Mixing 101

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by Mr. ROUSH, Jun 11, 2009.

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  1. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    I've decided to post some fundemental things about recording. I see a lot of guessing and missinformation being given in this thread.. not that this thread is thriving like it should be..

    at any rate I'm going to post one or two subjects at a time and if you would like, feel free to ask any specific questions you have or suggest things you would like me to cover that you've been dying to know..

    what qualifies me to be posting this info? Great question, and let me tell you.. I've been recording for ten years.. what is more significant is that I came up just like the majority of you here.. I started with a radio shack mic.. an external soundblaster.. CEP.. and no fundamental knowledge of what I was really doing.. only an ear to hear with and trial and error.. I built my own foundation before I had any professional instruction.. Currently, I'm completeing course work with a professional instructor.. my rig includes a creation station pc running PT 8.0 LE / neuman u87 / ma200 / digi 003 factory / FF ISA 220 / and the JBL lsr series studio monitors.. later this year I am upgrading to a ProTools HD system

    So, I want to save you all hours and maybe even years of wondering.. I can, and will provide you with a true reference to test your knowledge & understanding.. so let's get started..

    Ok, the #1 mistake that people are STILL making around here is to think that you can find one chain.. one process.. that will work every time.. now.. don't get me wrong.. as sure as I'm saying this someone will come in this post and say.. "BS.. I use the same thing every time and listen to my quality it's good" This may in fact be very true.. but this is also the difference between an amature mix engineer vs a professional one.. If you are making demos only.. then great.. just use that one process that suits you.. however, if you want professional results every time then it's an absolute must that each song be given unique attention in the mix.. where this becomes so very important is to the overall energy level of the track...

    I mentioned in another post here that if you make the entire song sound the same.. even if it all sounds big and clear and punchy and all of those buttery words.. the energy of the track will be deminished.. If there is no variant then your ear doesn't have anything to decipher between.. nothing to compare.. no change up to emphasise certain parts where the energy of the song stands out more then others.. you're ear and you're brain will get bored very fast even if the track is overall big sounding and high quality..

    so here is an example of a trick that is widely used and never fails.. use whatever method you would like.. either automating mutes, or removing notes via midi sequencing.. however you prefer.. but the trick is this simple.. for maybe 1 or 2 bars right before the chorus of a song.. mute or remove the kick drum.. maybe even just 1 or two kicks before the chorus.. so that the song drops the bottom end right before the chorus and then when the chorus drops back in with the kick it suddenly sounds twice as big as it did before.. this is because you are tricking your ears while they decipher the difference between the energy level of the two sections.. make sense?

    Another trick to use here is to add an extra insturment in the chorus that wasn't previously in the verse before it... now with rap music this is already the standard in most cases, but take it another step.. so lets say you have a horn in the verse.. and a horn and piano in the chorus... for the verse don't double the horn... for the chorus do double the horn so it's different in the chorus than the verse.. and coupled with the piano creates a whole seperate energy level.. The arrangement is of the utmost importance when making beats that you want to contribute to the song to gain this effect.. the arrangement is equally if not more important to get the effects you want, as say actual effects filters etc.. You've got to see the big picture..

    recording is truly an art that is not unlike creating a sculpture.. you have to slowly and skillfully chip away just the right peices to be left with the desired end result.. doing the same process in recording every time would be like making the same sculpture over and over.. it would become boring, repetative, and old..

    The second mistake I see is that a lot of people I see here don't grasp the concept of layers and steps.. People look to make an adjustement on an eq and hear a drastic improvement.. no once setting should ever make a drastic improvement.. in fact you should barely hear any audible change for example when you cut or boost in EQ in any one step.. think more in terms that you would miss it if it wasn't there, but otherwise you don't hear an audible change by the fact that it's there until you take it away.. the overall drastic improvement you're looking for is only ever acheived by a combination of many layers and stages contributing to the overall mix...

    a good excersize to try is this.. cut your steps in half.. so let's say you normally boost at 3-5K and that normally you would boost by 3db.. first of all.. understand in sound.. a boost of 3db is double the original level.. (even though it may not sound like it this is true).. so next time.. try 1.5 or less.. you can add more in other stages and you will get much better results if you do it this way rather than counting on one eq to work harder to acheive the same result.. it's like photoshop for example.. you can take one picture and adjust color levels one picture and it will look ok... or, you can combine 3 copies of the image with increments of different effect combined for a much more professional looking result.. think of layers in music like layers in photoshop.. (for those of you with photoshop experience that is) bottom line you will get better results using multiple layers and stages then you will applying all the same principles at 1 stage...

