If you run out of gain mixing tracks , should you compress it for more volume?

hmm... Yes this is better! but humour me.....

high pass arp guitar at 150, low pass at 10khz, scoop a lot out at 1khz, boost some 8khz, if you brought up too much harsh then cut some 2-5khz, this will make your arp guitar (not the focus) give nice shimmery high end, turn it into a supporting instrument while clearing space in mids and clearing up the low end of your mix a bit.

Get your vocal back in there, I can't judge anything without the vocal. But for the arp, I am treating it at a part of the rhythm guitar group, rhythm guitar got the mids and bottom covered, arp can give you the nice highs. The arp probably needs to come down in volume further still though, let there be plenty of overlap though. don't go crazy.

Get a balance where your guitars sound the same in volume with the faders, use EQ to create further seperation, and to balance brightness. To me the arp stole ALL of my attention, it's just too loud and big.

If you like your vocal buried, as do i. it's fine. but you need to make it big, lots of parallel distortion, saturation on the main track, timed delays, stereo stuff, thickening. You will have the illusion of it being louder than it really is. needs to be dense, lots of compression, and some limiting even, parallel compression track, parallel octave track, some noise, etc, otherwise you will forever be struggling to find a fader position. it will be impossible in fact without the appropiate big track to small track ratios.

I don't think it's possible to walk you through this, it's not a dig, it's not possible to walk anybody through it. you need to make your 1000 mistakes per mix, and keep going like that!

I mean, after the arp gets massaged into place, there are plenty of other problems that need addressing, but it's mainly that I think you need to balance your tracks so they are of similar volume, then start making tracks smaller, or bigger to create that contrast

I was struggling with mixes in the past like yours, or with even less tracks even. it did not matter where I placed the faders, the issue was that supporting instruments were too big. so what worked with me was balancing the lead so it sat into it, and compressing the rhythm track with fastest attack which pushed it back a bit (without turning it down) and when that started to work then lights went off in my head and I added a chorus to wash it out a bit and it was like wow..... the rhythm was less focused and with the leads much drier, it gave an illusion that the leads was way up front without needing to turn it up (like a picture with a blurry background but focused front image), so then i started thinking about bringing the leads forward with transient design, drier effects, less decay times etc. the vocals kept stepping forward each time. parallel compression, saturation. etc. 1step forward, 2 steps. etc. not an EQ issue at all like I thought it was and had wasted so many hours on. and it translated soooo much better.

By the way, I'm still learning lots myself. I can't get mixes that compete with the guys im looking up to. And I'm having serious issues much like you are at the moment. But i'm not beating myself up over it just yet, realistically speaking im trying to compete with guys that have 40years more experience than me. I may never even catch up! But I like cracking small pieces of the puzzle a little at a time.
 
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LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
high pass arp guitar at 150, low pass at 10khz, scoop a lot out at 1khz, boost some 8khz, if you brought up too much harsh then cut some 2-5khz, this will make your arp guitar (not the focus) give nice shimmery high end, turn it into a supporting instrument while clearing space in mids and clearing up the low end of your mix a bit.
First thing tommorrow.
Get a balance where your guitars sound the same in volume with the faders, use EQ to create further seperation, and to balance brightness. To me the arp stole ALL of my attention, it's just too loud and big.
After I get a balance, I want to try the sub group thing with the guitars on a fader.
If you like your vocal buried,
My voice is ....Im a garbage vocalist. I can force it to make sound. As you have heard. Burried it is then. i will put it back in.
.

I don't think it's possible to walk you through this,
There is a lot more to it than most think. You could be right, but this helps plenty. Many thanks.

Here is the Reaper project. I removed the solo/vocal/and keys to lighten it. the file is 287 mb . I think was big because the bitrate was excessive.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
I would suggest removing whatever compression you have on your master out. Nothing has any punch because every time the kick hits, the rest of the mix gets sucked back. It's 'pumping' badly man.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
no reverbs on master track.......noted.

Fairveiw i downloaded the songs, I will look/listen to them in a few hours on the home monitors. They will be deleted in 24hrs cool?

That masterlimiting VST has no auto gain. Is that why it is pumping?
 
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LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
OK, I uploaded three full songs
There are many changes. Tightness and in the bass. Scared for life, was -15 LUFs and -5 Mastered. It was really brought to life. There is the level change, done by what could be the compressor. Interesting. Thanks. Tell me more about what I hear.
.
its pumping badly


Humor me...The ARP guitar was turned down in the middle by 1-2 db. I cannot even tell. Its slightly thinner. I didn't boost 8k enough.

No reverb on master.
Backed off the compressor. Could it be pumping cause there's no auto make up gain on? level was supposed to come from the comp.
added vocal back.

Screenshot 2021-09-23 113418.jpg

Vocal settings on free VST. No idea what ratio or anything about vocal king. Looks like 2 simple compressors in series with a low cut. The vocal clips a bunch. I must a hit it pretty hard.
I even hit some of the notes..

https://soundcloud.com/mark-c-746521042%2Fnopumping-vocals-new
 
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Farview

Well-known member
Mostly during mixing. Back when I was using analog tape, I would apply some eq on the way in. But that was mainly to counteract the limitations of tape.
With digital it was normally mic-preamp-converters and add everything in the mix.

The exceptions to the rule are compression on bass and vocals. But I never compress to tame the levels, I compress to get the sound of compression.
 

TimOD

Member
"level was supposed to come from the comp." Keep the compressors off the Master bus, but if they're on there, go real easy. I use Acustica's Aquamarine4 Opto on the Master bus, but the gain reduction needle move almost imperceptably. Depending on the mix, I use the compressor's output to raise the gain a bit going into Acustica's White 2 Mastering EQ, which more often than not is on, but no cuts or boosts are being used. It's gain output then hits Magix' Ammunition, a type of compressor/limiter that is post- fader in which, again, the "needle" is barely moving. I should say that the mix initially hits Slate's Virtual mix Rack with the Trident console emulation (almost always) and then one of Slate's preamps. Every bounced mix is between -2.5 and just shy of 0 dBFS, from the various adjustments of the aforementioned plugs. This loudness is fine for client mixes and my own judgement mixes. RMS levels are between -15 and -12, with some mixes hitting -10. This, to me, is fine for pre-mastered tracks and demos. Of course, what the mix is doing before it gets to the master bus is crucial, isn't it?
 

Mr. ROUSH

Active member
Definitely doing something wrong if you're "running out of gain." I'm sure this has already been said, but I'm going to say it anyway. There's not really any such phenomenon that is "running out of gain." Technically, you can put as many gain plugins on a track as your computer will allow you and just keep raising the gain. But, in a digital recording environment, your ceiling is 0db. Everything will fit within the gain you already have. Gain staging is your issue here. Instead of trying to turn the one thing up more, you need to turn everything else down. Your overall master volume shouldn't go over 0db, and most likely, you want to end up with an average of -3db - -6db on your master to allow some headroom. Amplitude is relative. One sound will be perceived as louder when all of the other sounds are lower.
 
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