Originally Posted by Spiritbeast
When I record, I'm certainly going to try a grouping approach. Would you advise grouping the lead guitars with the rhythm ones? Also, even though Joey drum samples are "pre-mixed" (Though I'm finding this definitely not to be true, the cymbals seem a little loud), am I still going to need to EQ things as much?
I usually try to get the basic balance ready with just faders and static panning. Set panning, close all faders and start raising them one by one starting from: kick, bass, snare, oh, lead vocals, rhythm guitars and after that what ever is left. After that: Listen, set levels, repeat. That usually is 50% of the rough mix. Then if there is something that can't be fixed with just level, process only when needed. Because of my FOH mixing background, I usually tend to use as little tracks as possible; If something sounds totally awful (for example if you have a hihat track that sounds TOTALLY disgusting), you can actually try to leave stuff muted if it's not something really vital like the bass guitar or vocals. I have done a few of mixes where I didn't use the overhead or snare track at all. And I even once bounced out a mix where I noticed I accidentally had left the toms muted, but the band didn't notice a thing so I just couldn't give a fuck after that
And a funny story about using "as little as possible" was when I was still living with my room mate (he is a DJ/producer who owns a electronic music label called Finrg, their biggest artist is Proteus) and he wanted me to overdub some guitars for a song. I asked for a mix with just drums, bass, vocals and original guitars as reference, and we both laughed that the stripped down version sounded better than the full mix with all that synth stuff. He only had spent like over 400 hours on the song, it had like over 170 tracks
The track is here btw (he didn't use the guitars we tracked because they were slightly out of tune tho so I understood he used the earlier guitars):
edit: I noticed on his youtube channel that he still is doing the "fucking loads of tracks" thing:
But no need to be stupid and anal about the "no processing" rule; if your guitars are only DI-tracks, it's understandable that you need to ampsim or reamp the signal, but in addition to that I try to have "nothing" on it except the basic HP/LP filtering at first, and the LP isn't always even necessary. But they should be printed out already before the mixing stage anyway to save CPU. Making decisions early and committing to a sound is usually not a bad thing.
And on the grouping: I had just 5 groups (drums, bass, guitars, vocals and fx) in this mix, but nothing is set on stone. If it works better for your workflow that you have kick and snare separate from the rest of the kit and the leads separate from the rhythm tracks; go for it. There is no rules, just make it sound good
Originally Posted by Spiritbeast
I really appreciate you typing all that up for us. Like I said, the mix is excellent. Refreshing to hear some mixes completely different then metal, especially ones pulled off so well. Suprising how little you did the OH's themselves - and the fact they just got their love from the group bus. The use of RVox over a normal compressor is definitely interesting.
Well, I like stuff that has a character to them. I am not 100% sure how the Rvox works, but I have a feeling that Rvox does something to the presence region which brings out the vocals, or what ever you want to bring forth, nicely. The basic compressors are bit meh, but they get the job of taming dynamics done if you have nothing better at hand.
But there are times when you need a super transparent processing. The L1 is awesome because it literally is that tasteless and odourless thing. When you put it on bass to tame the wild dynamics of the "not so audible 0-40hz" that takes 70% of your headroom if you haven't highpassed the track.
The "normal" compressors are cool too if they have some sort of character to them. For example I love the Electro Harmonix Black Finger compressor pedal, because it has a really nice character to it. I also I found out about the "Gclip on snare/kick -trick" by myself in ~2006 at live gigs by accident using the cheap Behringer T1952 hardware "tube" compressor. Don't so much like the compressor in it, but love it because of it's limiter. Sounds fucking brutal and awful, but works miracles on snare
and works on kick too, it's similar to why people use Gclip.
I have to say I love the dbx 166XL (the 266XL is very similar, but I hate it), it's so "idiot safe" dynamics unit (two knob [threshold, release] gate, one knob [threshold] limiter and a really basic 5 knob [threshold, ratio, attack, release, makeup gain] compressor) and it sounds good. Love it as a whole, it also is really versatile compared to the Behringer thing, which kinda is a one trick pony.
From the software stuff the Waves CLA compressors and Waves Renaissance comp from the normal compressors is cool too. I briefly tried the CLA stuff at friends place, I think it will be my next software purchase. The Rcomp is not the best compressor out there, but I've used it like since when I started so I've become accustomed to the sound and metering and I find it really CPU friendly and good sounding. And it's like ridiculously cheap at the moment ($38 currently at Waves' front page on sale AND if you register a new account, you get the Musicians Bundle 1 for $49).