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First impressions of Fireworks,

Vocals are slightly too loud to me, a lot of the instrumental stuff gets a little lost in the background. Only every so slightly though. Overall it sounds great.

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there's a conundrum - if the vocal were quieter would the background stuff blur the "focus"?

 

Or yeh maybe it's just too fucking loud. Thanks!

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It's amazing

 

I can't really pinpoint a single mixing decision i don't like, i have feelings about things at some parts but that can be caused by my listening equipment or soundcloud's encoding. (like on track 3 i feel like the sides are sometimes overpowering the middle/mono channel or maybe the drums should be a bit louder to get the middle on level with the sides) Maybe sometimes i would have used more agressive EQing to separate the instruments more at the denser parts but i don't know if that is allowed in more natural/acoustic sounding styles like this.

And i am pretty sure that i can hear clipping on track 3 in the first 5 seconds and later masked by the instruments. I heard it on the first track too.

 

The clean/acoustic guitars are sounding perfect.

 

Btw how you did the stereo guitars coming in @ 0:40 on the first track? Is that simple mono sources panned left and right or you had to fuck around with room and stereo mics?

 

edit: btw you can totally sing hangover by taio cruz over the third track, it sounds like the same chords to my ears.

edit2: i edited some fuckups

Edited by Don'tPostThePear

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Cheers DPTP. I've done some pretty drastic EQing, I never stick to any rules, so if you have some opinions on how I could have seperated the instruments more that would be great

 

I'm gutted that you can hear clipping. I'll have to check that later. I did have a big problem with noise (I was using my old £20 mixer to record) and had to use some pretty drastic plug-ins to make it tolerable. (waves X noise, i'm sure you can get better these days)

 

All over the guitars and vocals I'm using a Rhode NT4 stereo mic in my massive studio, it gives a really nice room sound.

 

On the first track I think it's two mics on one guitar but i'd have to listen again as i'm not 100% sure. Generally on acoustic I use a SM58b on the soundhole and a NT2 or SE2200A on the 12th fret, both about a foot away.

 

I'll have to tell him about the plaguarism! HAHA!

Edited by cheddatom

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Cheers DPTP. I've done some pretty drastic EQing, I never stick to any rules, so if you have some opinions on how I could have seperated the instruments more that would be great

 

I'm gutted that you can hear clipping. I'll have to check that later. I did have a big problem with noise (I was using my old £20 mixer to record) and had to use some pretty drastic plug-ins to make it tolerable. (waves X noise, i'm sure you can get better these days)

 

All over the guitars and vocals I'm using a Rhode NT4 stereo mic in my massive studio, it gives a really nice room sound.

 

On the first track I think it's two mics on one guitar but i'd have to listen again as i'm not 100% sure. Generally on acoustic I use a SM58b on the soundhole and a NT2 or SE2200A on the 12th fret, both about a foot away.

 

I'll have to tell him about the plaguarism! HAHA!

 

don't tell him because it is a really shit track aimed at 14 year olds mixing bacardi breezer with vodka and he will be offended:LOL:

 

btw is it possible that your noise plugins removed some of the treble of your hihats and crashes? i kinda felt like that the drums maybe missed some of the very high frequencies but i did not know that it was on purpose (like fo more vintage sound) or not.

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lol, OK, never heard of him! No, the noise was fine for drums as they're played pretty loud, I did EQ out a lot of the top, you should be able to hear the cymbals but not much sizzle (if that makes sense)

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Bump.

 

Hopefully im not the only one that suffers this. Spending twelve hours mixing a song and then realising it sounds much better than the original recordings, but its sadly too boomy in the bass, guitar has little guts and shimmer and less dynamic overall. Ffffffuuuu-. I can't argue, it was my first proper attempt at mixing and while it did sound better (not much), will just start over.

 

Anyway I have a question regarding drums. The recordings we got from the studio sound a bit turd. I have a few questions...

 

1. Is it normal to have cymbals leaking through the Tom and kick mics? I couldn't do any EQ on the toms because it just seems to throw the cymbals into it and make the mix a bit muddy. If it is normal, what would the best way to reduce the cymbal noise and preserve the toms sound?