    So I'll leave you with this to ponder and I hope this is not hard to follow.. I will periodically add more to this post from time to time, because when I was the one who knew nothing.. there were very few people giving me the real low down.. It was so frustrating.. so out of respect for those who are in that spot I want to save you the trouble of what I went through to get here.. recording processes are buried in a secret society.. people are intentionally misleading like they are protecting a family recipe for busch baked beans or something.. and I understand why, but I love music most of all and good music comes from creative minds.. nothing curbs otherwise great musical ideas like the inability to record right or to learn how to record right.. I personally want to hear more, and much better music that is only limited by creativity and not ability to translate that creativity to an actual song..

    so anyway, I hope this is helpful to someone and please ask any questions that you may have and I will get to them in short order. Best of luck!! Make that music!!!
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  2. Stash

    Stash R.I.P Point Game

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  3. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    What up Mo.. You staying busy?
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  4. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    2nd Installment / The ever so crucial relationship between drums and bass explained

    In rap music there is one thing that needs special attention that will be essential to glue the track together and essential for a big sounding mix, and that is the relationship between drums and bass.. more specifically in rap the relation between the kick drum and the bass.. Since most times the kick drum and the bass occupy much of the same frequency range in the lows and mid lows, this is often a recipe for a muddy, muddy mix.. this is something I have really struggled with since making beats was my second priority versus writing and recording vocals.. therefore I was very much behind in my learning curve as a new beatmaker..

    so.. here's something of a staple in almost every rap song if not every rap song you've heard.. and that is side chain compression... I don't know about you all, but this was greek to me.. I read how important it was, but just didn't take the time to really understand why this was so usefull, and couldn't figure out how to apply the theory.. well in the end it's very simple...

    pull up a kick drum in one track in pro tools and in a second track pull up the bass... on the bass track, open up any compressor as an insert that has a side chain input.. (the stock digi compressor has a side chain input)

    settings on compressor: very, very fast attack.. try it hard left (10us) moderate release time.. (around 140+/-) 10:1 ratio +/- No makeup gain.. set the threshold accordingly.. with the settings above you'll probably end up with a threshold around -15 to -17 but play around, and as always these settings are just a preset you can start from and I would encourage you to tweak these settings, or in some cases you will completely change the settings.. but this is a good starting point for the purpose of this example...

    ok.. now that your compressor is set up.. insert a send on the kick drum track.. (it's important that you use a send rather than sending the output of the track itself since you will still need a dry signal for the kick in the mix) you'll want to send it to any availible bus.. now pull the compressor back up.. in the upper left hand corner you will see a "key" and next to the graphic of the key you will see an input drop down menu.. from here you can select the same bus as the input to the compressor that you sent the kick drum to.. so if you put a send on your kick to bus 1 then you want the "key" input on the compressor to also be bus 1.. now turn up the fader on the send from the kick drum to a moderate amount.. 3/4ths or more. Now look at the "side chain" settings in the upper right hand corner of the compressor (if using the stock digi compressor) You have to select the left botton at the top of the side chain options section to turn the side chain on. the button on the right will allow you to hear the signal going to the side chain but you don't want this on (illuminated) You're all set.

    what does this do you ask? Well compression as most here know levels the waveform to a more relative overall level.. boosting the softer passages and compressing the peaks of transients that are in danger of clipping.. normally when you apply a compressor on a track it is on all the time compressing the entire track based on how you have the settings.. well.. think of the "key" input as a trigger.. in this case for our example the kick drum is what will determine when the compressor kicks in.. so that the bass will only be compressed when the kick drum hits... each time the kick hits the bass is lowered by the compressor which carves out exactly what room is needed to allow the kick drum to stand out an be completely intelligible while at the same time being blended with the bass very tightly and this makes for a bigger bass sound and for a tighter relationship between the kick drum and the bass loop...

