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Author Topic: IMP7 discussion.  (Read 19053 times)

iCombs

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #150 on: September 28, 2006, 06:17:55 pm »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 28 September 2006 15:00

iCombs....

welcome to the hot seat.

another mix featuring the madolin "warm up".

vocal leads this tune off so i'll start there.  the vocal is dark, and lacks anything truly compelling about it's tone.  it sounds like ou used a tiny bit of compression, no EQ and just blended it in.

when the band comes in (one count later) it brings a lot of good energy to the mix, but now i'm starting to see a monitroing issue.  the whole mix from the beginning to the end is very dark.  your room is either too bright, or your monitors are too bright, or both.  i think you might have a stereo imaging issue as well, but i'll get to that in a bit.

from this point forward the vocals are too quiet.  some people like to blend the vocal back into the music.  that does a few things for me as a listener.  it makes me work a lot harder to pick out the vocal, which isn't something i'm interested in doing, therefore, i'll just shut the mix off and move on.  and, it doesn't help the music create any "lift", which is something that keeps people listening.  your overall blend of the BGV is great, you just need 3dB more of all of them, maybe more.

the high feedback delay on the guitar hook is making your mix bog down in those sections.  it washes out the clarity and murks up the waters.  a delay on that guitar part isn't a bad thing, i'd just trim back the feedback and maybe look for something a little more vibey then just a straight delay.  a tape delay emulator of something with a bit of nastiness would be cool.

your chorus has great lift n contrast to the verse, nicely done there, it's just too dark the vocals are lost.  fix those issues and you'd have something cool.

the low mids in that bass guitar seem a bit out of hand which can be distracting, especially since the mix is this dark.  it might tame down just by getting the top end of the whole mix in shape, or it might need some looking into.

overall, i think your approach needs to see some sonic vibe tossed in.  the concept of mixing isn't something you struggle with that much, but making it really pop off the speakers is where you are stuck.  don't hesitate to do things that might not "make sense".  you need to shed any "rules" for EQ'ing and compressing, and start playing with what exactly j.hall means by "sonic vibe".



Alrighty...now I guess I'll explain what I was thinking...

I mixed it fairly dark on purpose.  I for whatever reason, I liked the way the high end of the vocal sat and every time I ran it through and EQ i just hated myself.  I did compress it a fair bitI liked the way it sat so I figured on mixing around that (with the thinking that as long as everything is tonally even, it could be brightened up at the 2-buss.  Obviously, I didn't do that as every comment I saw said "dark."  I was well aware of that, and I'm pretty sure my monitors aren't too bright.  I know my room ain't all that great, but there's nothing I can do about it.

The delay was the "analog delay" setting on my super tap...in retrospect I couldve bussed the return of the super tap to some sort of nasty compression.  

Vocals...man...that's tough...but then again, it seems tough for everyone and seemed to be a big point for debate.  I tried to automate volume to help stuff stick out without getting so far up in the mix that the instruments sound small...I really wanted the band to appear to be really big in the mix, and keeping the vocals a little back seemed to help that sense of size...but as you said...at the cost of inteligibility.  I didn't want to overcompress, because I thought the dynamics were pretty good.  I s'pose I could bring them up a little more...do you have any sort of cue you rely on to tell you that the vocal is in the right place in the mix?
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Ian Combs
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NelsonL

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #151 on: September 28, 2006, 07:57:00 pm »

ATOR wrote on Thu, 28 September 2006 15:04

J. Hall

don't hesitate to do things that might not "make sense". you need to shed any "rules" for EQ'ing and compressing

That's good advice, this week I started doing the exact opposite of what I would normally do and it's one of the best ways I've found so far to get out of my mixing box and get some new perspectives on sound.



I've just spent some more time on this mix and I found it very hard to get all the instruments to sound good in the part where they are played all together and  in the parts where they have more room. When I get the acoustic guitars to sound good in the last 'tutti' chorus they sound thin in the verse and in the break. And if I make them nice and fat the ending gets a mess.

I wonder how you guys approach this, do you make everything small so it all fits and live with small instruments when they are featured on their own.

Also how do you eq a wall of instruments, do you start with the lead instruments and fit in the rest by ranking order or do you pull up all faders and start cutting away. What do you do when the piano and the guitars fight in a freq they both need to have some body?


It's great to be able to pull up different IMP mixes, every time I think: 'This is a good as this instrument will get', I hear a mix where it sounds way better and it's back to work for me Very Happy


Here's what I think-- for whatever that's worth:

If you need to use varied treatments for different sections of a song then automate them.

