#1
okay, Well i hope this is the correct place to post this.

I am trying to learn how to mix music to at-least a decent degree,
And would really appreciate any useful tips/advice anyone can give me,

Advice i have been given so far is to use multi-band EQ's and compressors.

If someone could give me advice on guitars in particular, how to make them sound thicker/cleaner.

Advice i've found on vocals:
1. You will need a Digital Audio Workstation. Or DAW. The most famous of these include Pro Tools.
However almost any DAW you can get your hands on will work to varying degrees.
Adobe Audition, Cubase, Fruity Loops, even Audacity(which is free).

2. You will need a microphone. Unless your performing an odd whisper quiet scream,
you will need a microphone that can handle high amounts of volume(or SPL) safely.
The Shure SM 58/57 are both reliable and very good selections on a budget however most professional
screamers tend to lean words either the Shure SM7b or a higher end Audio Technicia condenser microphone.

3. Mic stand and pop filter. Some screamers insist on NOT using these, opting to hold the mic and deal
with plosives(excessive P and S sounds) in the mix. Such as Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel or Ronnie Canizaro
of Born Of Osiris. However if you can train yourself to use these two items you can get very good vocal tracks
much easier and avoid the nightmare of clip restoration in the mix.

4.Audio Interface. You will need a device that can connect your microphone to your computer. Searching amazon
one can find several USB audio interfaces. This is certainly something you should dump some money into if you
can for higher end results.

5. Recording. Once you have all of your materials you are ready to record. Set your track up in your DAW and
run some basic "can you hear me." tests to see if everything is connected correctly. If you receive audio in
the track then you are ready to record.

6. Compress slightly while recording. Given that you know how a compressor works, give a slight 2:1
compression going in to give overall body and presence to your screamed track.
DO NOT use much more than this going in.

7. Mix Down your track for standard vocal edits. These include De-essing, noise gating,
and EQ. All three of these will need to be done to taste. If you cannot monitor your track with the VSTs in real time,
you will simply have to apply the effect then "undo" if you dont like it and try again.

8. Equalization. EQ is most certainly something that nobody can do for you other than yourself. A basic rule of the thumb
with EQ in ANY audio you are recording is if you are having to use more than a little, then the problem is with the source.
In screaming you may find that you need a tiny bit more than a clean vocalist(screams are unnatural so it is understandable
that they may need a bit more). While there are no set rules as to how to EQ screamed vocals(or anything for that matter) it
is popular to gently roll off some low end to reduce the "gargle" in the screams. At roughly 400, start to take it down in the
graphic equalizer. It should never drop below -2. Then simply play around with some other popular EQ adjustments such as making
a small dent in the upper mids or barely raising the high end between 6k-12k.

9. Compression! Compression is probably the most important part. You will do this a couple of times aside from the light
compression you used going in. The first compressor you use will add body and "oomph" to the track. You can do this with
any compressor but a very famous and wonderful sounding compressor for this(and free by the way) is called Block Fish.
Simply Google it to download it. It has a preset known as "Close Up Vocals" which will give you incredible body and tone from your
screams. You will need to play with some of the basic parameters to make it ideal.

10. Tube saturation/distortion. This is optional. This is popular in a lot of high end studio bands you hear today.
DO NOT use sloppy guitar style distortion, you will need to find saturation meant for vocals. A wonderful sounding plug in for this
is Antares "Warm". Warm has a drive emulator and a limiter, combined to create an incredible saturation sound. Go easy on this though

11. Compression again! This time to flatten things out. Your vocal track should look like a nice fat brick on the graph after this.
You will need to slam your compressor hard with ratios. 7:1 with an instant attack and hearty release will do the trick but you may
find it necessary to go even stronger with 9:1.

12. Reverb. Reverbs roomy sound will help smooth out the vocal track. You will need to play around a lot here. If your new to audio
mastering simply open a reverb preset in your DAW and play with the wet and dry levels. This is by no means "professional" but it will
certainly work if your new.

13. Chorus. Go very easy with chorus effect and possibly even don't use it, however if done correctly chorus can give your vocal
track a beautiful rich sound that is key in that "expensive studio" sound

14. Increase volume. By this point in time you will have a very nice, fat, professional sounding screamed vocal track. However the
volume may be pretty low due to all of the compression. Simply lay the track down in multitrack editor of your DAW(if possible) and
increase the volume of the track until it fits with the instrumentals

:- After recording your screamed vocals go back and zoom in on the track and mute all of your breaths. They may not seem like a big deal at first but after all of the compression they will be loud and off sounding. Your track will probably sound awkward with the breaths muted when there is no instrumental behind it in the single track editor.
When it comes to using any effect such as reverb, delay, chorus, saturation, etc, etc, less is better. Avoid a washy mix at all costs.
When recording excessively high pitched screams go easier on the de-esser as it can degrade the shrill in the high pitched screams.

Sorry for the long post, if anyone could help, that would be awesome
#2
Two things I have to put out there

Audacity is not a DAW, it's a glorified Windows Sound Recorder.

The sm57 is best used on guitar cabs and the sm58 is a LIVE vocal mic, it's really not that great for studio use.


Also I've gotta say, it's unlikely anyone is gonna trawl through this huge post and see if there's anything wrong with it. I know I stopped reading pretty early.

You'd be better off just asking for tips a fresh and see if they line up with what you've already been told.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#3
All this talk of compression has me a little uneasy. I think the over-use of compression is a pretty bad thing (even when used tastefully).

Personally, I think it's a terrible idea to actually record something with compression. That way, you can never remove it. It's always better to use compression after recording something (recording it WELL more like it).
"I agree with Matthew about everything" - Everyone
#4
Vocals are often very compressed, especially in metal, so it's not that big of a deal. Doing a little a lot is far better than just squashing it all at once.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#5
Yeah, I just smash the crap out of metal vocals
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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
#7
Here is a blog I wrote not too long ago. It avoids specifics - on purpose - but gives you a way of looking at mixing that might be helpful.

http://greenroommusicblog.blogspot.ca/2012/10/a-non-technical-article-on-mixing.html

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.