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Thread: Essentials for a good mix?

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    Essentials for a good mix?

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    Hey, I'm new to the forum and still pretty new to producing, I rap and have been producing for about about a year. I can't remember which forum it was, but I saw one (when sampling) that said all you really need is compression. With that being said, how would one get the same quality of a track that producers like Dr. Dre get with only Compression? Does he use more than compression, if so then what? Thank you

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    who knows what he used (or his MelMan, or whoever worked with mix/master) ... but i also want to know why his album is one of the best produced ever...someone said, volume on his 2001's has the max of maximum volume 'power'...i dont know how nobody after these years cant get again that strong sound..

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    rumour has it that Rick Rubin does not eq anything but does pan, set levels and compress

    some things to be aware of

    compression gives you a false sense of increasing the high frequency content of your track, simply because if your compress and add back in makeup gain you are raising all freqs equally but due to the way we hear frequency it seems as though we are lifting the mids and highs in compassion to the lows, which require more energy to be heard as being at the same "volume"

    from the above we should take away that we should not try to overcompensate for missing low end energy

    in general I follow a sequence of mixing like so:
    start with
    • all faders at then nominal 0dB level on the console
    • all eq off (no cut, no boost)
    • all panning centered
    Now we address level balancing
    • make sure that the most important thing can be heard by reducing the fader levels of all other tracks
    • now do this for the second most important thing
    • repeat until you have your levels balanced
    Now address panning
    • pan each instrument to where you think they should be
    • revisit your level balancing if necessary
    Now address eq
    • panning and level balancing may need to be revisited
    Apply FX and Compression as needed
    • address your fx as inserts - compression, distortion, chorus, flanging, phasing etc - and send - reverb, delays etc
    • address level balancing and panning as needed
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonChris View Post
    Hey, I'm new to the forum and still pretty new to producing, I rap and have been producing for about about a year. I can't remember which forum it was, but I saw one (when sampling) that said all you really need is compression. With that being said, how would one get the same quality of a track that producers like Dr. Dre get with only Compression? Does he use more than compression, if so then what? Thank you
    Compression, EQ, Reverbs/Delays. Pretty much.

    Even when you record using your mics and change mic position, you apply EQ.
    So saying that compression is the only thing needed for a production, without even reverb for depth and a 3D mix... nonsense.

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    Probably not a standard essential, but I like to dub and pan a lot. I will dub pads or soft synths and play them at about -50 and +50 (on a -100 to 100 scale). I will dub melodies the same way, playing them really soft on each side and then the main melody in the middle much louder or bouncing around if it's that type of beat that needs it. Sometimes I will play one of the melodies on the right or left in a different note to spice things up. The only thing I ever keep in the middle is the drums, 808, and melody. Then things like SFX, transitions, symbol crashes, etc. will begin in the middle and then fade into the right or left. I like to spread things out and dub them to make it sound like a 4 lane highway then so much a 1 way street. I do much as I can with panning and dubbing before I rely on VSTs to make my mix sound fuller. I mainly use EQ, reverb, compression, etc. to get a certain sound, more than using it for mixing. Then I usually cap it off with Ozone 6.

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    this was really helpful thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by bandcoach View Post
    rumour has it that Rick Rubin does not eq anything but does pan, set levels and compress

    some things to be aware of

    compression gives you a false sense of increasing the high frequency content of your track, simply because if your compress and add back in makeup gain you are raising all freqs equally but due to the way we hear frequency it seems as though we are lifting the mids and highs in compassion to the lows, which require more energy to be heard as being at the same "volume"

    from the above we should take away that we should not try to overcompensate for missing low end energy

    in general I follow a sequence of mixing like so:
    start with
    • all faders at then nominal 0dB level on the console
    • all eq off (no cut, no boost)
    • all panning centered

    Now we address level balancing
    • make sure that the most important thing can be heard by reducing the fader levels of all other tracks
    • now do this for the second most important thing
    • repeat until you have your levels balanced

    Now address panning
    • pan each instrument to where you think they should be
    • revisit your level balancing if necessary

    Now address eq
    • panning and level balancing may need to be revisited

    Apply FX and Compression as needed
    • address your fx as inserts - compression, distortion, chorus, flanging, phasing etc - and send - reverb, delays etc
    • address level balancing and panning as needed
    This is pretty cleanly laid out. Only tip I would add is to continuously listen at different levels (but not too loud or you will tire you ears), and occasionally listen to an A/B comparison of your mix to see the direction you are going in.

  8. #8
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    - Work with the dynamics iteratively, layer by layer

    Do not force your mix to dynamic death, rather build up the dynamics gradually and maintain dynamic control throughout the process

    - Focus equally much on expand as on compress

    Some frequencies need to be expanded, some need to be compressed. All frequencies do not need to be compressed always.

    - Control the mid range of each sound source well in solo

    A good mid range is the hallmark of a great sounding mix and doing it well with compressors on individual sound sources, sums up to a great mid range.

    - Remove ackumulated transient build ups, from for instance the kick and bass

    Do not take shortcuts with your use of compressors. Instead go advanced, with side chaining, multi stage compression etc.

    - Add reverb and delay on instruments before adding more sound sources into your balancing process

    The reverb and delays are over- or underutilized when configured at the wrong point in time in the mix process. Instead add and balance these effects for each instrument before adding more instruments, and fine tune them iteratively as you add more sound sources. Build the mix from the sound source where you are most dependent on a good sounding ambience. If it is a snare, start from the snare, if it is the vocals start from the vocals... Just ensure you have a really good single instrument with great ambience present in the mix, before you resume the mix process. If you add the reverbs and delays later, it will be challenging to get a good sound.

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    Wow, like Mike D said this helped alot! I don't exactly know all of what some of you guys said like whatbdynamics and side chaining and stuff is but I'll figure it out. I use Fl studio so I'm sure i can find videos on it. And also would anybody happen to have any tips on mixing vocals? Thanks

  10. #10
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    Great advice thanks
    Music lover & producer
    silentreverb.com

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