 

2. What sort of EQ bands should I be looking at with a track containing all cymbals like the hi hat, crash and ride? Our recording has them all on one track which I thought seems stupid but I might be wrong.

 

3. We have overheads as well. Am I right in placing a high pass filter on them to cut out the kick/toms from the overheads?

 

4. More of a recording question. Since we aren't happy with these drums and if this mix doesnt sit great we might re record. How and what 8 mics would we need to set up on a standard kit. I'm looking at what type of mic where mostly. I can probably get up to 10 nice set up if I can get two interfaces working together.

 

They sound like massively noob questions but I'm just thinking that these recordings we had done weren't as great as we expected. They even lost my bass DI recording some how so I'm not impressed :( Then again, they were done by first year students.

Edited by Crowella

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In that situation I'd attempt to use the room/overhead mics to get a decent sound then use the close mics for reinforcement. Depends how cymbal happy the drummer is though.

 

Gating the tom/kick mics might help and you could always use them as sample triggers if it's that bad...

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That's a big question so my answer may be badly structured...

 

Obviously you're going to get cymbal bleed on tom mics. If the toms are tuned well, hit well, and the mics positioned well, it shouldn't be a problem. You could try a gate or an expander to give the peaks a bit more gain. Also a compressor with a high threshold and fast attack to kill the peaks.

 

When you're mixing drums, I would begin with your overheads. Turn them up, balance the levels, take all EQ off and listen to it. Try a bit of EQ - cutting, not boosting, and try some subtle compression. I like quite a low ratio with a very fast attack, and ran parallel with an un-compressed chain. Some plug-ins will give you a mix knob for parallel compression but not many.

 

Anyway, when you have a nice punchy drum sound using just your overheads, bring in the kick mic. Fade it in and out and concentrate on what it's bringing to the mix. The kick will deffinitely need some EQ, usually a big cut in the low mids leaving the upper mids to punch and some low end for ooomph. It'll probably need some compression too. I tend to use a high threshold low ratio medium attack, but then follow that with a limiter (fast attack, hard ratio)

 

Then bring in the snare until it's the loudest thing int he mix. EQ out any shitty ring. Put all these through a drum-bus and compress that a little bit.

 

Now add in your tom mics. EQ out any rumble, and probably scoop a fair bit of the middle - like 400Hz with a wide scoop. The close mics are going to add the low end and high-mid that'll be missing from the toms on the drum mix. If you have to turn them so much that they're crashing the rest of the mix, do try gating/expanding as it can be really effective. If they're so badly mic'd or tuned or played, just don't bother with them, leave them muted.

 

I hope that helps a bit anyway

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To both of you, thank you very much. They answered my questions. I will give them a try tonight.

 

I did some things similar to what you both said as far as mixing to the overhead levels. I'll keep at it :)

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lol i have always treated OH mics as ambience/room/reverb kind of mics but i know shit bout mixing real drums.

They should form the basis of my mix?

 

I use drum plugins for "real drums" (like superior drummer or battery but i use free stuff)

 

When i create the miditrack for a drumbeat should i put every midi note on one track and mix the drums with the mic levels or i can make individual tracks for individual sounds (like track1:kick track2:snare track3:hihats etc.) and use the mic levels as a toneshaping tool rather than a level tool. (like if i want more reverb i can raise the room and OHs and lower the track volume for a more consistent level)

 

(i use the second method but maybe that results in unrealistic sounds, i feel like i treat real drums more like a drum machine that way)

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i'm a little confused by your post there, but...

 

Overheads should be positioned over the kit, they're not room mics, they should be capturing every part of the kit, fairly equally. You really have to be careful positioning them

 

Room mics could be used as part of the main kit sound, but for me personally I use them sparingly.

 

When you're using a decent VST drum kit, you should be able to mix the kit within the plug-in. I wouldn't bother creating seperate channels for each drum.

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i'm a little confused by your post there, but...

 

Overheads should be positioned over the kit, they're not room mics, they should be capturing every part of the kit, fairly equally. You really have to be careful positioning them

 

Room mics could be used as part of the main kit sound, but for me personally I use them sparingly.

