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Old 20-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
cheddatom
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Mixing Thread

Mixing is a totally different problem to recording, and so we could do with a seperate thread....



I'm working on an album at the moment for my band creep joint. The drums sound great, and bass is my forte, however, i've recorded way too much guitar. 2 close mics and one distant condensor on every guitar take. 2 takes on Tele bridge, 1 take on Tele mixed brige+neck, 1 take on (basically) an LP. Then there's individual takes (still using 3 mics) for effects like octaved guitar, delay guitar. Then i've recorded some acoustic take of the Tele at home (which sounds amazing). Basically I now have one massive mushy mess of electric guitar.

I know that people like to layer up guitars a lot, so my thinking was that it wouldn't sound that bad, and it doesn't, but it's just not biting through the mix. What would you do?
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Old 20-04-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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simple answer? don't use them all?
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Old 20-04-2009, 07:21 PM   #3
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Layering guitars generally doesn't bite at all (Listen to any My Bloody Valentine song).

Cut way back on layers and focus on each layer and what it is actually adding to the track in the first place rather than at the mixing stage
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Old 20-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
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Roll off the bottom end on the guitars as it'll leave room for the bass and kick.

parallel compression will beef each take a bit, if you were going to do layers of guitars I wouldn't have them anywhere near the middle pan wise, but not best to put them way out there either.
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Old 20-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Well for one I would start bus'ing or grouping your guitar tracks up (specifically put the the groups of mics into individual groups per take).

See if there are any good combinations of mic levels to give good blended sounds, and try taking the mics out one by one to see what sounds good.


Important point at this stage: The guitar is a very mid heavy instrument, and its the upper area mids (c5k) that give most of your guitar's presence and bite in a mix.

Guitarists notoriously make the mistake of thinking that a good room sound (shit load of bass gain and treble usually are the culprits) is what you need to translate in a mix. This is wrongo, you want a lot of Mid, you do still want bass, but not a lot, thats why you have a bass guitar, and treble should be enough but not piercing, also a lot of gain will compress a tone and actually make your tone less present.

So consider those sort of things when EQ'ing and auditioning your tracks.


Once you find some good tones within your mics, mute off the tracks you're not using, then consider which mics you can group up and work on in pairs (for example if you've got two sets of rhythm R/L or something, work on those together).

Don't go too mad with processing, a little compression won't hurt if needs be (but try use a multiband so you can even things out where it needs it not crush the whole thing).

You say you've got a lot of layers, you will probably have to work a lot of subtractive Eq'ing (for example take out any areas with a narrow Q that are problematic and clashing, remove it from the track you don't need to be as forward in the mix to let the other track breathe) and some creative panning/automation to get it all to come through how you want it.


Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 20-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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I'd decide exactly what I want from the guitar, pick takes that contain elements of the desired tone and go from there...
Like one for 'balls', one for 'bite', one for 'chunk' etc etc and blend to get the ultimate sound.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshuker View Post
Guitarists notoriously make the mistake of thinking that a good room sound (shit load of bass gain and treble usually are the culprits) is what you need to translate in a mix. This is wrongo, you want a lot of Mid, you do still want bass, but not a lot, thats why you have a bass guitar, and treble should be enough but not piercing, also a lot of gain will compress a tone and actually make your tone less present.
The mistake is guitarists generally develop their sound away from the band, not when they are all in the same room.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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The mistake is guitarists generally develop their sound away from the band, not when they are all in the same room.
Indeed it is. The sound I describe is usually a lot more fulfilling aurally when playing by yourself, a lot (i say a lot, i mean most guitarists who are in amateur bands (by amateur i mean not semi-pro or pro gigging/working)) tend to make this mistake. (also I'm not saying more experienced guitarists don't do it, but again just the general trend tends to be what I've said).

I mean even live people can get it wrong, and will wonder why they aren't cutting through the mix and so forth, it's something that a lot of guitarists need to get told before they realise lol.

Not saying that your guitarists have, it's just meant to be some broad advice.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit
Exactly my point lol
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:44 PM   #11
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Exactly my point lol
Too many shit metallers
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:50 PM   #12
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Too many shit metallers
Hahahaha, at least when I was a metalz0r I had good tone. Lol.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
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It's pretty shocking the number of guitarists around here who turn up to gigs without a sensible amp, use a multifx set to scoop and then wonder why it sounds like shit
EQ's are a dangerous thing on guitar amps and pedals
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:53 PM   #14
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Tbf, even the non-metallers get it wrong, Punk/Hardcore kinda kids are bloody awful aswell. Not cos they scoop, but because it's just like, OHAI TREBLETREBLTREBLEPRESENCE NO MIDS NO BASSS OMG :| then they play it with a Squier Strat on the Bridge pup. It's like, oh god, there goes my 15khz+ for the night. Cheers!

Also I hate all the people that show up with the MG heads and cabs, thinking they have something good...god.

Thinking about this just makes me feel so happy I don't do FOH anymore.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:56 PM   #15
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Thinking about this just makes me feel so happy I don't do FOH anymore.
One of the venues I used to do it for had a JCM800 and a Trace Elliot on hand

Shame I didn't really do much FOH for the rock stuff there really.
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