Great Morning To You! I am in serious mix mode this morning. All the projects I’ve been posting about are in the final stages. I’ve got 4 beats to mix today, and I plan on making them bang! I needed to look at an Eq Frequency Chart. I know I have one somewhere on a hard drive,but I couldn’t find it quickly. I googled, and found a very helpful site for musicians and engineers.
Another thing that really caught my eye is an applet all about Metering Structure:
image from independentrecording.net
I know I have not understood all the meters I look at inside Reapers Mixer. There are a few sets of numbers to see db, rms, and peaks levels. I have only been focusing on the db and peak so far. I know that’s not the correct way to monitor sound. I also know I needed to learn exactly what the levels mean. Today’s find is an “in your face’ reminder.
Remember, I had such a hard time setting my metering on my Edirol digital mixer. After a quick read, and use of the applet, I did a little test. What a difference! I love fixing mixing problems, and what better time to study this, as artists are getting close to mastering songs which Ive produced.
I’m going to spend at least an hour studying this, and get to work. Be sure to click around, there are plenty goodies in the resources section
Hey Hey all!! I missed you last week…it’s been a while since I have had to skip an entire week. You know what’s going on when I do? Beats, beats, and more beats!! I’ve got about 20 tracks in the works. The artist are writing and I am happy…
I have also been preparing for a new arrival:
I have been struggling with mixes, blue screens, and pc freezing for too long. I have a favorite soundcard the M-Audio Delta Omni i/o
I have had this for almost ten years, and I can get a great mix using it. The pc that I call “old faithful” which the omni is installed on, just isn’t fast enough to handle extensive mixing.
I have been transferring that soundcard to any pc I’ve tinkered with. My friend gave me a HP Touch Smart 300 last year. I absolutely love it. Its super fast, but one major problem? I can not do any type of upgrades to the all in one unit. That meant no transferring the delta soundcard ..ugh! I started using Roland Edirol M-16DX as my main mixer and soundcard. This mixer has so many excellent features, but my novice engineering skills held me back from it’s full potential.
I found myself using the Touch Smart to make the beats, then trying to mix on the older pc. Talk about a hassle! My “old faithful” would shut down it seemed every 30 minutes. Over the last few months I have come across several ways to avoid glitches when mixing more than 12 tracks in my DAW on the older pc. It’s nothing worst than working on a mix, getting the “sweet spot” only to have the pc freeze or restart!
Most of my beats range from 12-20 plus individual instruments when tracked out:
With out a fast processor this is almost impossible to even play within a DAW. I started splitting the mix into basically 3 projects: One for drums and bass, one for percs, and one for other instruments. This will sound like a lot of work, but it is definitely a work around if your pc is slow.
Load all kicks, snares, and bass instruments. Save as a project file. Export a rough mix down. Name the file “rough mix drums”. Step2:
Load all percs: crashes, cymbols, bells etc. Save as a project file. Export a rough mix down. Name the file “rough mix percs”. Step3:
Load all instruments: Keys, synths, strings. Save as a project file. Export a rough mix down. Name the file “rough mix instruments”
Choose one of your project files to begin your main mix. Drums are important for most hip hop, so I start with the drums. I open the “Drum” project file. (This may have about 5 tracks: 2 kicks, snares, claps, and bass since the kick and bass are in the same frequency range.)
Next insert your rough mix that you exported of ” percs and instruments”.
Now you can mix your tracked out/separated drums and bass adding effects without maxing your cpu. You have inserted the “rough mixes of percs and instruments only as a reference at this point. Once you have a good mix on your drums, save this as your new “drum project file”. Export a mix down drums ONLY, naming it something like “Drums Mixed”. Export a mix down of bass ONLY, naming it” Bass Mixed”. Close the project.
Open your “instruments project file”. Insert your “Drums Mixed”, “Bass Mixed”, and the “rough mix of percs files”. Now you can mix your tracked out/separated instruments adding effects without maxing your cpu, and hear how they sound with your terrific “Mixed Drums and Mixed Bass”. Save this as your new “instrument project file”. Export a mix down of instruments ONLY, naming it “Instruments Mixed”.
Open your “percs project file”. Insert your “Drums Mixed, Bass Mixed, and Instruments Mixed” files which you exported earlier. Now you can mix your percs adding effects without maxing your cpu, while hearing your wonderful ” Mixed” drums, bass, and other instruments. Save this as your new “percs project file”. Export a mix down of percs ONLY, naming it “Percs” Mixed”.
Create a NEW project file. Insert your ” Drums, Bass, Instruments, and Percs Mixed” files. Now you can do a final mix for sending to artist.