    so all of that being said, once you understand this priciple there are other devices such as gates where you can apply this principle.. such as using a drum track as the key to a gate to create vocal stutters, or as a very easy way to create sixteenth notes without having to manually do it and paste in each hit.. this will literally save you hours and hours.. go on youtube.. look up side chaining.. if you want to really lock in your drums then this is something you should be using a lot, if not every time..

    Try this out and come back and post how it turned out for you. Anything that is unclear please don't hesitate to ask.. Best of luck!
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  5. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Stop EQing all of your Vocal tracks the same​

    This is one mistake that is allll too common.. I have been all too guilty of this many, many times... It's very important that you stop applying the same eq curve to every vocal.. so in other words.. people will make the mistake of putting say the lead vocal take on solo and listening to one vocal track at a time (within one verse, so including doubles and adlibs) .. so they'll take just the first take within the verse.. solo it.. and then eq just that take to sound it's best alone... to make it even worse.. so many once they find where that one track sounds good will apply it to every other vocal track in the verse. HUGE MISTAKE!!

    If you have a lead vocal.. 2 doubles.. and one adlib track... it is VERY IMPORTANT that you eq them each differently, and in many cases the exact opposit of each other.. you have to make all of the takes within a verse take up the whole frequency range... if you eq them all the same then they are all occupying the exact same frequency range and then your vocals are fighting with each other for space.. let a lone the other instruments...

    so, try this... it's pretty common to boost the high end a bit with a shelf or a curve.. so do just that on the lead vocal take.. but then on the first double.. cut the high end.. and on the second double don't do anything to the high end.. by doing that, you have just filled the entire high end range more or less, verses crowding the high end alone... and the same applies for mids and lows.. of course on vocals you should always be rolling of the unused low end frequencies, so that is one exception to this rule.. but for the high range on the lows.. mids, and highs.. you want to do this technique.. if you boost 1 track at 4k then cut the other at 4k... if you boost a track at 120hz then cut one at 120hz, and so on and so forth..

    stop boosting so much.. you aren't going to have any headroom to master when you're boosting the shit out of everything.. cut more than you boost.. use a wide q to boost and a narrow q to cut.. remember to leave room in other stages like I talked about above.. especially the mastering stage.. there will be more EQ applied in the mastering stage, so if you use all the headroom in the mix on your eq's then you'll never get anywhere near the sound quality and overall loudness of a professionaly mastered cd.

    When you're boosting.. try to stay within 1.5 - 2.5db boosts. If you find that this just doesn't do it for you.. then you probably have issues with the quality of the preamp / mic.. or problems with mic placements.... great mics don't need any eq a lot of times.. so remember.. you're making up for the defficiencies your front end source gear has.. so don't think that you HAVE to eq the shit out of everything to begin with..

    try putting your eq BEFORE your compressor sometimes.. if not all the time.. this will allow the compressor to tame the curve you have applied and it will sound more natural.. now that's one that's widely debated really.. so try it both ways and trust your ears.. I used to be a compress first then eq guy.. now I'm the other way around most of the time.. I get much better results..

    one last thing on EQ.. stop reading about what frequencies do what, and start listening.. Every voice is different and therefor the effects will vary.. so adding 1k to my voice might sound great.. adding it to yours might sound like shit... so sweep the frequencies.. if you don't truly grasp what it means to do sweeps then look on youtube.. basically you turn the gain all the way up and sweep the frequency knob back and forth in the basic range you are adjusting until you find exactly the range you want to boost... then lower the gain back to a normal level... when you're done.. often times if you have a good ear.. you'll find your curve will be close to the suggested frequency curves.. but not every time.. sometimes it will be totally different, and you'd have never found it by applying written guidlines..

    as always, best of luck.
    test
  6. GrownMan Tah

    GrownMan Tah New Member

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  7. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    MONO VS STEREO

    Ok.. there is much discussion out there about this.. I'm here to tell you.. in rap music... this is very, very flexible.. most people will tell you to work with mono tracks.. however, in rap music.. it's very common to render tracks from say reason.. in stereo.. import them to pro tools and work with them...
    here's the trick.. it's simplified by thinking of a stereo track as two mono tracks.. but what it does to import stereo tracks.. is it doubles everything.. it will give you a fatter sound.. and if it sounds good.. it is good..

