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Mixing is a totally different problem to recording, and so we could do with a seperate thread....

 

 

 

I'm working on an album at the moment for my band creep joint. The drums sound great, and bass is my forte, however, i've recorded way too much guitar. 2 close mics and one distant condensor on every guitar take. 2 takes on Tele bridge, 1 take on Tele mixed brige+neck, 1 take on (basically) an LP. Then there's individual takes (still using 3 mics) for effects like octaved guitar, delay guitar. Then i've recorded some acoustic take of the Tele at home (which sounds amazing). Basically I now have one massive mushy mess of electric guitar.

 

I know that people like to layer up guitars a lot, so my thinking was that it wouldn't sound that bad, and it doesn't, but it's just not biting through the mix. What would you do?

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Layering guitars generally doesn't bite at all (Listen to any My Bloody Valentine song).

 

Cut way back on layers and focus on each layer and what it is actually adding to the track in the first place rather than at the mixing stage :)

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Roll off the bottom end on the guitars as it'll leave room for the bass and kick.

 

parallel compression will beef each take a bit, if you were going to do layers of guitars I wouldn't have them anywhere near the middle pan wise, but not best to put them way out there either.

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Guest bshuker

Well for one I would start bus'ing or grouping your guitar tracks up (specifically put the the groups of mics into individual groups per take).

 

See if there are any good combinations of mic levels to give good blended sounds, and try taking the mics out one by one to see what sounds good.

 

 

Important point at this stage: The guitar is a very mid heavy instrument, and its the upper area mids (c5k) that give most of your guitar's presence and bite in a mix.

 

Guitarists notoriously make the mistake of thinking that a good room sound (shit load of bass gain and treble usually are the culprits) is what you need to translate in a mix. This is wrongo, you want a lot of Mid, you do still want bass, but not a lot, thats why you have a bass guitar, and treble should be enough but not piercing, also a lot of gain will compress a tone and actually make your tone less present.

 

So consider those sort of things when EQ'ing and auditioning your tracks.

 

 

Once you find some good tones within your mics, mute off the tracks you're not using, then consider which mics you can group up and work on in pairs (for example if you've got two sets of rhythm R/L or something, work on those together).

 

Don't go too mad with processing, a little compression won't hurt if needs be (but try use a multiband so you can even things out where it needs it not crush the whole thing).

 

You say you've got a lot of layers, you will probably have to work a lot of subtractive Eq'ing (for example take out any areas with a narrow Q that are problematic and clashing, remove it from the track you don't need to be as forward in the mix to let the other track breathe) and some creative panning/automation to get it all to come through how you want it.

 

 

Hope that helps a bit.

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I'd decide exactly what I want from the guitar, pick takes that contain elements of the desired tone and go from there...

Like one for 'balls', one for 'bite', one for 'chunk' etc etc and blend to get the ultimate sound.

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Guitarists notoriously make the mistake of thinking that a good room sound (shit load of bass gain and treble usually are the culprits) is what you need to translate in a mix. This is wrongo, you want a lot of Mid, you do still want bass, but not a lot, thats why you have a bass guitar, and treble should be enough but not piercing, also a lot of gain will compress a tone and actually make your tone less present.

 

The mistake is guitarists generally develop their sound away from the band, not when they are all in the same room.

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Guest bshuker
The mistake is guitarists generally develop their sound away from the band, not when they are all in the same room.

 

Indeed it is. The sound I describe is usually a lot more fulfilling aurally when playing by yourself, a lot (i say a lot, i mean most guitarists who are in amateur bands (by amateur i mean not semi-pro or pro gigging/working)) tend to make this mistake. (also I'm not saying more experienced guitarists don't do it, but again just the general trend tends to be what I've said).

 

I mean even live people can get it wrong, and will wonder why they aren't cutting through the mix and so forth, it's something that a lot of guitarists need to get told before they realise lol.

 

Not saying that your guitarists have, it's just meant to be some broad advice.

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It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit :LOL:

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Guest bshuker
It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit :LOL:

 

Exactly my point lol

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Guest bshuker
Too many shit metallers :noey:

 

Hahahaha, at least when I was a metalz0r I had good tone. Lol.