 

When you're using a decent VST drum kit, you should be able to mix the kit within the plug-in. I wouldn't bother creating seperate channels for each drum.

chedda, your advice has come to very good use. Spent a few hours on it and it's excellent. I couldn't make the drums much thicker sounding. To be fair it was a pretty cheap kit but at least it has definition now. I've posted a clip below. I know there's no cymbals but I think it's sounding a bit less dull than before.

 

First two are the original recordings. The last two are the mixed. I have to admit, I don't exactly have the best speakers to mix on. In fact, using some Sennheiser HD280's because it's 1am and I shouldn't make too much noise.

 

[soundcloud]

[/soundcloud]

 

I can hear my bass in the overheads. lol. Oh well.

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i'm a little confused by your post there, but...

 

Overheads should be positioned over the kit, they're not room mics, they should be capturing every part of the kit, fairly equally. You really have to be careful positioning them

 

Room mics could be used as part of the main kit sound, but for me personally I use them sparingly.

 

When you're using a decent VST drum kit, you should be able to mix the kit within the plug-in. I wouldn't bother creating seperate channels for each drum.

 

I thought that room mics are basically the reverbs. In other words if you like the sound of the room you just bring up the level of the room mics and then you don't even have to use reverb plugins on your drums.

 

I don't like mixing within a drum plugin because i am more familiar with the EQs and comps i use on the regular.

 

I am just worried that maybe i lost some reality/glue/cohesion between the kit because i put everything on separate channels.

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Crowella - can't listen as i'm at work. Just keep playing with EQ and compression until you get there. Honestly the most important things are to tune the kit properly, play the kit properly, and get your overheads in phase and sounding good.

 

I record the same kit in my studio a lot. Most of the time i'm playing, but occasionally I get to play with this amazing drummer who's at least 100 times better than me. Same mics, same positions, same mix, same drum kit, but the fucker still sounds better than me. It's just the way he hits the drums, it's so precise, it's so much easier to mix.

 

DPTP - that's exactly what room mics are, yeh, which is totally different to "overheads". A room mic mics the room, an overhead mics the kit.

 

If you're worried about "glue" then put all your seperate channels into the same group bus and give them a bit of compression.

 

The reason I wouldn't split out VST drums like you are is that they've often already been EQ'd, compressed, and reverbed etc within the plugin, so adding extra, as opposed to changing what's already there, isn't necessarily a good idea.

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I'll keep working at it. At the end of the day, we admittedly played with a shit kit. Amazing drummer but I don't think that salvaged it. At least we will do our recordings at home now so we can experiment to try and get a full sound.

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Give it a go at home. You can do drum sounds with 2 mics, great drum sounds with 4 mics.

 

This was done with a Rhode NT4 stereo mic on the kit, nothing else. http://soundcloud.com/cheddatom/uniform My room is very "roomy" which doesn't help, but for that song I like it and think it works.

After this experience with mixing. We're going to try home recording for sure. I have a proper interface on it's way so we can mic up the drums. I showed our band the mixed results tonight from one song and they were over the moon in how it's turned out. I was actually shocked too, like we were listening to another band.

 

It wasn't a great recording to begin with since the drums were recorded quite thin but it's turned out into something not bad, a bit more than we are used to. Thanks for your help :)

 

Now, to recover our guitarist's behind the beat timings with some editing. :facepalm:

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First proper mix done. Not very happy with it. Whatever, I used it to learn some techniques and I know many places I can improve, mostly with how I listen to mixes, so here's another question... halp!

 

I might have to use headphones to do the majority of my mixing. I know this seems taboo by most people but right now my recording machine and table is in the corner of a cluttered room next to a window, air con and mirror and I won't be able to move my stuff around anywhere else any time soon.

 

So my question is, I was looking at getting some AKG-K-701's soon. Would these headphones be fine for doing mixing?

http://www.amazon.com/AKG-K-701-WHITE-HEADPHONES/dp/B000EBBJ6Y

 

It's not going to be the only thing used on later mixes. We are getting some Yamaha HS50's soon and they'll be in a room that's much more simple, open and acoustically friendly.

