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Thread: Mixing questions [Reason]

  1. #1
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    Mixing questions [Reason]

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    1- I don't think i'm crazy, and I have made research about it but when I export my songs from reason, something crumbles, or at least it's not the same. Now i'm afraid if I run two programs at the same time I will get a blue screen so I just export it and mix it in Cubase with severals plugins or Ableton Live.
    So my question is, what more can I do ? Oh ! I only have Reason 5 i should say.. I've tried a lot of thing on the master channel, compression by send now .. i automate level and effects (dry/wet) through the song, or at least at lot of places and i try to stay as clear as possible, i remove a LOT of frequencies with EQ and Filters, boost too, I do my best to compress right, i read about this thing.. turn the thresold down ratio infinite attack slow release fast then turn around and trust my ear.. i don't expect to make flawless groove by this week but i'd like more advice on my mix.

    2- How much room should I leave for the vocal ?

    3- Is it dangerous to automate a ratio on side-chaining ?

    4- Should I carve a little space for my hi-hat or let them run on the whole mid-high high ?

    5- Snare/Bd/Bass relation, I EQ Compress seperatly all layers and mostly rely on the magik attack release to find their place. Should I clone the signal and compress them together somewhere ? I mean, i tried it but it didn't feel right.. but maybe I did it wrong...

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    1. It's weird if your DAW sounds worse after exporting. Investigating and testing is the right way to learn more, good job there. Sorry I don't have any answers for this.

    2. With the disclaimer that your songs should be quiet enough to never reach 0dB on the master (and has no business getting close), it doesn't matter how much room you leave for your vocal. It is somewhat genre dependent: country and church music are notorious for having super loud vocals, while punk rock generally has a muffled and quiet vocal. Mix the vocal volume according to your genre, your preference, and what your song needs.

    3. Dangerous is a strong word, but I don't know why you'd want to automate a ratio for side-chaining. If it makes it freak out and clip or potentially damage speakers, don't do it. If it enhances what you're doing, go for it.

    4. Every hat sample has a different frequency spectrum, so every hat needs unique treatment. I hate to sound repetitive, but it's up to you what you want to do to it, and what you want to do to the mix around it. Maybe in one song, you severely cut an offending frequency in a hat, in another song you make it super crispy and bright, in another song you EQ it to sound dull, in another song you make it sound crunchy and lo-fi, and in another song you pump it with side-chain compression. Do what works for the song, and trust your creativity to get there. That's the fun in mixing!

    5a. I'm not sure I entirely understand the question, and I don't know what Bd is short for. Compressing and EQing each drum separately is helpful if each needs it. Samples are often pre-compressed, so don't be afraid to skip compression if it doesn't need it. You can compress all of the drums together in a bus to help glue them together if it sounds good to you. I clone instruments/tracks all the time, in order to process each layer differently then combine. Especially with keys and guitars.

    5b. Parallel Compression or "New York Compression" is when you separately heavily compress an instrument or group of instruments, then feed a little back into the mix. This is common on drums. For example, you have your lightly compressed drum bus, but you have another drum bus that is heavily compressed: normal drum bus is good and loud, heavily compressed drum bus is very low in the mix, according to taste. One function of this is that it helps an instrument or group of instruments sound louder during quiet parts, but the same level during loud parts. Another function is that it can change the tonality of the instrument or group during a single section, like enhancing drum hit tails without emphasizing drum hit transients. I know this style is very popular with certain styles of rock mixing, but I don't know that it is popular with more electronic music or hip-hop. If you don't like the sound, you may not be configuring the compression right, it might not fit the song or genre, or it just might not be your preference. And that's fine. If you don't like it, don't use it. Again, the goal isn't to follow some formula: the goal is to make great sounding music.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks a lot for your answers, i'll simply try to not doubt my self and experiment even more. Concerning the room, i was talking more in frequencies than db.
    BD means Bass Drum = Kick
    5a 5b & 4 really helps

    Would you listen to a couple of my tracks and critic my mix ? If you have time
    Last edited by Barino; 05-26-2016 at 10:13 AM.

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    Vocal room:

    It used to be really popular to create really busy, full, dense mixes. Lots of instruments competing for space. Now, it's very popular for mixes to be sparse and open. The "less is more" approach. You can hear this in most current genres just by listening to the radio (ignoring the more dated but popular genres).

    If that's your question, I recommend intentionally aiming towards sparse mixes. If I don't stay on guard, my songs end up super dense with lots of instruments just because it is so fun to add each instrument. But when I intentionally start subtracting, I find I enjoy the song more. I recommend doing the same.


    Critiques:

    Yes, I'd be happy to listen. You can provide links here, or send them to me in a private message.

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