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It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit :LOL:

 

EQ's are a dangerous thing on guitar amps and pedals :LOL:

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Guest bshuker

Tbf, even the non-metallers get it wrong, Punk/Hardcore kinda kids are bloody awful aswell. Not cos they scoop, but because it's just like, OHAI TREBLETREBLTREBLEPRESENCE NO MIDS NO BASSS OMG :| then they play it with a Squier Strat on the Bridge pup. It's like, oh god, there goes my 15khz+ for the night. Cheers!

 

Also I hate all the people that show up with the MG heads and cabs, thinking they have something good...god.

 

Thinking about this just makes me feel so happy I don't do FOH anymore.

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Thinking about this just makes me feel so happy I don't do FOH anymore.

 

One of the venues I used to do it for had a JCM800 and a Trace Elliot on hand :D

 

Shame I didn't really do much FOH for the rock stuff there really.

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Mixing is a totally different problem to recording, and so we could do with a seperate thread....

 

 

 

I'm working on an album at the moment for my band creep joint. The drums sound great, and bass is my forte, however, i've recorded way too much guitar. 2 close mics and one distant condensor on every guitar take. 2 takes on Tele bridge, 1 take on Tele mixed brige+neck, 1 take on (basically) an LP. Then there's individual takes (still using 3 mics) for effects like octaved guitar, delay guitar. Then i've recorded some acoustic take of the Tele at home (which sounds amazing). Basically I now have one massive mushy mess of electric guitar.

 

I know that people like to layer up guitars a lot, so my thinking was that it wouldn't sound that bad, and it doesn't, but it's just not biting through the mix. What would you do?

 

i'd say to save you from insanity, either find which broadband parts of each channels signal you like and isolate them with a good EQ, or start losing some channels that sound shit... wossat? they all sound good? then you'll have no problem only using one of them, right? :D

 

i tried to record guitars using too many mics a few times.... imo it /can/ sound okay, but its not worth the effort.. what it takes to get something that is simply phase coherent (let alone sounding good) with 3 mics on a guitar cab is wayy too much effort over yield when compared to a 1 mic on the speaker overdubbed stylee... theres no definition because the guitar does not occupy a specific frequency range, i think you might be getting too much, try and cut it down a bit and show it who's boss... maybe itll play nice then. get the bits you like, lose the rest, and remember it doesnt have to sound amazing in solo mode.

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Well, first thanks for all the replies.

 

Half the problem is i'm mixing it with my guitarist in the room, so when I say "we need to get rid of some of these channels" he says "noooo it sounds massive with them all" but if I could just get rid of them without him knowing we'd be OK.

 

I've currently grouped them by take rather than by mic, so for each take I have a great stereo tone using all three mics. It's just when I add them all back in it's mushy. (they're all high-passed by the way).

 

At the start of mixing, I was really intimidated by all of the channels of guitar and so I decided (as you've all advised) that we needed to listen to each one and decide which tone was best for which part and use that. It just seems like such a massive task!!

 

I'm now thinking that as I have a good sound using all three mics, I could group all the channels by mic, and cut the individual takes in and out when they're needed.

 

anyway, this is why I haven't posted any Creep Joint rough mixes yet. I've got a couple of songs with only 3 layers of guitar on that sound amazing so i'll get them up fairly soon.

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Get someone to hit you every time you reach for the solo button while EQing. It does a world of good to your mixes :p

 

Less mics means a more phase coherent, sensible sound. Those distant mics would be adding a lot of mush to the mix. Also, I'm curious about what you mean by stereo? You're not trying to get that big wide guitar sound by panning two mic's from a single take in opposite directions are you? Cause you'll just end up with lots of mushy ghosty centre guitars. That big wide guitar sound comes from 2 separate takes panned L and R. If you want to add more mics for more tone, I would actually consider doing a separate take for each mic position.

 

Oh and beware, Marshall cabs are wired with the speakers out of phase with each other, if you've mic'd separate speakers that would give you a whole heap of hurt.

 

Lastly, don't listen to your guitarist about the guitars mix :p

At least not too much, he might not be listening to the entire mix objectively, but instead focussing on his guitar, what I think of as mentally soloing an instrument.

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Guest bshuker

+1 Some sound bits of advice there

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There's lots of good advice on this thread and it'll all be useful in the future, but in relation to my specific problem it would be good to think of me as an "intermediate" level mixer, rather than a beginner.

 

To get some shit out of the way....

