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#1
so. mine is not mixing at low volumes.

i've always kind of known that it was a bad habit. but i never made a routine of constantly checking for it (like i do checking mixes in mono now). watched a vid today that stressed it alot and then i checked my mix at a low volume- sounded like shit.

funny thing is, i was wondering why my instruments [drums primarily] weren't blending/punching at all. then i lowered the volume, bypassed a group EQ (that mainly did it) and adjusting a couple others on individual instruments. voila. saved me from trashing the whole thing from frustration.

another one i have is EQ'ing waaay too much- as seen from story above.

you have/had bad mix habits? think it'd be cool to share stories for the sole purpose of finding and watching for common pitfalls. i'd personally like to see what some of the more experienced engineers here have to say about theirs as well.
#2
Always starting drums, bass, guitars, vox...Also mixing in digital - there are some really interesting things you can do when you have a 24 channel of faders in front of you, i.e. more of a tactile approach...mouse mixing could be too rigid.
#3
Quote by diabolical
Always starting drums, bass, guitars, vox...Also mixing in digital - there are some really interesting things you can do when you have a 24 channel of faders in front of you, i.e. more of a tactile approach...
Please, name something you can do with an analog console you can't do with a computer.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#4
I used to play with stupid amounts of gain.
Gear:
Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
#6
Quote by Spambot_2
Please, name something you can do with an analog console you can't do with a computer.



Play the whole mix in real time with your hands and your buddies.

You can do that with some of the newer consoles but at much higher price, in a pro studio.
#7
Quote by diabolical
Play the whole mix in real time with your hands and your buddies.

You can do that with some of the newer consoles but at much higher price, in a pro studio.

Bang!

Playing the mix with your band... MMMM tastey.
#8
Quote by diabolical
Play the whole mix in real time with your hands and your buddies.
Play the whole mix instead of having the automation changing parameters?

I still don't see why not doing it would be a bad habit.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#9
Quote by Spambot_2
Play the whole mix instead of having the automation changing parameters?

I still don't see why not doing it would be a bad habit.

The way he's describing it is an old school technique. Where the mix becomes the last piece of the performance.

I like the idea of a hybrid analogue/digital approach to this performance. Where you have the mix how the band envisions the song. But then you as a mixer can refine the parts.

I also don't see how not using an analogue board could be considered a bad habit.
Last edited by kahleesi at Apr 13, 2014,
#10
When I notice/learn of a bad habit, I correct it, but the most recent major discovery (this was a while ago though) was mixing things way too loud... not monitor volume, but literally keeping faders up near unity gain and letting the individual channels peak at -5dBFS and similar reasonably often. As a result, I'd always end up with a) huge accumulation of unnecessary frequencies at the end and b) compressing the crap out of the master fader.

Once I started to just turn the monitor controller up, and keep the individual channels peaking way lower, I no longer needed to put anything on the master fader to prevent it even coming close to clipping; I was able to identify what to remove from tracks way quicker; and everything started to sound punchier and more cohesive, and easier to balance.

Master compression became just that - compression in the mastering stage, to bring up the volume closer to modern day levels (an unfortunate must until loudness compensation becomes far more common amongst media formats and devices).
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#11
Quote by Spambot_2
Play the whole mix instead of having the automation changing parameters?

I still don't see why not doing it would be a bad habit.


Lack of fun stuck dialing mouse parameters instead of getting the whole band drunk and getting everyone to grab a few faders

Anyway - this is old school for sure.
#12
Cooler?
Well if you like it better let's say it's cooler.

Better?
Not in any way, actually.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#14
Bad habits?
Too much eq instead of trusting good mics.
Thinking I can just"hear it" without a good reference track for comparison.
Neurotic obsession over nonsense.

