Could use some advice

Discussion in 'Production' started by jeremyrose44, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. jeremyrose44

    jeremyrose44 Member

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    Hi guys, I do some work at a small recording studio and have been approached by someone to mix a christmas track that will be played on the radio. The reason why I'm posting is that I'm fairly new to mixing live music as opposed to just my own tracks and wanted to get any thoughts or suggestions you might have because I've never mixed : A) An Xmas track, and B) Have never mixed something that will be played on the radio.

    As I'm sure you can imagine this is a fairly large opportunity for me and would love to brush up before I do it. The musical elements will be...

    Drums and percussion
    Bass- stand up (maybe)
    Guitar
    Slide guitar
    Piano
    Fiddle
    Lead Vocals
    Backing Vocals

    Any thoughts? I'm mainly wondering if I should treat the overall sound I'm looking for differently because it's being played on the radio. Also, when I learnt to mix I was shown how to get a really clean sound overall. As it's a Xmas track I'm wondering if they might want the overall track to have a "warmer" sound or some other frustratingly vague adjective, and if so, how should I vary my usual techniques?

    Let me know, any help will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. pattycake

    pattycake Member

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    Loads of top end reverb, splashy hats, bright piano or brass lead (plucked) warm pads/strings start in a minor and when chorus hits move to c major the notes a and c should play a lot. try uses hat/percussion that sounds tinny/ bell-like. warm juicy octave jumping bassline.
     
  3. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    First, since it will be destined for radio play, the mixing stage is going to be of the utmost importance, as you want to make sure the tune will sound just as strong played in "mono" as opposed to standard stereo.

    If I was in your shoes, I'd do the following:

    Set every channel strip to mono, and then slightly pan the different percussion elements of the drum kit as well as the cymbals, keeping your snare/kick centered.

    • Pan fiddle & slide guitar to opposite ends of the stereo field. When thinking of pan position, imagine you were in the audience while the song was being performed live and where each instrument would be located on the stage.
    • Treat the vocal(s) like a radio edit in that they should be slightly louder than the other elements of the track so they really come through on the radio.
    • Create an FX bus with reverb and send subtle, varying amounts of signal of each instrument to give them a very cohesive feel.
    • If your interface/DAW has a "sum to mono" button, use it as your mixing to make sure all the elements are still audible.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Cheers.
     
  4. jeremyrose44

    jeremyrose44 Member

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    This is great advice!!! Thanks so much mate this was exactly what I was looking for. I totally get your point about the change in attitude towards the radio play, that is what is worrying me the most.

    If anyone else wants to chime in with any other thoughts please do.

    Thanks again! :)
     
  5. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Glad I was able to help out. :)

    Cheers, and good luck.