    Now keep in mind this doesn't work for everything.. if a track doesn't have any actual stereo information then you may want that in mono.. and you always want vocals in mono.. so don't get me wrong there.. rap vocals should always be mono unsless there is an actual stereo recording specific to the sound you're trying to get.
    For example.. the kick drum... when you import the kick from a stereo track rendered in reason, you will want to put both of the pans at zero.. and what that does is makes the output mono.. it's that simple.. anything you want to turn from stereo to mono.. you only have to match the pans. So if it's mono panned to the right you want.. say at %30.. then put both channels of the stereo track panned right to 30 and you have a mono output panned to the right.. but othwise there will be a lot of tracks, maybe even most of them, that you will leave in stereo. This is going to make your mix a lot more accuarate from the jump and will prevent you from having to overcompensate later in the mix.

    So in summary.. render your instrument tracks all in stereo and import them to pro tools when ready to track and mix. Then center the pans of anything that you want mono.. (always do this to the kick especially and the snare)
    If you've ever had a beat sounding great in reason only to find it was sterile when you recorded the tracks to mono tracks in pro tools using rewire.. now you know why.. Stereo is your friend..
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  8. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Stop overusing plugins

    You know there is a sea of plugins out there.. just a ton of sick plugins out there.. a lot of them are easy to get your hands on and even easier to overuse them.. take it from someone who learns everything the hard way.. just because you have them doesn't mean you have to use them.. consider them your bag of tricks.. you don't want to use all of your tricks every time..

    Plugins eat up a lot of computer resources.. obviously the more you use.. the more problems you run into with that.. and this shouldn't be plauging you every session.. if it is then you are using to many.. You really have to learn to hear what is needed and know when it isn't.. if you have 5 plugs on every track.. you're probably tracking wrong in the first place.. there are exceptions to all of the "rules" of course as long as you know what you're going for and how to get there..

    A few things that will help.. #1 Background vocals.. %75 of the time or more you can throw all of your background vocals on a bus to an aux input.. eq and compress the aux input instead of putting effects on each background vocal track.. and no it hasn't escaped me that this is in direct contrast to what I said above about not EQ'ing your tracks the same.. and I stress that it is very important to do that.. You want to do the same when you use a buss.. eq your lead one way and eq the aux track for the bg vocals differently. If they were recorded well the buss trick should do fine.. if they still don't sit in the mix then put an eq on the individual track to hone in on problem frequencies..

    The point is to do what is necessary.. don't be afraid to forget the rules.. some mistakes become tricks in your arsenal, so no matter how much you know.. keep experimenting with it finding new tricks..

    On that note.. there are two ways I look at mixing.. there are the general guidlines that apply to most every genre.. and then there are added guidelines that apply to rap music.. which consequently are a lot different than many of the common general guidlines as far as settings for compression, eq, etc.. let me give you a prime example..

    compression: two contrasting scenarios.. scenario 1.. most everywhere you read and a lot of people you ask will tell you not to compress to disc (use a compressor while recording) I'm here to tell you.. while I agree with that a lot of the time.. there are times when it is a great idea to compress while recording.. YOU GUYS WITH SHITTY ROOMS PAY ATTENTION.. if your room sucks or you're in a kitchen, bathroom, basement, whatever.. try compressing to disc.. part of being an engineer is making whatever situation work.. if some star wants to record in the hotel.. you're going to have to still make it sound good.. and it's tricks like compressing to disc that can make that happen for you.. of course you have to understand the application and set the compressor properly.. but that's how you get to know you're setup.. and that's important..

    now if you're room is really tight then compressing to disc starts to get less desirable.. but it's something to always keep in your bag of tricks..

