mixing songs vs. clips

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Isturite-
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mixing songs vs. clips

Post by Isturite- » Thu May 27, 2010 5:03 pm

I am so confused right now... and just don't know what to do, and haven't gotten an answer from anybody for this yet... searched the forum and couldn't find a thread, so if this is a repost of something old please let me know...

I have been making songs, and have a launchpad, and would like to do sets with my launchpad mixing the clips that I made so I can have full control over the song's composition... but... what about mastering??? I notice that if I get a track mastered, how do I mix the clips live?? will unmastered clips ever match up to a mastered song? theres no way that everybody who mixes with an APC sends their full track to get mastered, then sends the song split into 4-5 different clips to get those also mastered.... that sounds expensive!

Do I just learn my own mastering?? Then master the songs and clips myself?? (I know it takes years, but I'm going to school for Electrical Engineering and thought about audio as a minor...)

any help would be great!
Kevin Welch
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cacti
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by cacti » Thu May 27, 2010 6:30 pm

you dont master them. most people put a limiter onthe master track. maybe an exciter or vintage warmer if you have the cpu.

Isturite-
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by Isturite- » Thu May 27, 2010 9:34 pm

yes but how is that sound quality going to match up to a Dj who's spinning a mastered track? will that do?
Kevin Welch
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cacti
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by cacti » Thu May 27, 2010 9:36 pm

Isturite- wrote:yes but how is that sound quality going to match up to a Dj who's spinning a mastered track? will that do?

well i guess you just realize that the dj is spinning other peoples stuff, but your are creating something original on the fly.

cacti
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by cacti » Thu May 27, 2010 9:37 pm

or you could get a mastering plugin like ozone, and 'master' your clips and stuff.

Isturite-
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by Isturite- » Thu May 27, 2010 10:16 pm

well i guess you just realize that the dj is spinning other peoples stuff, but your are creating something original on the fly.

or you could get a mastering plugin like ozone, and 'master' your clips and stuff.
that's why i refuse to dj! though most ppl i know just consider me a dj because they don't know the difference, and i have to explain it to them and i always get the same reply "wow i never realized there was so much to it!"

So I'm guessing my issue is not that i need mastering... I have shit sound quality in my songs, but other ppl using the same plugins in cubase or logic seem to put out much better sound quality... could this because of the bit rate i have it set to??? my songs just lack deepness and presence... listen if you dont know what i'm talking about

soundcloud.com/isturite

btw, srry for the long post... I really appreciate the feedback cacti! I'm just trying to get this cleared up so that i can start working on my sound quality, because i've been thinking it's cuz i dont have my clips mastered... kind of working at the wrong thing... but ya thanks man!
Kevin Welch
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ShaneFontane
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by ShaneFontane » Thu May 27, 2010 10:42 pm

i listened to your mixes but i have ear buds right now so it's tough to say but point out some considerations...

- when mixing, you have to be clean and pay attention to all the low end you are using up... be sure to apply eq correctly, in a means to shapes sounds to create space for other sounds

- create focus on an instrument, not the whole song... their should be an audio hierarchy so if everything is equal there is no focus... for example, 4/4/ material is focused on the kick so all else is mixed around the kick

- be sure to use a combination of mono and stereo sounds, pan instruments ot for panning for effect but for creating space for other sounds...

- use processing sparingly, specifically things like reverb and delay because that will only distance those sounds further from the listener

- if needed, try getting a nice mix together, even if it peaks a bit on the master then apply a tool like ozone to polish up some remaining details to "glue" it all together

- push back those lead instruments into the mix

- use processing like a doubler to create space in the middle for your kicks and snares

- carve distinct blocks of frequency for different sounds then glue back together with a hint of compressions and reverb

more and more and more...
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cacti
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by cacti » Thu May 27, 2010 10:47 pm

^ yea good advice.


your tracks are cool, but could use some better mixing. hope this helps.

memes_33
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by memes_33 » Thu May 27, 2010 11:19 pm

i mix my unmastered tracks with others' mastered tracks all of the time. if you have an eq on each channel, and a volume slide on each channel, you should be able to meld those two together using eq & volume only. sure, mastered tracks are limited, but a limiter only turns up the quiet parts so the whole thing seems louder. mostly, what mastering does is increase the apparent "loudness" (the word loudness its self implies apparent volume level, not actual volume) of a track. all you need is a little extra headroom- keep the mastered tracks a little lower in level, and then up the level a bit for your originals. provided its mixed right, you should be fine.
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Isturite-
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by Isturite- » Fri May 28, 2010 12:08 am

you guys are the shit!!! i'll be sure to add you all on soudcloud for that :)

shane that was some very useful information, some i'd hear, but most of it i hadn't... i'm guessing i need to turn some of my levels down, I cant ever decide which part is most important

thanks a LOT for listening, i really appreciate the feedback i'll be sure to work on some of these things... only wish i had some decent monitors... i end up getting mixes to sound better using headphones than I do with the crappy little 40w m-audio things i got
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DangerousDave
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by DangerousDave » Fri May 28, 2010 1:15 am

ShaneFontane wrote:i listened to your mixes but i have ear buds right now so it's tough to say but point out some considerations...

