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Old 2012-09-13, 21:25
mr2010 mr2010 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 26
thanks for all the replies

Originally Posted by lyricalvolt View Post
Boy, you're in the process of learning. You may get confused @ times but its all normal. Believe in yourself always.
Good level practices state that an entire mix should be around -3dB (or lower, up to -6dB). I don't think its a good practice pulling down your master fader to achieve this. If you find yourself doing that then be sure that some individual channel faders are kicking you in the butt.
I advice you remove every 'mastering' devices you have in your master section insert fx box. recording, tracking, editing, and ultimately mixing are enough for one head. They really should be, and on that note I advice you 1: leave mastering for a pro 2: master (not bad if you wanna have a try) outside Reason, period! You need real meters telling you real things and more.
Each piece of music has its own loudness potential. Mastering is one place commercial loudness (depending on the music style or genre) is chased and achieved. Trying to master a mix in the mix stage means inviting trouble.
You talked about mixing for many hours and your stuff seeming to sound worse after it all. Well, when you listen to sound for long hours your brain adapts to its imperfections and everything begins to sound cool! Mixing is one area decisions need to be made real quick - especially when EQ-ing. Give yourself a break and maybe play some of your favourite CDs. Or rest your ears for some hours. My ears are my most valued tools as a sound engineer.
Most mix engineers prefer starting the mix with the drums. I favour this style. The drums, snares, perc, and bass constitute the basic rhythym section of most modern songs.
LEVELS: For the kick drums (NY compressed or not) a good reference is between -12 and -10 on the SL master fader meter, given that the mode is set to VU (blue on the left) and PEAK (orange on the right). If its too low then turn up the fader on your audio interface or monitors. They were made for this.
Next try matching up the snare to the drums. Introduce other percusive stuff and then the bass. If this section is playing well and fine together and hitting a bit into the yellow area on your master fader meter as set above, you're likely good to go. Fire up the other instruments and match their levels with the rhythm section. Listen, listen, and listen for the right balance.
Red means bad in the digital domain. Analog guys can get around Red with analog gears but not digital heads in the digital realm.
Compression is largely a matter of taste but please read up all you can on this subject. It has some downsides which include introducing compression artifacts and taking away the 'life' in an instrument or voice, or making it sound bland!
I hope I've helped a little.

excellent! thanks a lot. So, if the kick drum is -10db where should snare be? i've read so many post from people saying they separate all their drums, i never wanted to go through all the crap, but i may have to start. You say mixing should be quick, could i be spending too much time on it or because i don't know exactly what i'm doing its taking me so long? I have heard others state mixing can take a very long time on some songs.

Originally Posted by djphathead View Post
My advice don't mix with any mastering chain on and if you must only mix into the ssl buss compressor on the master fader with no more than 2-3db of gain reduction (I'd also say set the attack to the slowest setting and the release to auto). Here are some rules to follow for proper gain staging. In "the audio engineers handbook" (the book I'm almost done reading) in chapter 11 talks about some rules to follow for proper gain staging.

"RULE 1 the level of the channel faders should always stay below the subgroup or master fader.

RULE 2 leave plenty of headroom.

RULE 3 when using large amounts of eq or a plug in with gain, lower the channel fader rather than bringing up the other sounds " Page 105-107. This would be my advice for mixing levels for each song. When it says the levels of the faders that means the channel faders meter level. A good way to leave headroom is to sty the VU offset on the big meter so the VU 0db = -14db peak. You can alway bring up the overall level after everything is mixed and your in the mastering stage.

Have you taken the time to watch the video "The Art of Mixing" by David Gibson I posted? You can find it here . I'd recommend it to someone who wants to know learn how to mix. There's alot of great info in that video that I think will be worth your time.

As far as trying to get you music to the same loudness a your cd's you'll have to look at those songs RMS levels and shoot for those RMS levels in your own songs.
thanks a lot! i'm just getting in, about to watch the vid now. Just looking at those Rules and other things in this thread, i've been doing so much wrong in my recording and mixing. I didn't want to do this, because i'm limited with time to make music with work and needing to get some kind of sleep. But, i'm canceling making any music for the next 3 days. I'll be reading all the literature i can and watching vids, to hopefully learn mixing and mastering enough to at least make my music presentable to artist. I'll also be going back to previously done songs and remixing them with my new knowledge. I know the stuff i learn in the next 3 days isn't going to make me an engineer or anything like that, i'm just trying to get my stuff presentable and it'll also feel good to listen to my stuff and having it sound better. thanks

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