Mixing Dilemma

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Pasha
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Mixing Dilemma

Post by Pasha » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:57 am

I've got a song I'm finishing.
Master is set at 0db and in specific points in the sing it clips to +1.25db.
I have identified the offending track, it's a Zebra DX Brass sound with an
harsh attack and a mellow decay with filter sweep.
Now I have got two options:

1) Lower the track volume in the mix
2) Add a Limiter set with a ceiling at 2.00db

Although I'd prefer the second, I'd like to have some ideas from you.

- Best
- Pasha
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H20nly
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by H20nly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:20 am

what song?..

without that I would have to go with 1

SubFunk
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by SubFunk » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:59 am

Do as you please, but if you ask me always, always lower levels and avoid any limiter if not absolutely necessary. don't be afraid of loosing volume, concentrate on making it sound good and don't forget to use the big knob when you need it loud, it is also good practise to wack your monitor level right up to mix comfortebly with a tendency of lower levels.

EDIT: H2Only has a point to hear the track... in some rare cases a limiter might be OK, but a spike means usually dynamics and i am a fan of preserving those. they are a vital point in music. IMO
Last edited by SubFunk on Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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aphasia
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by aphasia » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:03 am

I think the best way would be to lower the offending track. If that results in you not being able to hear it well enough then lowering every track by a small amount will drop the master volume to below 0db whilst retaining the definition between the sounds that you've already mixed.

simonlb
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by simonlb » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:42 am

You could always lower the volume of all your tracks? There's no need for you to be maxing out near zero, leave that for the mastering...

Pasha
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by Pasha » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:05 pm

Good points guys, I'll try with various approaches before call it done.
Initially I was happy with the mix to a point were I would have avoided touch it again
hence the usage of a Limiter instead of re-mixing from scratch.
However that seems the way to go so..
Just one more question, what if I lower the master Volume let's say 3db (and eliminate the limiter)
can I deal with this later at Mastering time?

- Best
- Pasha
Apple Desktop / Laptop
Live 9 Suite,Zebra 2.6,Guitar, Bass, VG99, JV1010 and some controllers
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H20nly
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by H20nly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:26 pm

from what I understand, the more headroom the better at mastering time.

around -6 db is a sweet spot that leaves anyone treating the track as a whole (rather than a mix) lots of room to play.

SubFunk
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by SubFunk » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:58 pm

H20nly wrote:from what I understand, the more headroom the better at mastering time.

around -6 db is a sweet spot that leaves anyone treating the track as a whole (rather than a mix) lots of room to play.
yep, any mastering engineer will be very happy with a headroom around -6db

and even if you do not master it or give it to a mastering engineer, there is no need to hit spot on 0db, remember for volume there is always the big knob to be turned up.
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Pasha
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by Pasha » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:18 pm

SubFunk wrote:
H20nly wrote:from what I understand, the more headroom the better at mastering time.

around -6 db is a sweet spot that leaves anyone treating the track as a whole (rather than a mix) lots of room to play.
yep, any mastering engineer will be very happy with a headroom around -6db

and even if you do not master it or give it to a mastering engineer, there is no need to hit spot on 0db, remember for volume there is always the big knob to be turned up.
I'm trying to do the same as I did with my first Album, where I mixed at 0db with no fx on the Master Track (Tarekith guide) and then lower master to -3db and export stereo tracks. Put all mixed tracks in a new project and start mixing the stereo tracks and adding Mastering fx.
This time I have to mix my own lead vocals in addition and maybe this is creating 'problems' or simply I hit a situation which I have less
experience. Once again I know that by using help from this forum I could do a nice work as I did first time.
Never be afraid to start from scratch... once more... (Tarekith)

- Best
- Pasha
Apple Desktop / Laptop
Live 9 Suite,Zebra 2.6,Guitar, Bass, VG99, JV1010 and some controllers
______________________________________
Music : http://alonetone.com/pasha

H20nly
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by H20nly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:34 pm

Pasha wrote:I have to mix my own lead vocals
that is the hardest thing for me to do... anything else, there is an answer for, somewhere...

3dot...
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by 3dot... » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:43 pm

don't mix the vocals in .. you're not objective enough...

mix the track (music.. ) mix the vocal tracks...
give both to the mastering engineer.. he'll balance them out for ya..

as for track vol. vs. limiter...
h2o and SubFunk got it right..

just take 6db down. on the whole thing....

alternitavely.. if you know when it peaks..
you can draw a small volume automation curve to hands the clip on the offending track..
:mrgreen:
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Pasha
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by Pasha » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:45 am

3dot... wrote:don't mix the vocals in .. you're not objective enough...

mix the track (music.. ) mix the vocal tracks...
give both to the mastering engineer.. he'll balance them out for ya..

as for track vol. vs. limiter...
h2o and SubFunk got it right..

just take 6db down. on the whole thing....

alternitavely.. if you know when it peaks..
you can draw a small volume automation curve to hands the clip on the offending track..
:mrgreen:
Got you. No $$$ for the Master Engineer here. I'll be doing it as i did for the previous album.
When I use the term 'Mastering' I refer to having all the tracks processed so they have
the same 'sound' and loudness. I do not care about song gap or CD Mastering because I will
upload tracks to alonetone as mp3 from a 44hz/16bit "Master".
I got an external observer who is also a musician (Piano & Jazz Orchestra Director)
who is my wife... and I can assure you that she can be really detached and cold as a knife
when working on music... 8O
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leedsquietman
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by leedsquietman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:24 am

Reduce your volume. You can also leave the limiter on just to catch any stray peaks (after reducing volume) but Live's limiter doesn't have oversampling so won't catch intersample peaks anyway.
Last edited by leedsquietman on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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macmurphy
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Re: Mixing Dilemma

Post by macmurphy » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:35 am

Well, if you're happy with the way the tracks are balanced just select all of them and lower them until the master is peaking where you want it.
I'd usually aim for around -6dB.

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