#1
Dear Anyone.

OK. I'm prob. the worst at mixing music, like, ever but I'm trying to improve! But I've got stuck, because I can't find a 'goto' sequence of actions, for want of a better phrase, to help me cure this one.

So you've got four (say) sounds. Voice, guitar, drums, bass, for arguments sake, but I'm hoping the techniques you experts tell me will broadly work with any bunch of sounds. The problem is getting them in sequence. So, with the example sounds, the voice is on top, followed by the guitar slightly behind, then drums/bass or bass/drums. What mixing effects/tricks/whatevers control placement of a sound in a mix without distorting the sound? That's part one.

Part 2 is - if you suddenly want the instrument to CHANGE its position in the mix - example, the singer stops singing and the axeman takes over for 4 minutes (!) or so, would the guitar solo be on its OWN track, separate from the rest of the guitar playing, so you could put separate effects on it, or would you just turn the guitar up a bit for the solo, then back down when the voice comes back in (using automation, I guess.)

Sorry for the questions. Hope someone's kind enough to answer them.

Yours respectfully

Chris.
#2
Depends.

I'm no expert, but just play around and see what you like. Just remember, every instrument needs to sit in it's own place in the mix. The bass should be well heard, the guitar shouldn't take up the basses frequencies and it should also give the voice place to shine as well. For a good record that's mixed FANTASTICALLY (i.e., everything breathes and has it's sonic space) listen to The 1975's album.

As far as deciding whether to do solos separately or not, I think it's pretty typical to record the solo separately so you can do whatever you want to it when it comes to the mixing phase. There's a lot of people (myself including) who record riff by riff and then put all leads on separate tracks and all solos on separate tracks as well as having all extra parts on their own tracks (lead 1, lead 2, ambient 1, etc.). But if you're trying to mimic a "live" sound with a full band going and just record it as it happens... well, you've gotta get creative with your mic levels so it all sounds natural.
#3
You should ideally have every instrument in it's own track. That also means every different sound source. If you want the guitar solo to have a sound very different to the rhythm (added reverb and stuff) then you should record it separately in it's own track.

in response to your first question, I don't understand, are your tracks out of sync with each other? In most recording software there is the ability to slice and reposition tracks in the timeline, you should also be able to display the tempo of the song on a ruler for easy snapping to keep all your tracks in time.

What software are you using to record?

I don't understand what you mean by getting sounds in sequence, that is a weird thing to say when talking about recording unless you mean dragging the clips around the timeline which is literally drag and drop.
Last edited by Victorgeiger at Jul 13, 2014,
#5
Quote by ulrichburke
What mixing effects/tricks/whatevers control placement of a sound in a mix without distorting the sound? That's part one.
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here since "in sequence" doesn't make sense in this context. Without distorting the sound makes me think you're asking about EQing the instruments in the mix. If so, I don't really know any tricks. I just drop an EQ on each track, open up each EQ and compare them while the track is playing, cutting and boosting where it looks (and more importantly SOUNDS) like there are conflicts. Then I drop an EQ on the Master track for overall tweaking.

Frankly, in my (admittedly limited) experience, the most important thing you can do is work on the mix for a while, then leave the whole project alone for a couple of days. Then go back and listen to it again. You'd be surprised what you missed on the first go.

Knowing what software you're using and an example of what yo're trying to do specifically would help tighten and focus answers to your questions.

or so, would the guitar solo be on its OWN track, separate from the rest of the guitar playing, .
Yes in most cases. Largely because with something like a solo, you're going to want to adjust the levels and EQ at least a little bit differently than on the main riffs.