Eight track owners: Mixing & bouncing questions

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
Hey folks,

I just wrapped up an intensive project, the first of its kind where I really went all out and did a ton of overdubs and bounces. I think there's around 28 total source tracks, all bounced down for the final mix.

For reference, here it is. It's my interpretation of the Allen Ginsberg poem "Psalm III": Click here

This is just a test mix, so it's still a little rough.

The main reason for all of the bounces is that the "special effects" stems were five or six tracks each (often they were multiple tracks of the same tape loop recorded at different intervals), tracked on a separate stretch of the tape while listening to a reference dub of the main mix. I bounced the effects mixes down to my two track deck and then punched in the stems at the right place on the multitrack master.

The problem, though, is that I have some stems that sound more compressed than others and I had to really crank up the compression on the final mix to get it all to hold together. The end result sounds a bit more compressed than I'd like, and a little "thin" for my taste. Looking back I probably could have used less compression on the bounce mixes, or no compression at all (although some of the mixes were really wily and had to be tamed into place).

I know what I'll do differently when I do the final mix again, and I think I know how I'll do my bounce mixes differently in the following pieces. But I want to ask my fellow eight track owners how they approach these kinds of big projects, where multiple bounces are necessary. Can you relate your experience with this sort of thing? Do you have any "rules of thumb" that you've developed and practice?

Thanks in advance for your help! :)
Jeffrey
 

dodgeaspen

New member
That's 100% cool man. I love this stuff. Only question I have is in the first half of the recording are you using the sound of the ocean in the background or is it tape hiss? I ask because I'm using a cheap set of speakers right now. Either way it's awesome.
 

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
That's 100% cool man. I love this stuff. Only question I have is in the first half of the recording are you using the sound of the ocean in the background or is it tape hiss? I ask because I'm using a cheap set of speakers right now. Either way it's awesome.

Thanks!! It's actually a recording I made of a rainy day on Market street (San Francisco's main street), by sticking a large diaphragm condenser in my window :)
 

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
Thanks! Just a note, my only gripe with it is that I made a poor choice with reverb on the main spoken part... I EQed that track in a way that creates some distinct reverb artifacts, making it sound like I recorded it in a tin can :) Thankfully I can address that in the final mix.
 

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
How did you create those Tape Delay effects? If you feel like revealing that..

Absolutely. The two most prominent delay effects were pretty simple, all told.

One of the effects stems was created by using pre-echo. You record one or more tracks on your multitrack recorder, let's say that you're recording the word "Hello". Flip the tape over, so that the track is playing 'backward', add echo, and record onto another track. When you flip the tape over again (to play it 'forward'), the effect sounds like "hello Hello HELLO" (crescendo) with an abrupt cutoff afterward. The rest of the delay effects were created using endless feedback echo, going kind of "back to front" (decrescendo).

The way that I get the 'endless' echo is I assign the source track to a particular buss. I plug the buss' auxiliary output into a tape machine, and take the tape's output and assign it to the same buss as the source track. There's a handful of variables to tweak depending on the sound you want, but the operating principal here is that you're creating a feedback loop between the mixer and the recorder.

I can answer more specific questions if you have any. It'll give me material for the blog article I've been wanting to write on this subject :)
 

digidoon

New member
One of the effects stems was created by using pre-echo. You record one or more tracks on your multitrack recorder, let's say that you're recording the word "Hello". Flip the tape over, so that the track is playing 'backward', add echo, and record onto another track. When you flip the tape over again (to play it 'forward'), the effect sounds like "hello Hello HELLO" (crescendo) with an abrupt cutoff afterward. The rest of the delay effects were created using endless feedback echo, going kind of "back to front" (decrescendo).

Ok I think I got that!

The way that I get the 'endless' echo is I assign the source track to a particular buss. I plug the buss' auxiliary output into a tape machine, and take the tape's output and assign it to the same buss as the source track. There's a handful of variables to tweak depending on the sound you want, but the operating principal here is that you're creating a feedback loop between the mixer and the recorder.

Are you doing this part live durring the Mixdown?
 

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
"The way that I get the 'endless' echo is I assign the source track to a particular buss. I plug the buss' auxiliary output into a tape machine, and take the tape's output and assign it to the same buss as the source track. There's a handful of variables to tweak depending on the sound you want, but the operating principal here is that you're creating a feedback loop between the mixer and the recorder."

Are you doing this part live durring the Mixdown?

It depends on what I'm trying to do. If I want the effect to be the key feature of any particular 'voice' in the recording then I'll do it before I bounce the mix down. More importantly, though, I make the decision based on how I can get the sound I want in the fewest operations possible, to mitigate generation loss and to get a sound that is as full and detailed as possible before I compress for the final mix.
 

j.harv

@#$%
That is a really COOL track.
I would love to try something like that,but wouldn't know where to start.
 

lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
That is a really COOL track.
I would love to try something like that,but wouldn't know where to start.

Thanks!!

I've been trying new things in the studio... I used to focus exclusively on pure sound and textures but I found that I really needed to apply it to something instead of letting it be on its own. This is really the first fruits of this new experiment, which builds on lessons learned over three years of spending nearly 20 hours a week figuring out what kind of music I wanted to make :)

This isn't to say that you need to spend the same amount of time I have - I use my studio as an instrument and I've worked hard to discover how I want to use this instrument.
 

shakemake

New member
Hey folks,

I just wrapped up an intensive project, the first of its kind where I really went all out and did a ton of overdubs and bounces. I think there's around 28 total source tracks, all bounced down for the final mix.

For reference, here it is. It's my interpretation of the Allen Ginsberg poem "Psalm III": Click here
Hey Jeffrey!

Link stopped working but if you still have this track lying around i'd love to hear it:~) reading these descriptions here has got me very intrigued!

all the best
finn:)
 
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