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Short chase in E-minor: looking for mixing/reverb advice.
Last post Thu, Jul 31 2014 by Fiver, 8 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Jul 13 2014 21:17
by Fiver
Joined on Mon, Sep 09 2013, Posts 49
A one-minute chase! Lot's of fun to write.



Sixty Second Chase





This time, I'm worried about balance, mixing, and how to get the most out of MIR with my sound. I tried to cover the fundamentals with this track, but I'd very much be thankful for any advice anybody can offer. The final hit at the end is a good example of what I'm worried about: it doesn't sound quite full and 'reverby' to me.


Thanks for listening!
Visit me at www.WittyNotes.com!
Posted on Wed, Jul 23 2014 11:08
by Stephen Rees
Joined on Thu, Apr 02 2009, Posts 28

It is a lot of fun to listen to aswell.

If it was me, I would try and put this in a drier space with a shorter tail.  A lot of the detail of your writing and orchestration is being lost in a rather muddy spacial blur which is a shame.  Particularly given the velocity at which the chase is happening Smile

Your writing and orchestration are very skilful and imaginative, but the 'space' you have put this piece in isn't reinforcing that on this parituclar occasion for me.  If you could find a way to make this sound more crisp and clear it would allow the brilliance of your writing to shine through.

I am not experienced enough with VSL to give a specific suggestion on what to do beyond that sorry to say.  Keep going though.  You writing is really good.

Posted on Fri, Jul 25 2014 22:08
by Fiver
Joined on Mon, Sep 09 2013, Posts 49
Many thanks for the help, Stephen (and for the nice juicy pieces of flattery to help me swallow the advice!)


Yes, I think I know exactly what you mean about the orchestration drifting away into a muddy space, and I have some ideas for how to go about fixing that. It's that eternally tricky point of making it sound like the orchestra is close and bright, but still in an expansive space. Your details are particularly helpful.


Thanks again, I owe you!
Visit me at www.WittyNotes.com!
Posted on Sat, Jul 26 2014 08:04
by Stephen Rees
Joined on Thu, Apr 02 2009, Posts 28

Not flattery.  Honesty Smile

Posted on Sat, Jul 26 2014 12:37
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1763

In addition to Stephen Rees I recommend to reduce the general wet/dry ratio first (70%dry-30%wet ... 60%dry-40% wet...?).

Also try to use and experiment with different microphone positions (closer ones than now) and also

try of course different stereo microphon applications such as Blumlein, ORTF and so on.

This can lead to very different results without changing positions or changing parameters of all used instruments.

Another hint could be to do all these exeperiments with speakers (monitors) and not with headphones.

I wish you a lot of success

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Mon, Jul 28 2014 23:30
by Fiver
Joined on Mon, Sep 09 2013, Posts 49
Many thanks for the help, Beat, you always have particularly useful advice.



One quick question though: can you elaborate on the suggestion to use monitors rather than headphones? I flip back and forth between using them, and I'm afraid I don't have a good sense for when I should use one over the other.
Visit me at www.WittyNotes.com!
Posted on Tue, Jul 29 2014 01:43
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1763
Fiver wrote:
can you elaborate on the suggestion to use monitors rather than headphones? I flip back and forth between using them, and I'm afraid I don't have a good sense for when I should use one over the other.

First of all: Both, headphones and speakers, are tools for controlling a mix.

Further: A lot of music is consumed today with headphones.

So headphones are good for controlling volume ratios beween instruments or instrument sections, they could be good for doing sound-matters with EQs, compressors... specially when you own "lower price segment monitors".

But when it comes to stereo and depth matters you should use speakers (as well) because headphones can lead you into troubles.

Example: You are going to use a stereo enhancer plugin. The more you enhance the tereo effect the more you probably like the sound with headphones.

But if you are going to listen to your nicely enhanced stereo signal with speakers then you probaly make out phasing effects or it is no more possible to define the postitions of instruments because they are everywhere...

Why this? Speakers are "connected" via the air, so their sound waves can neutralize each other. This isn't possible with headphones...

Making out in which depth different instruments are playing isn't possible with most of the headphones as well.

So as a coarse rule we could say:

Use monitors for mixing matters connected with positioning of instruments in the room and reverb matters. If you have not so good monitors but better headphones you can do all the rest with the phones.

And also...

Use (different) monitors for mastering matters (= get out the best of a mix for most of the listening situations):

I own very good monitors which really are helping tools. But I also have a pair of cheap computer speakers which I use for mastering. They show me how my mix will sound with bad or small speakers and often I hear some frequencies in the mid and low-mid range which need to be reduced a bit because they make the sound muddy with those small speakers.

So even bad monitors can be a help so far.

And now the content above translated to mixes with MIR:

With headphones you probably often seem to have a nice and "roomy" MIR-sound.

But if you play this MIR-mix over (desktop) speakers it can sound bad, boxy or even really horrible.

Such a result tells you that you should check your MIR-adjustments once more. See my proposals in the upper reply.

Another help could be to compare your MIR mix with real recordings and with a similar music situation.

This also helps to find out whether you are on the right way or not. Example: Which signal is those of MIR?  (wav-file)

A comparing test also can be done with headphones of course.

Hope that helped a bit to clear up

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Thu, Jul 31 2014 17:56
by Fiver
Joined on Mon, Sep 09 2013, Posts 49
That's exactly the kind of breakdown I was hoping for, Beat. Many thanks for that explanation, I think I understand now how or when to switch from one form of listening to the other. You've been a big help to me!
Visit me at www.WittyNotes.com!
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