R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 7   Go Down

Author Topic: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)  (Read 10807 times)

Iain Graham

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 361
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2007, 04:08:53 pm »

Going by the number of people who've said they much rather go in cold, I think it's maybe me who's the freak.  Embarassed

I have to say, most, if not all, of the stuff I mix I record, so I've got a feel for what's going on anyways.

I just find it easier to focus on the song if I have a plan of attack for the technical side of things before hand.

This is never more than a bit vague, because I know the really planned out stuff changes once it's actually mixed, but it stell helps.

On stuff I haven't heard before, I'd much rather mix in stages if I'm allowed. Get a mix together, go away and hear that and then come back and finish it off once I've learnt the song and what everything is doing in the song. Nothing is set in stone but I've usually got a solid idea of what needs done when I come back and can sort it out quickly.

It takes a bit of discussion with the producer and artist, but once they get what I'm up to it usually works out.
Logged
Iain Graham

www . iain - graham . com

http://www.myspace.com/iain_graham

www . soundart . com

ShakesTheClown

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 161
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2007, 04:35:10 pm »

J. How can you know what the drums need to sound like if you haven't heard the guitars/bass or vocals?  Do you just end up wrangling guitar tones with eq until it fits or what?

Don't misunderstand me I do my share of abusing guitars to make things happen sometimes but there are may be times that I'd rather make guitars more important than drums.

I usually attack everything at once anyway kind of an ADD approach.
Faders up in mono then balancing everything before eq.  I seldom solo anything.  Usually only to check reverb sounds on drums or timing a delay.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2007, 05:48:36 pm »

i know what the drums will be capable of based off the overheads rather quickly.  now, i'm talking about what they'll do in the mix and how they'll blend with the other elements.

i rarely use radical EQ on guitars.  if it's that bad i just re-amp them with the sans amp plug.

plus, hearing the drum parts gives me time to focus on the rhythmic direction of the song and the groove.

listen to any of my mixes that have been posted.  my rhythm section balances are typically very maticulous and focused.  heck, that's the majority of questions i get in the IMPs is how i do that.

i build my mixes around the rhythm section and lead vocal.

i get the drums rocking, add the bass, adjust the drums and get that rocking, add the vocal.....adjust the bass and drums to that.  then guitars come in and i have to go back and make more adjustments
Logged

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2007, 06:03:50 pm »


I like to have all the faders up from the start these days... I used to start with the drums and work other things into the mix, but the more I pay attention to the teachings of Compasspoint the more I am leaning towards all faders up approach.  

As TM keeps hammering home: Mixing is balancing.  I tend to try to achieve a balance between instruments before any panning or EQ etc.  The whole point of EQ is to help one instrument sit well with the others... not to make the drums/ guitars/ bass as kicking as can be on their own for instance, but to make sure the drums don't step on the vocal or bass (while still being kicking in their own right of course) etc. etc.  

I am surprised by how little EQ I am using with this approach as opposed to the one track at a time methods I used to employ.

As others have said .. it really is whatever works for you.

I'm just trying to add another perspective here. Not criticize J's or anyone else' methodology which obviously works very well.





Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

grantis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1407
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2007, 06:46:11 pm »

Quote:

grant, 2 parts engineer, 4 parts producer???????? you either need to work with better tracks, or you have an over inflated view of your job as a mixer. shouldn't the actual producer (the band or a third party producer) take the 4 parts role? it would seem that putting too much emphasis on producing while mixing leaves you over looking details that shouldn't be over looked. like over compressing the buss...........


coincidentally, that's the same ratio as you had as an example when asking the question (1 part engineer, 2 parts producer).  i didn't realize it at the time, but find it funny now Smile.

maybe i don't understand the question, and as i understand it now....i'd like to change my answer.

if a "producer" is really marrying the artist role and the mixer role, then.....

i want to be 0 parts artist, 0 parts engineer, and 1 part producer.

that is of course assuming the blend of "producer" is 50% artist and 50% engineer.  so in other words, that could be the same as

1 part artist, 1 part engineer, and 0 parts producer.

this seems to be a question that i don't understand.  my grip of math is superseding my insight to this question.

and i never overlook the bus, i like it that compressed.  could probably do better with learning how to tweak it better (will come with time and experience, and patience), (oh and a REAL compressor)
Logged
Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
Work History (Well, some of it anyway)

Iain Graham

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 361
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2007, 07:03:15 pm »

See, that's what I look for in a rough mix before I get to the mix session.

