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Author Topic: method to beginning...  (Read 2061 times)

j.hall

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method to beginning...
« on: June 24, 2005, 03:00:24 pm »

we've talked about this before but i was just thinking about it and wanted to bring the topic up again.

when you sit down to start a mix, what do you start with?

most guys go for the drums and then build on that.

i have a few different methods i work from depending on the song

sometimes i start with the vocal.  typically this is for much more open songs.....down tempo a lot of times.

i try to change things up in my method so i can try to keep my approach fresh and not get bored with it.

how do you approach it?
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craig boychuk

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 11:20:59 am »

Sometimes I decide what will sit the lowest (or highest)
frequency-wise and start with that element, then work towards the other side of the spectrum.

I love starting with drums, but they cover such a huge range of freq that sometimes it's good to get the more "focused" elements of a mix the way you like them, then work around 'em. Depends on the music, of course.


craig
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Benmrx

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 05:13:39 pm »

I agree it depends on the song.  I would say about 80% of the time I start with drums.  I usually try and get the rythem tracks down first, then start in with the fun stuff.

This also depends on how much time I have to mix.  The same goes for tracking.  Get the meat and bones done first, then start in with the creative overdubs.  Too many times when I first started out, we would spend too much time on the "kooky" overdub or effect and not have the proper amount of time to get the structure of the song down.

I would be curious to hear of peoples habits are when it comes to compression and EQing...and the 2buss.

Do you go ahead and compress your drums when working on them, or are you more likely to go back and compress once you've added in a few other instruments.

And the 2buss.  I've really noticed what a dramatic effect a good Comp and EQ will have when you place it over the mix, but I still do that last.  
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weihfool

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2005, 09:52:04 am »

I pick a method depending on the sounds that have been tracked and how close they are to where I want to wind up with the mix.  If they're fairly close and don't require a ton of surgery, I basically throw all faders up and get a rough balance going to see what the song is doing.  Then I'll usually pay attention to the drums, but try to stay as far away from that solo button as possible.  However, if the sounds are pretty far off from where the artist/band or I want them to wind up, then it's solo mode trying to flesh out the problems with each track and get them in the ballpark.  

I've done tried starting with just the vocal and then filled in the rest of the band around them, but it just doesn't work well for me.  
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el duderino

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 11:13:25 am »

i usually put up all the faders as well, get a rough balance going, try to figure out what drives the song and then usually go thru cutting out all the nasty shit.

ive tried starting with the vocal(s) but it usually doesnt work for me either. unless its a very open song without a lot of stuff going on, but i dont usually work on much stuff like that.
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Fig

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2005, 11:15:18 am »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 24 June 2005 14:00


when you sit down to start a mix, what do you start with??



If the tracks are not recorded by me, I like to bring everything up to unity and just hear what's there.

If the tracks were recorded by me, I just bring everything up to unity and its done  Cool  .

Point being, I don't like to listen to the kick drum for an hour, eqing it.  It must come from my live sound history, but the sounds will all be listened to at the same time, so that is the best way for me to determine what should be done --  by hearing them all at once.

I try not to use solo.

$0.02,

Fig

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Fibes

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2005, 11:44:42 am »

I pull everything up too.

Weed out some things via mute that are merely "events" and begin the search for the meat of the production. Once that happens i try to get levels set for the main players and begin the quest for movement. The longer i keep doing this the more i realize the power of the fader. Long before i touch an eq or compressor the fader gets it's shot.

The only time i eq in solo is when i'm chasing a stray frequency, even then the final adjustment is made with the meat of the mix up.
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drumsound

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2005, 11:09:35 pm »

I put all the faders at -10 and listen and start getting a balance.  The 2-mix comp and the drum parallel comp are usually patched in.  The drum parallel faders might not be p from the get go, but it?s patched in and ready.  I play with faders and pans for a while and then I start grabbing EQ and compressors as needed.  I often add a bass parallel comp and a guitar parallel comp.  I'm usually working out my mutes as I go.  After I feel I have a hold on the mix I start writing in the automation mutes.  Effects join in around there as well, though sometime they come in earlier if I can hear one in my head that's really going to be a big part of the mix.  Vocal rides will usually come late in the process.  Other rider will be done at various times, as needed.  Like I know the guitar needs to come up for the chorus' I'll get it going before I do vocal rides.

I rarely use solo.

I never consider a mix done until I've turned up the monitors and listened from outside the control room.
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craig boychuk

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2005, 11:14:35 am »

Benmrx wrote on Sun, 26 June 2005 16:13


I would be curious to hear of peoples habits are when it comes to compression and EQing...and the 2buss.



A trick that I find myself using time and time again is to set up a drum bus and then do a parallel comp with ONLY the kick, snare and toms...that way you can slam the shit out of the drums with no pumping and breathing on the overheads/room(unless there's lots of bleed in the drum mics). Mix it in with the drum bus and voila, delicious drum sounds.

I'm not a fan of comp on the 2mix, but I've been putting an eq  there more often these days. Sometimes a judicious bit of eq on the 2mix will glue things together very nicely, in a way that a comp cannot.

Of course, one must be cautious with stuff on the 2mix. I've certainly gone overboard at times!








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A.J.

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2005, 12:07:21 pm »

I seem to start with vox and whatever the "main" instrument is (let's say acoustic guitar if the tune is acoustically driven) then go to kick, OH's, snare.

By the time I get everything up, eq'd, and general compression settings... I like to pull all the faders back down and start putting them back up in a similar order. Not sure why, but my ears seem to be getting used to it by then and I can better judge levels and panning.

a.j.

j.hall

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2005, 12:29:20 pm »

the problem i have is knowing that if i start with one element, i'll treat the others according to how i first preceived the sounds to be of the first element i messed with.

i do what i call a "faders up" listen.

i'll take one pass at blending what's coming off "tape", maybe two.

then i just sit and listen to it go by a few time.  i don't do all faders at -10 or 0, i actually try to get a VERY fast rough blend and i call that "faders up".

then i get to work based on my ideas of the song.

the problem is, i know good and well that i'd treat the drums or guitars or whatever, totally different depending on what i choose to start with.

i might make the drums very tight and "polished" sounding if i start with them.  but had i started with the guitars i might have gone with a slight distortion and maybe a darker more open drum sound.

i want the song to really shine through and be "larger then life" on it's own.  the mix has to create that illusion, so i'm constantly trying to find the best way to approach it.

i often times push all the faders down pull some patches and start over.

as for EQ and compression......i stop at nothing to get what i want.
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stickman

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2005, 12:44:50 am »

the songs are mixed when they are recorded...
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Invisible Member

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2005, 01:12:28 pm »

faders up (-20) with a notepad.

Brad Blackwood had a thread where ME's were discussing the importance of the first listen and the impressions associated with it. It's worked well so far.


Peace,
Dennis
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drumsound

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Re: method to beginning...
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2005, 11:53:59 pm »

j.hall wrote on Sun, 03 July 2005 11:29



as for EQ and compression......i stop at nothing to get what i want.



Its true, I've seen him do it.

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