Need advice with mixing

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102 posts since 25 Sep, 2018

Post Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:51 pm

Lets say i'm aiming for a style of mix that has 4 elements melodic wise
background arpeggio

So lets say i work on the primary focal points first,
I get the bassline chords and lead to take up practically all the mix loudness wise, cuz i mix as i go
So my track sounds professional, but the client wants the arpeggio to be in the mix as a stylistic choice and i agree...

But since the mix is full already i cant find room, infact the second i play the arp at a relative volume to where i imagine it would sound good theres much clashing...
But since theres so much clashing i feel i don't know where to start cuz it sounds bad...

What order of operations should i take to fit this arp inside the mix???
Do i solo the most important element and then mix it against that arp and do this 1 by 1?
Or do i group all the other elements and do a group eq just to get it fitting in the mix for starters???
Any advice would be appreciative...
I'm doing this in mono to begin with because i want it to sound good on crappy speakers, so i would appreciate it if you werent just like "try putting something in stereo"

858 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:36 pm

What kind of clashing do you mean? If you don't like the way the note pitches are clashing, then the composition needed work even when they were quiet. If some frequency ranges are building up, carve with EQ.

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11335 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:49 am

Hard to advice without hearing it...
But maybe play with the filter (possibly also ADSR) of the arpeggio to make it stand out and clash less. You need some contrasts, in whatever form.
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25194 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:14 am

Without hearing the track its hard to know, but I would start by eqing the arp until it fits into the mix. Perhaps try a band pass filter first ...

30 posts since 25 Oct, 2018

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:47 am

I'm inclined to believe this is not a mixing issue but rather a composition/arrangement one, as imrae hinted at in his post.

If possible it's probably best to go back and move some notes around so the around doesn't clash with everything else. If that is not an option, you may be able to find a new sound for the arp, whose timbre doesn't get mixed up with the other sounds as much.

If this is just a mixing project for you and you cannot change the arrangement or composition (the only real reason for handling this in the mix instead of closer to the source imo), you will probably want to play around with a dynamic EQ and see if you can push the other sounds out of the arp's way.

For all of the above, keep in mind that if you are dealing with an actual arpeggio that plays your chords one note at a time, whatever other instrument you have playing those chords will be harmonically redundant while the arp's playing, so you should be able to push it way back in the mix or simplify the chords very liberally.

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3131 posts since 5 Mar, 2004 from Gold Coast Australia

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:42 pm

The thing with mixing is that it is always an illusion - just like how a CGI film is built. There are no Orcs, but if everyone does their job well, the viewer buys into Orcs being there.

So what is the Story of this mix and the parts as they change around? This should always define what is "owning" the stage at that point in time.

If your Bass, Chords & Leads are already established and the Arp needs to leap out for a while, then to let the other parts slip back, either with Automation of Level, Tone, Panning or even with Glue compression that makes the new sound Mask the others just enough for it to be dominant (not my go-to but very effective when done right).

What worries me is that you say that sounds "take up practically all the mix loudness wise" which sounds like you are overfilling your bucket before the mix is even finished. A good mix should pretty well always have space for another element (even if you have to do a little dance). If you have space all used then maybe you are running everything too hot from the get-go. A common error.

This video I just posted in another thread. These aren't about tiny techniques so much as the mindset that leads to great mixes (whether you like the song or not). Thre are quite a few of these, incl, one where I even competed the composition.


8 posts since 2 Jul, 2019

Re: Need advice with mixing

Post Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Simplest thing to do would be to bring down the volume of all the elements to where you can bring up the arpeggio to where you can hear it and you're not getting the same issue of no headroom. From their digging into some EQ can help you make space for the other elements by eqing the arpeggio and consequently applying some eq to your other elements to where they fit. Again this is in its simplest form. Also if you know its not a problem with a certain element, for example drums you do not need to bring its volume down, just do so for the elements that your having trouble blending. From there you could benefit even more by playing with left - right placement to get the mix to fit together nicely

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