    Scenario # 2.. generally it is common and frequent advice to compress lightly.. eq lightly.. and I will say again that I agree with that MOST of the time.. but again.. rap music might be completely different.. heavy compression is common and often preferred by the masses when done correctly.. and rap music is your chance to do that.. you might compress some things a lot more than others.. you might want to get a telephone voice with a band pass eq.. which while we're on it.. all that is.. is an eq.. roll off all the lows.. roll off all the highs.. boost around in the mids... and you have a bandpass.. which can give you the telephone voice... which is ultimately an example that in rap music sometimes the rules are opposite..

    so don't get stuck always doing things one way.. get your arsenal out and remember to mix up your tricks.. mix up the general guidlines with techniques more specific to rap.. remember to use your plugins where they're needed and not just because you have them.. most importantly.. if it sounds good it is good.
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  9. ezejesus

    ezejesus New Member

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    I read the stop EQ'ing all your vocals the same part and it really gave me some insight. Good post.
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  10. MisterE

    MisterE Look @ His Face Now!

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  11. soundbetter

    soundbetter New Member

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    Interesting aspects indeed.
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  12. BullyBeats

    BullyBeats New Member

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    I have to disagree that all of your tracks should be rendered in stereo because it could cause havoc in your mix. IMHO, unless a sound has a specific reason to be stereo like a delay effect or some atmospheric pads then it might be an idea to render it in mono. Because if the left and right signal are exactly the same then it should be mono unless your after a certain sound. I used to mix everything in stereo thinking mono was old fashioned lol. But my mixes were so over crowded that I used all kind of plugins to try and separate the sounds which made the problem 10 times worse.
    The good thing about mono is that it can free space in the mix and allow your stereo tracks to shine. For instance have a mono piano in the back ground, have a string section as a stereo split and have a guitar with a delay send in stereo and the results can sound pretty amazing. Try the same thing with all stereo tracks and you will loose the spatial feel.
    Everyone has there own taste but a lot of cats just stereo everything, compress the hell out of it and have it about 6db too loud so there tracks appear to have energy when in reality it's distorted to hell and back.
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  13. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    I'd like to stress here that I'm not suggesting that you render ALL of your tracks in Stereo, or that you do it ALL the time.. The goal here is only to think outside the box. It's about adding tricks to your bag to pull out just when they're needed or give the edge you want for a particular sound or instrument.. Also remember that a stereo track can easily be made mono by matching the pans.. So another point here is just to have more flexibility in your mix AT TIMES in order to A to B from stereo to Mono.. The rule this illustrates is.. "if it sounds good it is good" by the same token of course.. "if it doesn't sound good it isn't good"

    It is especially important to render tracks in stereo if they have stereo effects in the chain on a side note.
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  14. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Pre-Fader Vs. Post Fader simplified

    Ok.. I'm going to make this one really easy.. this is most important when using sends.. especially delays & reverbs which will almost always be used via sends over inserts..

    Think of "Pre-Fader" (and we'll use delay as an example for this) as a means to split your volume levels into three tiers.. in this example.. your main track.. let's just say a lead vocal.. is controlled by the normal fader on the mixer channel for that track.. with pre-fader engaged (on) you have separate control of the volume of the delay.. at two points... the send level.. and the return level.. the delayed signal can then be controlled independently of the original track going to the delay.. this is VERY effective when you want delay trails to be as loud as the lead when say repeating the last word or two of a phrase.. which is pretty common in both rap and r&b recordings..

    Now.. let's expand at this point to understand what is happening... you must visualize the signal flow.. so for example take one mixer channel and imagine you sing into the mic.. the signal starts at the top of that channel and goes down through inserts.. sends.. then on to the fader to be mixed in level wise.. Well.. when you use a send "pre-fader" it is exactly as it implies.. the signal is sent to the effect on the send aux before it is effected by the fader level on the orignal track.. so a diagram would show an arrow routing the signal out of the channel before it has gone through the fader while the orignal signal does continue on down to the fader and out.. so in essence.. it's really no different then duplicating a track per se..

