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Thread: My biggest issues with mixing is EQing and levels

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    My biggest issues with mixing is EQing and levels

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    I get frustrated with mixing. I mix on a cheap pair of studio monitors which sounds way too clean so after I'm done, I re-mix it on regular computer speakers because it always sounds muddier on them due to the bass and lows.

    But for my vocals to sit on top of the track sound strong enough (over mixed down beats), it always seems like I need to over-compress and add too much mids. And at the same time, I feel I always need to drop wayyyyyyyy too much of the lows.

    I want a clean but wide sound. That's the hardest part. I can't figure that shit out. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP.

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    Don't mix on headphones.

    Almost all of your problems will be solved.
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    You have to have good speakers, When you look at speakers look at the frequency range of them, 40 hz to 20 Khz is acceptable, It's going to be very hard to find a perfectly flat set of speakers (20hz-20khz)

    The secret to EQ is to not over use it. You want to EQ so the voice and instruments sound as natural as possible(Unless of course your doing something unusual with the sound) and if you boost or cut anything on your EQ you'll only want to go 2 or 3 decibels either way, if you go more than that there's something wrong in the way it was recorded in the first place and should be re-recorded.

    Your mix isn't going to sound like a pro mix right away, it should sound close, but the mastering engineer will polish it off to sound pro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seafroggys View Post
    Don't mix on headphones.

    Almost all of your problems will be solved.
    I mix vocals down on headphones but the final mix is through computer speakers. I don't think that's the issue.

    I can't figure out a way to have the vocals sound strong enough without putting in too much mids and compressing too much 'til the vocals sound muddy and unnatural. I need to figure out how to have the big strong sound while not compromising the sound of the beat too much. If the vocals are too loud and the track is too low, that sounds stupid too. Then if I compress again, it just makes it sound more muddy.

    I drop frequencies out the ass too. So I don't get where my issues are coming from. I even take out of the beat a lotta times to make space for the vocals. I don't wanna OD on it and then it sounds too stripped either. So I'm tryna figure out where I'm supposed to go from here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaningpine View Post
    You have to have good speakers, When you look at speakers look at the frequency range of them, 40 hz to 20 Khz is acceptable, It's going to be very hard to find a perfectly flat set of speakers (20hz-20khz)

    The secret to EQ is to not over use it. You want to EQ so the voice and instruments sound as natural as possible(Unless of course your doing something unusual with the sound) and if you boost or cut anything on your EQ you'll only want to go 2 or 3 decibels either way, if you go more than that there's something wrong in the way it was recorded in the first place and should be re-recorded.

    Your mix isn't going to sound like a pro mix right away, it should sound close, but the mastering engineer will polish it off to sound pro.
    I don't 100% agree with this because it's pretty crucial to use a low pass filter when you EQ. And I must be going overboard then with the EQing. I drop A LOT with a small bandwidth. It's frustrating as shit.

    If I don't add a ton of mids, it feels like my vocals aren't strong enough. Do I have to pull that many frequencies from the beat? I don't think that's the case. Aggghhhh... I've been doin' this shit for ears and can't seem to get myself mixed down the way I really want to.

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    Turn the beats down. If they have already been "mastered" by some fool who thinks you need to master beats, that is probably your entire problem.

    The easiest way to tell if the beat has been limited to death is if it is always sitting at 0dbfs. If that is the case, you need to turn it down enough to get your vocals above it. Or get the beat before the goofball made it too loud and compressed.
    Jay Walsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farview View Post
    Turn the beats down. If they have already been "mastered" by some fool who thinks you need to master beats, that is probably your entire problem.
    +1 on this. The best results are obtained when you mix *all of your tracks* together at the same time and then master the mixdown as a single mix. There's noting wrong with using a pre-mastered beat to rap to, but when it comes to mixing, trying to lay a vocal over a pre-mastered beat is like trying to pour wet concrete on top of a flat, fully-hardened layer of already solid concrete; they just ride on top of each other and don't really make a good solid connection all their own.

    And also +1 on the loudspeaker and room acoustic quality. if you can't translate your monitors properly, you'll never get a mix that works outside your room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthSIDE Glen View Post
    +1 on this. The best results are obtained when you mix *all of your tracks* together at the same time and then master the mixdown as a single mix. There's noting wrong with using a pre-mastered beat to rap to, but when it comes to mixing, trying to lay a vocal over a pre-mastered beat is like trying to pour wet concrete on top of a flat, fully-hardened layer of already solid concrete; they just ride on top of each other and don't really make a good solid connection all their own.

    And also +1 on the loudspeaker and room acoustic quality. if you can't translate your monitors properly, you'll never get a mix that works outside your room.

    G.
    But rappers rap on other rappers' beats all the time. You have to pull frequencies out of the beat to create space for the vocals. I just don't do it right.

    Need more tips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SincerelyAND View Post
    I mix vocals down on headphones but the final mix is through computer speakers. I don't think that's the issue.
    Actually...that IS the issue....using computer speakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by SincerelyAND View Post
    I don't 100% agree with this because it's pretty crucial to use a low pass filter when you EQ.
    It's NOT crucial if you have good monitors that can playback fullbandwidth.

    You want a lot of punch and a wide mix...then get good monitors (maybe even add a sub) if you want hear those DEEP LOWS...and full bandwidth.

    But keep in mind...there's only so much "room" to work in.
    If you ARE cranking the beats...then the vocals will need to be that much louder, and so on...and then you crank up the other stuff and the vocals get small again...etc.

    You have to hear all your elements properly, and you ain't going to do it on computer speakers at louder levels.

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    [QUOTE=miroslav;3342869]Actually...that IS the issue....using computer speakers.

    It's NOT crucial if you have good monitors that can playback fullbandwidth.]video[/video]

    Whether you have good monitors or not, there's going to be lows that you won't be able to hear on studio monitors because one of the elements of a good set of studio monitors is to have a clean sound. But then again, you did mention the woofers.

    You want a lot of punch and a wide mix...then get good monitors (maybe even add a sub) if you want hear those DEEP LOWS...and full bandwidth.

    But keep in mind...there's only so much "room" to work in.
    If you ARE cranking the beats...then the vocals will need to be that much louder, and so on...and then you crank up the other stuff and the vocals get small again...etc.

    You have to hear all your elements properly, and you ain't going to do it on computer speakers at louder levels.
    I know. That's why I'm tryna figure out how to make room and still fit the vocals in WHILE keeping the volume of the beat/instrumental high enough that it's not being run over by the vocal. Yet, I wanna create enough room that it's not going to sound like it's fighting each other yet sitting nicely within a pocket. That's the hard part, but it can be done. I've seen it done and I know engineers that can do it.

    I just don't wanna pay that money for mixtape type joints. I'm getting pro work done on my album tho'.

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