A touch of panning, a little verb cos I find no verb on close miced stuff so tough to listen to, and a reasonable balance. Anything else I just ignore. Or try to.

Once I get into the mix, I'm like J. Get the drums going, add in the bass and get that sorted. Add in the rest of the rhythm section (no solos, overdubs, or anything like that), and then get the lead vocal in and try and shape the mix from there.

As I'm usually mixing with the artist and or producer beside me, that's when I'll first ask if I'm going in the right direction. I won't make broad changes there but I'll make sure I'm going the right way. Particularly with the first song to be mixed on a project.

If the mix doesn't work as leas vocal and rhythm section, something isn't right.
Logged
Iain Graham

www . iain - graham . com

http://www.myspace.com/iain_graham

www . soundart . com

ATOR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 378
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2007, 07:03:44 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 20 June 2007 18:06


however, ATOR, TomC and Maxim, you guys would honestly sit down with a guitar and play a part?  what about vocals, would you cut some back grounds?  this is a kiss of death for a mixer.



Going back to the question: "4. assuming you have free reign on a mix, is it appropriate to add tracks should you feel it really makes a difference?"

I'll do whatever it takes to make a great mix and IF I feel it really makes a difference I would add tracks.

I did rerecord a bass part once. The original bassrecording had terrible timing and I couldn't get it to sound right. Instead of wasting time trying to make gold out of shit I rerecorded the part myself. I didn't tell the band because I wanted the bass player to be proud of 'his' record.

Something that I do on a regular basis is that I thicken existing synth parts. I might double the bass with an analog synth, add another layer of strings etc. It's the same principle as adding drumsamples.

I don't sing myself but I do add background vocal harmonies with Melodyne. I think I did this in IMP12.

For me these examples are part of mixing, it's still about enhancing what's already there. I don't default to adding parts but if I feel it makes a difference I don't hesitate to do so.


On request I have added (bass)guitar, drums and keyboard parts but for me that's no part of mixing.
Logged
Pieter Vincenten - ATORmastering

J-Texas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1212
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2007, 12:40:53 am »

Man... some of this is blowing my mind. Maybe that was cool for the Monkees, to say you suck and we'll have to find players to do this until you get the chops. I don't understand adding tracks to someone's tune and tricking them into thinking they did an awesome job. That's cruel man. At some point that bass player will realize that it wasn't him and people have been blowing smoke up his ass all this time. Anyone who adds tracks to an artist's work without asking is, well, like a Vlad! It's not your place. Like correcting your mother's grammar or farting in Ruth's Chris. It's just something you don't do if you have any sense.

That's not a stab, just my opinion. And... you know what they say about opinions don't you?

My take on the mix thing is: See what the OH's are doing. Make sure it doesn't fight with the vocal. Even a crappy singer is telling a story. Who cares if it's a bad story? The drums and bass are the rhythm section. They drive the whole song. I think of it like this... a hamburger. I can have one with everything on it, but not without the meat! Have you listened to a track that has no bass (that had one written)? It sounds like a burger with no meat. I can do without the pickles and shit. Give me a bun and some meat! The rest just needs to lay there and taste good. Stupid comparison? Maybe.

Let's keep with the burger. Who wants someone leaning over your shoulder while you're trying to make the patties? You're gonna put THAT on it? Are you crazy? I hate those things man, don't put that in there. You see? Let them take a bite first. They might like it!

Opinionated rantings... sorry.

Cymbals: don't fight with the vocals!
Bass drum and bass guitar: can't you just get along?
Piano: Inside voices please.
Guitars: You are allowed to speak up every once in awhile (but don't piss me off).
Percussion: I like you, but in moderation (you're annoying me).
Everyone else: Don't speak unless I tell you to.

Very Happy


Logged
Jason Thompson
www.4141studios.com

ATOR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 378
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2007, 07:00:27 am »

I completely see where you're coming from J-Texas.

