Tracks Feel Empty When In A Mix

Messages
109
Likes
1
#1
Hey people somethings been bothering me alot lately, whenever i drop one of my own tunes in a mix it seems to lose alot of energy and sound empty. I'm not too sure what it could be, maybe not enough frequencies covered in the tracks, or could just be poorly mastered (haven't been producing that long) If anyone has any suggestions let me know could really use some of dnbforum's finest for this one :D

Tracks Uploaded Here
 
Last edited:

motion audio

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,150
Likes
6
#5
Tracks sound good mate. I like the drop on Darkside, works well. I see what you mean about losing energy though, your drums all sound crisp but they dont cut through when the tunes drop. When your mixing down you should try soloing the main drums, then bring in all your lead and bass parts seperately to see whats masking your drum hits, you can then EQ those parts so theres more space for the drums to cut through etc.
 

funkmod

Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
810
Likes
1
#6
a good mix down can make a world of difference. Just make sure its all done good and then when u master it the song will sound much better and fuller but wont make up for crap production ;)
 

Protoplasym

Nuskool
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,017
Likes
47
#7
a good mix down can make a world of difference. Just make sure its all done good and then when u master it the song will sound much better and fuller but wont make up for crap production ;)
can't stress this enough

OP,

My older tunes also suffer from the same thing, they sound fine when by themselves (tunes I mastered myself), but when dropped alongside other Pro sounding tracks, my tracks didn't sound like they had the same amount of energy. One of these days, I'll revisit those Mixdowns and make those tracks sound better than ever... one of those oldies that I have posted is a good example of this ("Defense Funding")... sounds great by itself, but in a mix won't stand up to a properly mixed down tune. KD is too big and Bass is a lil bit too big and other things in the mix need to come up... back then in '06, I was relying on my Limiter to 'make the track jam' and relied less on making the Mix 'jam' on it's own.

I always figured that it had to do with the way I limited my tracks... and a couple years later I've learned that I basically wasn't making my elements big enough in the Mix before doing the Limit.

A Mix where the elements aren't very big, that's crushed to hell when it comes time to limit is 'never' going to sound as big as a Mix where all the elements are nice and big (Limit or no limit).

Concentrate on getting your Mixdowns to jam before slapping that Limiter on the Master channel and your tracks will benefit enormously from it.

Also... another thing to think about... I personally don't do this, but a lot of E. Producers employ Compression on their Drums and Bass, and possibly anything in the mix 'as well' as doing a big Limit on the Master channel. I try to make things as big as possible without the use of Compression at all in my Mixdown, but that's me... I'll use Comp on vocals to round their volume out and level peaks, but other than that, I try to make my Drums and Bass hit where they need to without Comp.

You could always try using Comp on your Drum and Bass tracks along with doing the Limit on the Master channel to see if that gives you the extra 'mmmf' you feel you're lacking.


g/l w/it
production is a life long learning process
 

motion audio

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,150
Likes
6
#10
It still suprises me how many people think plonking a limiter on the master bus is "mastering". in 99.99% of cases, you cannot "master" in the home studio. Concentrate on your mixing, if a tune gets to the stage where its getting a release or your getting it cut, leave mastering to a mastering engineer, a well mixed tune with an unprocessed master bus and some headroom will show far better results than a mix thats been battered through an average limiting plug-in and needs a lot of work to get sounding right.

I know this will be flooded by people telling me I'm wrong, but thats probably just due to a different idea of what mastering actualy is.
 

Zeal

Ohm/C2D/Dark Asylum/Ennex
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,843
Likes
18
#11
I think you need to use a frequency analyser to see where your elements are hitting.
Not neccessarily, a shit sounding mix could give the impression that it looks full

just go by the ears

bascially from what i can hear, you got the right idea, id say ur drums are lacking very much in the low mids, which is where they will get more of a thud to them, which gives it more weight

think about boosting the eq more than you do and just giving them more oomph

try a and b ing with tracks that you want to achieve a similar sound to
 

RevTech

Butthole=output transduce
VIP Junglist
Messages
3,652
Likes
33
#12
I would get the spectrum analyser out and look at what's lacking in the frequencies. But not boosting the EQ's band on what's lacking but looking which instrument needs boosting. For instance, your tops are shit? boost the hi hats, not just the EQ on the main. Also, clear up the low end with EQ on every channel, low end is usually what is lacking. Also, sweep thru freq. you don't like and cut them, and boost a little the ones you like.

I personally lack in the mixdown though, I don't think I take enough time in it, and I just mix while in the midst of producing.
 

Protoplasym

Nuskool
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,017
Likes
47
#13
I think you need to use a frequency analyser to see where your elements are hitting.
2nded! It's very important to have a Spectrum Analyser that you're comfortable with so you can use the visual aid along with what your ears hear to know where your elements are, level wise.
 

