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Coincidence or.... ? Track Relative Volume

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by H-evolve, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I've been struggling to find a good recipe as to how to set my fadder volumes. For example, if your guitars don't cut well through the mix, you'll have to raise their volume quite high to hear them, making them overwhelming. This is a good sign that something is wrong in the mix.

    That said, suppose your mix is close to "OK", I've attempted a method described on this forum, which is starting with drum only, then bringing bass up, then guitars (simply put I know, but I'm not going to detail the method).

    I was slightly "surprised" to see that the levels were close to being the exact same on each of my track. Especially between my bass and guitars. The main guitar bus was peaking at roughly -16dB, while my bass was maybe at -17. Out of curiosity I brought the bass up to bring it at the same level, however I found that it was starting to be too much bass.

    Do you guys experience the same in your projects? Or it depends from project to project? I know there isn't (at least from what I have read here) a strict rule about relative fadder level, but I was wondering what is your experience.
     
  2. Korwent

    Korwent Member

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    I about always balance the sound to the drums, the difference being that If I want emphasis on the guitars, I'll level them to the drums, then level the bass to the guitars, or if I want emphasis on the drums I level the bass to them and then level the guitars to the bass.
    But that's really a guideline, an exemple of mix that really CAN'T work that way is on Kvelertak's self titled, with the bass being really loud, in the mix, yet it's one of the records I really like because of that specificity, so I think there's no hard set rule about that.
     
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  3. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Yes, but have you ever took notice of what were the relative levels in each situation? Did you finished with the track levels being real close in both scenarios?
     
  4. ashgallows

    ashgallows resonant manipulator

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    i struggled with that myself and realized i like to mix the kick LOUD. so what i ended up doing was guitar first, then bring up the bass to make it sound like one "unit". then snare then kick and everything else. that being said, i think starting off with the either the main element or the thing that always gets buried is another way of doing things. if they are eqed in a balanced way i could see that happening. it seems like that the less mids in the instruments tone the more volume it needs and vice versa.
     
  5. Kellii

    Kellii Member

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    Try importing your referance mix into your daw and turning it to down roughly to the same overall volume as your mix.
    Then switch your daw to mono and set volumes of each instrument so they match the reference mix. Don't be afraid to eq in mono too if you need to just be aware of your guitars.

    AB them often and then once your are happy put your daw back intro stereo.
     
    #5 Kellii, Sep 29, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  6. Korwent

    Korwent Member

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    Well it's definitely close, I have never really tried to see really to what extent, it might also depend on where you make your bass sit in the mix, as the peak level will be closer to the real volume if you don't have big transients, IMO that's a little to many different factors to take into account to give a one and only answer : They are close but there I thnk there is no true "ratio" as for guitare vs bass level...
     
  7. Phil_ocean

    Phil_ocean Member

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    Hey guys, i agree with the relative volume balance techniques you all mentioned but I wanted to add something extra because i noticed Hugues Berger mentioned his guitars didnt cut through. When i see these 2 words the first thing that comes to mind is Distortion/Saturation, so instead of fighting hours after hours to get guitars to cut through with vol, try distorting them a bit or saturating (careful cause high mids-highs can cause problems if you overdo it).
     

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