Rerecording a basspart was the most extreme I got and I don't think I'll do that again. Mostly because I've gotten better and faster at editing and making a sound. But adjusting the timing and replacing the sound of the drums with samples is exactly the same thing and is pretty mainstream right now. Some people say that tuning vocals is unethical.

It's a thin line. I don't think anyone plays crappy on purpose and if I can improve the groove, sound and tuning I usually do so.


What I always do is make a good faders up mix, bounce it and place it on a separate track. It gives me a reference to check if I don't lose the original vibe and energy. Not all 'improvements' make a song better.
Logged
Pieter Vincenten - ATORmastering

M Carter

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 369
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2007, 11:12:54 am »

1. assuming that enginner is a technical thing, artist is artistic, and producer is marrying the two, and bringing third party focus. what would your ideal blend of a mixer look like (i. e. one part engineer, one part artist, two parts producer)

All parts engineer in some cases
(3) parts Eng (1) part producer in other, it really depends on the project.

I don't feel like it's an engineer's job to make the song, all of that should really come from the artist.  And if the artist is incapable, then there should be a competent producer holding things together.  

2. as a mixer, is it better to go into a mix completely cold (never hearing the song or having artist input) or going in with a lot of input from the client?

I prefer to have some sort of map of what the client wants.  I don't like the idea of getting something cold, that I've never heard before and making a bunch of decisions the artist may or may not like. I think those things only work in the case of a Lord-Alge or Clearmountain type situation, where you're more or less hired for a particular sound and style.  I'm just not at that point yet.


3. as a mixer, is it better to work alone, or with clients in the room while you mix?

The projects I work on, I'm usually pretty involved in from the start.  Because of that, I like to get the mix to a certain point where I feel confident the artist can walk in and make comments.


4. assuming you have free reign on a mix, is it appropriate to add tracks should you feel it really makes a difference?

Not really.  At that point I think you overstep the boundaries of engineering and go into producing.  If that's what you signed on for, fine, but if you're just hired to mix the SONG, I don't see the point in changing the song.  

5. if you were to listen to your work as a third person, how would you describe your style as a mixer?

Critically, I never really like my mixes as much as I would like to.  I'd tell myself I need to learn how to better manage my low end.

6. how do you, yourself, describe your style as a mixer?

I'm still kind of figuring that one out.  This isn't my main source of income right now.  I kind of skipped the assisting route over in favor of making a livable wage in the city once I saw how things are going in the industry.  Because of that, I'm mostly self taught and I don't get the hands on experience.  I track most of what I mix (IMP's aside), and I try to get the vision of the song down in the recording process.  From there, I like it to be mostly 'sweetening'.  It's all about capturing the moment from the get go.
Logged
Matt Carter
General Manager
Manhattan Sound Recording
www.manhattansoundrecording.com
(212) 564 8248

J-Texas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1212
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2007, 11:25:02 am »

ATOR wrote on Thu, 21 June 2007 06:00

I completely see where you're coming from J-Texas.

Rerecording a basspart was the most extreme I got and I don't think I'll do that again. Mostly because I've gotten better and faster at editing and making a sound. But adjusting the timing and replacing the sound of the drums with samples is exactly the same thing and is pretty mainstream right now. Some people say that tuning vocals is unethical.

It's a thin line. I don't think anyone plays crappy on purpose and if I can improve the groove, sound and tuning I usually do so.


What I always do is make a good faders up mix, bounce it and place it on a separate track. It gives me a reference to check if I don't lose the original vibe and energy. Not all 'improvements' make a song better.



Now see, I can TOTALLY relate to most of that.

The replacement thing is out of hand. I AM GUILTY OF IT MYSELF!!! Don't get me wrong. I think there are way too many choices, though. It's like we're second guessing ourselves or making up for inadequacies in our ability. We live in the 'let's make it easier than ever to do anything we want and not be happy with any of it because we could have chosen differently' generation. Whew! Replace, re-tune, re-amp... whatever happened to redo? We don't have time for it. It's not practical. We didn't track it. There are plenty of excuses.

