Getting the Mix/Mastering right

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Re: Getting the Mix/Mastering right

Post by Burnzy » Tue Nov 22, 2022 11:31 am

If was too low, might not be the mix, but the mastering. I send out some things for pro mastering, but often I use CloudBounce, which is somewhat tweak able auto-mastering. Have had several forwards using this with no complaints.

Darran wrote:
Fri Nov 18, 2022 5:59 am
Hi Guys,

Firstly I apologise for the lengthy post.

I'm fairly new here and have submitted to a few listings however, this time round I have n't has yet had a forward, but I feel I'm getting closer (Ever the optimist ;). The main issue is my mixes. I do understand the feedback. I can hear the difference but can't figure out how to fix them. Which is very frustrating.

I've watched hours and hours of You Tube clips but too be honest sometimes I can't actually hear (Even with headphones on) the adjustments that they make :(

My last two rejected submissions were for solo piano so I'll use them as examples, mainly because if I can get them sounding better there is a current listing that I can re submit to ;)

Solo Piano was returned because its mixed too low. on a positive note I was told it was super close to getting forwarded ... solo-piano

As I Remember It Again Close too be forwarded wasn't bright enough ... emember-it

When I record I'm using sample Piano sounds (Spitfire audio and Kontakt The Gentleman) I EQ and add a couple of DB compression on each track (Though I can't always hear the difference) I then EQ and compress the stereo out and bounce the track. Once bounced I reopen the single audio file and work on increasing the loudness. Most of the time I'll also add Ozone 9 which does seem to clear up the tracks and widen them up somewhat, yet I don't seem to have the clarity, the clean sound of the reference tracks and when I match EQ it just doesn't sound right.

So I guess I'm asking guys...What's a good step guide, as in how do you do it. from start to finish? I hope the question makes sense and thanks in advance for all replies :)


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Re: Getting the Mix/Mastering right

Post by Darran » Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:56 pm


Thanks for the heads up. I'll check that out

Darran :)

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Re: Getting the Mix/Mastering right

Post by FredGuggenberger » Thu Dec 01, 2022 6:22 am

Hi Darran!

This is a very GENERAL Answer, but I hope, it help you in some way ...

I have spent tons of hours trying to get my mixes sound great and ... a lot of times I felt like a dog chasing his tail ... running in a circle and no end in sight ...

Anytime this happened, the solution was to be found in two areas that were absolutely not about "mixing":

1) The recording
2) The arrangement

A lot of times, I recorded things and then tried to make it work by using EQ ... and Compression ... shit, doesn´t sound great. Maybe reverb will help .... another reverb ... another reverb ... Oh, DELAY will work better!!! Still sounds bad ... tape delay? Or maybe a second reverb ... a plate!!! That´s it!!! Still sucks ... Lord, I need compression on the master bus!! SSL Compressor!!! Still sucks ... sounds like shit with "glue", still shit .... and the vintage delay turned my crappy sound into crappy sound with a vintage delay on it.... Maybe another EQ.... 1073 is cool!!! Hours turned into days... days turned into weeks ... and at the end it landed in my "collection of garbage that could have been cool"...

I could have saved me a lot of time by maybe just muting a few instruments that messed it up .... or pay more attention to the recording...

Then I had this magical moment: I recorded a friend that wants to do an acoustic album.... I recorded his guitar with two mics and spent some time with finding great positions for the mics... His songs are great and what a great player he is! His vocals: Amazing!

At the end, I was sitting there with the recordings, moved the faders a little bit to find the right balance.... did a little panning... and added some reverb and delay to create some background ("adding depth"). It sounded so great!! And yes, the nerd in me thought: "But I have to eq it now.. .and I need compression!! How can it sound great without EQ and compression????" I started with doing my "everyday crap" and noticed, that I was just killing, what sounded great before... At the end, I stayed with a TINY bit of compression on the guitar and that's it.

It happened ore than one time since that day. My big realization is, that if it sounds great from the beginning (after setting levels and pan) I am on "winners road". If not, all the plug ins will not help anything.

In my humble opinion, we live in a time, where we have ANYTHING in our hands, which is not always good. Because not that we have it, we want to use it. When people went from 8-track-tape to 16 tracks, they used 16 tracks. Then 24... There was a time, when it was amazing as hell to have 4 microphones in a studio ("look at that high-tech-studio. They got FOUR microphones!!!!"). Today, some people use 16 mics to record a drum set, because they can... And we can record 120 tracks for a 3 minute pop single, so we do it! And somehow we fall into that trap, that mixing and a collection of 426 plug ins will fix any problems. But there is still something happening in front of the microphone (or audio interface...) that may be great or not. If it is great, anything will become easy....

Would we put 24 kinds of salt and pepper on our food just because we can?

PS: There are days, when I wish someone would give me that advice, because I totally forget it and still mess it all up. :lol: :lol: :lol: It feels like my mixing journey has just started. But at least, it doesn´t sound as crappy as last year. What a great sound I will have in 2025! Or maybe 2030.... Hey, I could be the next Chris Lord Alge in ... 70 years or so? Damn it.... :lol:

PS2: I remember when I did some guitar recordings. I was hopping from phone calls to checking e-mails... and the door was ringing ... and another phone call.... running to my computer to hit record... running to the guitar to play... while my head was still stuck in the last phone call and stress... Every note I played sounded exactly that way... Nobody could fix that in the mix ... I recorded the guitar again hours later around midnight .... I was relaxed.... somewhere between awake and sleep ... and I got one of the best guitar recordings I have ever made .... Sometimes a walk in nature, relaxation and a cup of tea are the best recording and mixing tools in the world. ;-)

Again: This is not specific to what you asked, but I hope, it may help you in general. Let´s rock the house! :-)

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