Page 4 of 6 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 59

Thread: What higher-level mixing techniques are a MUST for professional sounding stuff?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    402
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 36 Times in 31 Posts
    Rep Power
    76583
    Sign in to disable this ad
    Quote Originally Posted by DrewPeterson7 View Post

    ...gain staging, or at least being AWARE of how the mix decisions you're making are impacting gain, definitely matters...

    Like, if you're running a track through an EQ and boosting at 2.8khz by 3db... that's impacting track gain. Right off the bat when auditioning you're going to want to adjust output gain to try to balance the perceived volume so you're not preferring the EQ'd version just because it's louder, but far more importantly, that plugin is going to impact every single plugin downstream from it that has any sensitivity at all to gain. ... But, if you're running a track through an EQ and then into a compressor, then by selectively boosting a particular frequency band you're in turn changing the amplitude of the output signal, and making it look differently when it hits the front of the compressor... And, by clamping down on parts of the signal over a certain threshold, potentially changing how the EQ tweak is perceived as it passes through the rest of your FX chain, etc.
    Very well said!! That's an excellent answer to ashcat and altarman's response a from couple days ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    Why don't you start? How and why do you believe it "does very much matter"?
    Quote Originally Posted by alterman View Post
    Yeah. Start.

    In short, as Drew has illustrated, it is about how someone manages their signal as its passed from plugin to plugin down the insert chain. And the behavior of some plugins changes depending on how you are hitting them. The ability to change and manage levels effectively as adjustments are made throughout the session requires an ideal starting point. Again, great explanation Drew!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    IMHO gain staging when tracking is more a "don't get unwanted distortion" deal but mixing , not only in the box plugins but routing to hardware units gain staging (or Trim) is something to keep an eye on NOT for distortion but to make whatever i'm sending program material through works right in it's "sweet spot" to get the result I am listening for.
    This is a good point also. The reason there even IS a 'sweetspot' in some plugins (take digital gates for example) is because the hysteresis and release curves are NOT linear. This is what we call 'program dependent'. And as Gtoboy has realized, distortion/saturation is not the only type of program dependent plugin. Another excellent example of why gain staging practices 'very much matter' when ITB.

    Quote Originally Posted by alterman View Post
    Nothing wrong with discussing technique. The point is in what i said, endless.
    You can keep talking, but there's a point you simply have to start.
    No one can talk himself into pro. That has to grow by doing, trying, failing, and eventually succeeding.
    Do you find there are people here attempting 'talk' themselves into becoming a pro? Very interesting observation.
    Last edited by jkuehlin; 1 Week Ago at 15:29.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Trending
    Posts
    18,082
    Thanks
    219
    Thanked 742 Times in 644 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474864
    Quote Originally Posted by jkuehlin View Post
    Very well said!! That's an excellent answer to Asscat and altarman's response a from couple days ago.
    Who is "Asscat"...?

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    113
    Thanks
    39
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Rep Power
    220237
    Quote Originally Posted by jkuehlin View Post
    Do you find there are people here attempting 'talk' themselves into becoming a pro? Very interesting observation.
    Noop. Please don't feel attacked as that is not my intention.
    In general i often confront people who talk to long and don't start. Some even talk that much that they speak about levels scaring them off and makes them stop. I even have to motivate myself once and a while to simply start because I stay in the practical technique too much.
    I only want to motivate people to not being afraid to start and sometime fail meanwhile learning. That's all. In the end you will have to start with the first step to finish at the top of the stairs. Perhaps you can skip one or two steps but not the whole stairs so don't try that.
    So yes sometimes i see people still talking were they better should start doing.

    And sometimes, not particular on this forum, i see people talking much more then they eventually achieve. Like the guy i already told about. And i'm almost scared to say it but some off them do that to look more interesting.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,685
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 295 Times in 268 Posts
    Rep Power
    5753153
    Quote Originally Posted by jkuehlin View Post
    This is a good point also. The reason there even IS a 'sweetspot' in some plugins (take digital gates for example) is because the hysteresis and release curves are NOT linear. This is what we call 'program dependent'. And as Gtoboy has realized, distortion/saturation is not the only type of program dependent plugin. Another excellent example of why gain staging practices 'very much matter' when ITB.
    I'm not sure how this is any more difficult than "turn the knobs til it sounds good and if that doesn't work, try a different knob." It is nice to have some idea of how a given knob might help or hurt, and sure even how different levels might affect different stages in the chain, but it's not really the super-critical, ultra-mysterious, life or death situation that causes people to post multiple "What's the right level" threads before they even feel like they can do anything. All that actually matters - especially in the box - is whether it sounds right or not. It's not at all unusual that the wrong levels are what make a given thing sound right.