It is a fine line. I've used the Bob Dylan reference before (because he's the best songwriter and the worst singer). Would you AutoTune Bob? The answer is no, to me. But Britney Spears is not Bob Dylan. There's a place for art and there is a niche for slick! Some bands just suck. I can't help it they suck. In this digital age, though, we can manipulate beats, re-amp a crappy guitar sound, tune up vocals until someone doesn't suck all that bad. You know what? There have been plenty of bands that kinda sucked, but they were unique enough to listen to. Some had great songs. Just think how stupid Mudhoney would sound if they were drum replaced and AutoTuned. It's silly.

In this day and age, the engineer isn't the producer, or the artist, he's the freakin' wizard. The monkey. Look at me... look what I can do. Listen to how great I can make you think you are... synthetically.

There are so many arguments out of this opinion. That's what an engineer does 'makes someone sound better'... blah, blah, blah. I guess I'm really bitching that there is no talent. A kid doesn't have to come home and practice his guitar for hours and hours and think about timing, tone, and technique. All he has to do is freak the hell out of it in ProTools with every splice and fade and shift and plugin until he is a rock god. We, as engineers, have brought it into our workplace and exploited it.

If someone told me they wanted to sound like Bonham, I would say: "I can't do that for you, you're not Bonham." If I were asked that these days I would say, let's just get something on tape. I'm  sure someone will come out with the Bonham Sample CD soon. I heard that spiral staircase castle in England plugin is on the way!

It's ridiculous!
Logged
Jason Thompson
www.4141studios.com

M Carter

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 369
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2007, 11:37:19 am »

Then again, I'm also the guy who wishes Digidesign would charge per edit.  That way at least we could demand some professionalism out of musicians.
Logged
Matt Carter
General Manager
Manhattan Sound Recording
www.manhattansoundrecording.com
(212) 564 8248

Fibes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4306
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2007, 12:17:14 pm »

Here is a recent email from a mix client after a full freedom mix recall:

Quote:

I know what you mean about the mandolin, and I kind of was on the fence about it.

The songs sound great Kevin! The only thing I hear is maybe raising the lead vocal just a hair on xxxxxx, and "wetting" it a touch more. And I don't mean the "xxxxxxxxxxxx" part, just the first two stanzas.

I think you've done a kickass job!  Hell. I'll get you that beer, plus a stripper or two. Oh wait, you're married, and so am I.

I'm glad I trusted my instincts to trust your instincts.

Have a great day! I'll call you.



I did an EP for them. Seasoned vet of a songwriter/bassist/guitarist/vocalist and a "newbie live group" scenario.

The last few records he's done with some "names" that you see at Tape Op con panels... He was someone who was always there on those sessions; this time he took a different approach, hired an old friend (myself), came in and did basics, vocals and then left me alone for a week. I was to track the stuff that was "missing" that the "newbie live people" would later emulate.

It turned out much better than he had hoped, hell, much better than i could have hoped and that I believe was due to the trust quotient.

There was no attempt to control my ideas, there were no "orders" and I know that this trust EMPOWERED me to do a much better job.

EMPOWERMENT is something you''ll here me say a lot when talking about work, in fact about life in general. It's about giving the right people the right tools and the trust/motivation to exceed expectations.

How many of us were given so many parameters and orders that they closed focus on the big picture?




I'm still going to do a mix with the mandolin part in it. For me.



Logged
Fibes
-------------------------------------------------
"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

CHANCE

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4584
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2007, 12:27:40 pm »

Fibes wrote on Thu, 21 June 2007 09:17



I'm still going to do a mix with the mandolin part in it. For me.




You do that too? LOL  Many times after working with a band or producer and mixing to their liking, I too will mix a copy to MY liking, just for me.
Logged
Chance Pataki
The Musicians Workshop
musicians.workshop@gte.net
http://www.the-musicians-workshop.com


A person is a biological signal processor--EQ mag

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2007, 12:55:19 pm »

grant richard wrote on Wed, 20 June 2007 17:46


coincidentally, that's the same ratio as you had as an example when asking the question (1 part engineer, 2 parts producer).  i didn't realize it at the time, but find it funny now Smile.



that was an example, not my honest answer, which was:

1.5 parts engineer, 2 parts artist, 1 part producer.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 7   Go Up