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New group mixing technique for cubase users.

Discussion in 'Production' started by joeymusicguy, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. joeymusicguy

    joeymusicguy Member

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    for all of you having trouble leveling the volume in a mix, here's a trick i have been employing as of late that has really allowed me to get things sitting just how i want.

    lets imagine you have all of your tracks recorded in the project

    step one is to divide and group. what you want to do is make choice groups of tracks. for example: all of your drums would be one group. bass another. all rthm gtrs another, lead gtrs, clean gtrs, vocals, keys, fx, each of those would be separate groups. you'll want to make a buntch of folder tracks and start putting these tracks that make up these groups into the folders.

    next you'll want to add a group track for each folder. for example: you'll have a group track and you'll name it "drums" then you'll shift select each track in the drum folder. once selected, hold alt + shift and set the output to "drums" group.

    next you'll want to solo this group. this is assuming your levels are currently a rough mix or all over the place. now turn the slider down to -9 and clear your master bus.

    mix the drums full throttle. get the kick nearly hitting 0, same with the snare. mix the rest of the kit according. now stop, reset volume to 0 and set input gain to -9. now no matter how slammin your drums are, its pretty near impossible to still clip with a reduction of 9 db. so your kick track is hitting 0 on the kick track, but if solo'd, its only hitting -9 in the drum group channel.

    you continue to do this for every track / group in your song. your tracks should represent individual volume adjustments. the psychology behind this is that all of your track volume sliders are LOCAL adjustments. this means if you want the guitars to be +3 db in the mix, you can actually make a +3db adjustment rather than changing the guitar from -13.2 to -10.2 if you get what i'm saying.

    another beautiful thing is even if your mix is really dense. when all the group tracks hit the master bus, they shouldn't be clipping. this will allow you to properly throw down a compressor and adjust it to the content without overpowering the plugins threshold improperly.

    to sum it up, the basic concept is that tracks are routed into group tracks where cubase's summing matrix allows infinite volume (32 bit data) to take place. so -9 input gain adjustments allow your mix to remain unharmed when it combines with all the other groups and hits the master bus.

    on a technical level, the master bus is also not effected by clipping until the final output (inserts 7 and 8 in cubase on the master bus channel), but this will allow you to use inserts 1 - 6 as intended, and help control your over all flow of your mix. if you'd like rthm guitars to bump up 1 db for the chorus to seem more powerful... its a simple automation adjustment of the rthm gtrs group track.

    i hope you enjoy the tip. it really helps manage those crazy projects that span over 200 tracks.
     
  2. s34nsm411

    s34nsm411 Member

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    trying to follow this...

    wouldnt bypassing all the mastering and then mixing each stem affect your mixing decisions too much? or do you mean to just bypass the limiter
     
  3. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    One thing that helps massively is to name ALL the tracks BEFORE you track them. I really hate it when I receive Audio 56.wav and I have no idea what it is.
     
  4. beechstudio

    beechstudio Member

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    Thanks for the tip Joey! I'm doing something similar in Protools! Keep the tips flowing dude! You Da' Man!! :Smokin:
     
  5. olif8

    olif8 Minge

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    Yea man, been doing this for a while in Reaper too, hopefully most DAWs are able to work in this manner :headbang:
     
  6. OneDaySky

    OneDaySky Clint

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    Thx for the great tip Joey! By 'Full Throttle' do you mean with inserts and Parallel comp off (each individual drum channel included)? Or a fully mixed kit with reverb busses, limiting, comps etc?
     
  7. shaggysi0

    shaggysi0 Darkened Dreams Studios

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    Any chance of a video demo/tutorial on how to achieve this in REAPER?

    I certainly get the concept of the tip. but I'm a visual person and I'll nail it if I see it...if that makes any sense.
     
  8. olif8

    olif8 Minge

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  9. joeymusicguy

    joeymusicguy Member

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    we're just talking about volume levels

    the main reason why i said bypass it is because you're most likely not going to have a good starting point if you arent already using this system. so you have to reset to 0 to get there first.

    i set my projects up in this way all the time as i go so, i actually don't follow this exactly.
     
  10. joeymusicguy

    joeymusicguy Member

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    i dont use reverb busses or parallel compression tricks, but if you wanted those techniques to fit into this system, they would be a part of the sub group.

    so anything that makes up your drum sound would go to the drum group.

    the groups are basically virtual stems that can be controlled in real time with automation.

    you shouldn't be peaking your sub groups.
     
  11. Backe

    Backe Space Cowboy

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    been doing this lately too, just seemed more and more natural to group things when you start automating literally everything, cause 0.00 db is a better reference point than i.e. -13.2 db, like you said.
    I normally group groups aswell, for example, all the OH mics (ride, hh, china, main oh's) go to one group, toms go to one group, then snare and toms is sent to yet another group for parallell compression fed with some room/verb (if needed, or rather: when not using slate, haha), then that group is sent to the drums master group for level control. I always try to keep all my faders for individual tracks set to 0, I adjust the volume inside the plugins instead, makes it easier not to fuck up and gives room for small and precise automation, unless I'm dealing with bounced/printed tracks. and it's so much easier when you have like a guitar fade up/down thingie, or that 1 db 'pop' in the chorus, to automate the group fader and leave the main level control for the limiter or EQ.
     
  12. shaggysi0

    shaggysi0 Darkened Dreams Studios

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  13. [UEAK]Clowd

    [UEAK]Clowd Member

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    I'm surprised you haven't been doing this all along? I have been for years, I always assumed you did too.

    I actually like to have all the groups all in a row as the last tracks in the project so you can look/change them all at once...

    lately i've been experimenting with having a few different groups for drums... one for shells, one for cymbals, one for room stuff, and then a final drumbus that the other three go to. it's really nice to be able to pop up just the cymbals for a certain hit, or turn up the room to make one snare hit sound huge, and so on. it's a little harder to manage perhaps, but the payoff is worth it, at least in my workflow.
     
  14. koalamo

    koalamo Member

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    +1 I do this too <3
     
  15. JeffEstrada

    JeffEstrada Ascend Recordings

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    Iv'e been doing something similar but in reaper using folders...not sure if a bus is the same thing as a folder in Reaper.
     
  16. OneDaySky

    OneDaySky Clint

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    I just want to confirm, are the individual drum channels hitting 0db with inserts and sends off or withem on (reason I'm asking is because the kick with compression or limiting or soft clipping ect will be hitting close to 0db anyway) so I presume its metered with the inserts/sends off?
     
  17. Zombietakeover

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    Just to make sure ....Joey's talking about the Input gain above the inserts in the mixer....the knob you need to hold shift down to move?
    when you Say "continue to do this for every track / group in your song." when i go to do this to the Vocals lets say......Group all the Vocals turn it down -9 and then I try to get that as close to 0 on the individual tracks OR mix those according to the Drums that was previously setup? thanks
     
  18. K Odell

    K Odell \=/Varnisher\=/

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    Been making this a part of my workflow in Cubase also. So far it has been glorious.
     
  19. [UEAK]Clowd

    [UEAK]Clowd Member

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    also, another tip:

    make an AB group and a MIX group. send all your other groups to the MIX group and you can use the AB group for comparing to other mixes with just one click.

    edit: perhaps this was a bit unclear - the MIX group becomes your master bus, therefore you can compare quickly without having to bypass all your master bus processing.
     
  20. OneDaySky

    OneDaySky Clint

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    Bump! Anybody know the answer to this riddle? ;)
     

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