Welcome to my world.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
I think the worst habit I had to correct was actually under-mixing. My band plays a blend of progressive and symphonic metal, which necessarily entails a LOT of clarity between instruments. Initially I wasn't forceful enough with EQ, which caused a lot of cross-contamination between instrument frequencies. It wasn't until I started being really brutal with the HP/LP, and cutting DEEP notches in unnecessary areas of my tracks, that I started getting the kind of separation my genre needs.
#17
Not listening to a mix in different rooms with different speakers is probably my worst habbit. I'll usually get a really good sounding mix in my room with my monitors, but when I finally listen to it somewhere else it sounds really amateurish and shitty.
#18
Boosting frequencies I want to hear instead of cutting the frequencies I don't want to hear - I still find myself doing it now on initial mixes but always go back to correct it when tracking is completed.

Another bad habit I had was not referencing my mix on other systems as much as I can, I monitor through some KRK's in my studio and get a mix sounding great in there, then as soon as I listen to it through headphones or other speakers in my flat I notice there's too much bass, or harsh clashes in mid frequencies.

Now days I'll do an initial mix, listen to it on headphones and other speakers I have in my flat, take notes, and then go back to my control room to adjust then check again.
#19
Quote by EatShreddies
Boosting frequencies I want to hear instead of cutting the frequencies I don't want to hear - I still find myself doing it now on initial mixes but always go back to correct it when tracking is completed.
If you're mixing in the box and you're adjusting the track gain afterwards, boosting stuff and then cutting the overall gain and cutting stuff to boost the gain afterwards has the exact same effect on the sound.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#20
For awhile, I panned every single melody completely to one side. I don't know why I thought this was a good practice, but it's a habit I'm still breaking.

Quote by Spambot_2
Cooler?
Well if you like it better let's say it's cooler.

Better?
Not in any way, actually.
This. The argument was dumb from the start. You will always always ALWAYS be able to EQ and mix better digitally.
Last edited by herby190 at May 5, 2014,
#21
For some reason, Brass instruments have a bit of warmth that is harder to achieve digitally. That's the only difference I've ever come up with. Even that only comes up if your doing solo brass tracks as opposed to recording an orchestra.
#22
Quote by Spambot_2
If you're mixing in the box and you're adjusting the track gain afterwards, boosting stuff and then cutting the overall gain and cutting stuff to boost the gain afterwards has the exact same effect on the sound.


Not necessarily, each boost in the EQ increases gain and can cause a track to peak, if you start off metering at the desired volume, a few tactical cuts in frequencies will maintain the level rather than increasing certain frequencies and having to turn your channel down to compensate.

In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn't make much difference if you alter your track level afterwards, when I was an undergraduate studying music production my lecturers always told me to cut instead of boosting unless absolutely necessary
#23
Quote by EatShreddies
Not necessarily, each boost in the EQ increases gain and can cause a track to peak, if you start off metering at the desired volume, a few tactical cuts in frequencies will maintain the level rather than increasing certain frequencies and having to turn your channel down to compensate.
What I meant when I said it's the exact same thing is that it's the exact same thing.
If you compensate with the gain afterwards.
Say you cut something and then you raise the overall gain, and then in another track with the same audio you boost the rest of the audio and you cut down the overall gain afterwards.
There's no difference whatsoever there if you're mixing in the box.
Unless maybe you're using some sort of fancy analog EQ emulation...

Some analog EQs may have different phase shifting effects when boosting or cutting stuff depending on their designs, and some may have other minor differences like the sensibility of the knobs when raising or lowering the gain.
Quote by EatShreddies
when I was an undergraduate studying music production my lecturers always told me to cut instead of boosting unless absolutely necessary
Did you ever ask him why?
'cause again, for some reasons you don't seem to want to raise or lower the gain of the whole track for some reason I can't understand and I think the problem's related to that.
Quote by herby190
You will always always ALWAYS be able to EQ and mix better digitally.
Wait!
Wait wait wait wait.
You gotta explain this a bit better, because saying mixing with digital stuff is plain better than mixing with analog stuff kinda reveals some misunderstanding.

