a little bit.
I usually treat guitars in the middle - middle high range
(doing both a high and low pass with the EQ and shelfing around 1.5khz-2khz to taste)
If after high passing you feel as if your guitars dont have enough presence, I would do a additive eq to give it some presence so that way they are noticeable but not over powering.
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#12
Your confessed "naive" approach to mixing can actually help you here, as MANY will over-process for no reason at all except they feel they "need to". I always start with faders @ unity, pan, then adjust levels. Anything else comes after that. Volume is an amazing thing and is often the only parameter that needs to be adjusted.

Think about Motown and old Beatles records. They were done in mono. It's all about riding the fader!
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#13
Mixing's kind of like that. There isn't ain't any hard and fast rule. There are conventions of a genre but that's about it.
The best example of I can think of at the moment is it's like a tool shed. Hammers, drills, saws blah blah. All of these things (eq, compression etc.) do different things. You just learn how they all work and you apply them to the song at hand. Just depends what you want to do.
Don't stress to hard about that.

2nd thing what part do you actually want to fix. drums, guitars, balance, do you want it to sound like a dream theater record? I might be able to help you if I know a more specific problem.

Cheers