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Topic: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

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  1. #1

    OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Strange title, but true. Since my "dark ages" using mixing software, sampled based libs, I struggled my way from article to article, from tutorial (NOT THOSE OF DPDAN!!) to tutorial, from crippled notes on how to do things, etc.... all for just one goal. What is it? Why is it? Why doing this or that? And a lot more.

    I explored SoundOnSound articles by the dozens, even read a whole book about MIDI orchestration (on Internet), and they all had it partially wrong. Nobody could give me the "golden key" to salvation from those total state of ignorance. I meandered from completely worthless stuff to things that really made sense, always asking myself: "yes this sounds well enough in words, but next there is that constant factor, how-to".

    How to analyze ones own mistakes, what is really wrong and more important where and most important how to solve it with what. And here all articles kept silent. The only thing left to do was listening, listening and again listening, in an ascending degree of analyzing what do I hear (hard to do when you suddenly start to listen to the beauty of the composition, instead of the orchestration/recording techniques.)

    To end this lamentation, I ignored my ears and leant more and more to those writers, with their technical bla-bla, demonstrating their own "look who is talking". Now I am back to ground zero, having regained my good senses and hearing. To hell with all those article writers, those Mp3 lovers, who's hearing capacity has been degraded to just a bunch of "booms" and who are all suffering from tinnitus (and not hearing it because they are just deaf).

    ... still remains why aliassing occurs, why phasing is important (fifth's!), why there are constant ticks and hicks (not often, but present), why, why and why? Here I'll stop wondering myself, I'll stop solving it. From now, this day, saturday the 25th of july 2009, - make a note in your notebook - , I only judge my ears. Of course, apart from the technical aspects of orchestration and using the instruments what they are intended to do.

    Being busy, since a couple of weeks, with my (up to now) one and only Symphony as a testcase (because of the complexity of the orchestration), I experimented with a lot of orchestral seatings, reverbs settings, equalizing in Sonar, and you don't want to know, a lot more things.

    Finally I've got it right where I wanted it to be. A most enjoyable, romantic, intriguing, epic piece of work at least me and my family remembers. It is finished. I can't think of anything more to make it better.

    During this process I've found some errors, compared to the original score, found some errors in orchestration, some really ugly sounding sentences, some inadequate sound balances and a lot more. So, - and that's why I opted for two separate monitor screens - I had a lot of work to do, both in SONAR as well as in Overture at the same time.

    Now the "trumpets bray", the "horns blow", the "trombones are menacing", strings are "comforting", and the woods play their "romantic" part. For those who are interested to listen to the "one and only rendering" [I won't do this again], here is the link.

    Symphony nr.1 - d minor - Opus 17 - The Fall of Babylon

    [not yet transferred to my website!!]

    If you want to know how I did it, let's wait for the Mixing Thread, Gunther [Germancomponist] wants. Now time for something else, e.g. a beer, a hug, some dinner, whatever as long as it is not musical, back to my ears,

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Hello Raymond!
    I've made a note in my notebook.

    I am currently listening to the first part of your 1st Symphony and I say well done! You should be proud of your work.

    It is funny that you should post about articles on mixing versus just sitting down and using your ears. I agree 100%. I went through the exact same experience, still am in that I'm still trying to get to even an intermediate level of mixing, and it is really paying off. As with anything else, practice is what makes perfect, not reading! There are times when I am not sure what I am hearing or what might be wrong so then I turn to a forum or book but that is it. The rest of it can wait for another day way down the road.

    Congratulations on finishing your Symphony!

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  3. #3

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Raymond,

    I am still listening but have also downloaded this piece. The sound of my i-book isn`t great.

    About the "mixing-room", yeah I think it will be great for all members! Can`t wait for your explanations how you did this mix!

    Allow me one question: How many time have you spent for mixing this piece? Have you not needed much much time for doing the mixing?

    Best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  4. #4

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Quote Originally Posted by germancomponist View Post
    .... About the "mixing-room", yeah I think it will be great for all members! Can`t wait for your explanations how you did this mix!
    What do you/they want? I can give you the following:

    1. Orchestral seating with picture, Panning and Mic placement [Mic placement means wich instruments are grouped together as if they were recorded in real life and the panning of those mics];
    2. Reverb settings (thus at those Mic buses);
    3. Equalizing the various string tracks with SONAR equalizer;
    4. Corrective equalizing for woodwinds, horns, trombones, higher strings.
    5. Some additional sound corrections with other plugs, like Overtone[by Voxengo] and Tubeleveler to give some warmth;
    6. The KP2 instruments and their individual settings in KP2 player;

    I can't give you the volume trimming, because that is something that varies with each composition, but I will give it a try.

