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Most important lesson about mixing?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

What is your most important lesson you learnt during the last years concerning your skills of mixing?

To know how to turn knobs
2
4%
To know how to move sliders
2
4%
To know how to put up the feet on the mixing desk
6
11%
To know all about all the frequencies
8
14%
To know how to listen and notice a song
15
27%
To know how to use eq and compressors
13
23%
To know how to escape the adaption of my ears
5
9%
To know how important patience and durability are
5
9%
 
Total votes : 56
KVRist
 
476 posts since 18 Mar, 2008, from germany
 

Postby enroe; Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:59 am

Dean Aka Nekro wrote:
Dealing with alot of people with many different ideas, Alot of the times differing ideas coming from inside the same camp. Through only what I can
chalk up to experience is how I learned how to be and how not to be.



Oh, I see. I didn't think about social skills, but yes, they are most important!
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs and weird stuff: enroe.de
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KVRAF
 
6575 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK
 

Postby tehlord; Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:02 am

Use sounds that require as little mixing as possible in relation to each and every other sound in a mix.
KVRist
 
476 posts since 18 Mar, 2008, from germany
 

Postby enroe; Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:53 am

tehlord wrote:Use sounds that require as little mixing as possible in relation to each and every other sound in a mix.


Sounds good. But:

How do you know that a sound needs or doesn't need mixing (eq, comp etc.) in the mixing phase? And how long did you try until you found this "lesson" to be so valid for you? :?: :?: :?:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs and weird stuff: enroe.de
KVRer
 
7 posts since 9 Jan, 2011, from Perth, Australia

Postby BubbaMc; Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:20 pm

To have a decent composition/arrangement to start with.
KVRian
 
647 posts since 30 Aug, 2011, from somewhere in universe
 

Postby Loki Fuego; Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:31 pm

I chose 'to know how to move sliders'. It's as important as to know how not to move sliders.
The same is true for knobs.
Wonder whether my advice worth a penny? Check my music at Soundcloud and decide for yourself.
re:vibe and Loki Fuego @ Soundcloud
KVRist
 
476 posts since 18 Mar, 2008, from germany
 

Postby enroe; Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:12 am

Loki Fuego wrote:.... It's as important as to know how not to move sliders.
The same is true for knobs.


Is this a new philosophic approach of nihilism? What's behind it? :?:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs and weird stuff: enroe.de
KVRist
 
476 posts since 18 Mar, 2008, from germany
 

Postby enroe; Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14 am

BubbaMc wrote:To have a decent composition/arrangement to start with.


Yes, but after you have a composition - more or less decent. And you want to mix it. What's your most important lesson in all your years of experience?
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs and weird stuff: enroe.de
User avatar
KVRAF
 
6575 posts since 22 Sep, 2008, from Windsor. UK
 

Postby tehlord; Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 am

enroe wrote:
tehlord wrote:Use sounds that require as little mixing as possible in relation to each and every other sound in a mix.


Sounds good. But:

How do you know that a sound needs or doesn't need mixing (eq, comp etc.) in the mixing phase? And how long did you try until you found this "lesson" to be so valid for you? :?: :?: :?:


3-4 years

In reality you'll almost always need to tweak a sound a little bit, but the less you need to do in the first place the better the mix will be overall.

You wouldn't eat bacon with cornflakes.........would you? :hihi:
KVRist
 
256 posts since 14 Nov, 2009, from Chicago

Postby randy4me; Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:08 pm

tehlord wrote:
enroe wrote:
tehlord wrote:Use sounds that require as little mixing as possible in relation to each and every other sound in a mix.


Sounds good. But:

How do you know that a sound needs or doesn't need mixing (eq, comp etc.) in the mixing phase? And how long did you try until you found this "lesson" to be so valid for you? :?: :?: :?:


3-4 years

In reality you'll almost always need to tweak a sound a little bit, but the less you need to do in the first place the better the mix will be overall.

You wouldn't eat bacon with cornflakes.........would you? :hihi:


Agreed! It has taken me almost 3yrs to realize this as well. If you can make your mix sound good with just panning and volume fader then hopefully it will sound great with some Eq and Comp. It's all about picking the right sounds that are not walking all over each other.
KVRian
 
647 posts since 30 Aug, 2011, from somewhere in universe
 

Postby Loki Fuego; Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:44 am

enroe wrote:
Loki Fuego wrote:.... It's as important as to know how not to move sliders.
The same is true for knobs.


Is this a new philosophic approach of nihilism? What's behind it? :?:

No, it's a new zen concept.
By knowing not how to move sliders, you spare yourself of the risk of moving sliders too much.