    "post-fader" is exactly the opposite.. it means the signal travels through the fader section on the original channel before being split and then sent to the delay, or whatever effect is on the send aux... and so.. the original track level effects the the level going to the send aux.. turning up the orignal track will thereby turn up elements of the delay in this example.. for things like delay and reverb.. this isn't usually ideal.. You want to be able to blend the volume of the delay with the original signal without one effecting the other.. that is unless you have a specific effect you're going for with delay or reverb that requires post-fader use. In general though.. you'll get better tonal balance when you split things up as much as possible.. be it multiband compression.. eq.. mastering..

    take picture resolution as an analogy.. the smaller the pixel.. thereby the more pixels.. leads to higher quality pictures... same with music.. the more bands you break down each element to.. giving you precise control of the entire range of that sound.. fine tuning parts of the sound without digging into pay dirt.. leads to better and louder music.. I hear alot of inconsistent use of reverb and delay.. I've certainly been guilty of it prior to understanding things like pre vs post fader.. I think understanding this helps prevent abuse of such effects.

    **extra tip... calculating delay time... This is done for you in reason fyi.. but to manually calculate the delay time.. take 60,000 and divide it by the tempo of your project... e.g. 60,000/120 = 500 So.. if you make a beat at 120.. you could use delay times of 500.. 250.. 125.. 62.5 etc.. etc.. doing so keeps the delays in time with the tempo of the song which makes them blend much better.. you can use higher delay times without hearing them so much.. my favorite thing to do is use two sends.. pre-fader going to two delays set at different calculated intervals e.g. one at 125 and the other at 63.. then I pan the return for one hard left and the return for the other hard right... set the levels.. and presto.. sounds great! In reason when you create a line delay it autmatically steps out timed delays.. so when you drop one in to a song where the tempo is set at 120.. turn the step down to 1.. change it from step to ms.. it will show 125ms.. you'll see that the steps will change based on the tempo at the time you add a delay.. it's very helpful to keep note of this.. lots of people do this and lots of people send EVERYTHING to the delays in this way and doing so with timed delays allows you to do that without this overwhelming clash of different sounds hitting the delay.. and pre-fader lets you turn that delay down or up again separately from the dry source sound.. all this REALLY allows you to shape your sound with endless possibility!

    Best of luck.. hope this is helpful
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  15. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    "Who is this guy and what does he know anyway!?"

    Well that's an excellent question.. I gave you some insight and you may or may not be familiar with my work but I wanted to post a good example that employs most of the techniques I've explained above. The song at the following link uses 90% or more of all that I posted above and so these are the results I get using the info above. It's not the gospel, just one guy's take but I think you'll agree that it works pretty well.


    Nowshi - Refuse to Lose by Mr. ROUSH
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  16. Storyville

    Storyville New Member

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    I'd like to expand on your post about "Mono vs. Stereo", as I feel that it is perhaps a bit oversimplified.

    Just to lay it out - I've been professionally tracking and mixing (and occasionally mastering) for about eight years. I teach classes, I beta test for microphone companies, I've worked with many artists in many genres both famous and yet-to-be famous.

    So Mono vs. Stereo.

    A BIG misconception is that if you take a sound and pan it hard left, then take the exact same sound and pan it hard right, you will have a stereo signal. This is incorrect. That's a mono signal. It's the same as taking the original sound, panning it into the middle and turning up the volume.

    When deciding whether to work with a sound in mono or stereo, one has to determine if there is any information that changes from left to right. If the sound has a moving pan position, different eq on one side, some kind of chorus effect, reverb, or delay - it's probably best as a stereo sound. If both sides are equivalent, and the pan position is stationary, it's better to work in mono generally.
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  17. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    I disagree.. if you have information in the left and right channel then it is stereo.. even when panned hard left and right.. since the simple definition of stereo is just that.. having information in both the left and right channel.. a stereo channel only generates a mono output if the pans are matched so that the information in both the left and right track are centered to the same percent.. i.e. both l/r panned dead center.. or both panned hard left.. or both panned hard right. or both panned exactly the same amount right or left.. etc..

