I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
IllegalDiaper
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I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by IllegalDiaper » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:12 pm

Maybe I'm doing something wrong or maybe I need to mix on different software, but every time I go to work on a song, I start building the beat, adding on sounds, I EQ, I split frequencies, I compress, I parallel compress, reverb, I put all plugins on high quality, I've looked at hundreds of tips on youtube and other sites and my mix still sounds cheesy

Steve Glen
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by Steve Glen » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:55 pm

Practice. Practice. Practice.

tedlogan
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by tedlogan » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:02 pm

^^^

That is basically it. Many people refuse to accept this. Some get lucky.

A little talent also helps.

But, practice, and then some more. You gotta put in the time. If you hit a brick wall, watch some tutorials. etc.

good luck.

eyeknow
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by eyeknow » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:19 pm

I struggle with this. One thing that doesn't help is trying to mix as you go in that "perfectionist" way. If you keep doing that, you'll never get on with it. Though I'm not an expert at doing this, it's really better to get on with the music making and worry about your mix later (unless you are certain you know what it is you are trying to achieve)

First things first, pull your sliders down to about -6 db (or maybe even lower) and raise the sound card volume. If you keep having to lower the master fader, then the channels are likely too hot. Live in particular seems to have channels way to hot, especially with their built in stuff.

Then try to visualize "what sucks" like for example if it all sounds mushed together, likely you'll need some EQ cutting. If you've got 3/4 things that are fighting for the same frequency, then that is not going to be pleasing. Remember, much of the time cutting frequencies is better than adding. I'm not going to go into detail about how to do that, but that should help. Also, it's a good idea to HP many things including synths. Frequently synth parts are just too much low end so it's fighting with the kick and bass at the same time.

regretfullySaid
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by regretfullySaid » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:42 pm

And maybe you need to back off on the effect piling...
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beats me
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by beats me » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:48 pm

shadx312 wrote:And maybe you need to back off on the effect piling...

But that’s what the PROS do in videos and they are PROS. No context or explanation needed. Just pile on the effects and great things happen.

regretfullySaid
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by regretfullySaid » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:54 pm

shadx312 wrote:And maybe you need to back off on the effect piling...

Unless of course you want a drenched in reverb sound or something drastic, but a lot of sounds you may be using already sound great as is, so it may be unnecessary to compress things by default.
Also don't forget to mix effect like reverbs and delays, typically like cutting out around both ends of the spectrum.
It's also not a bad idea to dip eqs where the kick, snare and bass are most prominent.
Every sound needs it's own place to breathe.
Also don't forget panning. Even with sounds you want in the center; move it left or right just by a couple notches; it still makes a difference.
Then when you get a hold of the basics learn about M/S (not multiple sklerosis); it's a game changer.

/cue Tarekiths Guide To Proper Mixing. :D
beats me wrote:
shadx312 wrote:And maybe you need to back off on the effect piling...
But that’s what the PROS do in videos and they are PROS. No context or explanation needed. Just pile on the effects and great things happen.
Well for sound design it's totally encouraging, but not for mixing tracks imo, unless you're going for lo-fi/shoegaze, etc.
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IllegalDiaper
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by IllegalDiaper » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:33 pm

lol

not piling all those effects on at once, just trying different effects

ImNotDedYet
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by ImNotDedYet » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:34 pm

Are you gain staging all of your tracks?

Have you posted things for others to listen to and give you feedback/advice? The thing I'm learning is I have no idea what to listen for, and the more constructive criticism I get, the better - because I can go back and listen, A/B it and go "a ha!" That's what I need to listen for! You need to develop your ear - part of this is listening to a lot of the professional music in your desired genre and picking it apart - how did they do that, etc. and knowing what to listen for in your own mixes.

And then, there are the obvious other things that everyone says, but are very relevant nonetheless - monitors/headphones, sound treatment of your room, using reference mixes...

Tarekith
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by Tarekith » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:48 pm

Try doing a mix with compression at all, I bet you get a lot closer to the sound you're aiming for than you have so far. At the very least, it's worth a try :)

login
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by login » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:20 am

Read a book on mixing, http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Audio-2e-R ... 0240522222

Dont mix as you go, separate composing and mixing stages.

Try to mix with a minimalist aproach, less is more.

Check out video mixing tutorials but structured ones which do it from the start to the end, groove3, macprovideo and others have this kind of video tutorial.

Dont expect to get good at it fast, it takes time and a lot of practice.

taoyoyo
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by taoyoyo » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:21 am

Not sure if this is up your alley but I watched this set of tutorials last night ( Not free but perhaps worth the purchase)... More of a track blow by blow but had some nice production tips, mostly in Logic but translatable to Live:

http://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/ear ... onstructed
http://taoyoyo.com

Late 2011 15" Macbook Pro | 10.8.4 | RME Babyface

Angstrom
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by Angstrom » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:35 am

Sometimes you can get hold of hit-record multitracks online, or stems. It's worth analysing them because most of the time you can bring the faders up pretty much flat and it sounds great. Now in some cases you might say "ah well the printed their effects/eq to tape" but usually its the original sounds are good. If you ever watch a "Classic Albums" show you can see them throwing faders up and down and the components simply sit well together. All the mix is is a balance of components, not a "EQ carving" with side chaining compressors on everything trying to reclaim space in the spectrum for transients.

The drums were tuned right for the track, or damped, or the room choice was right, and the guitar sounds were right, and the chord voicings were well chosen.

What I'm saying is chord choice and instrumentation can really help.

dbfs
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Re: I feel like I cant achieve a good mix like others

Post by dbfs » Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:08 am

Mixing isn't about putting all the latest and greatest plugins on your tracks and tweaking them all night and day for the next week. Its about solving problems when they arise and doing whats right to get the job done. It's like putting together a really complicated puzzle.

Sometimes you just don't need to mess with stuff, either. And more often then not, the more you fuck with everything, the worse it starts to sound. Especially when it comes to EQ and Filtering tracks that didn't really need it and you're just doing it because you can. I see a lot of people with this mentality.

Then you have to master the effects and coloration tools to really start pushing it towards something that sounds like a record and not some demo you made in your bedroom. There's a lot to master when it comes to mixing. It takes years and years of experience and passion to make good mixes that don't sound amateur. The bottom line is, it's a very complicated craft, and the bar has been set high by others in the past that had the passion to do so. And now you're up against those guys, plus all these new guys who are equally as passionate.

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