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Mixing and Mastering tips?

Clarence Simpson
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permalink   Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:08 AM
Hey all, I think my greatest weakness in producing music has always been the mixing and mastering stage. I have heard some top-notch stuff on ccM where the mix sounds very professional. When I listen to my mixes I know they don’t sound professional but I can never quite put my finger on why.

So, since there are some people here with professional-level mixing/mastering skills I was hoping somebody could give me some general tips or links to useful tutorials or really anything that might help me get better at it.

I know a few tricks, but I’m sure there’s far more that I don’t know. For example I know about making sure that each instrument has it’s own place in the stereo mix by setting each one to a different pan and that’s helped a lot… but I always feel like I’m blindly playing guessing games when I’m applying compression and especially when I’m EQ’ing.
Admiral Bob
admin
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permalink   Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:17 AM
I devour this site: http://www.tweakheadz.com/

In particular some of the guys in the forum, like Massive Mastering and Blue Bear Sound… they really, really know their stuff. These are some of the best mastering engineers that there are out there, and that they’re sharing their tricks of the trade is pretty generous.
 
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permalink   Clarence Simpson Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 1:15 PM
ah very nice! Now devouring…
vo1k1
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permalink   Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 6:40 PM
Agreed on http://www.tweakheadz.com/

And if you sift, there are true gems at http://www.gearslutz.com/

Just being in a control room during a great session or mix is also something, even if just for the sense of purpose and energy, while 90% of the technical flies over.

I also like “Behind the Glass, Volume II: Top Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits”; “Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools”; “The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, Second Edition”; “Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science (Book)”.

And, books about film, especially, “Sculpting in Time: Tarkovsky The Great Russian Filmaker Discusses His Art”!

And, amazing, the best you can buy, headphones, for listening to the music that moves you.
Abstract Audio
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permalink   Mon, Nov 8, 2010 @ 2:10 AM
Try the sound on sound website. The mix rescue is where I learned a lot about mixing and mastering and fixing mistakes
Darkroom
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permalink   Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 10:23 AM
Quote: Clarence SimpsonHey all, I think my greatest weakness in producing music has always been the mixing and mastering stage. I have heard some top-notch stuff on ccM where the mix sounds very professional. When I listen to my mixes I know they don’t sound professional but I can never quite put my finger on why.

So, since there are some people here with professional-level mixing/mastering skills I was hoping somebody could give me some general tips or links to useful tutorials or really anything that might help me get better at it.

I know a few tricks, but I’m sure there’s far more that I don’t know. For example I know about making sure that each instrument has it’s own place in the stereo mix by setting each one to a different pan and that’s helped a lot… but I always feel like I’m blindly playing guessing games when I’m applying compression and especially when I’m EQ’ing.


The stated sites are all good ones. I think that even more important than panning is separation in the frequency spectrum. The tutorials on these sites will definitely steer you in the direction you are looking to go.
Sturzstrom
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permalink   Mon, Dec 6, 2010 @ 2:49 PM
Quote: Clarence SimpsonHey all, I think my greatest weakness in producing music has always been the mixing and mastering stage. I have heard some top-notch stuff on ccM where the mix sounds very professional. When I listen to my mixes I know they don’t sound professional but I can never quite put my finger on why.

So, since there are some people here with professional-level mixing/mastering skills I was hoping somebody could give me some general tips or links to useful tutorials or really anything that might help me get better at it.

I know a few tricks, but I’m sure there’s far more that I don’t know. For example I know about making sure that each instrument has it’s own place in the stereo mix by setting each one to a different pan and that’s helped a lot… but I always feel like I’m blindly playing guessing games when I’m applying compression and especially when I’m EQ’ing.


I’d recommend Izotope tools. especially useful for spacing things out a little. Manually you can do this by pushing tracks a few ms in each direction. Tweakheadz site is great. The biggest problem for me is doing a great mix then listening to it in Mono ( your TV is a good source for this) and finding out the dynamics are horrible. I’d love to find a good way to strike a balance. Many people are getting caught up into surround mixing already when the truth of the matter is that common ways of listening have actually taken a step back due to people listening on crappy Laptop speakers or crappy PC speakers. One trick you probably know is to EQ your bass above or below the Kick . If you solo it it wont sound great but will sound a lot better in the mix. I use ableton, its probably common amongst most DAW’s but you can sidechain compression so that it ducks when the other track is peaking. Great for Hi-hats and Bass. Good luck.
Platinum Butterfly
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permalink   Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 6:30 AM
mastering is all about eq-ing and some compression and limiting.
Best time to do so is in the morning when your ears are most clear of daily noises and to create a mixdown with only EQing. The level shouldn’t be set to max and also not yet a compressor or limiter on the master. Then mixdown the whole bunch.
When you have done that load the waveform in your DAW and put a multiband dynamics on the master with behind it a limiter to make sure levels won’t exeed max.

Some fine tutorials are to be found on youtube as well for the EQing as for the multiband dynamics. Multiband can just give that finishing touch you hear in professional music so i would recommend it to you. But just use it at the end of your project when eq-ing is done.

That is the way i work, but sure there are other ways i quess.

There are no pre-arranged eq settings for tracks and songs since every track or song is different.

I’m not a pro in my opinion but i hope that i have helped you a bit with this reply.

greets Frank

ps a nice tool to demud the bass is monofilter vst, but you can take out some volume in the 250hz region in all the bassy sounds to do that with an eq. This will make your instruments stand out more.