#1
Well guys, I just wrapped up a good day in the studio. Basically, powered through a session in about 4 hours which is record for my band. There are a few rough patches performance wise but mix wise, probably some of my best work. Along the way, I picked up a few useful tips that I overlooked that might be worth passing on.

1 - Have a sound in mind for your final mix - Its hard to know where to start when you have no clue where you're going to end. Today, I knew what I was looking for. Basically, heavy drums, a driving bass, heavy guitar on the chorus, punkish guitar on the verses & in your face vocals. Since I knew where I was going with all of these, the mixing process went a lot quicker than I planned. A goal in mind makes a session go faster.

2 - If something sounds Ehh but you cant quite fix it, try adding other elements to the mix - I hear this a lot with guitars. Oh, my guitar sounds too thin, what do I do? Well, try adding bass guitar into the mix. 9/10, it'll make your guitar sound thicker and your mix will improve. I was listening to just the drum kit and bass, my overheads sounded a little wonky. My guitar player suggested adding the rest of the track into the mix. After adding in my guitars and mixing those a little, my cymbals sounded much better. I didn't have to tweak the cymbals to get them to sound right because they already did. Try it next time.

3 - Have fun - Seriously, have fun. I enjoyed every moment of my session tonight. Sure, part of it was probably the beer but I enjoyed myself. Everything went smoother, felt better and was less stressful because I was having fun. Enjoy yourself and your creation.

Hopefully, someone gets something out of this. Then again, I'm still buzzed and just ranting on and on probably :p
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#2
Quote by lockwolf

3 - Have fun - Seriously, have fun. I enjoyed every moment of my session tonight. Sure, part of it was probably the beer but I enjoyed myself. Everything went smoother, felt better and was less stressful because I was having fun. Enjoy yourself and your creation.


Like with any other job, don't drink while doing your job, you'll end up having to redo everything the next day anyway due to poor judgement and what not. One little beer may not hurt but getting plastered is just dumb.

edit: not saying you got plastered, just a general tip so people don't get any funny ideas about mixing while intoxicated.
Last edited by Ascendant at Dec 3, 2011,
#3
Quote by Ascendant
Like with any other job, don't drink while doing your job, you'll end up having to redo everything the next day anyway due to poor judgement and what not. One little beer may not hurt but getting plastered is just dumb.

edit: not saying you got plastered, just a general tip so people don't get any funny ideas about mixing while intoxicated.


I had an "engineer" a few years back. He was a student at a recording conservatory and he had to do x amount of hours so he worked with me. He knew all the recording techniques and such but he would bring home all the work and mix while drunk or sometimes even high and bring it back to me the next day. Long story short, I didn't sign his hours, he failed, and we are no longer friends. He ruined my first demo and so I took over myself :p
#4
Quote by Weaponxclaws
I had an "engineer" a few years back. He was a student at a recording conservatory and he had to do x amount of hours so he worked with me. He knew all the recording techniques and such but he would bring home all the work and mix while drunk or sometimes even high and bring it back to me the next day. Long story short, I didn't sign his hours, he failed, and we are no longer friends. He ruined my first demo and so I took over myself :p



There is a reason studios try to avoid hiring people from the Conservatory of Recording Arts here. If it's not their poor knowledge, it's their poor work ethic that brings them down.

I played in a band a few years back with a drummer that graduated from the same school here in AZ and I have no idea how. He was a horrible engineer.

I had a bass player in a band I played in last year who was an Audio Production student at MCC and was ready to graduate and when we went to record in my home studio, he was trying to tell me how to do things correctly, which was annoying in itself, but every piece of advice he gave me was absolutely horrible. First, I was trying to convince the guitarists in the band to DI their tracks and we'd use amp sims or I'd reamp through my amps later, as apposed to using their Spider combos, which sounded really bad. He kept trying to tell me that "No professional studio records DIs" and that I was doing it wrong. He also went on to state that the miced version of the Spiders sounded "awesome," and that their timing was perfect and my playing on drums was off (which was the complete opposite). Of course, the other members took his opinion to be truth, since he was going to school for it and apparently knew more than me. Long story short, I ended up leaving that band, cause he was a cocky idiot
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#5
Quote by lockwolf

1 - Have a sound in mind for your final mix - Its hard to know where to start when you have no clue where you're going to end. Today, I knew what I was looking for. Basically, heavy drums, a driving bass, heavy guitar on the chorus, punkish guitar on the verses & in your face vocals. Since I knew where I was going with all of these, the mixing process went a lot quicker than I planned. A goal in mind makes a session go faster.