    Allow me one question: How many time have you spent for mixing this piece?
    First I began to analyze what was wrong with the first versions. Then I used SONAR (staff view) to correct some of the errors, discrepancies between the notation and Sonar (etc.) That took just about three days, from noon till midnight.

    Then part by part I analyzed the music as a whole, is there enough high, mid and low, comparing those with professional CD recordings. That took about three weeks - not every day - to get a bit closer to the audio output presented. Estimated time span: from 90 - 150 hrs. of constant listening, amending, trying, rejecting - in the meantime I amended on some spots the score to make it better sounding. The last three or four days I worked very hard to make it the "best" and only yesterday night I discovered the solution - spreading the instruments!!!!


    Have you not needed much much time for doing the mixing?
    Yes, and I was glad doing so, though sometimes I could throw that computer from the 13th floor. I can hear you saying:

    har-bal,
    har-bal,
    har-bal.........

    With that effort I learned a lot more than just jump to any possible solution. Now I can say: I built the car and it is driving like hell. Always better than going to some workshop for letting them built that Hot-Rod and not knowing anything about it.

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Hi Raymond

    I cannot understand why you think this is off-topic!

    It is so ON topic!

    I for one would love to hear your mixing/mastering journey in al its gory detail.

    I am looking forward to hearing your finished work. But right now I have to get on to my tax return.

  6. #6

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    I was asking because I know many members are interested in mixing, especially in mixing GPO here.

    Raymond, you are cool, thanks for this post! And this was a great post for a new "mixing-room".

    Sometimes mixing can cost much more time than composing... .

    Best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7

    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins View Post
    .......... But right now I have to get on to my tax return.
    On what are you spending that "extra" ? Just kidding, it is not of my concern. Nice to hear that at least someone out there get's some money back. Most of the time we "earthlings" must pay for those "huge bonusses" the CEO's get when they are thrown out.

    Raymond

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Gday Raymond,

    You said:

    “... still remains why aliassing occurs”

    No need to worry about it. It is a problem in the AD conversion process that is taken care of by an anti-aliasing filter, removing all frequencies above half the sampling frequency. Related is dithering which requires a dithering plug-in for exporting to .wav or for other conversion processes. Related is also intermodulation distortion.

    In all three cases, it is an interference of two or more frequencies. If you look at a video of a turning wheel with spokes, you see superimposed on the spokes a pattern of spokes turning slowly forward or backward. The interference pattern is caused by the video’s frame frequency and the moving spokes. Inermodulation distortion is the result of nonlinearity of any analog audio device. Audio amplifiers have usually fairly low intermodulation distortion sometimes specified as total non-harmonic distortion. Speakers can have some considerable intermodulation distorting if they are driven hard at low frequencies. It is important to remove all low frequencies below or close to the low end of the capability of the speaker. Frequencies are created are sums and differences of two or more frequencies. This new frequencies are not harmonically related and sound bad.

    You said:

    “... why phasing is important“

    Phasing can have different meanings. The GPO manual warns about phasing problems in relation to using identical samples in several voices at the same time. If you mix identical samples, they will add up in level if in phase, or result in zero output if of opposite phase, or any other value for other phase relationships.

    Really nothing to worry about.

    Best wishes,

    Herbert

    P.S. I started listening to your music but had a problem with the music breaking up. I will try again later. The beginning is very nice. I love those basses.
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
    Good Food, Gemütlichkeit, Wein Weib und Gesang – History, Politics, Civil Law –
    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
    Photography, Painting, Wood Working - Midi Orchestration, Music, Music, und Musik …

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Just north of Sydney
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    Re: OT- I never read an article again about making a good mix

    Bad reminder Alan. I will get nothing back.

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
    Good Food, Gemütlichkeit, Wein Weib und Gesang – History, Politics, Civil Law –
    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
    Photography, Painting, Wood Working - Midi Orchestration, Music, Music, und Musik …

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