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naturaljax

Music Producers / Studio Thread

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Monitors: Depending on the music 'flat' monitors aren't necessarily the be all and end all... if you're working with bass heavy music I'd go for something that favours the low end more (such as KRKs). In regard to monitors that don't break the bank I'm more than happy with my Fostex's.

Multibands: Wouldn't touch presets with a bargepole. Every mix has a different frequency profile and as a result a preset setting will react completely differently to different songs/mixes.

The most important thing when using a multiband is to know exactly what you want to do with it before you go slapping settings on left right and centre. Generally the main use of a multiband is to compress 'peaky' areas such as the bass without affecting the other parts of the spectrum. Fox example, if you stick your mix straight into a limiter any extreme peaks in your kick drum/bass will make the whole frequency spectrum pump, wheras a multiband allows you to compress these frequencies without affecting the treble/mid.

The other use is a kind of EQ-alternative that doesn't affect the overall sound of the mix in such a way... by compressing an area less than other areas you effectively make it louder, but not in a manner as crude as adding 5db of gain.

For the most part, just as many producers keep the bass and kick drum in separate areas of the frequency spectrum, I tend to dedicate two bands just to the lower and upper bass (0-80 and 80-150ish) with strong fast-response compression, followed by moderate compression on the low mid and negligible compression from 2-20khz.

Whilst this works for me it could well be completely bloody awful on another mix... like I said, don't touch multibands unless you know what you want to achieve. Getting the hang of reading frequency meters is an important part, as a) it allows you to identify 'problem' frequencies and B) it allows you to try and imitate the frequency profile of other songs.

Final note regading 'problem' frequencies... try to deal with them BEFORE mastering, either through EQing, compressing, side chaining or even just outright lowering the gain on the offending track.

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^ good advice, try to get your mix great in the first place, then theres no need for a multiband.... group the buses with compression, thats what i would do....

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i throw Ozone 4 on my master all the time, as well as BBE's Sonic Maximizer, makes a world of difference, although some of the Ozone presets really make things sound awful

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like i said, multiband presets are great for a quick fix, but if its a quick fix thats needed, somethings wrong....

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yeah most def, i'm not great at mixing and they both seem to give the mix that shine that i can't seem to achieve, when i bypass them it's really noticeable how dull the mix sounds, they seem to help everything POP across the frequency band

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another note would be that most music nowadays is going to mp3s overcompression b4 the converting is bad.....if something of mine is going to mp3 i dont master compress it too much, i just try to get it real loud, and get a eq curve that the conversion is gonna like.... sonic maximiser is a wicked little bit of software,....most times when i use it i dont add anything, i just putting it on every bus i have, its real good for polishing.

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Blosom, you said you'd rather achieve your mix through bussing and compression... But that's basically multiband compression (if you're bussing like-frequency tracks). The end result is really what counts here, I think, and as long as your tune is not compressed to a muddy pulp, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Blosom, you said you'd rather achieve your mix through bussing and compression... But that's basically multiband compression (if you're bussing like-frequency tracks). The end result is really what counts here, I think, and as long as your tune is not compressed to a muddy pulp, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

bussing frequency tracks?....what i would do, well, what i would do if i was making 'dance' tracks would be to buss the drums, bass, lead, vocal, etc, etc,....yes, i spose this is 'multiband compression, but its getting it done b4 the mastering stage, that way the mix is gonna be good, ie, frequency wise, all your seperate bussed tracks will have there own compression, eq, etc, etc.... this is the way i would work for dance tracks only, they need the punch and weight. if i was making something more 'musical i would use a different approach..........beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but to hammer a club sound system it needs proper compression, and limited to LOUD levels without killing the dynamics........one of the reasons i moved 'away' from dance,.....i like music with dynamics now........not saying i dont like to make a 'dance' track every now and then though, cos i do, i just like to go about it the way ive honed all these years,...its not necessarily the best way to do things, everyone does stuff different, its just how id do it...:)

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Thanks for sharing and clarifying Blosom. I'll try that on my next mix.

And speaking of dynamics... What does everyone think about the loudness war?

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depends who you ask i s pose??? everyone in dance loves it!!! everyone outside hates it.......getting tracks real loud is a art in its self......stuff can be got fairly loud inside the box, but to get stuff stupidly loud with dynamics it has to go outside of the box, through some analog, tubes etc........the reason everyone likes 'loud' music is the fact that if you play someone 5 identical tunes with slight variations, and make one of them real loud, the 'someone' is allways gonna pic the loud one.....sad i know.....also in dance tracks have to be loud cos everyone elses are loud too, so if playing in a club, you put on a track youve just made, chances are its never gonna be as loud as 'pro' stuff....