Protoplasym

Nuskool
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,017
Likes
47
#14
It still suprises me how many people think plonking a limiter on the master bus is "mastering". in 99.99% of cases, you cannot "master" in the home studio. Concentrate on your mixing, if a tune gets to the stage where its getting a release or your getting it cut, leave mastering to a mastering engineer, a well mixed tune with an unprocessed master bus and some headroom will show far better results than a mix thats been battered through an average limiting plug-in and needs a lot of work to get sounding right.

I know this will be flooded by people telling me I'm wrong, but thats probably just due to a different idea of what mastering actualy is.
:confused:

I disagree. Doing a Limit on a well mixed down piece of music is simple. A Producer with enough experience, a good pair of ears, quality setups to monitor the Mix before Limit and after Limit, and a quality Limiter can take a quality Mixdown and Limit it just fine without having to be an Engineer or do said work in a Million Dollar Recording Studio.

I had a couple tracks "Mastered" and I was 'not' impressed with what the "engineer" did to my hard work. He used Multi Band Comp and a lot of EQ and ended up wrecking the delicate balance I'd worked so hard to create in my Mixdown. Mixdown is an integral part of making music as I'm sure you agree... Limiting said Mix is simply using one effect and making the track have more punch without comprimising Dynamics.

http://www.discogs.com/Groove-Diggerz-Jelly-Head/release/736446

I'm on there ^, and the guy that did the Mastering (Shane Heathman I think?... Shane something) did a great job on the vinyl, but the label (against what I advised) had him do a digital "Master"/Limit of my unlimited Wav, and his digital "Master" sounded NO better than what I'd done with Ozone 3.

I have a pair of ears and I know what I heard when I compared both of those Masters (mine and his) on multiple systems, and his was no better or worse than what I'd done with a simple and effective $400 plug in in a CHEAP home studio.

You're free to have your opinion as I am mine, but the reason I so vehemently disagree with yours is that I feel the Industry is scared that it's going to lose a huge amount of revenue when it comes to charging people to Master their tunes when in fact more and more and more individual Producers are doing 'just fine' doing their own Masters at home for free after paying for a solid Software Mastering solution.


my two pence
 

motion audio

Active Member
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,150
Likes
6
#15
^^ I didnt say the actual limiting cant be done yourself, I just said its not mastering, because its not. If all mastering consisted of was that, then ME's wouldnt have the jobs they do. If you had a track professionaly mastered and it sounded no better than your home attempts, then its down to the guy not doing his job properly, in which case, your right that doing it at home is just as good.
 

Protoplasym

Nuskool
VIP Junglist
Messages
1,017
Likes
47
#16
^^ I didnt say the actual limiting cant be done yourself, I just said its not mastering, because its not. If all mastering consisted of was that, then ME's wouldnt have the jobs they do. If you had a track professionaly mastered and it sounded no better than your home attempts, then its down to the guy not doing his job properly, in which case, your right that doing it at home is just as good.
All Mastering means is, "To produce a master audio recording"... so I don't know why you don't look at a well Mixed down track that is limited at home (and it being the final version of the piece of music) to be the "master recording" of said music. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

I would agree with you that Limiting is simply 'AN' aspect of Mastering a tune... Mastering does 'NOT' have to encompass all techniques that can be employed at the Master stage. That's like saying Music isn't Music unless it has Piano in it. Crude Analogy but you get the point.

Mastering is whatever the Producer does at the final stage of his Production to end up with a 'final product' yes/no? Makes sense to me but what do I know.. :D


This is my point: a well mixed down track needs 'nothing more' than a Limit to be finalized/Mastered... and Shane didn't do ANYthing I couldn't already do with Ozone at home. My Mix was flawless and if anything he might have squeezed the Threshold a bit more than me which was personal taste. It's not a matter of him not doing his job, it's a matter of the perception that "mastering a good mixdown is difficult and need only be attempted/done by a pro/engineer". It's a load of bollocks.

NOW... Mastering for Vinyl is a DIFFERENT story because of the low frequencies that need to be centered.

Mastering Digital music at home is and continues to be a reality for many, and people are making music that sounds as good if not better than what the 'pros' can do.


The cat has been out of the bag for a looooong time and established Engineers that once made a killing doing 15-30 mins of work on well mixed down electronic music are now pissed because a multitude of Home Producers don't need their services anymore.

Hell, you can see similar work being done in other forms of Art... look at Indie Movies and Games... it's only a matter of time before the big boys are dethroned.


You're entitled to your opinion though... I mean no disrespect... but I do feel 'very' strongly about someone else thinking they're going to bring my track to life (at the final stage/Mastering) when I'M the one who spent ages sculpting it. Such an important final aspect to a piece of art should be left to the Artist and no one else imo.
 
Last edited:
Top