What is your mixing workflow?

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MoreSpaceEcho
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:25 pm

knobtwirler wrote:How about everyone's mixing workflow?
i spend a really long time with the basic tracks, just working on the balance and the arrangement. pretty much just level and pan at this point. if something's really off i'll throw an eq on it.

once i get that happening, i start running the tracks out to my analog stuff and back in. this is kind of tedious, but i usually think it sounds better than plugs, and probably doesn't take much more time in the end.

so now i have all the original tracks and the processed versions. (just want to note that i hate the term 'processed', as it sounds like i'm talking about an aural exciter or something equally dreadful). most of the time i blend them together, sometimes i just use the processed ones.

at that point i just listen to it over and over and keep fussing with the balance. i call it done when i don't have to use my imagination any more.

one thing i recommend: open up a new session and import all your mixes in progress. line them up in order and listen to them the way your ME is going to hear them. super helpful for judging relative vocal levels, kick/bass relationships, low end in general, etc etc.

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T-rex
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Post by T-rex » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:27 pm

Mix workflow? Here goes. . .I break all the tracks out to 24 channels on my ghost and then bus those out to the 8, well busses:

Drums go to any combination of the LR mix and busses 1 & 2 and 3 & 4
El Guitars Bus 5 & 6 - VLA on the bus
Bass Bus 7 - 1176 on the bus
Vox Bus 8 - Opto4 or 1176 on the bus depending on the voice and performance
Anything else could go to any bus or straight to the LR mix.

I set up my effects to channels 25 - 32, from the aux sends

I play with the arrangement, basic balances and panning. I just totally screw around, try mutes and arrangements to see if anything works. I may get a basic balance and try crazy moves on the faders for section changes and builds etc. At this point, there isn't a mix so you can't screw anything up but you may find something great.

Once I am familiar with everything I will work the individual sounds to make sure they are solid and play nice together via eq or additional compression and efx.

Once everything really gels and feels like a song, then I go into cubase and automate fades, mutes etc. If it's my band, I will do all the automation manually on the console. I will usually do all mutes on the console to minimize noise, especially if I am using a Level-or or any really noisy gear.

I will print a mix by recording it back into Cubase. Once I am happy with the track, I will print stereo stems; Instrumental, Vox, Drums, Guitars and Bass.

Then pray for the best and pull all the faders down. :D

MoreSpaceEcho
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:51 pm

before pulling all the faders down, try the eno/lanois trick of playing the next song with the board still set up for the previous mix.

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Post by cjogo » Sun May 01, 2011 10:12 am

Mixing flow ::

Start with mixing the main vocal and the instrument of choice for the melody....add percussion /bass ..then sweeten with the additional 30+ channels

Generally a template is preset for all songs..

1-4 stereo tracks of rhythm guitar (electric /acoustic )

5-8 lead /one-on-one vocals

9-10 lead guitar

11-12 lead guitar adds

13-14 accents /harmonics / etc for guitars

15-16 bass

17-24 harmonies

Midi sequencers 16 inputs ::

25-26 Piano

27-28 Strings

29-30 Horns

31-32 Orchestra /Synth/ Percussion

33-34 Toms

35 Midi bass/Percussion

36 Kick

37 Snare

38 Crash

39 Rides

40 Hat

41- 48 effects return /sends (outboard digitally connected rack )

48 channel automated Roland DAW
whatever happened to ~ just push record......

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roygbiv
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Post by roygbiv » Sun May 01, 2011 12:04 pm

I like to normalize everything.
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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Sun May 01, 2011 9:12 pm

roygbiv wrote:I like to normalize everything.
:D
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knobtwirler
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Post by knobtwirler » Mon May 02, 2011 8:00 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:before pulling all the faders down, try the eno/lanois trick of playing the next song with the board still set up for the previous mix.
This is the best thing ever when all of your tracks are in the same place.