    But I guess I was actually trying to head off that whole thing where people get all caught up trying to make sure everything starts and stays just right nuts on -18dbFS. There are plenty of reasons why that might be wrong at any given step of the process. Even if there is a "sweet spot" in a given process, there's usually wiggle room, there are shades in between, and frankly it probably depends more on the dynamic range of the signal more than the absolute levels. We have plenty of ways to turn things up and down before, after, and between any plugins we might be using, and we should not be afraid to use them.


    Now the thing about changing EQ before compression (or anything else, especially other non-linear processes) in order to shape the way that process responds IS something of an intermediate - if not advanced - technique that is worth playing with and learning about. I do a whole lot of "pre-emphasis/de-emphasis" - sandwiching like a compressor between a pair of EQs that are more or less complimentary to one another. Maybe you boost the bass going into the compressor to get it pumping, but then when you get the compression you want, it's too much bass, so you knock it back down on the other side. Some of that can be done by way of sidechaining or using other techniques, but it's not exactly the same thing.

    Wanted to mention too, since it came up, that I generally would not boost a frequency on an EQ except that I want that frequency to be louder. If I don't want that frequency to get louder, but I do want the sound to have a greater proportion of that frequency, I'll usually cut the stuff I don't want. That is, Subtractive EQ is the answer to that particular "problem". I don't bother level matching. I change the EQ and if that means I then need to adjust the overall level, then I do that. It's not true that things always "sound better" just because they're louder in a mix. It's actually almost as likely that they will just sound wrong, because they're now too loud for the mix. I don't know if my point is really coming across here, maybe it's just a fine philosophical distinction, but in a lot of ways it's like that whole thing with Pan Law. It literally only matters when you're moving the knob. If you pan your shit and it gets louder or softer or whatever, you move the fader and it's fixed.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    6,542
    Thanks
    266
    Thanked 444 Times in 413 Posts
    Rep Power
    12973598
    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    I'm not sure how this is any more difficult than "turn the knobs til it sounds good and if that doesn't work, try a different knob." It is nice to have some idea of how a given knob might help or hurt, and sure even how different levels might affect different stages in the chain, but it's not really the super-critical, ultra-mysterious, life or death situation that causes people to post multiple "What's the right level" threads before they even feel like they can do anything. All that actually matters - especially in the box - is whether it sounds right or not. It's not at all unusual that the wrong levels are what make a given thing sound right.

    But I guess I was actually trying to head off that whole thing where people get all caught up trying to make sure everything starts and stays just right nuts on -18dbFS. There are plenty of reasons why that might be wrong at any given step of the process. Even if there is a "sweet spot" in a given process, there's usually wiggle room, there are shades in between, and frankly it probably depends more on the dynamic range of the signal more than the absolute levels. We have plenty of ways to turn things up and down before, after, and between any plugins we might be using, and we should not be afraid to use them.


    Now the thing about changing EQ before compression (or anything else, especially other non-linear processes) in order to shape the way that process responds IS something of an intermediate - if not advanced - technique that is worth playing with and learning about. I do a whole lot of "pre-emphasis/de-emphasis" - sandwiching like a compressor between a pair of EQs that are more or less complimentary to one another. Maybe you boost the bass going into the compressor to get it pumping, but then when you get the compression you want, it's too much bass, so you knock it back down on the other side. Some of that can be done by way of sidechaining or using other techniques, but it's not exactly the same thing.