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Blosom, you said you'd rather achieve your mix through bussing and compression... But that's basically multiband compression (if you're bussing like-frequency tracks). The end result is really what counts here, I think, and as long as your tune is not compressed to a muddy pulp, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It's not really multiband compression... it's more similar to sidechain compression. If you bus the drums and bass to the same track you get a similar effect to sidechain compression... basically in lightly shaving the peaks of each track, then any peaks formed by a combination of tracks (bus compression), then any peaks formed by a particular frequency range (multiband) and only then slapping a hard, fast-response limiter across the whole mix you (theoretically) should be able to push the mix a lot harder without it sounding awful.

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i think everyone is getting mixed up cos im scratching my head here???

sidechain compression, when used in dance is used to 'duck' tracks. ie the kik and bass. when the kik kiks, the bass ducks, so the kik has room to breath....this can be done with other tracks too,......the lead ducking a vocal for instance............multiband compression more similar to sidechain compression wtf???.........if antything a multiband compressor can act as a dynamic eq.......i think everyone is getting all muddled up....when i say 'bus' compression, i mean grouping tracks with auxillaries and you have a bus...........i think peoples might be getting muddled because you can have bus compression on the master bus too, but i didnt say the master bus.........:).who wants to be an engineer:(

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i think everyone is getting mixed up cos im scratching my head here???

sidechain compression, when used in dance is used to 'duck' tracks. ie the kik and bass. when the kik kiks, the bass ducks, so the kik has room to breath....this can be done with other tracks too,......the lead ducking a vocal for instance............multiband compression more similar to sidechain compression wtf???.........if antything a multiband compressor can act as a dynamic eq.......i think everyone is getting all muddled up....when i say 'bus' compression, i mean grouping tracks with auxillaries and you have a bus...........i think peoples might be getting muddled because you can have bus compression on the master bus too, but i didnt say the master bus.........:).who wants to be an engineer:(

No man I've been with you the whole time. That's why I was saying what you do with bussing is a lot like adding a mulitband on the master.

With good mixing, you don't have to sidechain noticeably unless you're actually going for that "pump" sound (which I'm becoming less and less fond of). How do you think funk bands were able to mix the kick in with that big, "fat" bass? It doesn't "pump" and both elements still had oomph. Putting a compressor on the master and sidechaining it to the kick is probably one of the worst ideas I've heard.

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im glad your with me :)....sidechaining the master with a kik is awfull, yes i agree, but it does happen, if your going for that sound, the most famous being eric prydz 'call on me'. in dance music if your not using a sidechain compressor your not gonna get nowhere fast........i kind of get what your saying about funk bands, but there not homemade 'dance' tracks which i thought we were talking about???....all music from b4 the 70s sounds gorgeous.....why?? because it wasnt compressed to fduck and limited until every last dynamic turned to volume.....they were compressed yes, b4 anyone says, they were compressed with some of the most sought after equipment of today....ie tube stuff...... fairchilds, uries and all that good stuff.....

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i think everyone is getting mixed up cos im scratching my head here???

sidechain compression, when used in dance is used to 'duck' tracks. ie the kik and bass. when the kik kiks, the bass ducks, so the kik has room to breath....this can be done with other tracks too,......the lead ducking a vocal for instance............multiband compression more similar to sidechain compression wtf???.........if antything a multiband compressor can act as a dynamic eq.......i think everyone is getting all muddled up....when i say 'bus' compression, i mean grouping tracks with auxillaries and you have a bus...........i think peoples might be getting muddled because you can have bus compression on the master bus too, but i didnt say the master bus.........:).who wants to be an engineer:(

Was saying that bussing tracks to groups has a similar effect to creating a sidechain, not that multiband was similar to sidechaining.

For example, if you have a dominant kick drum, bus the kick and bass to an auxilary and compress them it will reduce the bass in a similar manner to if you sidechained the kick drum to the bass, difference of course being both elements have more equal weight. Or you could use both a sidechain and a bus to get a balance between the two.

Basically, as stated before, there's a lot of ways of going about things but it's important to understand why youre doing them and what you want to achieve. The worst advice out there (and there's a lot of it on the internet) tends to be along the lines of 'sidechain the kick' or 'slap Ozone on the mix' without explaining why you're doing these things. End result is that people go and set their sidechain to achieve 20db of gain reduction, crank their treble/bass enhancers up way too high or assume that a preset multiband will do any good at all. Think I've probably done all that stuff over the years before I bothered to sit down and think about the physics of it all.

