#1
So Im finishing up a final project for my recording class. I wrote a piano piece in a classical romantic style and wrote a drum loop to go behind it that emphasizes these really barbaric sounding heavy tom hits. I'm very inexperienced in the field of EQing and would like to know what techniques you would use to produce a clean mix with every frequency well represented when dealing with a piano piece that uses the entire keyboard from the lowest bass notes to the highest register of the piano (and everything in between,) and a simple drum loop that utilizes about 6 different toms, a kick drum, a shimmery crash, and a snare. I'm not sure where to start, and I have been messing around with it a little bit, and have trouble mixing the drums with the keyboard. Ill come up with a good drum mix and have trouble fitting the keyboard in, and vice versa. Everything is played via virtual instruments and MIDI. Any tips?
#2
Panning is going to play a HUGE role in fitting everything together.
Pianos are pretty mid rangey instruments to begin with, they do of course have lows and highs too but i would be tempted to say they're mid range is most important.
EQ in the mix. I.e you have 8 tracks? It won't be difficult to EQ each track whilst in the mix, with everything playing.
#3
Electric piano? Dead flat eq. Don't touch those dials unless you need some special effect.
Drums? Listen to reference tracks you like and match the sound of your drums to the reference recording.

Most new recording students use way to much eq on everything. Less is more here unless you need some special effect.
"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
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 23, 2014,
#4
Im not sure if I should be EQing the individual drum tracks or create apply it to the drum mix track I created. The drum tracks are MIDI tracks assigned to different channels of a virtual instrument and do not have the option to apply separate EQs to (that I can find out how to do.) I think I did a great job with panning the drums though.

Trust me, when I started with the EQ today, every frequency was set to at least +5 dB or higher. Learned my mistake on that today, and I've been going with a much more subtle approach since. I'm not liking the default piano sounds (mini grand in pro tools.) The highs are extremely muffled sounding and the bass notes are piercing through the mix too much, so Im trying to set a slight EQ to fix this now.

And besides the 4 midi channel drum tracks, and 1 piano track, I have 2 instrument tracks, a piano effects track, a drum mix track, a final mix track, and a master fader track.
#5
As a general rule, the more channels you use, the more modern and clear cut you can make the sound. It all depends on what kind of sound you're actually after.
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#6
Your virtual instrument should allow you to set attack and decay times, these are going to help.
Again. PANNING.
#7
Muffled highs on a Protools grand piano patch? That sounds like a monitor problem rather then a PT patch problem. Most grand piano sounds in PT are simply amazing. Add a little room reverb to taste and done. Try some different headphones or monitors first. The last thing you want to do is eq to dark sounding monitors and have everything too bright everywhere else. Reference tracks help with this so you can compare great recordings with your project.

I would definitely want to have eq control over individual drums. Wash the tracks through a digital mixer to fine tune them.
"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
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 23, 2014,
#8
Thanks for the help guys, Ill take it all into consideration. Ill check out what the attack and decay times will do for my sound. I heard the monitors I recently bought (Yamaha hs-50ms) had one of the flattest frequency responses for the price. I just bought them and may not be used to how they sound yet. I have to present this for my class, so I really want it to sound good