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Post by JGriffin » Mon May 02, 2011 8:44 am

knobtwirler wrote:
MoreSpaceEcho wrote:before pulling all the faders down, try the eno/lanois trick of playing the next song with the board still set up for the previous mix.
This is the best thing ever when all of your tracks are in the same place.
And can be totally cool when they're not.
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Post by Jay Reynolds » Mon May 02, 2011 8:45 am

First, I hide all the tracks that I've muted throughout the course of recording, whether because they were scratchers or because they aren't going to make the final mix. I like leaving this for right before mixdown because it gives me a refresher course as to the evolution of the song. Then, if this hasn't been done already or if I didn't track the material, I organize all my tracks, mostly on the same basis as I would were I mixing live: Drums, Perc, Bass, Guitar, Keys, Samples, Horns, Strings, Misc, Lead Vox, BG Vox. Then I colorize everything according to instrument and part. One I've got everything nice and pretty-lookin', I throw the whole mix in mono and tweek the balances for a while (this is a trick I learned here, though I can't remember from who). I'm with cjogo in that I do vocals and lead instruments first. After that, i usually switch to drums. Once I've fiddled with the balances enough, I put the mix back in stereo and pan stuff out. After that, I add whatever EQ and dynamics are needed, again doing the principle parts first. After that, I hog on the verb and echo. At this point, the workflow becomes less standardized and I work on whatever issues still remain/have cropped up. I automate last and then throw the mix back in mono for a pass or two. Then comes the burn-a-cd-for-the-car/listen-outside-the-control-room part. Finally, I deliver the mixes to the client, whom I hope will not ask for any revisions*.

* :D **

** For those mix sessions that the client wants to attend, I ask them to give me an hour with the song before they come into the control room. Hopefully by then I'm close to getting the verb and delay up, so they don't have to wait around for stuff to sound "mix-ey". I don't want them in there with me while I'm doing housekeeping type stuff. If I'm doing MSE's "Eno trick" (which is what us lazy DAW types would refer to as "business as usual" :o***), I'll cut that time down, as I'll already have the songs' common elements from the prior mix.

*** Not really. Sometimes I do start from scratch, but it does depend on the budget.
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Ryan Silva
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Post by Ryan Silva » Mon May 02, 2011 4:39 pm

I do what I can to get pumped up to do the mix. Sounds strange I know, but after editing for hours or just listening to the parts with the artists over and over again; sometimes I lack inspiration. So I try to find an idea that I haven?t yet had about the song. Could be crazy effects, wild scene changes, or just as simple as removing the piano track during the verse.

Once I do this, it's much easier to gain some perspective.
"Writing good songs is hard. recording is easy. "

MoreSpaceEcho

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Post by vvv » Mon May 02, 2011 5:12 pm

That's what martoonies is for!

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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Mon May 02, 2011 5:42 pm

Well, here's what's always worked for me.

First I use the zoom controls to maximize the waveform display, then I normalize all the files to -0.1 dBfs so I can make sure everything's one big undifferentiated block of digital ink. Then I process all the files with the "reverse" plug-in, so I can do all my pre-echoes, and do a rough balance listening to the song backward because Eno must have done it that way once. After that I re-process the files so they'll be forward. I like to do as many destructive Audiosuite processes as possible because the build-up of computing errors adds a sort of fuzzy, dare I say jittery charm to the mix. If possible I like to stream two or three porn videos and burn a data DVD while I'm doing this so the computer has plenty of other things to do.

Once I've got the backwards balance established, I go to this spreadsheet I've put together of all the EQ and compression settings I've written down from other producers' mixes of other songs by other artists, figuring that if those settings worked for them, they'll work for me. If I'm missing settings for something, like a french horn or kazoo overdub, I'll start a thread on gearslutz about it and do whatever the third guy to respond says.

I start by working on the hi-hat and a dotted-triplet delay on the vocals for 45 minutes, then bring up the Bonham's squeaky kick drum pedal sample that I grabbed from YouTube and squish that with a cracked VST that emulates a Federal compressor.

After a pizza break, I put all the guitar tracks up full, pan 'em at random and bounce to disk. Again, while streaming 2 porn vids and burning a DVD.

Make a mono 64k mp3 in itunes, post to Soundcloud and it's Miller Time.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

MoreSpaceEcho
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon May 02, 2011 5:57 pm

aaaaaaaand we have a winner.

your prize is a gift certificate good for one (1) pedal rental at Third Monk.

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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Mon May 02, 2011 6:13 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:aaaaaaaand we have a winner.

your prize is a gift certificate good for one (1) pedal rental at Third Monk.
Hey, thanks!

Say, do you need a DVD of some porn? I have 2 copies.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at http://dwlb.bandcamp.com/

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Post by kinger » Mon May 02, 2011 6:13 pm

Mixing workflow, huh? I should get me one of those...

Just to add a derail, here's a nice condensed page that gives you a good rundown on digital recording levels.

http://www.popmusic.dk/download/pdf/lev ... -audio.pdf

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