New To Mixing/Mastering -- Please help
Posted on Oct 02, 2007 10:29 pm
Member Since: May 06, 2007
I got the tracking thing pretty much nailed down. To get the best advice from everyone, I'll give a quick run down of my set up so I can get the best of my situation taken care of.
I am running a Windows XP based computer. I am getting ready to upgrade to a dual-core processor with over 3 gigs of ram. This is the machine I will be mixing on.
I have the Presonus 1394 audio interface (firewire based) for recording vocals. I record vocals in a pretty dead souning closet with the MXL V63M Studio Condenser Microphone. I have a pop screen and all in front of it.
For bass/guitar tracks, I am using the Line6 Toneport GX unit with the Gearbox software. I use the software to give my guitar players a choice of sounds they are hear for monitoring while they record, but the actual tracks are being recorded clean so I can use the gearbox plugins for all the ajustments in the pre-mixing process.
For drums, I am currently using Toontracks EZdrummer software. I want to upgrade to an easier piece of software that will allow me to record drums without using much micing (I hear a lot that drumagog is the way to go), but for now I am using EZdrummer.
I have a decent pair of Samson 40's for studio monitors (recemmended by one of the poeple here on the site.)
Now, for mixing and mastering, I have the Waves diamond bundle. Now here is my issue...
I know squat about EQing, mixing/ mastering. All I know is that EQ ajusts frequenceies, and the Waves L@ is a hellofa mastering plugin. I am not sure what frequencies each instrument should be at and what not.
I own the book Home Recording For Dummies 2nd Editon, but I was wondering if anyone had any websites I could goto for the Waves plugins or advice for mixing.
I have plenty more tracking to do, but I wanted to try and get a little jump start on this... Thanks in advanced!
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Oct 03, 2007 08:19 am Here's a guide page, that has mastering on it, from iZotope Ozone.
Since: Apr 08, 2004
I've not used the software, nor read the guide (i will shortly) but have heard it's great for concepts and ideas.
Practice is my best advice. Keep mixing different things, and compare the result against similar finished works. It really helps you go in a better direction.
Oct 03, 2007 08:22 am also, har-bal has a mastering tutorial, and a freq chart (though there's tons of those on the net).
Since: Apr 08, 2004
Oct 03, 2007 04:09 pm My first thoughts about mastering and especially EQ was "well, it just takes an ear for it, make it all fit". After reading everyone's responses however, now I'm going to read all of the stuff suggested. :)
Since: Sep 30, 2007
Oct 03, 2007 04:16 pm I'd guess it takes a lot of that too (the good ear, and making it fit).
Since: Apr 08, 2004
One thing I've read from George Massenberg, is to really improve your mixing / mastering, learn how to listen critically. This will be the largest improvement. Really listen to what's going on in a piece, and figure out why they're doing it. Then apply what you've learned to your own projects.
Something like that, anyway, I paraphrase, of course.
Oct 03, 2007 08:11 pm Thanks for all the help guys.
My last band has been in and out of 4 to 5 studios. I know a lot of the recording terms, and I know when something sounds good, but I am just not sure how to get there yet. And the only plugins I know about are reverb and the L2 from waves.
Oct 04, 2007 10:46 pm
Since: Jul 04, 2002
Take your time, mix the same song as many times as it takes and everytime compare it to a song that you considered in the same vein and "good sounding", thats really the only way. Ive mixed some of my songs for about a year now and everytime i still room for improvement, as well as noticing them getting better, you really have to practice your ears.
In terms of plugins, dont get too wrapped up with the whole "waves" is the best or commercials and things, alot of other stuff is great and might be jsut wat u need, after a while ull have a little arsenal of plugins that ull know the strenghts and weaknesses of; a whole bunch of eqs that have different characteristics (coz their not all the same) will be important for u to get what u want.
Oct 05, 2007 12:10 am hey i have recently had a computer nightmare..... it crashed so i had it rebuilt but when i put adobe audition back on it i cant record without having a two second delay between me strumming the guitar/speaking and it coming out ovewr the speakers thus messing me up horribly..... any ideas? please help
Oct 05, 2007 02:52 am
Since: Jul 04, 2002
Sounds like u need to reinstall your soundcard drivers, or recalibrate them. Im guessing if u didnt have the problem before means u probably have an OK soundcard, so yeah try reinstalling ur drivers, or updating.
Oct 05, 2007 08:11 am Quote:
Since: Apr 08, 2004
hey i have recently had a computer nightmare
I'm not a mod, but this belongs in it's own thread.
Please start your own thread, and I'm sure people will kick in some ideas.
Oct 05, 2007 10:03 am Yeah I am totaly new to this home recordsing thing. I have the tracking all well, because I have done that part with my old band many times before. Its behind the computers and mixers I am new at.
I have a collection of plugins, and Waves is just one set of them. I know there are other good ones out there, and I plan on getting as many as possible.
One thing I am kinda upside down about, is EQ. When they say "use this type of EQ and drop this much htz" I am at a loss as to how exctly to do that. I have not actuly tried it yet, I am a little hesitant (I tend to get frusterated pretty easy). I am probably over thinking the process and making to much of it, but I am not sure.
I'll post som examples of what I'll need help with when I get to that time.