    Wanted to mention too, since it came up, that I generally would not boost a frequency on an EQ except that I want that frequency to be louder. If I don't want that frequency to get louder, but I do want the sound to have a greater proportion of that frequency, I'll usually cut the stuff I don't want. That is, Subtractive EQ is the answer to that particular "problem". I don't bother level matching. I change the EQ and if that means I then need to adjust the overall level, then I do that. It's not true that things always "sound better" just because they're louder in a mix. It's actually almost as likely that they will just sound wrong, because they're now too loud for the mix. I don't know if my point is really coming across here, maybe it's just a fine philosophical distinction, but in a lot of ways it's like that whole thing with Pan Law. It literally only matters when you're moving the knob. If you pan your shit and it gets louder or softer or whatever, you move the fader and it's fixed.
    I have to agree with much of what is said here. The main point of affect on a plug in, EQ before a compressor will very likely have an impact on your compressor. Just use threshold adjustment for example, if I reduce a sound that would reduce the overall input, that would definitely have an impact.

    Most other things I can' say how or if I can even hear the difference, but there are some that are very obvious and noticeable.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Age
    37
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    17488499
    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    I'm not sure how this is any more difficult than "turn the knobs til it sounds good and if that doesn't work, try a different knob." It is nice to have some idea of how a given knob might help or hurt, and sure even how different levels might affect different stages in the chain, but it's not really the super-critical, ultra-mysterious, life or death situation that causes people to post multiple "What's the right level" threads before they even feel like they can do anything. All that actually matters - especially in the box - is whether it sounds right or not. It's not at all unusual that the wrong levels are what make a given thing sound right.

    But I guess I was actually trying to head off that whole thing where people get all caught up trying to make sure everything starts and stays just right nuts on -18dbFS.
    Bolded two points for emphasis. First, I think the first bit I bolded, that it's nice to have some idea of what a knob does and why it might help or hurt before you start twisting it, is exactly what I'm getting at. In a modern DAW, there are a LOT of different knobs to turn, and you could try to get a killer mix going just by throwing a whole bunch of random EQ and compression tweaks at a mix, and a million monkeys with a million copies of ProTools will eventually produce Pet Sounds... But you can do it a heck of a lot faster if you know which particular knob to turn to make that high end fizz on your rhythm guitars get pulled back into the mix a little more.

    Second, just to clarify, that's NOT what I'm saying, that there's some theoretical level that we should be running everything at, and if you happen to hit an EQ at -17.6dfFS, then the mix is ruined... So much as, you're going to get a lot better results, a lot faster, if you're at least AWARE of what's going on as the signal runs through a FX chain, and what's happening to the output at each stage.

    So, heck... Maybe you could even say that what I'm talking about isn't even gain staging in the purest sense, so much as just a really good awareness of each step in the virtual signal routing as audio moves through the DAW. Part of that - a large part - is definitely gain, but it's less about specific levels and more about just making sure everything is operating in a range where it can be effective. Like, that the compressor you carefully dialed in to knock just the peaks down by 4:1... When you start EQing the track in front of the compressor and everything you try sounds like garbage, at least having the awareness that you might want to check your compression threshold again and maybe the issue isn't the EQ cut itself, it's that everything sounds weirdly thin because now your peaks are nowhere near that compressor threshold anymore. That kind of stuff.

    And yes, to alterman's point, that's definitely something I've learned the hard way. "Ohh.... No wonder that sounds like crap, I'm overloading the %$@!#@#$ out of that thing!"
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,685
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 295 Times in 268 Posts
    Rep Power
    5753153
    I think we're mostly saying the same thing. I think my main point is that in digital for sure and in analog with a coupe caveats, absolute level doesn't much matter. It's all relative to the specific piece of gear - software or hardware.

    But yeah, I don't consider paying attention to what your doing to the sound and learning which tools do what to be really advanced level stuff. To me that's like basic. Maybe that's because I did start in analog where you're generally trying to keep a bus with four flat tires going 200MPH down a two lane tunnel with no shoulder space. But that's the basics. Learn your tools.