You may have more precision with a digital graphic EQ, or with a digital spectrometer, and I've yet to hear a reverb processor that sounds better than a good algorithmic one, though most stuff tend to sound better when passed to good quality analog stuff.

That's one of the reasons they still use it y' know...
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
Last edited by Spambot_2 at May 7, 2014,
#24
Quote by Spambot_2

Wait!
Wait wait wait wait.
You gotta explain this a bit better, because saying mixing with digital stuff is plain better than mixing with analog stuff kinda reveals some misunderstanding.

You may have more precision with a digital graphic EQ, or with a digital spectrometer, and I've yet to hear a reverb processor that sounds better than a good algorithmic one, though most stuff tend to sound better when passed to good quality analog stuff.

That's one of the reasons they still use it y' know...
EQing is really what I was talking about. I won't deny that analog effects have their place; I would never tell a guitarist not to use his effect pedals because I like the ones in my recording program better.
#25
^ I would, all the time unless they're hard to replicate with software eg. Digitech Whammy, or expressive wah use. Record with it and you're stuck with that level of effect now... record dry and you can play around with the level and other parameters when you're putting the mix together. It especially applies to delays.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#26
Quote by DisarmGoliath
^ I would, all the time unless they're hard to replicate with software eg. Digitech Whammy, or expressive wah use. Record with it and you're stuck with that level of effect now... record dry and you can play around with the level and other parameters when you're putting the mix together. It especially applies to delays.


I tend to DI the guitars into a splitter so I get a clean sound with no sounds effects or amp and the natural sound with the amp, if I'm unhappy with the natural sound then i can run the dry sound back into the amp and redo it all
Last edited by EatShreddies at May 31, 2014,
#27
Quote by EatShreddies
I tend to DI the guitars into a splitter so I get a clean sound with no sounds effects or amp and the natural sound with the amp, if I'm unhappy with the natural sound then i can run the dry sound back into the amp and redo it all


I've always thought of that possibility (splitting guitar, if tone is no good, redo the tone with the clean guitar track etc). But never tried it by myself.

How does it work? I mean, there must be some latency in the process of running the dry sound back in the amp.

I imagine this: Input:

Guitar->Splitter->effects->amp->mic-> recording interface ->DAW(Normal signal)
Guitar->Splitter->Recording interface->DAW (Clean Signal)

But when you pass the clean signal back to the amp (trough an output of the interface) there should be some latency to be corrected? Or i'm talking nonsense?

Cleansignal->output interface->effects->amp->mic->input interface-DAW (possible latency)

I hope my question is understandable
Since 2002 using UG. This page teached me how to play guitar and help'd me to embrace the passion of my life: Music.
#28
Well, the usual (and best) way of doing it is to get a DI box that has a 'thru' output as well as normal output, so you plug the guitar directly into the DI box and then put one output into the interface instrument input, and the thru output goes into the amp's guitar input, and that is then mic'd up, like so...



Guitar --- DI Box -------------------------------------------- Interface Inputs 
                        \                                 /
                         \__ Amp Guitar Input ___ Mic ___/



If you want to then send the clean signal into the amp because the original tone on the amp was lacking, that's a technique called re-amping and would be done by sending the clean DI from your DAW to a different output of the interface, through routing to a different output in your DAW (e.g. not the main stereo output) and then setting up a new track in your DAW to record the mic signal, and when you press record your clean DI will be sent out of the interface and into a reamp box (or, on a budget, a passive DI box used in reverse) and into the guitar input of the amp, which you'll then mic up as usual and have the mic record to the new track in the DAW. Latency won't matter, if there is any noticeable latency you can just zoom in on the waveform and time align it with the original clean DI track in your DAW.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#29
My bad habit is using presets as a starting point for dialing in sounds rather than taking the actual sound and giving it what it needs.

