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I've looked over the forum. I've downloaded the articles and all that I could on compression. However, I'M STILL LOST. LOL I can get the instruments sounding great. Vocals is another thing. LOL... The better the music sounds, the worse the vocals get. Here's the funny thing, I can get the vocals to sound great... But then the instruments sound bad. I can't seem to get them to mesh together. I'm thinging it's eq. Now I've also been using some recordings and comparing. So here is another problem, My mix seems to be running wild so to speak. To explain better, There seems to be seperation between the music and the voices... In the mix I'm comparing to, It feels .."3D".. Does that make sense. It's like the the horn has effects, but in a bubble, not all over. So some questins for the experts here.. ;) 1- What is the problem and fix for the vocals, and the instruments not meshing? 2- How do I get that control over the instruments and voices like in the last paragraph? Is it done with some ort of noise reduction?
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Yes we are experts BUT what the hell are you talking about? You've got to tell what kind of system you're working on, PC? Mac? Freestanding? What? And what kind of program material are you recording with what microphones? See what I'm saying? You've got to give a scenario to work with because it's really hard to tell someone what to do over the internet, the more details the better. Hey we're here for you.
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I'll ask a few Q's and then an actual expert ;) can take if from there. 1) are you mixing or mastering? 2) if mixing, then it sounds like you are trying to use the compressor on the overall mix - is this true? there's a link with some good info on this - if I can find it, I'll be back...

