1. Lou Dangalov
  2. Mixing
  3. Friday, 28 February 2020
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Hi there!

Let's see what were the toughest steps in the beginning for you guys as mixing engineers?

Mine personally was if I had audio files with higher peaks, to try to reduce the clipping, until my mentor thought me how to use the Trim tool on Pro Tools to balance the average peaks of the stems and create more head room for later. Anyone can agree that adding Reverbs, delays, compression later on eats a lot of headroom and it is necessary to keep an eye not only on our Master & Mix Bus, but on our individual tracks.

I think this will be a nice topic for anyone who's just starting out.

What where your first mistakes or issues you were facing?

How about cleaning the muddiness out of a mix?

:p :p :p
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

Mine personally was if I had audio files with higher peaks, to try to reduce the clipping, until my mentor thought me how to use the Trim tool on Pro Tools to balance the average peaks of the stems and create more head room for later.


Do you mix your own recordings ?

I always record when my peaks at -12dbFS, Not only I get the lower possible distortion from my Metric Halo converters (I will upload the distortion graph to the ULN8 listing in the catalog) but it also gets me to around -18dBFS RMS which is where plugins are calibrated by default.

Btw, I have found out that Protools has a small sweet spot to it's master fader. It's the only DAW that's like that. Peaks have to be around -5dbFS. If a lot higher, it sounds bad. If a lot lower, it sounds bad too. Doesn't happen with Logic nor Studio One.

Alex
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
If Protools has a sweet spot at -5dbFs, then its signal path, must have been modeled around analogue circuitry !;) This is a character of analogue, it sounds good or bad at a certain levels. Where as logic or studio one have clean digital path.

One another thing i have noted in Protools is that it adds compression to the imported audio files the moment you import them into the project. All the DAW'S process the imports differently and all the DAW'S have a different sound to them.
Protools sound more bassy and compressed, whereas cubase sound more thin and uncompressed, and all the DAW'S anything in between !!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I would say the hardest thing was to get the BASS right, in really busy and cluttered mixes.
Not sure about the PRO TOOLS trim tool, I use reaper, but undestand the concept of trimming GAIN, i directly use the plugins output gain to do this.

As for cleaning the mudiness, a lot of High pass filter use, cutting lows and lo mids where they are unwanted, or just rumbling noise.
For some really troubling LO-MIDS, sometimes i´d rather use Multi band compression. Depends
EQ your reverb and delay sends, they can dirty stuff up real quick,
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
To keep the mix as clean as possible I usually EQ each tack as soon as possible in fact I have a template in Ableton Live so that each midi or audio file opens up with an 8 band equalizer with an high pass filter at 30Hz to remove all the really low end frequencies and thats where I found most of the muddiness in the mid-low frequencies.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 4
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Honestly when I started, I thought it would take 15 minutes to mix a song. I would record tracks and be upset when I couldn't get them mixed and mastered in under an hour!

So for any new audio engineers, I'd recommend you'd just take your time. You learn SO SO much when you go into each tiny detail of every part of a mix. Read a lot and gain as much knowledge as possible, and then gradually and slowly apply that to what you're mixing.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 5
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I use Pultec emulations for cleaning mudiness in the 250-700 Hz range, and usually cut this frequencies of my FX sends as well.
The high peak material that eats all the headroom is something i've struggled a lot too, but luckly i learned how soft clipping and saturation literally shave the peaks without modifiying the envelope of the sound (like compressors do), this changed my mixing game for ever.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
For me it was getting too lost in detail, spending hours on sessions at a time with the volume almost maxed out and hence eventually getting ear fatigue and losing any kind of perspective. Then coming in the next day wondering why everything sounds horrible, and so on and on the same process keeps on repeating every day for the rest of time :D :D

Nowadays I keep my sessions short, mix with very conservative levels, and am always thinking about how the whole track is sounding - not so much anymore about how the soloed kick is sounding :D

I All the DAW'S process the imports differently and all the DAW'S have a different sound to them.
Protools sound more bassy and compressed, whereas cubase sound more thin and uncompressed, and all the DAW'S anything in between !!

That's an old myth and it's frankly bad information to be giving to newbies. Perhaps in the "pre-historic" DAW era this used to be the case, but nowadays virtually all DAWs use 32-bit or 64-bit floating point processing engines with proper dithering and all that should perfectly null against each other (and this has been proven & demonstrated numerous times).
  1. more than a month ago
  2. # 7
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