Keep in mind that this is just my little work around which helped me get through my pc processor problems. If you have a slow pc, you can always pay a professional engineer to mix your tracks. You can use less instruments, or bounce tracks within your production hardware and software. This means the same thing can be achieved if you are mixing inside Fl Studio. You don’t have to break down your beat as I described. The main idea is to “Bounce or Mix” elements in groups of tracks small enough for your pc to handle.
Wooo weeee it’s raining like crazy this morning. Great time to mix a few tracks while staying inside all day. I switched completely to a digital mixer. The Edirol M-16DX is functioning as my sound card as well as mixer. It’s a perfect set up for me, but as a novice in engineering I totally goofed a few mixes. I winded up taking the artist to StreetLegal Recording Studios , so engineer Mark could fix the tracks.
One of the main things I learned is the digital mix should not peak anywhere. On my analogue mixer I could max a kick drum to almost in the “red” and it would still sound great. Not so in the digital realm. Maxing anything will cause the mix to sound so distorted that you’ll barely enjoy the beat you worked hard on.
Things started getting a little frustrating. I mean, I’ve learned so much about mixing, and suddenly nothing was working…lol NOT in my lab. I decided to conquer the digital giant, and I’m making progress yay!
I sat down last week and really got into setting up my mixer with Reaper. I searched the net for a few articles and made a return visit to such a helpful site: www.tweakheads.com. If you have not been there, it’s almost like college for production. Be sure to bookmark, and read through the articles.
I went through step by step, setting up both software and my mixer. I tried the techniques and they are working. This post isn’t specific to the edirol mixer. It will help you when mixing inside Reason, Protools, and Fl Studio etc. as well.
Well Well Well I’m sure you’re saying :)… I’ve been on a roll with my other jobs lately. I went to Philadelphia last weekend. I was there doing video and photos for a wedding. It was very beautiful, and I even got to hang out with my cousin in Philly for a while.
I’ve also been clearing the way for classes. I wanted to start now, but I had to push it back a bit. It’s cool because I have a lot going on, and I’d like to finish all music projects first.
I am about to edit the wedding material. The video takes a very long time to upload to the pc. I could watch a little t.v while it’s loading…No way! let’s get to some music :)…
image from www.drumworld.com
I have talked so much about kick drums here. I can’t let you forget how important it is to have a cracking snare as well. Many producers don’t pay much attention to the snare. This is where you can add a little extra to your over all sound.
Mixing Drums – Fatter Snare
Here’s something I’ve never done. Using pitch to fatten the snare…
The Ravens won last night..yaay .. I stayed up so late watching the NFL network. Some how I have energy this morning. I plan to work on drum patterns only today. I feel like coming up with something different, and out of the box.
I was working with the Redrum in Propellarheads Reason. I made a quick pattern, and sent each instrument to different lanes. I played both the pattern, and lanes together and really liked the way the kick sounds in the beat. Read the rest of this entry »
WOW ..it’s so nice out today. I’m feeling very inspired. This is great because the sun won’t temp me to hit the streets lol..
I have been doing a lot more recording this year. Engineering is becoming more and more clear to me. Now that I can get some decent recordings done, I need to focus on vocal mixing. I’ve done so many post on mixing the beats, but not much on the other 50%, the vocals.
Here is a brand new Fl Studio Guru video which explains a few things about vocal mixing. Fl Studio Guru: Voca lMixing (Compression and Eq)
If you don’t use Fl Studio, all the tips can be used in the DAW of your choice. Just use the plugins and editors you have to accomplish the same effects. It’s good to watch videos, and read post even if you don’t have the exact software. I’m always sharing “general techniques”, along with “unique to the software” specifics 🙂
Happy Mixing To All
Pz Til Later!
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Afternoon all… still working..still moving and shakin 🙂
image of ddrum from www.americanmusical.com
I get so many questions about mixing drums. If you are making hip hop you know how important the drums are. When I work with Reason, Fl Studio. etc. everything is fairly easy to mix until I reach the kick. I find that digital formats and software just don’t cut it when using straight “as is” samples. You will have to add additional plugins or effects to most kick samples you use in your software, and some hardware.
Here are a few pointers that will help you with the kick drum hitting hard. Both videos are done using Fl Studio, but the techniques can be used with any daw or music production software: Daily Dose -Mixing Kicks-Fl Studio Tutorial
This is nice, he mentions frequencies and explains the types of kick you may like. http://www.beatclass.com Daily Dose
Of Course I had to post my man NFX from:
This goes into great detail, showing how to use the parametric eq to sweep to frequencies… Warbeats.com – EQ Tricks For Your Kicks (Boom + Thump = Bump)
Introducing Ms.Tris Beats a Hip Hop Producer, Artist,and Blogger from Baltimore, MD. Currently producing for a host of Maryland\'s hottest Mc\'s, and artist from all over the country. Her music is in demand to the who\'s who in Baltimore Hip hop.
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