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Author Topic: 2buss comps  (Read 21849 times)

Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2005, 12:35:15 pm »

Mastering is NOT compression. A great mix sounds great in a mastering room. It's ALWAYS the goal for the mastering engineer to do nothing other than tiny tweaks to make the sequence work. This is only necessary if the mixer doesn't have the final sequence available which is frequently the case.

J.J. Blair

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2005, 01:17:39 pm »

What I find I achieve withe stereo compression is a few things:

First, I like a vocal to sit way up front in the mix.  Stereo compression has a very subtle way of backing everything down when the vocal is happening.  I also like the way it gets the bass a litle tighter sounding.  Finally, the subtle pump caused by the kick or snare hits really makes rock records pump, whici I think if anything adds dynamic, rather than limiting it.
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compasspnt

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2005, 09:52:10 pm »

OK, just finished the mix I've been working on the past two days, and right at the end added in the SSL buss compressor for a more "finished" sound.

You guys MADE me do that...now STOP IT!
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Brian Kehew

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2005, 06:07:18 am »

I work to get the mix to sound GREAT on it's own, then it's done. No need for 2bus comping; it can and has been done thousands of times. I do not mix things for radio, and 99% of people who do never get there. Radio is NOT a good sound, is it? Why do it? Go for a GREAT sound - huge and powerful, dynamic and controlled. In your mix. Even in mastering, we barely use compression, maybe a top limiter.


This seems to be a "thought process" that is common to people who compress and EQ "to tape" too. They want that finished sound N O W ! ! ! Just different schools of thought, eh? I will print EQ or slap to tape if I need it, but I generally will not re-do that effect, just use it "as is" when mixing.

One of my "rules to good sound" is to never do the same thing TWICE, if you can. Putting audio through things is what kills sound. Don't compress the bass to tape; you might want more (or less) when you mix. Don't EQ the snare "to tape" if you are going to EQ it again. Don't compress or Finalize the stereo bus; it will be done again in mastering, with better QUALITY gear than you probably own, when it is SAFE to judge the levels and tones needed for the overall album.
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compasspnt

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2005, 07:07:25 am »

Although I'm sure Brian would agree that any one particular song MAY be different, and rules may be broken for effect, his above statement, I believe, succinctly states the rules of tracking and mixing.
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2005, 09:04:01 am »

A great mix can be trashed by radio processing and still sound huge. The idea that compression helps radio sound is absolutely and profoundly incorrect. It can help you get a leg up in the meetings where what will get on the air is determined but this will be at the expense of size, punch, balls and even straight up volume over the air. Most stations today broadcast MPEGs which only compounds the problem.

At some point downstream the sound is always going to break. What we don't want is fragile sound. I think one of our main goals is to try and make sure that breaking point will only happen after the average person hears the recording on the air.

wwittman

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2005, 04:29:49 pm »

That's absolutley right, Bob...
but those meetings, where the label president and then the promo people and then the radio programme director and so on decide whether your record gets atention or not, COUNT.
Sometimes for everything.



FWIW, I tend to take the opposite approach to Brian's.. I EQ and compress to tape and often print effects as well.
Although I completely agree that i don't do it AGAIN at the mix.
Mixing is mostly about balances for me.
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William Wittman
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Tomás Mulcahy

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2005, 05:15:05 pm »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 13 March 2005 21:29


Although I completely agree that i don't do it AGAIN at the mix.



This is bothering me. For the sake of the argument- I choose the mic I am liking today Smile, and go move it around the snare until I get the sound I like the most.

Wait... I get the INTERN to move the mic. For an hour (before the band arrives of course).

Anyways... I HPF at 100Hz,  pull out a little 250 say. Later, the band says "Great snare sound maaan!".

Then, in the mix, I compress it and add some hi shelving turning over at 3kHz Smile

So I have eq'd twice- is that something you guys would avoid?

Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2005, 08:40:28 pm »

The biggest challenge of modern production is that we are forced to make choices before the entire arrangement is complete. It's pretty important to have something resembling the intended sonic character locked down to tape so that everybody is always relating to the same thing as they perform and make their production choices.

There's an awful lot you can't ever really fix in a mix. The idea that you can just have a roadie track everything at home to save a little money for the mix is a pretty serious production error.

