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Mix as you go along? Or after everything is tracked?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Colin M. St. Claire, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Colin M. St. Claire

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    I was just wondering if you guys mix as you go, or once everything is laid down? I get all excited to start tweaking once I have something, but I wonder if that is complicating things once I throw more instruments onto the mix. I've heard of people swinging both ways.

    As a side note, I want to say thanks to all you guys for sharing all the knowledge. Almost every question I've had has been answered already on this forum. :worship:
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I'll do rough mixing as things get tracked, but nothing serious. I like to keep everything raw until all the instruments are recorded.

    If I start tweaking early on, I start saving these rough mixes, and in the end I wind up with 6 different sessions/mixes that I don't use because I always start from scratch anyway.
     
  3. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    You should be roughly mixing as you go along. Everything you track should be as close as you can get it to the final sound you want, don't wait to make major changes. With that said, I find it virtually impossible to make a finished mix as you're going a long tracking. While tracking, you'll be needing to pull certain things way out of the mix in order to hear precisely what they're doing.

    Now I've gotten much better as time's gone along at tracking closer to what I want the mix to sound like, but there are so many fine details in the mix (volume automation, extra limiting, plugins with high latency that you can't track through, etc.) that prevent you from really finishing a mix until.... mix time.
     
  4. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    Don't have that luxury with bands, since I am charging tracking by the hour. All effort goes to making raws as good as possible, both performance and sound wise.
     
  5. infectdsniper

    infectdsniper Member

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    yea pretty much what mva said. so the instrument im tracking will be pretty loud while tracking and then i set them at a good level and if i want anything eqed or compressed while tracking i do it. so after tracking my stuff is normally about 80 percent there mix wise.

    it doesnt take me long to add things while tracking because i know right off the bat if i dont like anything im tracking.
     
  6. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I never really mix while I track, any rough processing that I do to hear stuff clearer while tracking ( gating, some EQing) gets removed when I tackle the mix. Sure I'll set levels and mess with a couple of plug ins to see how the material is sounding and how it'll take to some of the basic processing I'd normally do but nothing more than that.

    For me, I don't do it as my ears get fatigued while doing lots of tracking and you don't have the time to give to make all the small choices properly when in a tracking situation. Also when I mix I use alot of busses and a fair amount of processing that make's tracking in a project session awkward. I've had to retrack small bits and pieces of sessions that I had fully mixed and it was a pain to work with the CPU close to maxing out.
     
  7. 006

    006 Member

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    I'm always mixing as I go on every project. For example, I hate how raw drums sound haha, usually the drum sound is about 85% towards the "final" sound by the time we are done tracking them, the other 15% coming when I have everything else there. Any time we have a little break and when the client goes home for the day I work on the mix of whatever we have tracked so far.
     
  8. botus99

    botus99 Microphone Assassin

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    My favorite word in the tracking phase is: COMMIT

    Commit to everything you do in the tracking phase. Don't hit that record button until you KNOW what you are recording is going to sound good AND work well within the mix. Also make sure the performance is there... durrrr that one's kinda obvious but I feel obliged to mention. :Shedevil:

    I like to add a small amount of compression on drums, vocals, or acoustic guitars on the way in to relieve the work for the compressor I use during the mixing phase. EQ only if its necessary, but it is best to try to work without it (swap mics or mic position to "equalize" your raw track).

    Mix as you go, especially if the track count is going to get up there! Imagine being in a scenario where you have everything tracked, but the sound is terrible. It's hard to concentrate on getting a good take when something just sounds bad in the mix. Ask any singer, an already well-done rough mix is MUCH easier to sing along with than a hastily recorded mix that hasn't been kept "up to code" throughout the tracking session... if you know what I mean.
     
  9. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    Track into satson channel, basic filtering, and a bit of bus compression.

    I generally tend to fuck off and play sudoku while tracking, and keeping notes on things I want to hear and creative ideas as the song develops.
     
  10. aortizjr

    aortizjr Member

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    I do both since you want headphone mixes to not suck. So I try and track at the source and commit and dial in some decent tones quick.

    I save them in case I can't do better later. But usually I use Cubase's reset mixer when ready to mix. I find that during tracking you sort of end up chasing yourself all over. With drums especially since triggering is hard to do live to keep CPU resources low for low latency tracking.

    Then I start pulling out the CPU intensive colorful plugins. Not that I couldn't live without them, but when mixing, I find it is more about capturing a different vibe and automation and such, not so much make it sound good for the band, which should be pretty close to true anyway if you are tracking right.
     
  11. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    Afterwards. But, I have been known to eq when tracking
     
  12. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    I usually do a rough mix while tracking. Partially very basic stuff like high and lowpasses, a cut around 3khz so the vocalist hears himself better, basic compression and effects where it helps the artist. Vocals especially; adding some compression and a decent reverb really boosts their confidence!
    But since most of my clients make ambient-ish music (I have no idea how I rolled into that, since I don't listen to that style at all!), they usually have some very specific weird ideas in mind, and I always try to recreate that idea roughly on the spot. It makes them happy every time, because they obviously have worried for a while if their idea was even possible. It creates a strong bond. Very much worth the extra time! Not to mention that I'm often surprised by the creative minds I get to work with.
     
  13. ProTambo

    ProTambo New Metal Member

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    This is such an interesting topic. Any general mixing should not be done until you have recorded all the tracks. These days, many Producer's and ME's make this one big mistake: They get into the habit of recording music in terms of what they think they can *fix* later on. It's a hard road to hell, but it would be best to learn to record things the way you like them first, knowing you aught to save any general post process until you have finished everything. Doing so would actually gain you a couple things: 1. Insite on how well you recorded the tracks, and 2. Intuitive ears on what is needed/wanted in the mix, both broad and specific.

    A good analogy for this growing production industry anomaly is Auto-Tune: Everyone tends to *care less* on the tracking quality of vocal precision because they've got Auto-Tune or Melodyne.
    Another great analogy: Vocalign! We don't need to worry too much about our guitar double-quadrouble-octopus rythm tracking, do we?! NO. We've got Vocalign :)

    ^^I'm expressing the issue of what producers can go through across the board with their mixing adventures (particularly beginner's and amateurs). It's a bit like EQ--producer's will start tracking songs and, under their subconscience, know they will fix it later. OUCH. They don't even know that's happening...

    In regard to everything I've stated, there are still instances where you want yourself and the band to be comfortable with what they're listening to--the monitoring environment. Especially, If you don't have any, or have minimal rack equipment being used, you will most likely need/want some processing (compression to hear the vocals while tracking, kick needs EQ help so the bassist can stay on track with rythm of the drums/percussion).

    REMEMBER: The better you become at tracking with a natural, unbiased perspective, the more insite and wisdom you will have when, after tracking, sit back, listen you what you've got, hearing things outside the box.
    As human beings, we are very adaptive creatures. What this means (and you will probably shake your head and say, "No, not me!") is that if you are mixing things very prematurely, you will become adaptive to it, and at some point, way down the road, you will be hearing things wrong in your mix, and you won't know where it started to go wonky. That's because you're too dang excited to mix! Be excited to track FIRST, then get excited about mixing what you've done. Every project you handle like this will bring you closer and closer to Mix GURU.
     
  14. The-Zeronaut

    The-Zeronaut Mixing..Y U SO DIFFICULT?

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    while tracking i kinda have an idea of how it is gonna sound in the end...so maybe i have a rough mix that is 50% there...
     

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