Dry vs Wet production?

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Dry vs Wet

Dry
5
63%
Wet
3
38%
 
Total votes: 8

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LupineSound
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Dry vs Wet production?

Post by LupineSound » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:05 am

I've been reading that Rick Rubin book and he's unapologetically in favor of dry mixes. So went back and listened through most of his discography trying to ascertain what a 'dry' mix is. I think I mostly get it now--no room sound/ambience. It certainly gives the in-your-face kind of feeling, but to me, all the instruments sound like disembodied sounds floating in space. I suppose on the other end of the spectrum would be something like a Police record where you can almost close your eyes and see the band playing in their stage arrangement.

So... what do you like better and why? Does it depend on the genre?

I imagine Jazz with no ambiance might sound hella weird. Whereas too much room in a metal recording can sorta soften it's edges (in a bad way). I feel like drier is the more modern sound...

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Post by Gregg Juke » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:22 pm

I voted "wet" because there is no nuanced, middle-ground answer available, which would of course be more like real world mixing for most of us-- "It depends."

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Post by kslight » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:09 pm

Rick Rubin isn't even present for 95% of his modern productions so regardless of his credits, I don't care what he thinks.

Doesn't really explain that snare sound on Give It Away.


I don't like my mixes soaking wet but a little bit of depth is nice.

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Post by losthighway » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:47 pm

Most excellent mixes achieve depth by having some things sound closer and others more distant.

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:33 pm

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
It depends.
Whatever works.

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Post by soundsofcallado » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:34 am

To my knowledge, a lot of Rick's records end up being mastered pretty hot also, which does make them sound bigger or more in your face or whatever, but robs the dynamics.

And, yes, Rick usually isn't physically present for a large portion of his productions and things.
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:32 pm

I'm always impressed by things that have obvious amounts of verb, but stay in your face. I think this is accomplished with "pre-delay," but I'm not sure. My mixes are usually bone dry, but I think that's more a function of always having shitty monitoring and not knowing wtf I'm doing with reverb in general.
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Post by LupineSound » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:47 pm

Alternate thread title: Tastefully using reverb confounds me. :P

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Post by vvv » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:03 pm

Lately, I mix dry, using only a bit of olive juice and no vermouth.
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Post by floid » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:24 pm

when you watch an old western and they're having the showdown at the bottom of the river canyon with bullets whizzing and zinging and horses rampantly rapid-ing and wagons full of tnt erupting geysers and the hero and bad dude giving chase out of there into the mojave to duke it out over a bootful of river muck because their canteens took bullets to save their lives with murderous intent and tumbleweed chaff caught in their stubble explodes from their jaws with every haymaker.
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:39 pm

LupineSound wrote:Alternate thread title: Tastefully using reverb confounds me. :P
Set the reverb so you can just barely hear it, then turn it down a little more. Wait a day, listen again and be shocked at how wet it sounds. Turn it down again

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Post by drumsound » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:27 pm

I do record a lot of things with room mics, and don't use much artificial reverb. I'm not against it, and definitely find it useful at times. I find a dry mix has quit an intimate feel.
Snarl 12/8 wrote:I'm always impressed by things that have obvious amounts of verb, but stay in your face. I think this is accomplished with "pre-delay," but I'm not sure. My mixes are usually bone dry, but I think that's more a function of always having shitty monitoring and not knowing wtf I'm doing with reverb in general.
Predelay is the freaking key!!!!
A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
LupineSound wrote:Alternate thread title: Tastefully using reverb confounds me. :P
Set the reverb so you can just barely hear it, then turn it down a little more. Wait a day, listen again and be shocked at how wet it sounds. Turn it down again
Perfect!

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Post by LupineSound » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:34 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
LupineSound wrote:Alternate thread title: Tastefully using reverb confounds me. :P
Set the reverb so you can just barely hear it, then turn it down a little more. Wait a day, listen again and be shocked at how wet it sounds. Turn it down again
This is a great idea. I will try this next mix.

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Post by vvv » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:54 am

Another effective approach is to use short delays where you might otherwise use reverb. I find that especially effective with rhythm guitar and lead vocals.

And again (unless you wanna sound rockabilly) keep the FX level(s) low.
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Post by roscoenyc » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:04 pm

Yeah, Rick Rubin is more of a pre-production get the right songs and get 'em right before you get into the studio.

He's not a tech guy but he has consistently used some really good engineers starting with Jim Rondinelli and Brendan O'brien.

The little ambience that you hear on those records is more from compression bringing up the tails of sounds.

I can relate to his no reverb vibe coming from the 80's when there was so much reverb on everything. So many of those records sound so dated. Recording was dominated by engineers who seemed to be continually messing with their new toys like the digital Lexicon and AMS reverbs.

I have to admit that I really like the EMT 250 digital reverb. I jumped for joy when that thing came available on the UA platform.

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