Humor aside, it's important to know, when the sound fits perfectly without any additional effects. Too often people apply certain FX just because someone else somewhere else did it, or because everyone else does it.
Wonder whether my advice worth a penny? Check my music at Soundcloud and decide for yourself.
re:vibe and Loki Fuego @ Soundcloud
KVRAF
 
8241 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:19 am

Most important IMHO is to use your ears, as in being able to put your finger on what's wrong with the track. Only then you can make decisions on how it can be fixed (changing patches or arrangement, change levels, tweak EQ/FX)
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
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KVRAF
 
7214 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris
 

Postby Lotuzia; Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:48 am

To be able to distinguish between first plan instruments, second plan, and .... the rest, ie to have a precise understanding of what your composition should sound like, and of what the listener attention shoud be driven to. If you make a song, a ballad, then the voice is very probably your top first plan instrument, if you're making Tarnce, then the BD and bass line are probably your main concern. When making rock, the guitars will probably come right after the vocals, but its very likely that you must already have an idea of the place of the snare in the mix : They share some common freqs btw. Sometimes it will need to be very heavy, while on some other rock styles, it just have to ensure the beat withtout beeing to much noticeable in the mix. IF you're making funky tracks, then the bass is likely to be more important than guitars, if there are any guitars at all of course. A brass section, natureal or synth, can be first pan ( Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer ) or very very far in the mix ( Jamiroquai often )

These are the decisions you must take, without decisions, you cant mix, its as simple as that.

Grouping and bussing will often help a lot

Then make a quick balance of the track, sounding nearly good. It should sound decent at this stage, if not, redo the balance until it sounds decent.

Then just pay attention to details. This is the stage where you can spend some time to presicely EQ the reverb, fine tune your EQ, compressors etc etc.

And dont forget that mixing is an art : There are as many tricks in the history of mixing, than to create synths presets. So practising, reading, experimenting, etc is heavily recommanded.

Just my 0.002 eventually it will help someone .....

LtZ
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Soundbanks for Vsti

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there [Xils-Lab Team]
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KVRAF
 
6090 posts since 4 Oct, 2007, from A shitty little village that I will re-escape soon
    

Postby Dean Aka Nekro; Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:19 am

Should not have to mention using one's ears as if someone is not using thier ear's then chances are they would of never got any sessions to mixdown! I am from the multi-tracking with aload of microphones mostly tracking and mixing modern metal. It takes along time to setup everything and tweak mic placement/gear choice to get everything sounding as subjectively good as possible before even opening, heck even switching on the audio machine/DAW computer, Unless say I want to blast out some reference tracks whilst doing all that. I always get the Drum Tracks down first with scatch Guitar and sometimes Bass tracks also, Vocals (If you could even call them as such sometimes :lol: ) are nearly always done last. After drums comes rhythm guitar parts as they tend to need more space than the bass guitar, then bass guitar, Lead guitar parts. It is not always in that order but i would say 9 out 10 times that is the way it works best. It is great if the band have done a rough demo in thier rehersal room of the tracks they want to do or do not mind me coming down to sit in on a few rehersals/practice sessions so i am able to get a really good feel for thier material...Its most of the time good fun doing that. Susspose that would be what some would call "pre-production" but i do not produce or call myself a producer (hate that term as it is IMHO irrevelent these days, Has been for along time bar the odd few). Preparing For War is a more apt term :hihi: Its a friendly war/battle though i must add

Peace and all the best to all as always

Dean

Edit: Laurent makes some very good points above i must agree, Some things do overlap and are or can be universal but at the same time different genres/styles will call for specific considerations as the main points to get right in order to lay the foundation for the rest of elements of the tracks to work. Amen to that :tu: - Give me an electronic session to mix down and i would no doubt really struggle as it is not what i practice. It would definately be an experience to be dumped way out of my comfort zone though, I just wish that i had more time to put into audio/music than i can do at the moment :( Still it can not be like it is now/last forever. If i am ever spotted saying "I have got far too much time to spend working on audio/music wise" - Please shoot me!!! :D
KVRist
 
131 posts since 17 Nov, 2006, from Moscow

Postby creaze; Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:44 am

Can anybody please explain, what the leading statement means? What is it like, to notice a song in a job?

What answers gives it for your work if you do so? How can you not notice a song? (unless it's way beyond general aesthetic)
experience is what you get for not having got what you wanted
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KVRAF
 
3044 posts since 25 Jun, 2004
 

Postby highkoo; Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:43 am

creaze wrote:Can anybody please explain, what the leading statement means? What is it like, to notice a song in a job?

What answers gives it for your work if you do so? How can you not notice a song? (unless it's way beyond general aesthetic)


I take it as being sure to notice the intent of the creator of the song. Mixing for work can leave you with jobs that you may have little "real" connection with. In these cases especially it is important to try and understand what the creators' big goal was. Its easy for the brain to say "This is a rock song. Mix it like rock.", or "This is a techno song. Mix like techno.", etc.
Rarely does an artist create songs with such generic ideas in mind, so paying attention to subtleties can tell you what they were going for when they recorded.
And in a more nuts n bolts sense, I think it means that it is extremely important to hear the material as a song early on, and not just as a collection of waves to be fixed. You have to experience it as a whole and not just go in and treat the parts.
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