My mix { techno } is really dull in ableton.

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Butwug
KVRist
253 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Post Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:22 pm

Benedict wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:37 pm
If it sounds good to you as you are mixing but rubbish elsewhere, then your monitoring set-up - or more likely your understanding of it is the most immediate problem.

It is easy to work with monitoring in the "studio" that sounds blammin' but puts you in the wrong place for making mixes that translate outside that room. You need to Reference your studio. This is usually done by listening to quality material so you can get a sense of how this sounds. I use Alan Parsons, "Eye In the Sky" album, Pink Floyd "Delicate Sound of Thunder" or "Division Bell" and then Cold Chisel "Just How Many Times". The first two are great recordings of great material. Eye will really show if a speaker is "middy" and once you get to "Old And Wise" if the orchestra doesn't wake you up, something is off. Floyd are newer mixes with more detail seeing they were DDD. The Chisel track is a poor recording of a lovely performance. If I can feel the performance and particularly hear the roughness yet still the "air" around the performance, then I am happy I can work there.

Also, check your assumptions about how your music "should" be sounding. It is very easy to sit in the studio feeling enthused, then when you hear it come back, it seems like rubbish. You have to learn to even that out on both sides.

So far, please note I don't talk about any sort of mixing technique (or tricks), let alone new gear. I encourage staying away from them until you have the first parts licked. Once you understand the heart of the matter, then you can start adding solutions to the problems that you hear. As opposed to creating more by doing things wildly in the hope that if you do enough tricks they will make you Pro.

As for what I hear. It seems a decent balance of the main elements. The track develops that Trance-train thing. The overall tone of the mix is nice. It is warm. However, it is also like there is a haze over everything which makes me wonder if you are not over compressing the whole mix. Limiting it to buggery with lots of gain reduction perhaps? If so you are taking away the dynamics that help instruments to speak and mushing them all together with reverbs etc.

I do some mix training vids, if you would like me to cover one of yours, I'm happy to.

:-)
I work purely on headphones do to lack of space and no room treatment. I use a plugin to flatten my headphones and another to simulate speakers. Without these, mixes never translated well. OP might benefit from using something like Reference 4 to flatten studio speakers.

As far as the haze. You noticed that too. I heard it on my phone. Hard to say what it is. Can be, for starters, studio setup as you said. Also, as I mentioned, the synth and mids are too pronounced. Can be sound design issues such as release being a tad bit too long, on lead, or on the hats. I had that problem. My hats would ride out too long and make it sound washed out. Messing with envelopes to kill the tail, makes it sound more defined, and lets the kick poke through. Since it’s washed out, maybe thats why the mid of the kick is so high; so it can stand out, but clashes with other frequencies.

As far as compression. Thats another problem I had. Getting loudness via clipping sounds much better than limiting (within reason.) Theres tons of techno that sounds very good, yet clipped and compressed with low LUFS (loud); around -9LUFS. When compressing, the kick drum should be tickling the compressor. With that song, I'm not sure if the drum is pronounced enough to be the one triggering the compression. But compressing improperly can certainly make it lose energy. But if I had to pick one thing, I would say (besides proper setup for studio) it is the lead. It’s eating up all the space and is the main instrument.

It’s quite fascinating how much can go into a genre that revolves around “BOOM-CH-BOOM-CH.”

One last thing, demo the reference plugin by Mastering the Mix. It’s a hidden gem. Load up a professionally produced song similar to what your doing, and reference it.

lectropunk
KVRian
540 posts since 26 Sep, 2011 from new ross wexford ireland

Re: My mix { techno } is really dull in ableton.

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:13 pm

Thanks for this bud

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Mathematics
KVRian
534 posts since 10 Sep, 2015 from You haven't unlocked this character yet

Re: My mix { techno } is really dull in ableton.

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:42 pm

Definitely bass heavy but you can doctor that in the mix. To my ear, the instruments need to be EQ'd to occupy their own space. Free or stock plugins are all you need for this mix.

You also need side-chain compression on the bass leads to make room for that kick because its competing with it.

You may need to use light harmonic saturation to make the upper parts of the lead stand out because it gets blurred with the competing frequencies. Send the lead to an aux track with a hi-pass filter and a tube saturator after it the mix that in to get the upper band of the lead to stand out. This same technique applies to anything else in any other band.

Also, if a certain instrument is just too difficult to give space to, use panning laws or mid-side processing to push them to one side or out to the sides or down the middle.

Mono your kick if it isn't completely mono already, and mono from 150Hz and below.

Use delays in the highs to fill add sparkle and balance.

This is something you probably already know but just needed a reminder of.
...and the electron responded, "what wall?"

lectropunk
KVRian
540 posts since 26 Sep, 2011 from new ross wexford ireland

Re: My mix { techno } is really dull in ableton.

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:44 pm

Wow that's great thanks il definitely learn from this ..

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