Tracking vs Mixing

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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Do you mostly track, mix or both?

Tracking
7
21%
Mixing
2
6%
Tracking and Mixing
25
74%
 
Total votes: 34

jspartz
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Tracking vs Mixing

Post by jspartz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:14 am

I am wondering if a large number of you are getting hired to just mix projects? Also, which do you enjoy more? tracking, mixing, or the whole project?

Thanks,

Jason

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by Punkity » Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:31 am

It seems like I've done more tracking than mixing in the past. This is mostly because I've done much more 2-3 mic hi-fi stuff than multi-track stuff. With the 2-3 mic stuff, what you get is what you get and then it is off to mastering. I have also tracked a few multi-track things without mixing them. I find the final outcome a botch of what I've tracked. Now that I have a dedicated mix-room, things will be changing (I hope).
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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by chetatkinsdiet » Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:40 am

Even though we might try, I think a majority of us have more tools in place for initial tracking and not proper mixing. Mic placement, mic selection, etc.....
I'm guessing that most of us are musicians and started doing this to record our own music. A lot of us are doing this in our homes or make shift rooms. The tracking skills are a bit easier to grasp, I think, for most of us. Mixing really should use a whole 'nuther set of tools and techniques. I mean, it really takes years to develp your ears to properly mix. We can all throw up some faders and add a little delay and reverb....some compression and call it a mix, but it's really not.
I've come to the conclusion that I have no business doing it. I'd love nothing more than to just track and hand the project off to someone with a proper studio to mix it. Something with a huge board and a wall of real compressors and such. It's only going to make what I recorded sound that much better.
later,
m
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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by cgarges » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:34 am

I like doing a whole project. Usually when I get hired to mix something, it's because the artist didn't like somthing about the tracking, which means I generally have to fix stuff for the artist--making a more ambient drum sound out of a less-ambient room, making a less ambient horn sound, fixing phase issues with drums, etc. Mixing someone else's stuff can be cool if it was recorded well, but it can be a real nightmare when it wasn't. Part of the deal is that the band usually spent most of their money recording and having it mixed the first time and don't have much of a budget left to really put the time into getting it where they want.

I used to do a lot of tag-team engineering at my last staff job, but the other engineer was a really great engineer with really good ears. I learned a lot from this guy and it was usually pretty easy to mix stuff he had tracked.

I can only think of one instance in the last few years where someone else mixed my stuff and I'm cool with that. It's not out yet, so I have no idea what it sounds like.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by I'm Painting Again » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:41 am

The way I work mixing and tracking are the same thing if that makes any sense..

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by jspartz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:43 pm

I did a mixing project for a song a little while back and I am trying to get a couple more mixing projects. They are from groups that are not in this neck of the woods.

Also are you seeing more garage/basement bands tracking themselves and then needing help mixing or are they scratching the project (or just calling them demos) and starting over with you?

Thanks for the comments. I think it helps develop ideas for the studio business side of things. Not just the art and fun of recording.

Jason

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by jspartz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:47 pm

So I guess my next question is this...

How many are work mainly in your own rooms/studios vs free lance into other studios?

Thanks again,

Jason

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by nutone » Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:24 pm

The tracking skills are a bit easier to grasp, I think, for most of us. Mixing really should use a whole 'nuther set of tools and techniques. I mean, it really takes years to develp your ears to properly mix. We can all throw up some faders and add a little delay and reverb....some compression and call it a mix, but it's really not.
i kind of think the opposite is true... tracking skills can take a very long time to develop, but if something is beautifully tracked, most of all that needs to happen in a mix is level adjustments

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by jspartz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:34 pm

nutone. Good point.

I think it takes some time to learn how to get good sounds tracking. But if a project is tracked well, it can then almost mix itself.

Other thoughts?

Jason

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by cgarges » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:58 pm

jspartz wrote:Also are you seeing more garage/basement bands tracking themselves and then needing help mixing or are they scratching the project (or just calling them demos) and starting over with you?
One hip hop album I mixed last year was done like this and the guys did an excellent job tracking it. No distortion on anything and no blatantly audible dynamics processing on anything. These guys did a really great job.

The other projects I mixed were all from different studios.

I think this year I'm going to have two to mix where I cut basics at a studio, help out some with overdubs at home, and do most of the vocals and mix at a studio.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by joel hamilton » Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:39 pm

jspartz wrote:So I guess my next question is this...

How many are work mainly in your own rooms/studios vs free lance into other studios?

Thanks again,

Jason
I have been a freelance engineer as long as I have been for hire as an engineer. I never really just did "house engineer" stuff, except a few times.

I have always tried to find a room to keep my gear, bring in clients... I found that in a partnership or two, and these days I mix at studio G. My partner started the studio ages ago. I brought in a console and my Studer, and a bunch of compression and microphones. They are pretty pointless in an apartment for me, and i wouldnt have any room left to live with all my weird old 12 rack space compressors and shit I have collected.

I like to track and mix, butnot always both. I like both, but I like to mix other peoples tracks as well. I just get tired of my same old tricks when I do both I think... ;) Not really, but for sure I have embraced the challenge to anyone who is a mix engineer: Take a bunch of tracks ecorded uder various (read "in a bedroom") circumstances, and make them stack up to records recorded in "proper" studios... I like the challenge. It really brings out some creative solutions and fun sounds IMO.

I like both I guess.

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by drumsound » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:45 pm

I own my room and mix most things I track. I've had a few things mixed by others and they have turned out fine. I recently produced a record that was supposed to be mixed by someone else, but the bandleader and I decided that I HAD to mix it. My production and tracking is usually done with the mix in mind.

I've done a few mix jobs for home recordist and it was quite fun too. One was a fellow Tape Oper who I met at TapeOpCon. He tracked at home and I mixed at my place. I'd like to do more mix work because I'm really feeling like I can come in and add to a project.

I used to be afraid of mixing. It kicked my ass hard in the early days. Now I really love it as much as producing and tracking.

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Re: Tracking vs Mixing

Post by bigtoe » Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 am

i do anything but i prefer tracking and mixing as it's the same thing.

i like mixing other peoples stuff.

people mixing my stuff drives me nuts. the couple times i've had it done i've hated the result.

Mike

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