#1
So I'm currently producing as a side job, and I came across this track from another band:
https://soundcloud.com/clear-waves/moving-on

I was taken back at how much room the instruments have and how separated it all sounds, I've looked into techniques which suggested soft compression and the right EQ.

However, i was wondering whether any of you could help, as I don't believe I'm familiar with soft compression, I know its a term i need to know. So far, I have a relatively fast attack, slow release, with a 1.0 knee. I know that it depends on the song and mix but I just want to make sure I'm heading in the right direction as I want to become more flexible with my mixing.

Cheers in advance!
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#2
I haven't listened to the track, but space can be achieved in many ways.

-You have more room if your track has more headroom.

-You can cut frequencies out that are not needed per instrument. EQ.

-You can use reverb to create an artificial room.

-compression

-stereowidening

- m/s EQ/compression (advanced)

- panning

- side-chaining (related to compression, but a bit different effect)

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 12, 2013,
#3
That mix is nice but nothing spectacular, to be honest. Vocals are buried, guitars are a bit phasey and thin.

Compression is not really a great way to deal with this kind of sound (unless we're talking sidechaining which is complex and easy to overuse). Basically, giving instruments their slice of the spectrum is the name of the game. Take some bass out of the guitars to leave room for the bass, take mids out of the bass to leave room for the guitars, etc etc.


Arrangement and composition is still a huge factor...the example you posted is a spacious-sounding tune and this style of production fits it naturally.

Don't be scared to dial back the guitars more than you usually would - some of the best rock record ever made have drums and vocals right at the forefront.

The lazy way is to scoop the song's mids and boost the air frequncies above 10k...that has the effect of making things sound tighter and more 'pro' to untrained ears. It's lazy and not something I recommend, but it's a quick and dirty alteration.


Remember 'spacious' doesn't have to mean 'bright'.

Joe Satriani's self-titled album is a ghreat example I like to show people. Most instrumental rock is really overproduced but this has an exceptionally raw, natural vibe and a a huge sense of space:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCZbM--LJwg

Immediately you notice how unprocessed everything sounds; the top end isn't hyped at all, and there's lots of muddy midrangey warmth. However, due to superb dynamics (Manu Katche, hell of a drummer ) and unorthodox panning, you get this sensation of being in a room with the band wrapped around you. It's also considerably less fatiguing to listen to than most of the rock records you hear.
Last edited by kyle62 at Jul 12, 2013,
#4
To add to the satriani song.

That's also the headroom thing. Single tracks instead of 6 compressed guitars.

I also like to add to what you said about composition

If anything with this satriani song, the hard part lies ironically in using all the room with such minimalist delivery in the composition.

Getting that ambience on record

Mic placement very important.

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#5
OK thanks guys, i'll give it a go on a new track
Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960
Engl Powerball 120 Watt
Orange PPC212 Cabi
ISP Decimator
MXR 10-band EQ
Boss OS-2
#6
I'd say mostly cutting eq of instruments as well as mix balance.

Also has a lot to do with quality of mixing environment. Remember, the big boys have all the fancy converters, vintage analog tube gear, analog summers and more that come at this stage of the production.

Remember that these mixes have also been mastered so a second hi quality/hi def stage goes by before you hear the finished product.