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I would really not recommend mixing on headphones. It doesn't matter how good they are, you just can't get a good enough stereo image. I guess you could get used to over time

 

Sorry I couldn't give very specific advice on the mix, i've still not been able to listen to it

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I would really not recommend mixing on headphones. It doesn't matter how good they are, you just can't get a good enough stereo image. I guess you could get used to over time

 

Sorry I couldn't give very specific advice on the mix, i've still not been able to listen to it

No problems. Just an idea I had anyway. The Yamaha HS50's should be around soon but I just have a fear that I won't have a good place to put them. I'm too close to a corner and I can't move anything. I'll keep looking into it.

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Bump.

 

Anyway I have a question regarding drums. The recordings we got from the studio sound a bit turd. I have a few questions...

 

1. Is it normal to have cymbals leaking through the Tom and kick mics? I couldn't do any EQ on the toms because it just seems to throw the cymbals into it and make the mix a bit muddy. If it is normal, what would the best way to reduce the cymbal noise and preserve the toms sound?

 

2. What sort of EQ bands should I be looking at with a track containing all cymbals like the hi hat, crash and ride? Our recording has them all on one track which I thought seems stupid but I might be wrong.

 

3. We have overheads as well. Am I right in placing a high pass filter on them to cut out the kick/toms from the overheads?

 

4. More of a recording question. Since we aren't happy with these drums and if this mix doesnt sit great we might re record. How and what 8 mics would we need to set up on a standard kit. I'm looking at what type of mic where mostly. I can probably get up to 10 nice set up if I can get two interfaces working together.

 

They sound like massively noob questions but I'm just thinking that these recordings we had done weren't as great as we expected. They even lost my bass DI recording some how so I'm not impressed :( Then again, they were done by first year students.

 

1. Yes, I usually cut the individual tom hit transients out using tab to transient in protools - and adjust the fades by ear. You can use a gate but I find that it takes a lot of tuning to make sure every hit sounds great (without automation) - and even then you can't beat doing it by ear. If you have the time I would recommend this long winded process to get it bang on.

 

2. Yeah, thats a bit odd - depending if they have been panned accordingly beforehand to give proper stereo width and good imagery. If they have, then its unfortunate that they are all on one track - but you will just need to get a 8 band EQ up and really carefully notch out all the horrible frequencies and filter off most of the low end. This is a general rule but its far more complicated - its all down to taste and how you need it to sit in the mix.

 

3. Yep, use a lowpass filter - but it won't really eliminate the fundamentals of the toms much, more so the kick and general boom of the kit - however you can do this after so its always best to leave it flat until your confident enough to know the sound you are going for pre-recording.

 

4. Again, depending on the sound 8 mics should provide plenty of clarity if the mics are good and are placed well. Make sure the kit is tuned very well and consider a kick tunnel so you can really control the mix of the kit before EQ. I would go for:

 

Kick In - RE20, D12, D112, MD421, 57

Snare ^ - 57...

Hats - small diaphragm condensor like a KM84, C451, NT3, NT5 - something with a pretty narrow polar pattern aimed away from the snare.

Tom - MD421, 441, 87, 414, 57

Floor - as above

OH L - 414, 87, 451, a nice pair of ribbons like 121s, in general a nice pair of condensers will do fine, spaced pair.

OH R - as above - remember to check distance from the centre of the snare to each capsule to avoid phasing issues.

Mono Room - something like a D112, RE20, maybe a large diagram condenser infront of the kit about 6 foot away (fuck the shit out of it with some compression and blend in with EQ to get a nice rock sound)

 

If you have any more channels try go for another kick mic (outside the kick) - like a subkick or NS10 woofer reversed as a mic - but a large diaphragm condenser on the front head will give it more midrange bite. A mic under the snare - like a 57, 451 or KM84 and if you can - more room mics! Depending on the room - walk around the room with the drummer playing and listen for a sweet spot where you get a good trashy sound of the room reverberation mixed with the direct sound of the kit - a stereo pair of room mics, with heavy compression just sitting with the rest of the drums will make them sound so LIVE.

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Just wondering. What is the best set-up to get the best sound out of drums with the least microphones?

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Just wondering. What is the best set-up to get the best sound out of drums with the least microphones?

 

kick, snare, overheads?

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