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital

www.bullmoondigital.com

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WEWUS. Sorry.. PC. DSP2416 sound card Lexicon PCM 80 connected to pc via S/PDIF Vocals were recorded on Neuman TLM 193 PREAMP: VTP1 Software: Cubase Vst 5.1rx Plugs: Waves Mastering, Gold bundle, PSP Mix pack Steve.. 1).. Both.. but in the mixing stage 2) yes and no, I've tried it both ways. My ears are good... I can hear what's going on in a mix. My problem is knowledge on how to get there.
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I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark that you're having difficulty with separation of the various tracks' frequencies, since that's a really common problem. You even seem to think it's an EQ problem, a further tip. These work for me. Maybe it'll work for you. 1. I like using a slightly different sounding mic for some of the vocals sometimes. Currently, I am using a Lawson 251, which has a nice top end. Choose a mic that has a nice top end that allows the vocals to poke out of the mix and be intelligible. Variations on this include EQing the vocals to have a little more top end. 2. Try carving an "EQ trough" in some of the midrange instruments to allow the vocals to sit in the mix a little more without riding on top of the mix. Try this on guitars, even the bass -- heck, if all else fails, try it on drums -- usually cutting out low mids from drums ain't a bad thing anyway. I like carving out the low mids (250-500 Hz) and/or some of the midrange (sweep between 1-5KHz and see what's best for you). 3. Try taking some of the high end off some of those cymbals from the drums, that kind of thing, if you feel that it's interfering with the intelligibility of the vocals. 4. Pan the instruments around the vocals a little bit. This does work; however, keep checking in mono. Personally, I won't let a mix be a final mix unless it sounds *great* in mono, but this can really help the crowding a lot. 5. Do you have too many instruments in your mix? One of the EASIEST, SIMPLEST WAYS to avoid conflicts in a mix is to get rid of one or two instruments. Got keyboards, guitars, horns, more keyboards, strings, and other gobbledygook? Dump them. I know you won't, but hey, that's what I do occasionally. If you won't dump them, make them sound a lot smaller. 6. This is my philosophy, maybe not yours, but what I like to do is feature the main instrument. In your case, that's apparently the voice. I like to get the voice as happening as possible through mic selection/placement/performance, etc., as perfectly as possible. Then, I like to surround them with lush instrumentation. BUT the instrumentation is supporting the vocals, so I will do whatever it takes to try and make the instruments work AROUND the vocals, and NOT the other way around. I don't like to touch the vocals very much. OTOH, I will mess with the instruments, since they are secondary. Whatever it takes to make the song work on a sonic and emotional level. Scoop out low mids on a bass to make everything less crowded? Sure. Are the drums too big? Maybe I'll make them a little smaller sounding. I like to remember what is the featured instrument and work from there. 7. Place the vocals in their own space with reverb (natural or fake). 8. No matter how good a compressor is, never discount riding the fader, either when recording a vocalist or when mixing vocals. The greatest compressor is a finger on the fader and your ear. The mix is a painting. Everything has its own place. Too much overlapping, and everything gets sloppy. The mix is like cooking food. Everything has its own place. Too much of one spice or flavor, and it dominates everything and makes it taste wrong. The exception to this is garlic. You can never have too much garlic.
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Hi Kevin. I called my self doing some of what you said to do. I start with listening. Then I pan instruments. then eq. Example: Kick centered.. 350 pulled down @ 1.0 Q Bass centered.. 50 cut..400 boost...1.5 boost AC Guitar: off center a littlelows cut off... I touch up the HM El Guitar mono: pan about 3/4 Cut the lows EL Guitar different mono: Pan about 3/4 to the other side Piano 2 track: Pan to spread from 1:00 to 3:00. Cut some lows.. boost the high mids. Keys stereo: Full pan left/right. cut lows, and low mids. Snare: boost 110... pan about 1:30 OVERHD: Full PAN left/right voices all mono: melody centered, harmonies, 2:00 and 4:00. Vocal stacks: about 2:30 and 4:30.. That's what I've done with the song that prompted me to post here..
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i downloaded the demo..and judging from listening to it on my 100W Altec Lansing satellite computer speaker system(good for checking mixes) - everything sounds pretty good, you might wanna give the kick a little more in the 50-90Hz area, and try the bass with no EQ (you'd be suprised) and are you compressing the kick at all? if so what settings?
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Listening on my cheap PC speakers here... :D it kinda sounds like you may have too much guitar/piano action, which occupies the same space as vocals; I think that perhaps a bit of gain-riding of those instruments around the vocals, as well as "dulling" them a bit (roll off a bit of the mids/upper mids) might help that. Another thought - I have had good success with mixing single & group vocals to a separate bus & compressing them there, independantly of the music. Ir general, when it's set to barely compress the lead vocal, at the time the group harmonies come in the compressor is hit harder & there is a bit less of a level difference, making them sit well together. If you compress the entire mix on the back end, then the signals from the instruments will kick in the compressor; so if they are overpowering the vocals going in, they will continue to step on the vocals - even worse, actually, because there is enough energy for the instrument to come out at top level, but the compressor is working on the entire signal, so it ends up turning everything down. A very crude explanation - this is not scientific, but just to illustrate my point: Say you have the comp set to drop a +3 dB signal by -3 dB, in order to maintain a 0 dB level. You then feed it a composite signal - let's call them piano and vocals - and the piano is 3 dB louder than the vocal. If the piano hits the +3 mark, (putting the vocal effectively at 0 dB) then the composite signal is reduced to 0 dB, with the ratio now being piano at 0 dB and the vocal at -3 dB. [i]OK guys - remember I said this wasn't scientific, before you go telling me how wrong I am about the physics of the whole thing...[/i] The point is, don't try to tame the mix with end compression - rather, compress sections & mix them together. Also, are you EQ'ing the instruments wher they are in solo? If so, you are really better off EQ'ing them in context of the mix, instead of trying to make everything sound great on its own & then trying to fit them all into the same space. Otherwise you will definitely end up with several things occupying the same frequency space, and they will never 'play well' together. Cheers! :thu:
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Sometimes it helps to 'design' a mix in your head before you start mixing. After tracking, ask yourself some questions like 'is the kick of the bass taking the really low freqs?' you often can't have both. Do you see the guitars in the background of the mix? How about the keys? Again, maybe you can't have both at the forefront because where will you put the voice? Design the song and start mixing from the ground up with bass and kick first and then start pulling up tracks with higher and higher HF content. Add the Vox early on and keep checking no new tracks have stepped on the vox. Hope this approach works for you! How much low end can you remove from the vox before it sounds rubbish?
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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Hi, Its difficult to help with a piece of music I never heard but here are some general rules I NOW use. Notice I said NOW. I used to throw as much efx, eq and anything I could find into a mix. 1.) Get the sound right at the microphone. Use the proper placement. This will save you alot of time. Listen to the instrument and where does it sound best in the room? Stick a mic there. 2.) Don`t overly compress during recording. Go to [url=http://www.MANLEYLABS.com]www.MANLEY.com[/url] and look up "compressors". You`ll see an interesting and informative article on compression by Mr. Mike Rivers. Compression is a powerful thing and dangerous if you use too much of it. Its better to shy away than overdoing it. During mastering, compression can be added but never taken away. 3.) During a mix, it is better to decrease the db in EQing than add db. This will take time for you to get used to because we all think more is better. When it comes to EQ, less is actually more. Take out the bad freq. first, then add the good ones. Less EQ = Less noise. 4.) Panning is very important in creating space for each instrument and the more instruments you have the samller their sound field must be. Listen to a Seal record and you`ll know what I`m talking about. Remember to PAN THE EFX Returns. This will get rid of that "Bubble" you described. 5.) Don`t use everything that was tracked in a mix. The human ear and mind can hear two or three things tops at once so don`t kill the mix with 7 instruments playing straight through the entire song. (Use that MUTE Button and bring in a take out instruemtns in different sections when it permits. This is where Pre Production is so important. This stuff should be decided before a tracking session so you know exactly what needs to be dominant in the verse and what needs to carry the chorus, etc...) I`d be interested in getting your tracks and mixing it myself. That way we can all learn from each other. Peace, Ernest
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[quote]Originally posted by ernest828@aol.com: [b] Go to [url=http://www.MANLEY.com]www.MANLEY.com[/url] and look up "compressors". You`ll see an interesting and informative article on compression by Mr. Mike Rivers.[/b][/quote]Actually dude - you'll see a website that belongs to an insurance brokerage. :eek: [url=http://www.manleylabs.com/techpage/compressors_exposed.html]Look here for the article at manleylabs.com.[/url]
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