    what you're describing is often referred to as "big mono" .. which is technically stereo.. because it occurs when you pan stereo tracks that have the same information in the left and right channel, hard left and right.. this often results in something of a "mono" sound due to cancellation that occurs.. tricking the ears a bit... however.. mute the left channel.. you can still hear the sound in the right.. and vise versa.. because it's stereo.. a mono sound panned hard left would barely be heard if at all when the left channel is muted..

    so while you're post is partly inaccurate it is till relevant.. when deciding if something should be mono or stereo.. you should gage that by whether or not there is information in both channels.. such as the examples you gave where a stereo track might have the sound going left and reverb from the sound on the right channel.. eq etc..

    and again.. sometimes mono sounds are used with stereo effects.. like a vocal going through a stereo delay as an insert on the track.. put a stereo delay on a mono vocal in pro tools for example and the track automatically becomes a stereo track.. the mono vocal is doubled by the delay and sent left and right with the respective delay settings for the left and right which can then be set differently and panned differently.

    on a side note, it is generally a good idea to avoid "big mono." Many pro's will tell you to pan things around while listening in mono through only one monitor.. this is to make sure that nothing is panned so hard that it disappears if you're only hearing it in one speaker. This is also a great method to find out what sounds are fighting for space, and where phase cancellation is happening... so it not only prevents mono mishaps when you do this, but it also enhances your overall stereo mix.. often times this is the best way to find the best spot for mono sounds, since they often stick out in the sweet spot when you pan them around listening in mono.
    test
  18. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2000
    Messages:
    5,166
    A Big Bottom

    The fundamental and the foundation of rap music and R&B is a big and full bottom end.. this is where so many struggle.. I know I've touched on some techniques already that can enhance the bottom end.. however I want to spend some time getting in depth on a couple of specific techniques that will drastically improve your beat game if you're not already using them..

    #1.. whatever you might do to make you're kick and bass stand out.. be it eq, lots of compression.. multiband processing.. whatever.. it is HUGELY important to make sure that your other sounds are not muddying up the low end.. this can be anything from bass sounds to vocals to things that you wouldn't think would occupy enough frequencies in the low end to interfere...

    so.. the best way to carve space for the low end is to use high pass filters on everything besides the low end... for example.. say you have a kick drum.. a sub bass.. a mid range rhythm bass.. a piano.. and some vocals... on the kick and sub bass you would enhance the low frequncies with effects until they stand out alone how you want them to.. next turn things on with the kick and sub bass, one at a time.. in this example you would turn the mid range bass on next.. turn on the high pass filter.. (high pass filter = only frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency get through) Adjust the cutoff frequency to filter out any part of the low end of the sound that might be competing with the kick and sub bass.. do the same for all of the other tracks.. I try to always do it in order by which sounds have the most mid to low end information in them.. I usually end up with at least some of the low end of every other track filtered out.

    Once you have done this you will hear the low end of your track sound more defined and much more clear. It will suddenly stand out a lot more. You'll be surprised how much you find other tracks getting in the way of your kick drum and low bass. Before I touch any other eq I always do this to get rid of all unwanted low end information.. I think this is something that is often overlooked..

    #2 quick mastering tip for booming kick and bass.. very effective.. put a mastering eq on the whole stereo mix.. using a bell curve.. turn the q all the way narrow.. put the frequency to 50hz (varies).. turn the gain all the way up, you'll hear the low end hit much harder.. slowly turn the gain down until the sound is clean and you have the added low end you want.. make sure you have proper compression and limiting going on in your master when using this trick.
    test
  19. terrencej31

    terrencej31 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    You are the Coolest cat on the web PERIOD! No one wants to share anything anymore. They tell you "Trail and Error". I don't have the money for school right now, so I don't have all day. I'm trying to get a good sounding Demo out. Thanks man, I pray God gives you everything you need for sharing your wisdom.
    test
  20. terrencej31

    terrencej31 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Wow! Just checked out the site... Dexter beat, out cold. I thought I was the only one who thought that would be a good sample.
    test
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