Tomás Mulcahy

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2005, 10:49:28 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 01:40

The idea that you can just have a roadie track everything at home to save a little money for the mix is a pretty serious production error.

Don't need no roadie to carry no laptop??!?? Smile

Seriously, Bob, you're really on a roll lately. You should think about doing a "Zen of pro audio" book!!

I really liked what you said over at Brad's about mastering- it's all about sequencing. Can we get that put up in 5 mile high burning letters on the PSW homepage?

Brian Kehew

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2005, 03:27:53 am »

Everybody is right here - and it all "works" to some extent. I am not making record for the radio, but I am making records that will kick your butt in 2050 and not sound bad. It is a style of music and mixing that has existed since about 1965/66 and maybe before.

>>The idea that compression helps radio sound is absolutely and profoundly incorrect. It can help you get a leg up in the meetings where what will get on the air is determined<<

There is no reason you can't take your UNcompressed mix and squeeze the holy hell out of it for a meeting. I recommend that. Give the devils their desire...

WWittman is also "right on"! If you do it TO TAPE - you can make a GREAT record, if you don't un-do it later. His experience will tell him what WILL be needed later (as Terry mentioned his "meters only mix") and it works.

Madonna albums were done like this - I hear - put the faders up and it's all there ready. My own experience with the "Hotel California" masters showed me that Bill Szymczyk is a genius. EVERY bit was cut to tape with perfection. Nothing is needed in the mix, but a panning selection. Done. AND it sounds friggin' awesome... Just as much work, if not more. But tons of experiecne is needed. I have a little of that already, why I can get away with only "one pass" of EQ and dynamics.

Edgar WInter's "Frankenstein" 16 tr. is also this way - it's DONE when it's on tape, but I can also hear it's not really EQ'd or compressed much - just great mic selection and placement. The world's best drum sound on those 4 tracks. Much more advanced than my skills at this point...
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wwittman

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2005, 02:30:24 pm »

Didn't Shelly Yakus record Frankenstein?
Hard to go wrong with him. Although I don't think he was EQ shy!

In the mix, I use EQ in its original sense, to make the sounds fit together better if something is sticking out or getting lost.
But any tone shaping, any MAKING of the sound, is already done much earlier on.
I don't wait to the mix to find out what the record is going to sound like.

I'm always amazed that some people DO.

I remember Mike Chapman always insisting on going in and really cleaning up everything beofre the mix. Erasing any hums or noises before things came in and certainly anything that wasn't used.
The idea being that if we all got hit by a truck, someone else wasn't going to have to wonder what vocal we intended to use.
Cheery, innit?

But I continue the spirit of that (if without the ominous overtones) in that I really finish the record before I'm ready to mix... I certainly don't understand people who send off 6 vocal tracks to the mixer and expect him to "make a vocal" out of it.

If you CAN'T make it sound great then perhaps yes, it's better to send it to _____ (insert big name mixer here) and let him EQ and process your drum tracks and your guitars and whatever.
But if you CAN, then you're really making the record and mixing becomes almost a formality.
Which in my mind is what it SHOULD be.


The ultimate in craziness is what's coming next... in that people are starting to bring their ProTools rigs to mastering with the mix running "in the box" and "adjusting" the mix in the mastering room.

Why don't we just set up the band and play in the mastering room and get it over with? <g>
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William Wittman
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Brian Kehew

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2005, 03:10:40 pm »

>>Why don't we just set up the band and play in the mastering room and get it over with? <<

You mean - like they did until the 1950's!
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compasspnt

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2005, 04:46:20 pm »

wwittman wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 14:30




The ultimate in craziness is what's coming next... in that people are starting to bring their ProTools rigs to mastering with the mix running "in the box" and "adjusting" the mix in the mastering room.




This to me is stunningly insecure.
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zmix

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Re: 2buss comps
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2005, 05:20:19 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 16:46

wwittman wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 14:30




The ultimate in craziness is what's coming next... in that people are starting to bring their ProTools rigs to mastering with the mix running "in the box" and "adjusting" the mix in the mastering room.




This to me is stunningly insecure.


Insecure? Perhaps, but not too far fetched. I recently had a mastering guy ask me to bring my "Pro Tools files" (which I do not use, and didn't bring) to the session.

Whatever it takes to make a better record, eh?

-CZ
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