 

I have tested each mic against each mic and all three in combination to check the phase. I currently have one of the close mics flipped. The close mics are each on one speaker of a 2 x 12". The distant mic isn't VERY distant, it's around 3m from the amp and it sound amazing, especially with some distortion on top.

 

Each close mic is panned hard L and R and the distant mic is centered. It's not a "massive" or really wide sound in respect to stereo imaging, obviously. It is however, a great tone with some stereo width.

 

Perhaps a good method would be to take the L mic from one take, the R mic from another take, and the distant/C mic from anothet take.

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Well, first thanks for all the replies.

 

Half the problem is i'm mixing it with my guitarist in the room, so when I say "we need to get rid of some of these channels" he says "noooo it sounds massive with them all" but if I could just get rid of them without him knowing we'd be OK.

 

I've currently grouped them by take rather than by mic, so for each take I have a great stereo tone using all three mics. It's just when I add them all back in it's mushy. (they're all high-passed by the way).

 

At the start of mixing, I was really intimidated by all of the channels of guitar and so I decided (as you've all advised) that we needed to listen to each one and decide which tone was best for which part and use that. It just seems like such a massive task!!

 

I'm now thinking that as I have a good sound using all three mics, I could group all the channels by mic, and cut the individual takes in and out when they're needed.

 

anyway, this is why I haven't posted any Creep Joint rough mixes yet. I've got a couple of songs with only 3 layers of guitar on that sound amazing so i'll get them up fairly soon.

 

switching between different mic sets with different tonality in parts of a song might be a cool idea.. or automating volume levels on one group while leaving another to produce effects may or may not sound sweet.. beware of teh phase

 

Get someone to hit you every time you reach for the solo button while EQing. It does a world of good to your mixes :p

 

Less mics means a more phase coherent, sensible sound. Those distant mics would be adding a lot of mush to the mix. Also, I'm curious about what you mean by stereo? You're not trying to get that big wide guitar sound by panning two mic's from a single take in opposite directions are you? Cause you'll just end up with lots of mushy ghosty centre guitars. That big wide guitar sound comes from 2 separate takes panned L and R. If you want to add more mics for more tone, I would actually consider doing a separate take for each mic position.

 

Oh and beware, Marshall cabs are wired with the speakers out of phase with each other, if you've mic'd separate speakers that would give you a whole heap of hurt.

 

Lastly, don't listen to your guitarist about the guitars mix :p

At least not too much, he might not be listening to the entire mix objectively, but instead focussing on his guitar, what I think of as mentally soloing an instrument.

 

good advice with the solo button, though id refine that slightly and say "make someone hit you AFTER youve done initial housekeeping eq with solo on" .. e.g. removing any hiss or nasties.

 

i never heard anything about marshall cabs being wired out of phase... care to explain why? can i revert mine back to a dual in phase setup? seems a silly thing to do

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I won't post more about my own mixing before I get chance to play again.. not for a couple of days.

 

 

However, one thing I've loved is recording an electric guitar acoustically with a condensor mic. Has anyone else ever done this? Did you love it as much as me? Is this the same sort of sound you get from a peizo bridge?

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Guest bshuker

Yeah it's pretty cool, interesting to blend it with the amp recording, is cool to hear some of the pick attack and stuff, like, you kind of really hear the playing

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I've done a new rough mix of Somnambulist, a song some of you listened to before. This is the album version, un-mastered, with a shit vocal sound so far. Let me know what you think! All opinions welcome, especially on the mix.

SOMNAMBULIST.mp3

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Put a stereo track of the band most like your tone.

 

A/B with that until each guitar has it's own tone you like, the best way to do it is get the sound on the amp then try and get that exact sound into the computer via the mic.

 

If you have 2 guitars

 

Duplicate a guitars track, no effects yet, then push forward a few samples or delay it (with 100% mix) and only a few milliseconds, maybe 20-40 delay. Pan each hard Left and Right. (this is a cheap ''wall of sound'' guitar effect)

 

Now, bring one channel down in volume til it's starting to sound hard to one side, but still not 100% L/R

 

Do the same with the other guitar only to the opposite side that you pushed the first one.

 

It leaves this big U shape in the stereo panorama for chucking in drums bass and vocals. Then you start worrying about the depth :awesome:

 

The bass guitar may be TOO bassy, you might solo it and think there's no balls to it, but when you get the kit in with that highly comrpessed kick you realise you've got too much bass

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