As far as subtractive EQ goes, I have found that my mixes turn out way better in practice when I subtract rather than add. It may, mathematically, seem to be the same thing, but in practice, it seems to work better.

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.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jun 2, 2014,
#30
Quote by tiky
I've always thought of that possibility (splitting guitar, if tone is no good, redo the tone with the clean guitar track etc). But never tried it by myself.

How does it work? I mean, there must be some latency in the process of running the dry sound back in the amp.

I imagine this: Input:

Guitar->Splitter->effects->amp->mic-> recording interface ->DAW(Normal signal)
Guitar->Splitter->Recording interface->DAW (Clean Signal)

But when you pass the clean signal back to the amp (trough an output of the interface) there should be some latency to be corrected? Or i'm talking nonsense?

Cleansignal->output interface->effects->amp->mic->input interface-DAW (possible latency)

I hope my question is understandable


That's pretty much how I run it, there is a slight latency when I reamp, talking fractions of seconds so it's not too much of a problem, I tend to mute the track in my DAW coming from the reamped source, and monitor it just through my interface before it hits the DAW which helps reduce the latency. I'm using Focusrites mix control software with my 18i20 so gives quite a lot of options for listening back before the DAW, or after or both

Also a lot of the time I will try blending the recorded sound with the DI sound but the DI sound is running through amp simulators in Logic for a bit of contrast.
#31
Yep, pretty cool, will be worth the last test was for $80 into consideration, that makes the last AxeFX for breakfast in half away, so he was super apologetic. I previewed it on the difference in buying a 4.0, so I can turn on Craiglist to okay it seems for years. Epic pissed.
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
#32
Dude, are you ok? Two posts now and neither makes much sense. Heavy night out?
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#33
I spent a couple minutes trying to figure out what the hell that meant after scrolling down

It's real then, alcohol harms you and who's around you...
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#34
Quote by Spambot_2
I spent a couple minutes trying to figure out what the hell that meant after scrolling down

It's real then, alcohol harms you and who's around you...

You and me both
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
#35
Me too. I tried Google Translate, too, but it was of little help.

Haha

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.
#36
Quote by axemanchris
Me too. I tried Google Translate, too, but it was of little help.

Haha

CT

Logic Pro does not like my ASP008 for the magazine, I have forfeited my right to start a BAWSSSS!
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
#37
Quote by axemanchris
My bad habit is using presets as a starting point for dialing in sounds rather than taking the actual sound and giving it what it needs.

As far as subtractive EQ goes, I have found that my mixes turn out way better in practice when I subtract rather than add. It may, mathematically, seem to be the same thing, but in practice, it seems to work better.

CT



I like using the presets because they allow me to listen to different sounds abruptly. Obviously its important to know how the knobs work but I like to dial them in after I find a preset close to something I like.


My worst mixing habit is trying to work in headphones. I like the feeling of speaker movement and I don't like the idea of going deaf trying to listen to sounds below 100hz
Last edited by siksenserecords at Jun 14, 2014,
#38
Quote by axemanchris
My bad habit is using presets as a starting point for dialing in sounds rather than taking the actual sound and giving it what it needs.

As far as subtractive EQ goes, I have found that my mixes turn out way better in practice when I subtract rather than add. It may, mathematically, seem to be the same thing, but in practice, it seems to work better.

CT


Well for what it's worth I agree. We humans never (can) hear "more" than the source with all real/natural sounds. Put a step backwards from a speaker though and we hear less.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
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#39
^ that would imply you not compensating the gain raise with a post eq gain reduction.
Adding or taking out stuff before results in the same thing if you compensate for it afterwards.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#40
Not sure if I would call this a bad habit or not, but I use Reason as a DAW and instead of using Combinators, plugins and sound patches I simply create or edit a bunch of wavs in adobe audition, then load them in my Reason project one by one each in its own NN-19, then I end up with 40 different tracks in one song. Probably not the most efficient method but it works nicely for me.
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