    I don't want to make it out like pre-emph/de-emph is some secret thing I invented, but at this point it's another one of those things that kind of just intuitive to me. Like, if I had the compressor doing what I wanted to do, but I wanted to pull a little bass out of it, I'd put the damn EQ after the compressor because duh. I figured it out like the first time I tried it. It made sense to me because I understood what these things were doing to the signal. And I probably did actually say "Duh" out loud. It happens to be the real secret of how and why all those boutique guitar pedals sound the way they do. Like at this point, any real innovation in overdrive/distortion/fuzz is in how you filter the signal before the nonlinearity - which frequencies will dominate and what harmonics will be generated, and after - what part of the mess that came out of the distortion stage do we actually want to hear.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    ArizonaMaybe
    Age
    68
    Posts
    9,420
    Thanks
    180
    Thanked 157 Times in 145 Posts
    Rep Power
    9366460
    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    I have to agree with much of what is said here. The main point of affect on a plug in, EQ before a compressor will very likely have an impact on your compressor. Just use threshold adjustment for example, if I reduce a sound that would reduce the overall input, that would definitely have an impact.
    Most other things I can' say how or if I can even hear the difference, but there are some that are very obvious and noticeable.
    I have a general guideline I use considering if an eq might or might not want to be before of after a compressor; If it's not going to make significant changes in level, or is part of track cleanup (i.e. filtering excess or unwanted low end -eq before the comp is fine.
    And consider to the compressor's decetor circuit, most other tone adjustment's level changes appear rather small in dB compared to the changes in track volume you're typically trying to tame.
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to mixsit For This Useful Post:


  10. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    113
    Thanks
    39
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Rep Power
    220237
    Quote Originally Posted by DrewPeterson7 View Post
    And yes, to alterman's point, that's definitely something I've learned the hard way. "Ohh.... No wonder that sounds like crap, I'm overloading the %$@!#@#$ out of that thing!"
    Isn't that mostly the biggest problem? That people starting mostly do everything to much? To much gain. To much reverb. To much distortion. To much volume with clipping.

    Exactly why i give my advice to learn to listen for analizing the music, learn the basic edits, to get the good sound you want to get. And that's rather basic.
    Because thats what it's mostly about, getting a good sound. You don't want a sound that strange which no one digs or can't handle.
    Were the rest you do is fooling around to get some unusual fun sounds in the song to be new. With that you can do whatever you want to get what you want.

  11. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Age
    37
    Posts
    2,451
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    17488499
    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    But yeah, I don't consider paying attention to what your doing to the sound and learning which tools do what to be really advanced level stuff. To me that's like basic. Maybe that's because I did start in analog where you're generally trying to keep a bus with four flat tires going 200MPH down a two lane tunnel with no shoulder space. But that's the basics. Learn your tools.
    Bingo - here's where we differ, then. I'm just on the cusp, at 37, where I started in digital, as a hobbyist, not working on tape, and I think that's one of the most fundamental differences between guys who cut their teeth on a DAW vs guys who cut their teeth tracking to tape and mixing on a console - all this stuff about keeping a careful eye on your levels is second nature for you because you HAD to think this way simply to not fuck anything up while you worked, and from that perspective, digital is probably kind of liberating because it's like the gloves coming off. For someone who started digital and never really had to worry about gain staging beyond the tracking process and ensuring you weren't clipping on input, though, it's entirely possible that you could get reasonably good at the basics of mixing without really thinking all that much about how the output of one track or plugin is impacting the impact of the next. And, from that perspective, especially as increasingly I've found "saturation" effects that II actually really like (I use the Sonimus Burnley73 on damned near everything these days) the level that the track is hitting the plugin really begins to matter.

    So, from a pure digital perspective, actually starting to consciously think about gain staging within your DAW actually CAN be a pretty powerful way of looking at a mix... But, I totally get that for someone who started on tape, it's like I just burst into a room of long distance runners and said, "you guys! I've got this super innovative technique I just thought up! I call it 'breathing' and you do it by inhaling and pulling oxygen into your lungs, and then exhaling to expell carbon dioxide, and if you keep doing it long enough, you won't die!"
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-04-2017, 23:24
  2. New ROCK!!! Is it professional sounding??
    By Analytical Man in forum MP3 Mixing Clinic
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-04-2009, 14:42
  3. How to get a professional sounding sound?
    By xpunkskaterx in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 07-31-2008, 12:32
  4. Professional Sounding Results
    By BradD in forum Microphones
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 09-22-2003, 21:27
  5. Higher End STAudio stuff?
    By rivercity in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-10-2001, 13:03

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •