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What Are The Absolute Essentials?

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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8765 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:24 pm Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Downloaded and installed bx_solo. Love it. Tested it on one of my recent tracks and discovered the mono was crystal clear. Granted, it was a simple tune (about 6 tracks total) but still, I impressed myself. My mixing is at least heading in the right direction.

Okay, more work to do.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
9633 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:00 pm Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Googly Smythe wrote:
wagtunes wrote:
bmrzycki wrote:
wagtunes wrote:Okay, I watched the video and boy did this open up another can of worms. But here's my question. Will I have these stereo to mono problems even if everything I do is completely ITB? In other words, no recorded drums, guitars, vocals or anything. Just all VSTi instruments.

Sadly, yes you do need to still evaluate mono. Relative volume and tonal shaping of parts still need to sit well relative to each other, regardless of their source. A recorded bass guitar vs a Diva VST bass still have the same problem with frequency content and relative volume to, say, your bass drum and snare hits.

Whatever DAW you use, it should have an included way to flip between mono and stereo. A more traditional DAW, like Reaper, has a mono sum button on the master channel. You shouldn't need to buy anything to do this with what you have already.

There will be problems that are confounding in Stereo that become obvious when in mono. I find issues related to frequency overlap much easier to fix in mono than in stereo. One troubling area that I still struggle with: stereo pads "behind" stereo leads. All sorts of phasing and frequency overlap can occur here. Doubly so from "big" instruments like Omnisphere. Mono helps me EQ them or drop the volume during melody line crescendos, for example.


Okay, I use Cubase 7 and I looked but I can't find any way of summing to mono. How is this even possible with such a popular DAW? Unbelievable.

You need to activate the Control Room. It has a simple stereo/mono button. Bottom right in the image. (Only in the Pro edition.)
Image



Yeah I thought that there was one in the control room. I disabled it because of some instabilities in an early version of 9 where things would just stop working. In any case, my own solution for a quick mono button is external and, despite the cost, I much prefer it this way.

Image
imrae
KVRist
 
94 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Postby imrae; Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:07 pm Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Modern ITB mix essentials:
Mid-side matrix
Stereo EQ w/ filters
Trim/gain/pan
Compression w/ sidechain input
Gate
Saturation
Clipper if you must
Decent metering: Peak, VU, LUFS, Spectrum, stereo correlation
Delay with modulation
Reverb
Pitch - vocal correction for commercial music, smaller static shifts are useful for instruments and widening.

Most other things can be built from these. In practice it's easier to have EQ and Comp with built-in mid/side. Dynamic EQ can rescue a track, but one band is usually enough (e.g. C1, VUMT Deluxe).

Mastering:
Gentle stereo EQ
Clean compressor (mid-side option)
Limiter
Clipper if you must
Dither
MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
 
2097 posts since 26 Nov, 2015, from Way Downunder

Postby MogwaiBoy; Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:21 pm Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

If I could go back in time I would trust my instincts and not my impulses - instead of a dozen average plugins, get one seriously good one... ie Fabfilter, DMG, Acustica Aqua, Plugin Alliance etc
Harry_HH
KVRAF
 
1931 posts since 4 Aug, 2006, from Helsinki

Postby Harry_HH; Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:18 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

MogwaiBoy wrote:If I could go back in time I would trust my instincts and not my impulses - instead of a dozen average plugins, get one seriously good one... ie Fabfilter, DMG, Acustica Aqua, Plugin Alliance etc


This kind of thinking is common. Most of us regret wasted money and time. I wouldn't dare even count how much...
However, if you look back, its not only some plugin investments which matter. Its your skills, your focus, your network, your awareness, practicies.
What is 'wasted'?
Every craft is a process, without the end or 'ready' -point. You need to make YOUR misstakes (as sad it is). BTW, I think the Kvr Forum is a great help to attenuate that fact.
To the OP question, its essential to know about the room treatment and why, the top speakers, calibration, phasing issues and whatever concerns the craft. Get all the information you can. But I really don't believe anything else than time spend with your tools (whatever those are), the number of cases, songs, arrangements, iterations you do.
And finally - the song is 40 %, the performance is 40 %, the arrangement is 15 %, the production is 5 %, which make a piece.
acousticglue
KVRist
 
252 posts since 27 May, 2008

Postby acousticglue; Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:46 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

you must have good ears and train one self at listening to similar materials and depicting how these sounds relate in mixes you like. Breaking guidelines happens all the time. A buddy of mine just had this conversation over UAD plugins. No matter the brand if it sounds not so good to you or others likely has issues. Beginning with all sounds based off beginning idea of instruments in song is best way to begin. Shape sounds around these. Use the balloon mixing theory that balloons are in a room and some closer to you others further away and from floor to ceiling where sounds live. Bad mixes like quoted can sometimes be made up for quality of song or playing. Timing and where drum hits fall will have plenty to do with overall EQ because hits have to very close in all respects. I tune my speakers close to where other songs sound close on everything on outputs. That way you get idea of how will sound then take mix to car.
Etienne1973
KVRist
 
104 posts since 7 Feb, 2013, from Switzerland

Postby Etienne1973; Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:32 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

wagtunes wrote:I guess we can pretty much put this one to bed now. If I have what I need, no point in dragging this out.

That was a very wise decision imho. :wink:

Information overload leads to nothing in my experience. Be a productive mixing engineer. Get to work and practice. You can always post your results and get help here in a certain mix situation.
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wagtunes
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8765 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:43 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Etienne1973 wrote:
wagtunes wrote:I guess we can pretty much put this one to bed now. If I have what I need, no point in dragging this out.

That was a very wise decision imho. :wink:

Information overload leads to nothing in my experience. Be a productive mixing engineer. Get to work and practice. You can always post your results and get help here in a certain mix situation.


Post my results here? LMFAO.

Thanks. I'd rather throw myself in front of a runaway train with 10,000 tarantulas crawling up my back.
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Bodhisan
KVRist
 
282 posts since 7 Aug, 2015, from Fool's Gold

Postby Bodhisan; Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:58 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

wagtunes wrote:
Post my results here? LMFAO.



That's probably true - akin to asking 50 doctors how to proceed after a diagnosis.

As for room treatment and calibration of speakers, maybe I'm way off, but I feel trusting the ears is about as important as anything. If you've already adjusted your ears to listening to commercially-produced music on your system, using that as a reference -- for me, seems to work just fine. Too, I use how my music compares to commercial music on my car system. However, I tend to like my own music a little more bassy and full, and occasionally I will run across commercial music that mixes like I do, so there is a bit of validation there...but I record music purely for myself, not to be sent off...so mixing is easy for me - I just suit myself. Edited to say: But I do strive to sound like commercially-released music as reasonably close as possible.
Last edited by Bodhisan on Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reefius
KVRist
 
285 posts since 7 Dec, 2013, from Belgium

Postby Reefius; Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:21 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

You can spend $10k on plugins or even a new DAW, but if you don't know how to use them properly you will keep ending up with crappy mixes. You already told us that you don't know how to use automation, sidechaining, sends/returns or mid/side processing. These things are essential for 'radio-ready' mixes....

You already have all the tools you need, you just need to learn how to get the most out of them. The best way to learn all these things is by watching Youtube video's and then trying out the stuff you learned by yourself. Trial and error. Just don't expect to create perfect mixes overnight.

All it takes is time and effort, no need to spend any money. But if you absolutely want to spend money I would recommend some learning site like Groove3, especially the tutorials about mixing (and probably also about Cubase as this is your main DAW).
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Burillo
KVRAF
 
2789 posts since 15 Nov, 2006, from Hell

Postby Burillo; Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:25 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

i'm not sure i understand the question. for example, let's take an EQ.

an EQ is an EQ. there's nothing specific about any particular EQ that makes it suitable for a particular genre of music, or "pop" in general. that's like asking what kind of brand of a car do i need to drive my band around - well, you need a van, but which specific van - does it really matter, as long as it does the job? these days you can pretty much do anything regarding mixing with DAW's stock plugins. sure, you may be able to do a "creamy warm sparkling yada yada" high end boost with a specific emulation of a specific EQ, but really, no one outside of a few cork sniffers is going to notice that your high end boost doesn't sound quite up to their standards. the only real reason to prefer one EQ over the other is, in most cases, workflow and EQ designers' taste, not sound. thus, whatever you have is probably good enough to do the job, if you know how to use it.

so "which brands of which FX" is kind of a bad question to ask. the question you actually need to ask is, is there anything missing from your arsenal, anything that you wish you were able to do but can't because you don't have the necessary tools. i bet it doesn't, otherwise you would've bought the damn thing already. to give you an example, using multiple mics in Amplitube often sounds like crap unless they're at the same (emulated) distance from the speaker, because they're not phase-aligned. can it not sound like crap? sure. MAutoAlign can fix this stuff. so can Waves InPhase. so can any other phase-alignment or microscopic delay tool. does it really matter if it's MAutoAlign you're using, or Waves InPhase, as long as it actually does the job? it's the job that matters.

so as i said, you probably have everything you need already. go ahead, make some music.
From Russia with love
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8765 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:48 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Burillo wrote:i'm not sure i understand the question. for example, let's take an EQ.

an EQ is an EQ. there's nothing specific about any particular EQ that makes it suitable for a particular genre of music, or "pop" in general. that's like asking what kind of brand of a car do i need to drive my band around - well, you need a van, but which specific van - does it really matter, as long as it does the job? these days you can pretty much do anything regarding mixing with DAW's stock plugins. sure, you may be able to do a "creamy warm sparkling yada yada" high end boost with a specific emulation of a specific EQ, but really, no one outside of a few cork sniffers is going to notice that your high end boost doesn't sound quite up to their standards. the only real reason to prefer one EQ over the other is, in most cases, workflow and EQ designers' taste, not sound. thus, whatever you have is probably good enough to do the job, if you know how to use it.

so "which brands of which FX" is kind of a bad question to ask. the question you actually need to ask is, is there anything missing from your arsenal, anything that you wish you were able to do but can't because you don't have the necessary tools. i bet it doesn't, otherwise you would've bought the damn thing already. to give you an example, using multiple mics in Amplitube often sounds like crap unless they're at the same (emulated) distance from the speaker, because they're not phase-aligned. can it not sound like crap? sure. MAutoAlign can fix this stuff. so can Waves InPhase. so can any other phase-alignment or microscopic delay tool. does it really matter if it's MAutoAlign you're using, or Waves InPhase, as long as it actually does the job? it's the job that matters.

so as i said, you probably have everything you need already. go ahead, make some music.


Well, like you said up top, you probably didn't understand the question. Fortunately, you seemed to have gotten it in the second paragraph. What am I missing? What common tasks do I need to perform that I currently don't have the tools for. That's all I'm trying to find out.
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Burillo
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2789 posts since 15 Nov, 2006, from Hell

Postby Burillo; Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:05 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

i would approach this the other way around. if there's a common task that you find yourself doing, that's when you look for a plugin. in my opinion, it's better to suit tools to your workflow, rather than imagining some kind of a spherical workflow in a vacuum that you haven't experienced yet, and trying to fit your toolbox to reflect said workflow you haven't experienced yet.
From Russia with love
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
9633 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:12 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

Burillo wrote:i would approach this the other way around. if there's a common task that you find yourself doing, that's when you look for a plugin. in my opinion, it's better to suit tools to your workflow, rather than imagining some kind of a spherical workflow in a vacuum that you haven't experienced yet, and trying to fit your toolbox to reflect said workflow you haven't experienced yet.


I agree. In fact, you've already discovered that you needed a monoizer plugin and so you went out and picked one up, albeit, a free one, but I even use this attitude for free stuff to avoid spending too much time downloading stuff that I don't need.

Related, I have found that by buying bundles when they are on a great sale that I have managed to fill in a lot of gaps. I make sure that the bundle has enough to justify the price "to me", and if so, I pick it up. What I've found is that over time I realize that when I need something different, I often have it.

So, at this point, I suggest that you get going on some mixing and updating your workflow and habits and then wait for the Black Friday sales.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8765 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:15 am Re: What Are The Absolute Essentials?

ghettosynth wrote:
Burillo wrote:i would approach this the other way around. if there's a common task that you find yourself doing, that's when you look for a plugin. in my opinion, it's better to suit tools to your workflow, rather than imagining some kind of a spherical workflow in a vacuum that you haven't experienced yet, and trying to fit your toolbox to reflect said workflow you haven't experienced yet.


I agree. In fact, you've already discovered that you needed a monoizer plugin and so you went out and picked one up, albeit, a free one, but I even use this attitude for free stuff to avoid spending too much time downloading stuff that I don't need.

Related, I have found that by buying bundles when they are on a great sale that I have managed to fill in a lot of gaps. I make sure that the bundle has enough to justify the price "to me", and if so, I pick it up. What I've found is that over time I realize that when I need something different, I often have it.

So, at this point, I suggest that you get going on some mixing and updating your workflow and habits and then wait for the Black Friday sales.


Sounds like a plan.
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