Or, you can also edit together different passes of the mix if one section is spot on but another is dragging etc.

On IMP7, I know I muted my drum reverb during the “big guitar” section. The gel that (I thought) worked well in other sections became distracting there.

To my thinking, there's no reason that a mix has to be static, especially with DAWs.
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Tom C

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #152 on: September 29, 2006, 03:57:31 am »

ATOR wrote on Fri, 29 September 2006 00:04


I wonder how you guys approach this, do you make everything small so it all fits and live with small instruments when they are featured on their own.



I use automation for this.
I try to find settings where the individual instruments sound good, and adjust only for places where it's very crowded.

ATOR wrote on Fri, 29 September 2006 00:04


Also how do you eq a wall of instruments, do you start with the lead instruments and fit in the rest by ranking order or do you pull up all faders and start cutting away.



I start with drums/bass/vocals (if available) and add the lead instruments one after another.
After that the rest of the instruments are added (or muted).
For me it's easier to go this way because it's easier to find out which instruments need some work to make it fit.
But I know people who have all faders up and cut away, so there's no BEST way to do it.
Try both.

ATOR wrote on Fri, 29 September 2006 00:04


What do you do when the piano and the guitars fight in a freq they both need to have some body?



First I try to pan, if it still doesn't work I highpass the piano, because (personal taste, I like uprights) guitars don't sound as good when high-passed as pianos.

Have you ever seen Bon Jovi live?
Their piano sounds like shit when soloed, but has a very good sound in a mix and doesn't fight with the guitars.

ATOR wrote on Fri, 29 September 2006 00:04


It's great to be able to pull up different IMP mixes, every time I think: 'This is a good as this instrument will get', I hear a mix where it sounds way better and it's back to work for me Very Happy

Don't tell me...
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ATOR

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #153 on: September 29, 2006, 06:35:05 am »

Thanks for the suggestions! When I find the time I'll have another go at Weekends with automated hp filters and midlow cuts and experiment with automating reverb send levels.

I've done live mixing gigs without a soundcheck where I'd have a good mix by the time they hit the first chorus. But getting a great studio mix takes a lot of work. I can get an ok mix in a couple of hours but making a great mix takes days (or more likely a couple of years more experience Very Happy )

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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #154 on: September 29, 2006, 05:56:43 pm »

iCombs wrote on Thu, 28 September 2006 17:17



and I'm pretty sure my monitors aren't too bright.  I know my room ain't all that great, but there's nothing I can do about it.



if it's a known choice, and known issue then cool.  i had to assume the mix sounded nice a bright in your room.  

Quote:


..do you have any sort of cue you rely on to tell you that the vocal is in the right place in the mix?


everything i do it by ear.  i have a bad habit of watching my gain reduction meters too much, but i'm getting better at that one.

all my levels and balances are by ear.

the lead vox is right when my ear no longer has to try to focus on it.  then i spend time making sure it's perfectly where i want it.

the lead vocal gets tweaked on the entire time i'm mixing.  seriously, i bring it up very early in a mix, it rarely gets muted and i just tweak on it bit by bit.  the very last thing i do to a mix is the final lead vocal placement.

i almost always touch the lead vox right before i print a mix.

i also try to set my mix up to be static, but if  something isn't happening, i do not hesitate for one nano second.  you have to stop thinking about things.  if something bothers you, change it.....DO NOT HESITATE!

if you trust your room and monitors, your ears HAVE to be the boss.  this is one of the hardest things to learn.

in DAW world, there is simply no reason to slack off on automation, editing, whatever.

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maxim

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #155 on: September 29, 2006, 10:38:36 pm »

the very last thing i do in the mix is automate the vocal levels
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scott volthause

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #156 on: October 02, 2006, 11:02:26 am »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 29 September 2006 17:56



in DAW world, there is simply no reason to slack off on automation, editing, whatever.




I would definitely agree with that statement. Automation was one of those things that I shied away from for so long. Now I wonder how I mixed without it. I like to set things up static too, but it usually doesn't work out like that.
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NelsonL

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #157 on: October 03, 2006, 06:49:10 pm »

Dconstruction

How did you like IMP7?

I know it's hard to listen to all the mixes and have something constructive to say-- but do you have any general impressions you'd like to share?

