[realmusicians] Re: some listening material

Hay their, Tam...

Gewdren
At 09:06 PM 10/10/2009, you wrote:
Book? What book? I can't write a book. Heck, half the time I spell the word: "I" wrong.

Tam

----- Original Message ----- From: "Eddy Stephens" <2pinesed@xxxxxxxxxx>


Hi Tom:
You are briliant! Please don't forget about writeing your book!
Eddy
----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Kingston" <tom.kingston@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <realmusicians@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2009 8:03 PM
Subject: [realmusicians] Re: some listening material


Hey Dave,

Well, this is really a big question, but it usually comes down to 3 major aspects of the mix; panning, tone shaping each track to give it its own space, and the way in which you compress.

Of course panning is obvious. A good way to get a feel for it is to use the LCR method. That is every track is either fully left, center, or fully right. It's surprising how well this can often work. Some engineers swear by it while others like to take advantage of the full sweep. Another way of compensating is with delay. For instance, let's say you've got a lead and rhythm guitar. pan one hard left and the other hard right. Then have each return a delayed signal on the other side. The mind has a funny way of dealing with this which makes it end up not sounding as though they're panned hard left and right while not cluttering up the mix either.

Now on to tone shaping. This can be very tedious but very much worth the effort. The idea is to get rid of that which is contributing nothing to the sound of the mix as a whole and pull the sweet spot out of each track. Start with low shelves and get rid of the mud in every track. Listen in the mix while doing so. It's amazing how thin some tracks will sound on their own while sounding great in the mix. We can often roll off a lot more low-end than we would thing. Just consider where you really want the low-end; the bass guitar, kick drum, and any other truly low frequency sounds. This alone will sometimes give everything a lot more space in the mix because getting rid of all the low-end mud on guitars, vocals, synths, drums and cymbals, gives the real low-end a clean room to work in and come out of. It's like washing the mud off of the real low end. The same holds true for the high end. You can usually roll off quite a bit of the high end on all of the low end tracks. Also clean things up on any tracks with a hissing high end. Just cleaning up these two ends of the spectrum can make a big improvement in the overall sound. Don't forget, the noise at both ends of every track is stacked on top of each other. So if you've got 24 tracks going you've got 24 layers of mud and hiss all stacked on top of each other.

Next, think of each track as an individual sitting around a big table trying to negotiate a deal. Find a sweet spot frequency or two that will most enhance the sound of each track. These always vary depending on the sound you're looking for. So there's usually a few choices. Once you've found the sweet spots for each track, see how much of the same frequency you can pull down in as many other tracks as possible. I'll use another analogy on this one. Consider the entire mix nothing more than a straight line and you're trying to push each track out at a different point on that line so as to keep each track as separate from all others as much as possible.

And finally, regarding compression? This is a tough one. It's very dependant on what you or your client is looking for. In today's volume war game the younger generation has become very accustomed to listening to essentially flat mixes where everything is squashed to death, sounds rather dull, and completely lacks air and space. This is due to the method in which the tracks and/or mix was compressed. Basically, the flat sound is usually due to one hard hit of the compressor followed by slamming a limiter on it and pulling it up to 0 dB. The same peak and RMS levels can be achieved without killing the mix by slowly layering the compression and knowing how to do it in order to keep the punch and air in a mix. It's often a combination of using the compressor to punch it up, then level it off a bit, punch it up again, then smooth out the peaks the way you like.

Hth,
Tom

----- Original Message ----- From: "DLH" <dheilman1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>


OK, there is a question that I have.

Tom, you mention that you would make the vocals stand out more, put Space between the vocals and the other mix.

How is this done?

My mixes sound like everything is melted into one, and while you can focus upon each instrument or vocal, none stand out. Everything is homogenized. Sounds boring, and might be OK for a Demo, but nothing else.



Any hints?

Dave H.

At 04:03 PM 10/10/2009, you wrote:
Hey Joe,

Sounds good to me. The only thing I would nitpick on, and this is just my personal preference, would be, as others have said, put a little more cut through presence on the vocal. I'd probably also try to give it a little more air and space; that which we usually lose due to compression. But again, it's all a matter of the sound you, and more importantly, your client likes.

Great job!
Tom

----- Original Message ----- From: "joe" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxx>


   Hi guys,
here's a link to a tune we did in the studio some time last year, I know its a bit heavy, but i'm pleased with the result.
Critisism is welcome by the way!
have a listen,
Joe



   http://www.sendspace.com/file/onpd2v



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