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Offlineadamj
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Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels?
    #5987487 - 08/22/06 08:43 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)
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In a nutshell: I make music, play every instrument myself, layer stuff, etc. (I use Adobe Audition)

(I attached a song I've been playing with the past couple days. When I added on the lead rhythm guitar *strumming notes individually* it's what prompted me to make this post... I couldn't fit it into the mix that well)

Just wondering if there are any basic rule of thumbs, or tips or tricks when it comes to finalizing a song.

I recently put together a CD of my work and handed it around to people I knew. Two comments that came up the most was "Improve your vocals and mix the levels properly" So I'm taking vocal lessons, it's helping a lot.

But when it comes to properly mastering a song I'm kinda wandering in the dark. I pan stuff out like guitar 1 80% to the right, guitar two 80% to the left, bass 10% to the left, etc.
I also add EQ and Compressors to the instruments. When I listen to actual studio songs they sound sick. Disregarding the quality of equipment, I think I can accurately get my songs to that level. But then I compare the two and mine just sounds dead and flat.

Am I supposed to be placing instruments within an EQ field (like one has more bass, the voice is more middle so it cuts through, the other guitar is more treble?)

Ah Im kinda rambling.

Any tips in general would be helpful!


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InvisibleautomanM
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Re: Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels? [Re: adamj]
    #5988210 - 08/23/06 12:30 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

get a tube mic preamp and run the stereo mix through it directly before the compressor. record every track flat, then adjust eq and effects during the final mix. but really though... tubes are the key to a warm natural sound.


--------------------
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr


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InvisibleCorporal Kielbasa
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Re: Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels? [Re: automan]
    #5988273 - 08/23/06 12:52 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Does the tube portray how they warm up the sound?


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OfflinePhoshaman
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Re: Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels? [Re: adamj]
    #5989380 - 08/23/06 02:00 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

buy a book. read. study.

i could write you an essay on 'tips' on mixing and mastering, it's just completely pointless for me to do so, and you wouldn't understand 90% of it.


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels? [Re: adamj]
    #5991390 - 08/24/06 01:55 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

1) mastering is the overall level adjustement and compression for an entire album, to make the transition from one song to the next the same.

2) dont mess with compression and gates if you have no idea what you are doing, you will only make shit worse.

3) don't hard pan anything unless it is stereo. If you want stuff to stand out through panning, give it only a 10% pan, and wtf are you panning the bass for?

4) if you dont know shit about frequency you really shouldn't mess with EQing either, but if you want some pointers, then start by taking all the lows out of high pitched instruments. Almost everything except the bass and kick should have a high pass filter on it, usually 80-100 Hz and below completely cut out.

5) when you are trying to get levels set, work with groups or two tracks at a time, get those relative to each other, then move down the line, then get bigger, mix entire sections like drums to guitars, guitars to bass, then everything to vocals.
Then listen to the entire thing and you should only have to make minor adjustments.

Also, when Eqing things, the less you take out is better, and rarely should you have to boost frequencies.


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Offlinebrodus24
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Re: Tips on mastering/mixing audio levels? [Re: automan]
    #6918254 - 05/15/07 02:42 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

automan said:
get a tube mic preamp and run the stereo mix through it directly before the compressor. record every track flat, then adjust eq and effects during the final mix. but really though... tubes are the key to a warm natural sound.




It all depends on how the tube is used in the signal chain.

Fact is, most consumer-level "tube preamps" don't run tubes at the plate voltage necessary to do what tubes do best, and they don't have the signal filtering and amplifcation necessary to take advantage of what a tube can do.

I would argue that at the sub $200 price-point solid state preamps are far superior to the "tube" preamps. At that price there is no way the manufacturer can use high-end op-amps needed to filter and silently amplify the signal. So the tube ends up adding noise, harshness, and a brittle character.

I think this all changes around $500, which is about what you need to spend to get a tube preamp that is made correctly with the correct components.

You can't even get a kit with Burr Brown opamps and NO tube for less than $300, so no manufactured tube preamp for $90 is going to be that good.


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