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studio tips n tricks

 
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redwhitentrue

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redwhitentrue
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1 Posted on 09/04/2014 at 09:01:11Direct link to this post
I see lots of mixing and mastering guides all over the place, but sometimes we don't have time to read 300 pages on one topic. The idea here is for all of us with audio engineering experience to offer quick, effective tips and tricks. Here's a few just off the top of my head before training some newbies later today:

  • hi-pass the reverb bus, and get rid of the mud (trust me on this)
  • compress the main vocal reverb and stick it back on the track for space without an overly wet sound
  • to make vocal stnd out, try notching out 6db of 1-2K with a narrow Q on the reverb


k gotta go, hope that helps

EQlikeaboss

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EQlikeaboss
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2 Posted on 09/05/2014 at 02:50:52Direct link to this post
these sorts of rules are always tough, as I find that boosting hi frequencies in the reverb can really blow up the overall sound in a good way if done right. i mean it kind of goes to how distortion was first created: accidentally messing something up or going against the grain can lead to game-changers

I will say, however, that in general I like your tips redwhitentrue, and to it I would add:

-sometimes adding a compressor on the affect after a reverb or delay helps accentuate the effect in an otherwise dry track in pretty cool ways
-(obvious one) cutting out lows from a mix to clear up the muddiness
-minimize or dnt look at your DAW when listening back so you focus on the sound and what's truly needed instead of being distracted by the daw while listening
-GAIN STAGING. Take, say a Waves SSL Channel and put it on each channel and your master bus, keep everything in the green and compensate for the gain with the limiter(s) at the end of your master strip. This'll get peaks of around -12dB on your master bus (also true within a channels trip). Then keep the output of your first plugin hitting -12dB going into the next one. Helps kind of tame your sound and polish it up

TeleFunk

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TeleFunk
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3 Posted on 09/05/2014 at 07:01:39Direct link to this post
Quote:
GAIN STAGING. Take, say a Waves SSL Channel and put it on each channel and your master bus, keep everything in the green and compensate for the gain with the limiter(s) at the end of your master strip. This'll get peaks of around -12dB on your master bus (also true within a channels trip). Then keep the output of your first plugin hitting -12dB going into the next one. Helps kind of tame your sound and polish it up


If I'm completely honest, all this goes right over me...

For example, I close-mic'd a snare which peaks at -10dB coming in (without any gain added). Then I put a Slate VCC console strip on the channel and master bus. I move the fader down to where it's peaking at -12dB on the channel strip meter before adding any plugins If I put a gate, EQ and a compressor on it, what you're saying is that I should make sure it's peaking at -12dB at any point in the chain, never exceeding this level, correct?

What's throwing me off is the whole bit about a limiter on the master bus. I should use the limiter to make up for the loss in volume, correct? If you take it off the end then you don't have a very loud mix which isn't a problem, but I took this to a buddy of mine who's very talented at mastering, and he told me he wouldn't want any peaks higher than -3dB (this is without any limiters on the master bus for the final mix). My question: does it truly matter how low the final mix's volume is (provided that there's a substantial amount of headroom regardless), before sending it off for mastering?

EQlikeaboss

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EQlikeaboss
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4 Posted on 09/08/2014 at 09:01:23Direct link to this post
Quote:
I move the fader down to where it's peaking at -12dB on the channel strip meter before adding any plugins


Here, you'd clip gain the region down so it hits -12dB with your fader at unison (meaning it's hitting the input of the Slate VCC at that level)

Quote:
If I put a gate, EQ and a compressor on it, what you're saying is that I should make sure it's peaking at -12dB at any point in the chain, never exceeding this level, correct?


Yes. If you were thinking of adding plugins after the VCC, you'd simply adjust the output gain in VCC to be hitting at around -12dB as well

Quote:
What's throwing me off is the whole bit about a limiter on the master bus.


It's pretty much the same general concept. You don't want the sum of your channels to be going into your master bus hotter than -12dB in any case. Meaning you'd mix with your faders at much lower levels than most are used to. It definitely asks for a different approach than usual in the sense that you're cutting more than boosting which is always a good habit to develop.

Quote:
he told me he wouldn't want any peaks higher than -3dB (this is without any limiters on the master bus for the final mix). My question: does it truly matter how low the final mix's volume is (provided that there's a substantial amount of headroom regardless), before sending it off for mastering?


-3dB is good. you're basically making the best of the resolution of the wav at this point, sending it out of the DAW. hope that helps

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