Mixing question

Discussion in 'Production' started by duckstep, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    Im working on mixing my current song and i have a question regarding the mixing process.

    The logic im using from my knowledge know is that mixing is for making every sound stand out in the mix by using: Pan, Eq, Compressin, Sidechaining.

    After this is done you are meant to make every sound as high as possible in the mix? Im doing that know and im using Span spectrum analyser to compare the db levels and spectrum levels of each sound.

    [​IMG]

    This is how my spectrum look @ the peak of the song.

    The top left block is the sub bass, the next is snare etc.

    Is there a logic to which volume you should aim at for which instruments during mix down? I e should i put kick+snares at say -2 db and bass at -4 and sub at -4. Looking for logic system that i can use.
    (my current logic is put EVERYTHING at the same db level, which includes hihats. I think this theory is wrong.)

    Thanks( if anything that i wrote is not understandable ask and i will try to explain better)
     
  2. Ritual

    Ritual Member

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    the best advice is use your ears.

    to be fair i do stick to a general rule of kick & snare peaking @ 0-db, sub anywhere between -4db/-2db depending on whether my track is a bass heavy dancefloor track or a chilled musical influenced track.

    and then use my ears from then on.

    hope this helps.
     
  3. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    I need more detail to base my logic on.

    Give me examples of db levels of different instruments in your track your mixing.

    (And specify if its
    the db of the frequency
    or the db of the sound in total)
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ritual

    Ritual Member

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    pffffttt.

    you just overlooked the best advice anyone could give you.

    USE YOUR EARS!
     
  5. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    I didnt overlook it, i listened and i will use my ears.
    But your ears can only do that much so if there is a logic system that can help me i should use it.
     
  6. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

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    Whatever you like mate, eaarsss :)

    I never really bothered with the rules of the kick should be so many db above the snare or sub or whatever element you wanna be talking about. I generally just think, if the Sub sounds good high on this one then put it high, if its better to hang back and let percussion to more talking then lean more torwards that and bring the sub down, depends what vibe you want for the tune. There is no way to get a perfect mixdown cause someone might think the sub needs to be really pumping in one tune and you might wanna lay back on it.

    I only really use Span now to check that I am filling out the spectrum nicely :)
     
  7. Ritual

    Ritual Member

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  8. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    Thanks for all the replys, hopefully this will help me out.
     
  9. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    All frequencies at same level makes white noise doesn't it? The higher up the frequency spectrum a sound sits, the less volume it will need to sound loud.
    If you're talking about mixdown, start with your kick at a suitably low level and add everything else till it sounds good. then
    Mastering, you can push the level of the whole track, as long as the mixdown is balanced, to get it 'loud'.

    Sounds easy in theory.
     
  10. troublemakers

    troublemakers Origins Unknown

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    I always try and get my snare and kick right first, a good even level between the two, those are your main groove components.

    using your ears is also good, thats common sense though, you also want to be using some kind of analyzer (which you are)..

    Each element should be filtered/eq'ed where it needs to be sitting. Levels are essentially to taste. you should be mixing as you go and polishing at the end. The ultimate goal is to get towards the end of the track and have very little to do. imho... I try and get my sounds perfect as i go, that way there is very little to do once a sound is dropped in, i am then ready for the next sound knowing its close to done already and that the next element will fit better instead of going back and trying to fix it later. some people work differently though..

    When it comes to compression, only use it if it's needed, think of it as a tool just like your EQ's or Filters...
     
  11. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    Compression can be so useful, i fucking suck at using it though. My plugin for compression isnt the greatest either, im using fruity compressor and fruity limiter for it atm... deffinetly room for improvement on that part. :(
     
  12. troublemakers

    troublemakers Origins Unknown

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    Yea, most people i know grow out of FL eventually.. Not saying it's bad but a lot of my friends over the years used FL for awhile and eventually switched.. Not sure why.. Compression is a very good thing btw, when used properly and when needed, some people rag on it while most use it lol. It's just when people over use it or don't know how that they start getting bad results vs good ones..

    Ratios, Thresholds and Release OH MY!

    I didn't read the whole thread so i have to ask in case i missed it, where do you feel your not implementing it correctly?
     
  13. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    Pretty much everything, for example right now im looking/listening to a vocal sample of my track and im trying to get it as loud as possible and high enough to be heard. But there is volume peaks on some frequencys that causes the overall limit which i can increase the volume to be capped.

    On my span spectrum analyzer i can see the frequency volume of the vocals and the peaks are clearly visible, let me show you a picture:

    [​IMG]

    Marked part is the vocal track frequency peak i was talking about

    I've tryed compressing it already, used 6 compressors to try and flat it out, but when i was using the compressors i started noticing a "crackling" sound that i think was volume distortion. So i cancelled out the compressors and they are not activated atm.
     
  14. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    What ratio you got on the compressor?
     
  15. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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  16. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

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    I'm not saying this will solve your problems but try these compression setting for your vocal :)

    obviously depending on the compressor you use it could make a difference but all compressors have the same settings so you should certainly be able to work from this. These are actually notes I have from a vocal compression tutorial using logic pro compression but I am a cubase 4 user which looking back I believe I made a few changes because I'm not sure everything is identical in my compressor. Anyways:

    Ratio - 2.5:1
    Adjust threshold so Gain Reduction reads 0 at quieter points.
    If you find loud sections of the vocal still overpower the quieter parts adjust Ratio backwards or Threshold forward until happy.
    Moderatley fast Attack
    Medium Release setting
    Finally you can adjust the gain to set optimum average level in the mix

    Hope that is of some help! Obviously you can play with that a lot, if you want more dynamics in the vocal adjust so perhaps the quieter parts do dip in volume a bit :)

    Also had a browse through the posts here, if the FL Compressor ain't doing you good it might be worth trying some other compressors, I know there are a lot of free ones out there! :) Searching google should help you find the best free options. Of course, if you really wanted you could pay for a compressor to if you are really wanting something decent :)
     
  17. elmaruk

    elmaruk slannndaaaaaaar

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    6 compressors? alternitively you could just cut the part of the vocal that's overly loud and then bring it's volume down a bit?

    i think your looking way to deeply into this mate, like way too deeply.

    i don't think i've ever looked at a freq analyser for ma tunes

    as some other guys have said just use ears

    have fun
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  18. duckstep

    duckstep Member

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    I really have no idea what i am doing wrong with compression, i tryed what you said but it didnt help lowering the volume peaks.

    My understanding of compressors are that(correct me where im wrong):
    Threshold(db level where the compressor starts processing the sound)
    Ratio(How much the sound should be lowered or increased. 30:1 means something that have the value of 30 will after the compression have 1.)
    Gain(simple volume control that adjusts the volume of the sound, have nothing to do with compressor)
    Attack(time in milliseconds before the compression start to happen)
    Release(time in milliseconds before the compression stop to happen)
    Type(Hard/soft blabla, represents something about how the compressor do the compression)

    Also here is another spectrum view of the vocal played solo:
    [​IMG]
    These damn peaks piss me off and i cant understand why they are not reacting to my compression
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
    elmaruk likes this.
  19. elmaruk

    elmaruk slannndaaaaaaar

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    loooooooool

    umm, just do a little dip on the eq surely?
     
  20. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

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    This mate, if its just the peaks of frequency that you are wanting to deal with them cut em out with your eq!

    I'm not fully sure what the result you want it? If those slight peaks are causing major issues then I see why you want to eliminate them but if they aren't making the track sound awful in anyway then why the need to get rid of them? You don't need to create a perfect balance across the spectrum or nothing if thats what you are going for?