In the actual mixing process, is it better to add you effects before, after, or during the process? I am assuming during would be best.
As far as effects chains goes, lets say I am working on a vocal track. What is the best chain for it? Do I add compression first and then verb/delays. Where do EQs come in? I am not sure what order the effects should go into while I am mixing...
Oct 05, 2007 10:39 am EQ is one of those things you develop an ear for. After a while, you'll be able to identify frequencies by ear within a few percent and pick them out of the mix.
If your recording application has a frequency analyzer, play with it some. Look at some waveforms in the analyzer while listening to them. this can help you get a visual representation of the sounds you hear, and where they lie in the spectrum.
Always record your basic tracks as cleanly as possible, then add effects during mixdown. If you record a track with an effect, you're stuck with it.
The order of compression and EQ can be a matter of taste and experimentation, but I recommend putting the reverb on last. To me, compression and EQ on a reverb sounds - usually - like crap.
Oct 05, 2007 01:05 pm Thanks Herb U. I know this is a long hull f0or training my ears. My issue is, I am not sure how to ACTUALY AJUST EQ settings. If I open the plugin I am using, I wouldn't know how exactly to knock out or add the frequancies the right way.
As far as the effects go, I always record 100% totaly clean. No verbs, delays, nothing. Only effects that are on are the ones in the Headphones. I can't record my vocals without verb. Its just a personal prefference. But the actual recorded track si 100% clean.
I just wasn't sure if there was a better way to add the effects. Like if Compressions should go before or after the EQs, verb ect or if it doesn't matter what order the effects are in.
Right now my issue is really learning how to ajust an EQ. Not just the sounds, but actualy using the settings in a plugin. If it says knock out 5 hrtz, I am not sure on the EQ graph where to even start...
Oct 05, 2007 01:46 pm I usually put my compressor first. Once it's in nice and working, then I leave it alone (usually).
Since: Apr 08, 2004
I then add whatever oddball effects I may use, and then put the EQ at the end of the chain for a channel. Then I can make everything behave, and come out nice sounding, by using the EQ at the end. It can tame any of the other effect's anomolies.
On a few of the EQs I use, (reaper includes), there's frequency numbers at the bottom, so you know what area you're playing with. The ReaEQ uses points, that you can just place on the screen, at a frequency (say, 1.5k) and then pull up or down, to boost or cut the freq at that point. You can also increase or decrease the width of the adjustment, by changing the 'Q' parameter.
Lately, I've gotten used to a graphical 14 band EQ, as it takes some of the thinking out of guessing what freq to change. I just grab a slider and move it. If it sounds better, I leave it (basically) where it is.
I think dB made a article on this, explaining the differences, and how they work.
Here's another (by George):
And another, though it's similar to the first one:
oop, here's another, a EQ chart, like #2 above.
Oct 05, 2007 08:04 pm Dang dude. Thanks a lot. This will help I hope...
I just got done doing a session with my step dad (who I am recording a current project with). I opened up an EQ just to tamper with it, and I think it will be a little easier to work on now that I have attempted to use it. All these plugins and what not I have never used, its a lot of work to learn everything. Even if its as I go along... But thanks for all the tips. I am sure I'll be back with more questions! Hahaha.
For guitar tracks, like I said above, I am using the Line 6 gearbox plugins. Now, within those plugins, there is a built in amp/cab compressor. If I use the "stomp box" compressor that Gearbox has, do I need to add any other compressor plugin to it? Or will that one be good enough?
One more thing for this current post... are there any rules against posting links of samples that I record so I can get some feedback on the stuff I have accomplished tus far? I'd like to hear some opinions on my progress. Of course, nothing I have done right now is really mixed or EQed/Mastered, but if I can post a baseline ideas of what I have, maybe some of you guys who are more expirienced can tell me if the recording is clean enough and if I can have a really kick a$$ master if I do it right...
Oct 05, 2007 10:43 pm I'm gonna guess that once you get your feet wet with one or two EQs, you'll see they're pretty basic, and easy to work with.
Since: Apr 08, 2004
Easy to work with, but sometimes a real pain to get everything set to sound great =).
Practice is key, keep playing and trying things, you'll get the hang of it in no time.
There's no problem posting up parts of things you're working on. It may not always get a ton of reviews, but I try to get to some when I can, and others on here will usually throw a listen your way.
One thing that's real important, is to get the source to sound as good as possible before you record anything. Spending 1 hour to make a guitar sound better is worth 10 hours in mixing trying to make it sound great. I hope that made sense. Spend the time preparing to record, and you'll have much better tracks to work with later, needing less EQ, less fixes, etc.
Oct 06, 2007 01:55 am The thing is, with Gearbox plugins, I don't really have to work on guitar or bass tracks much. All of it can be done during after I record them.
Vocals are the only thing I am recording with Mics right now. Everything else is direct with plugins or midi files, so this recording is somewhat easy.
Thanks for all the rpelies. Once I get into the actual mixing stages (won't be for a couple weeks probably), then I'll get more questions rounded up. lol
Here is another question to toss your way. Some of the tracks I am using for this recording are Karaokee tracks with nothing but one music track and 1 to 3 vocal tracks. What is your suggestions on those as far as mixing them go? Certain songs we want on the disc we can't really play that weel, so I am using the karokee music tracks instead.
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