- when mixing, you have to be clean and pay attention to all the low end you are using up... be sure to apply eq correctly, in a means to shapes sounds to create space for other sounds

- create focus on an instrument, not the whole song... their should be an audio hierarchy so if everything is equal there is no focus... for example, 4/4/ material is focused on the kick so all else is mixed around the kick

- be sure to use a combination of mono and stereo sounds, pan instruments ot for panning for effect but for creating space for other sounds...

- use processing sparingly, specifically things like reverb and delay because that will only distance those sounds further from the listener

- if needed, try getting a nice mix together, even if it peaks a bit on the master then apply a tool like ozone to polish up some remaining details to "glue" it all together

- push back those lead instruments into the mix

- use processing like a doubler to create space in the middle for your kicks and snares

- carve distinct blocks of frequency for different sounds then glue back together with a hint of compressions and reverb

more and more and more...

Good advice indeed, except be careful of having on "ok" mix and thinking that slapping ozone on it will make it completely "Glue" together. Ideally, get your mix to sound as good as possible, then use a product like ozone (if youwant.)
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ShaneFontane
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by ShaneFontane » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:57 pm

DangerousDave wrote:Good advice indeed, except be careful of having on "ok" mix and thinking that slapping ozone on it will make it completely "Glue" together. Ideally, get your mix to sound as good as possible, then use a product like ozone (if youwant.)
yeah. def be aware of how you are using ozone, it's not a fix all solution - but can give you some basic presets and tools to get you on your way though :)
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Z3NO
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by Z3NO » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:56 pm

When playing live any time spent mastering is time wasted.
Mastering is used to mix down an entire song which is aimed as a final product for listening from portable media.
The idea of playing live is that the experience unfolds before an audience as the track is constructed with all its separate elements on stage. Just like you would have with real instruments, each sound should be independent and mixed on the fly by the front of house sound engineer, (not you) whose task is to recreate, as accurately as possible through the mix, how the band would sound on the CD, in a live environment.

If you are mixing all of your tracks within your laptop on stage and just sending a left/right signal to the PA, you are very unlikely to find a good balance in the mix as what you hear on stage will in general sound very different to what the audience will hear through the main PA, in which case you are better off finalising your mix before you go on stage and complete your tracks with a mastering process, but this will effectively leave you DJing...

supamonsta
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by supamonsta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:52 am

http://tarekith.com/assets/mastering.html

http://tarekith.com/assets/Leveling.html

http://tarekith.com/assets/mixdowns.html

http://tarekith.com/assets/dynamics.html


read this and you'll find your way mate, like I did :wink:

you can definitely sound great live, without pro mastering. Just think lots of DJs now use mp3s... you'll be fine with your unmastered live, if you tweak your sounds and individual tracks with precision.

just be sure you set up some EQs to be able to tweak everything during the show IF needed, and, as said, put a limiter on the master.

if your tracks already sound "dull" or really "unpro", you first have to learn better techniques, and the guides by tarekith are really wise..

cheers

stonee
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Re: mixing songs vs. clips

Post by stonee » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:35 pm

Z3NO wrote:When playing live any time spent mastering is time wasted.
Mastering is used to mix down an entire song which is aimed as a final product for listening from portable media.
The idea of playing live is that the experience unfolds before an audience as the track is constructed with all its separate elements on stage. Just like you would have with real instruments, each sound should be independent and mixed on the fly by the front of house sound engineer, (not you) whose task is to recreate, as accurately as possible through the mix, how the band would sound on the CD, in a live environment.

If you are mixing all of your tracks within your laptop on stage and just sending a left/right signal to the PA, you are very unlikely to find a good balance in the mix as what you hear on stage will in general sound very different to what the audience will hear through the main PA, in which case you are better off finalising your mix before you go on stage and complete your tracks with a mastering process, but this will effectively leave you DJing...

agreed.

If you are going to play your songs the same as you rehearsed every time, and trying to master it, IMO your just wasteing effort.

If its a true live performance, it should be different every time.

if you want to leave your songs the way they are and have them sound consistent, mix them down into one track, or into a couple of sections, and then put some more energy into nice mixing, effects, or further improvisation on top of that.
the other thing to remember, is people aren't going to criticize you if you aren't "performing" your songs per se. all they see is you making music come out of your computer. they don't know, or really care about everything between here and there.so you should do do whats most effeicient and flexible, and to a certain extent, safe. by safe I mean find a method of performing that wont go to hell, leaving dancing people confused.

personally, for myself, I'm basically content to dj my songs along with others, and and take advantage of my spare time, to focus on making fine mixes, cutting loops and live remixing.

nothing like being able to turn any ambient set into atmospheric dn'b, lol

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