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Yes, and that's what I'm trying to avoid as a producer. If you listen to such artists as Siruismo etc, you'll notice that it can be done and with very good results.

And nearly of that gear does have emulations as plug ins for those of us who have limited funds. To me, sidechaining everything is sort of a cop-out. It's just like the whole "tweak everything" concept where the melodies and beats are simply repeating, over and over with slight changes to the effects. I'm really trying to have my musical concepts work as they would in the real world with hardware equipment: for example a bass sound only functioning as a peice of the track, not the focus.

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ahh, yes totally agree, but im giving the advice as if you know what your doing with the tools......im assuming that people asking about multibands enhancers etc etc, the advice i give is just that.....if you dont know how to use the tools then the advice is a waist of time.......im giving it from the point of view of somebody who knows how to use these tools.....im sure i said somewhere earlier, if you dont know what your doing with a multiband/compressor/eq/etc,etc then dont bother......like you said,....ive done all these things over the years too, now when i use one of these tools its because i need to, not because someone tells me too:rolleyes:

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sidechain most things in dance= louder mix and better mixdown ready for mastering

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By the way... Looking at some new monitors that are accurate. My KRK's feel very very bright and the bass seems a little reduced, making my mixes have a very boosted low end and a muddy trebble. I'm looking for maybe a monitor with an 8" sub so I can accurately mix my sub bass and bass while still keeping my mixes bright. Could you guys tell me what you think about these monitors?

Rubicon R8a

Event TR8XL

Tascal VLX 5

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what krks do you have?...i would stick with those??? seems like wasted money to me???

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what krks do you have?...i would stick with those??? seems like wasted money to me???

RP5. Dinky little things.

The high freqs often sound distorted too, which leads to ear fatigue.

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shhheeeeiiitttt haploid, do you have any sisters so i can marry into your family? b.a.l.l.a. status.

you might be mixing way too loud if your ears are getting tired. are you getting opinions from people with good ears or is this your observations. you might want to consider the acoustics of the room you're mixing in too.

and let me know about any sisters you have. :)

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.

Edited by haploid

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The high freqs often sound distorted too, which leads to ear fatigue.

haha, youve never mixed on ns10s then!!!....them krks are still good 'small' monitors. you can get a good mix with them imho. they are laking sub, but so do most monitors....i use a seperate mono tannoy speaker that i got from a 2nd hand shop....i only paid £25 for it and for sub its the bomb!!!....i just do my mix on ns10s, check the subs on the tannoy, and with a spectrum analizer, and come up with a good medium from there.......also, another good tip for you while i think of it is make sure all your subs are in mono. and usually with my dance stuff, most of the drums are mono too....most club sound systems are all mono.....out of the speakers you mentioned though, id prolly go with the samsons for low end.....edit, naaa, i dunno, prolly the events, i havent listened to those though.....good reviews....

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Generally for mixing the levels oftracks relatively you should be mixing quietly because: a) if you get any ear fatigue at all (this doesn't take as much volume as you'd think) you can't mix properly; B) you can tell more about the heirarchy of instruments with your faders down than up. For example, if you push your faders down and then slowly pull the volume up different instruments will become audible at different times. If the hihats and pads come in before melodic hooks and the kick you'll immediately know something is up. On the other hand when things are pumped up you can hear everything and it becomes harder for your ears to discern relative volumes.

As to mixing sub bass... what blosom said about spectrum analysis is very true. 'Watching' other tracks plyed through Logic's Multimeter has told me a lot about what your own tracks should ideally 'look' like... Personally I'd be more tempted to stick with the KRKs and get an outboard sub which you can switch on just for the purpose of mixing the bass end (which I should note is the one time you need to pump the volume right up, hence you should have mixed everything else beforehand).

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I am tempted to get a sub... But the KRK10 is $400. If I sold my KRKs for say $200, It would only cost me $300 (plus the money made back from the selling of my current monitors) for something which could put out the sub frequencies... Also, subs are hard to set up right?

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get genelecs!!!!!!!!!!

i currently have HS50s. i think 5inch monitors are good enough for home studio.

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would you consider Mackie MR5's a 'flat' monitor? that's what i'm working with, also do any of your monitors have frequency boost switches on the back? and do you actually mess with them? mine are all at +0db

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