This is a lot easier if you tracked the song you're getting ready to mix. If not, and someone's sending you a pre-tracked session to mix, always make sure they include a rough mix. If you don't have anything to go off of, and don't know what they have in mind for the final product, like you said, it's a lot harder and chances are they won't be happy with it. If they include a rough mix, even if it sounds like crap, you can get an idea of what parts of the song they want accentuated and what parts are to be buried a little more. Also, it tells you exactly which takes they like best if they included multiple takes (they should. Just incase something needs fixing, you might be able to steal from a previous take).

Long story short, always get a rough mix if you're not tracking, and always do a rough mix if you are tracking so you make sure you're on the same page with the band.
#6
Great points - I learn something everyday in these forums. If everyone would just spend time reading threads and stickies they'd get a valuable education for FREE. READ PEOPLE - read new posts, old posts and the stickies of course. Everything I've learned over the past few years have been from forums like this one (especially this one) and I'm recording like a semi-pro and have learned what stuff to buy and NOT TO BUY. Thanks to all the regulars here like lockwolf (and a lot of other masters on UG).
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#7
^ Or to turn that on its head....

If you just have the raw tracks and no idea at all how the final piece is envisioned, you may come up with something very cool, but very unlike what would have been produced in the first place.

You don't have that "baggage" that keeps you stuck in a rut.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Quote by axemanchris

If you just have the raw tracks and no idea at all how the final piece is envisioned, you may come up with something very cool, but very unlike what would have been produced in the first place.

You don't have that "baggage" that keeps you stuck in a rut.

CT


Very true indeed.

Also I think a good mixing tip (if you have the time) is create another session and just experiment. Sometimes you can come up with really great things that you normally wouldn't try. Then you can add them back into the real mix (assuming it fits well).
#9
Pretty good advice going on this thread. I was expecting mass trolling to be amongst us but that's not the case.
I'm currently working on a blog for Metal music, so if peeps got some interesting information, I'll be sure to quote them and credit them.
If you're serious about needed some Design or Motion Graphics done for your band, youtube, or literally anything else you should email me at CoreGraphics@live.com. My services are quite affordable for the quality I deliver.

Youtube: CoreGraphics
#10
Quote by kcorkcar
Pretty good advice going on this thread. I was expecting mass trolling to be amongst us but that's not the case.
I'm currently working on a blog for Metal music, so if peeps got some interesting information, I'll be sure to quote them and credit them.


Same. Was expecting massive trollage but its good to see constructive feedback. Feel free to use anything I say as long as you give me credit :p

Anyways, this morning, I gave it another listen. Did some more mixing on it and got it to a point where I'm happy enough with it. Its my 4th time working with a live drum kit and 1st time with one that was mic'd somewhat well. Its a lot different than working with virtual drums.

For the room we recorded everything in, it came out pretty good IMO. Everything was recorded in my buddies garage filled with shit. Not the best acoustics but by the end of it all, I feel it came out pretty good. That and I had to mix them on my M-Audio AV30s which are like overpriced bookshelf speakers. Obviously, I'd love some feedback. I'm hearing some spots I'd like tweaked but I'd love to hear if anyone else picks up on em. Give it a listen: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/lockwolf/music/all/play1065269
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
Last edited by lockwolf at Dec 3, 2011,
#11
Quote by lockwolf
2 - If something sounds Ehh but you cant quite fix it, try adding other elements to the mix - I hear this a lot with guitars.


Seconded. One of the most common bits of advice my instructor used to give me was, every time I questioned whether or not a take was good enough, "nobody's going to hear that imperfection when the rest of the tracks are layered in."

And, he was right. When you have a track isolated, you can hear every wobble. In a full band setting... not so much.