Some Mix / Mastering Findings... (Long)
As a follow-up to my previous post about mastering / getting more life out of my mixes...
Apparently there is no magic solution?! Why wasn't I told earlier? I hope your senses are tuned to pick up sarcasm. The bottom line is that I've come up with much better results.
The single biggest problem was that my mixes were too quiet in certain frequency ranges. In house music, the kick drum must be pronounced, but without proper compression, the rest of the mix is simply too quiet. Turning up everything else isn't really an option as things become unbalanced.
So by boosting the mid range liberally -- in some cases on individual channels, some cases with submixes and the entire mix -- I was able to inject significant life into my mix(es)...relative to how they sounded prior to this exercise. It seems I never give enough priority to the mid range. As a matter of practice, I now have two Reason EQs on the rhythm submix as well as the melodic submix and the entire mix. I use two so that I can amplify or attenuate given frequency ranges in at least 4 narrow bands. I found that this produced the least muddiness while still delivering a pronounced boost. Even two narrow bands situated very close together provide a cleaner boost then a single band that covers the range in question.
Cutting frequencies can do more than boosting them. Rolling off some low end here and there, or notching a band once in a while can do a surprising amount to your mix; especially if a[n autogain] compressor follows.
Along each step there is a compressor as well. I don't always compress very much, but they're there and I can A/B with commercial recordings and get similar results. I've also learned to use the autogain quite nicely. Try putting a compressor across your mix with the ratio, threshold, and attack set to full (127), and the release set to all the way down (0). From there, play your track in the quitest, and loudest passages and adjust accordingly. I had astonishing results with this technique.
On the A/B tip: once your song is mixed and you are happy with the result, A/B with a commercial recording you like several times in various parts of your track (and across more than one day). This helps overcome fatigue and offers your ears some degree of impartiality.
I also played with the damp factor on the reverb. I typically set it quite low or off altogether, but increasign the dampening can actually warm up a mix.
So, to summarize...
EQ in narrow bands and pay close attention to the mid range. Cutting can be just as useful as boosting.
Compress in stages and play with the autogain feature of the compressor.
A/B often, but reserve it for mixing and the final stages. Mix across more han a single session / day.
Use the dampening on channels with heavy reverberation added.
Ignore the clip indicator and use your ears and / or a wave editor.
Sorry for the long post, but I thought I would share some of what I learned
All times are GMT +2. The time now is 15:23.