Can we hear your mix when it's done?
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maxim

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #158 on: October 03, 2006, 10:56:44 pm »

imo, while the other guys' opinions are useful, the only one that really matters, is the artist's

in a real life simulation kinda way

also, same with 'mastering'

i think the mixes should be in the form that one would send to the ME

then the different mixbuss approaches would, actually, mean something
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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #159 on: October 03, 2006, 11:08:54 pm »

i'm leaning toward this already for IMP8

mp3's will still be what we listen to, but i want to hear them without any L1, L2, L3, maxim or massey limiters used.....or whatever else you do to bump the level up.
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TheViking

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #160 on: October 04, 2006, 10:53:13 am »

J,

Is that really a real world scenario though?   I send mixes to ME's with compression and EQ on the mix buss.   Sometimes a limiter, sometimes an EQ, sometimes a multi-band compressor, sometimes through my outboard gear.   If I don't love everything about the sound of my mix when it leaves my room for mastering then I didn't do enough.   The thing I'm learning is that a lot of what I love is coming from the compression, limiting and processing happening on my 2-mix.

I'm just wondering if you want to put these kinds of strict rules on the next IMP since most everyone will use some kind of processing on the mix buss.   Are we saying no processing at all here or just limiting the amounts?   This will be difficult to quantify.
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NelsonL

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #161 on: October 04, 2006, 12:42:55 pm »

maxim wrote on Tue, 03 October 2006 19:56

imo, while the other guys' opinions are useful, the only one that really matters, is the artist's



Perhaps, but Dconstruction is essentially his proxy in this matter. He's as close as we'll get.
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dconstruction

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #162 on: October 04, 2006, 12:58:53 pm »

Quote:

Dconstruction

How did you like IMP7?


I loved it!  It was a great exercise - and very illuminating.  You guys will definitely hear the final mix (might be a while).

Frankly, one thing I learned for sure (and I know that they were MP3s I was listening to, but still) is that the choices the mixer (and engineer) makes FAR outweigh any benefit from "brand" gear.  Mixed on an Amek after bouncing to 2"?  Didn't hear it.  I heard a poor choice in reverb and a vocal that was not loud enough (all this is hypothetical and doesn't pertain to any single mix).  Mixed ITB with stock plugins?  Didn't hear it.  Heard a fantastic realization of the background vocals, with subtlety and impact.

I also realized that while a good mix could be greater than the sum of its parts, any one of those parts can fail and drag the whole thing down.

I'm still interested in those that chose to ignore the background vocals.  Many were (it seemed) troubled by inconsistencies in pitch and timing.  I'd be less concerned with the perfection of the performance, and more with the spirit of the track.

I have no specific criticisms to make.  No "too much 1k in the snare" from me.  Well, I'll make one specific comment, generally: be careful with delays!  There were several examples of mixes with smearing, cluttering, distracting delays.  IMHO, of course.

I'd like to thank you all for participating.  Seriously, it was remarkable to hear so many interpretations of my work (and the artist's, of course!).  Maybe I'll throw my hat in the ring for IMP8 - and then I can be there in the trenches with the rest of you, and off of my high horse.

Or pony.

Small pony.
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NelsonL

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #163 on: October 04, 2006, 01:11:19 pm »

Shetland?

EDIT: I was briefly in hotlink hell, if anyone saw that--- I apologize, that was NOT a pony.

My eyes are still burning.

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thp1

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #164 on: October 04, 2006, 03:08:44 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 03 October 2006 22:08

i'm leaning toward this already for IMP8

mp3's will still be what we listen to, but i want to hear them without any L1, L2, L3, maxim or massey limiters used.....or whatever else you do to bump the level up.



Hi J.

Don't want to be harsh, but I think this is highly unrealistic:

1/ When you hear a mix/master, how can you tell the difference between a compressor/limiter put on the master at the end, a comp/limiter on each separate track, a mix done through a compressor on the 2 bus since the beginning, etc. or any combinations of the above ? According to you, a mix is no more a mix and already a master at -15RMS, -14, -13 etc ? Where do you draw the line ?

2/ The final level that i print a mix is an artistic as well as  a 'commercial' choice. I assume that is the same for every one else. Will I have to change the way I work, only to please those who don't know how to turn their volume knob if they want to compare the mixes level matched, or how to sound louder and fuller than the others at the same VU level ? No way. If I participate in future IMPs, i will print my mixes at the level i think they sound their best, even if it is a -8RMS for a particular song. That is the way i work with real clients, why should it be different here ?

We are talking music here, imo there shouldn't be any technical or artistical rules. Let the creativity speak and the public judge. If it sounds good, it is good. Don't you think so ?

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