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let's play a little game!


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Those of you with a little time on their hands, let's play a "game" that'll help us all get better at mixing.

So I recorded today a song called "Waiting" originally by Hoobastank (those not familiar with it, this is you can listen here), with live drums (played by moi) and mic'd guitar amp. I thought it'd be fun to share the individual tracks with everyone here so we can each have a go at mixing them and help eachother get the best sound possible.

here's the link to the tracks:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ghx3vpxsky9mclt

they are all mono CBR 320kbps mp3s, except for the Overheads and BGV's which are stereo. Since there're a lot of them, I decided to just encode them into high quality mp3s.

To those curious about the recording methods:

The drums were recorded with 4 mics, which is all my Fast Track Ultra can handle, pictured below. the Overheads are M-Audio Pulsar II's in ORTF configuration, the bass drum mic is a CAD KBM412 placed inside it angled toward the edge of the drum, and the snare drum mic is an SM57. Obviously, because the drums were played by me and I suck, some tempo correction was needed, I used SONAR's AudioSnap for that. I also just played along with the original song, so syncing it to grid was impossible. Other than that, like all other tracks no other processing was applied.

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The guitars were mic'd like pictured, the SM57 1" from the grille off-axis and a AKG C214 about 1' away aimed at the cab logo. In addition to that, the DI signal is included for each of the guitars. No fine tuning was made to the guitars' tone, this was really just for fun.

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Bass was recorded direct and vocals were recorded with the AKG and the SM57 on some of the parts.

and here's my mix:

http://tindeck.com/listen/znps

it's using Waves Gold and CLA Artist bundles, I was particularly amazed with the CLA plugs, especially the Bass one, I got the sound I wanted just by inserting it, no knobs moved. Most of them require aditional processing though.

I als created a fake room mic by cloning the OH tracks, summing them to mono, squashing them and adding some reverb

EDIT: a different version, this time, using Slate Trigger demo on the kick and snare tracks.

http://tindeck.com/listen/xedu

Any questions about my mix or the recording methods, just ask :)

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Yeah, the Overhead Mic is pretty fuxxed. You printed all the vox on the overheads, so... here's a mix, can't do anything fun with the vox because otherwise I'll totally lose my cymbals, can't phase the vox out because you printed all over the stereo spectrum and all the harmonies so I can't just duck out a frequency.

Upload a fixed OH recording and I'll revisit this, otherwise, here you go:

http://www.dannthr.com/music/dannthr_mix_for_fun.mp3

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Yeah, the Overhead Mic is pretty fuxxed. You printed all the vox on the overheads, so... here's a mix, can't do anything fun with the vox because otherwise I'll totally lose my cymbals, can't phase the vox out because you printed all over the stereo spectrum and all the harmonies so I can't just duck out a frequency.

Upload a fixed OH recording and I'll revisit this, otherwise, here you go:

http://www.dannthr.com/music/dannthr_mix_for_fun.mp3

I still like your OH sound better than mine, what did you do?

on another note, I kept thinking mine was way harsh, so I treated the master some.:

http://tindeck.com/listen/lznq

is it any better?

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My quick mix.

Used Slate on the kick and snare, put a high pass on the overhead, comp'd the hell out of the vocals and EQ'd pretty aggressively. Re-amped the DI guitar tracks and compressed and EQ'd the bass track. Also, didn't use the double vocal. I just feel like it didn't really fit the track too well.

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My quick mix.

Used Slate on the kick and snare, put a high pass on the overhead, comp'd the hell out of the vocals and EQ'd pretty aggressively. Re-amped the DI guitar tracks and compressed and EQ'd the bass track. Also, didn't use the double vocal. I just feel like it didn't really fit the track too well.

wish I had slate... sounds fantastic! :nicework:

here's my quick pass, using all provided samples, including drums.

http://tindeck.com/listen/viny

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Parallel Compression, my friend, now that you separated the vox from the overheads, I could go all out:

Mix For Fun 2

I just go a little guitar crazy 'cause I like the Foo Fighters and that kind of music...

The Overheads are a bit crunchy during the chorus, but, meh, that's about as much as I feel like doing.

I hate parallel compression in ableton, i keep forgeting what tracks are clean and compressed :P unless i port to cubase.

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My quick mix.

Used Slate on the kick and snare, put a high pass on the overhead, comp'd the hell out of the vocals and EQ'd pretty aggressively. Re-amped the DI guitar tracks and compressed and EQ'd the bass track. Also, didn't use the double vocal. I just feel like it didn't really fit the track too well.

Wow, great drum sounds! what version of Slate do you have? also, how does the Leakage Suppression work?

great guitar sounds too, what are you using to reamp them?

I think I like your mix best, so far.

wish I had slate... sounds fantastic! :nicework:

here's my quick pass, using all provided samples, including drums.

http://tindeck.com/listen/viny

I dig the snare sound, provided it's the "real one". how did you treat it?

I couldn't get it to sound good at all, using the real one.

did you reamp the guitars?

You have a good voice!

Thanks :)

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Wow, great drum sounds! what version of Slate do you have? also, how does the Leakage Suppression work?

great guitar sounds too, what are you using to reamp them?

I think I like your mix best, so far.

I'm using the older Volumes 1 and 2 Slate samples, back when they were in Kontakt and GOG formats. For the crunch guitars I just used a quick Overloud TH2 patch using the Rectifier model, channel 3 in Vintage mode with low drive into a couple of 4x12 cab impulses. For the driven guitars, same thing only channel 2 in Modern mode.

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I dig the snare sound, provided it's the "real one". how did you treat it?

I couldn't get it to sound good at all, using the real one.

did you reamp the guitars?

Nothing was reamped or redone, I tried to do my best with the actual recordings. No cheating! :<

The drums are gated and treated with a transient designer separately then compressed and run together with a little eq in their own buss.

Guitars were layered together using more of the 57 than the AKG then compressed and enhanced with a little more distortion to get some of that "garage grit" I like in these type of things.

The BGV are stereo enhanced with a quick delay... all of the vocals are running pretty wet through a plate verb.

also, going back and listening... whoops those guitars are freaking loud. might go fix that at some point

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I've been learning a lot from all this, hope everyone is as well. If you all have time, it'd be cool if everyone can comment on everyone else's mix. :)

Now for a general question: what's your mixing concept/method/whatever? Do you bring all the faders up and go with it? Do you bring in each instrument at a time? Or something else entirely?

If everyone digs this little experience, I'll make another next month or so.

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I start with the drums. I try to get a nice balance between the kick and snare, then I'll bring in the overhead, hat and toms. Then I'll bring up the rest of the rhythm section and add the drum ambience (room mics). Once I get a good balance there I'll start to bring in the leads (vocals, guitars, whatev) and continue to play with the drum room tracks since they tend to disappear when you keep adding instruments.

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My General Mixy advice:

It's almost entirely pointless to mix anything with the other tracks turned off. Drum reverb is especially hilarious as you get it perfect, turn everything else back on and suddenly they are totally dry again. Your very precise EQ cuts etc. tend to become inaudible in the mix also.

I tend to start with EQ cuts first. I use the narrow band +12dB 'try and offend my ears' method of EQ'ing. You move the band around and listen for nastiness/resonances and cut them accordingly. this also helps you find the stuff you want to boost by a lot more then you might suspect. Doesn't work the other way around.

I will also usually start with drums, then bass, guitar, voice, then other things. Note that every time I add an element I go back over every previously added instrument to get them working together. If there is a voice, that takes priority for every decision you make.

Also as you said, don't always insist on fighting bleed. It can be useful sometimes.

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