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Mixing and mastering

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Stubs74, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Stubs74

    Stubs74

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    I regularly record my guitar and now ive started recording bass aswell now ive started to learn base.
    I use sonar software and a Roland tri capture with 2 mics 1x dynamic and 1x condenser to record my guitars.Im happy with the quality of my recordings as individual tracks but im not happy with them played together.I spend a lot of time making sure my timing is correct and trying to get the volume levels good but i think i need something to get the final mix sounding good.I am only want to mix 2 or 3 tracks at the moment.Bass,rythm and sometimes a lead solo.
    Can anyone give me advice on software or hardware i can use with my laptop to mix my tracks and get them sounding good together.
  2. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

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    Doing a limited amounts of tracks I wouldn't buy a very expensive of a mixdown software. Ozone 5 (The Basic which is about 199) is excellent. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
    2 In/2 Out USB Audio Interface would start you off as you are now only doing 1 or 2 tracks at a time. all at about 375.00 and you can do pretty good tracks of yourself.
  3. Stubs74

    Stubs74

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    Im very happy with the sound quality of the individual track recordings i make with the Roland tri capture so i dont see a need to buy the scarlett2i2.
    Ozone 5 looks like the sort of thing i need to get my tracks mixed better.At the moment i feel that when i put 2 or 3 tracks together they are competing with each other.
    Thanks for bringing ozone 5 to my attention.
  4. Robus

    Robus

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    You and me both. Mixing is hardest part of the process for me. I wish it were as simple as buying some piece of gear but think it comes down to understanding how the sounds interact.

    Do you have a good pair of monitors?
  5. schecter5string

    schecter5string

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    Sounds like maybe some eqing and maybe some planning would help here.
    Also have you tried recording the bass direct and then blending that track with a microphone captured track?
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

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    You don't need to buy anything. Sonar has all of the EQ and compression tools necessary for basic mixing tasks.
  7. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Mixing and mastering are different things, as you noticed.

    Mastering is really all about control, visualization and knowing your target audience. You don't need bazillion of controls, you need software that tells you what's going on. I find that Jamin is really good.

    Mixing wise, I use a desk. I find moving sliders with a mouse to be really annoying.
  8. SidMau

    SidMau

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    Logic pro is what I'd recommend. Make sure to keep the EQ levels of each track relatively distinct from one another so as not to have one instrument taking up the space of another - this will kind of overburden one side of the EQ section and usually occurs in the mids-lows, resulting in a bottom heavy track that becomes, as generally described, 'muddy'. Also, one thing that helps remedy muddiness as well is cutting frequencies that are below 20hz, as below this the frequencies aren't audible. Usually you only need to do this with a bass track.

    I guess make sure you can monitor your EQ levels of all tracks and edit accordingly. Not all tracks that sound good individually will sound good in the final mix.
  9. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1

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    Its critical to carve out EQ space for each instrument. Just mixing them together without dealing with the frequency masking that naturally occurs will result in a lack of definition between instruments.

    Its natural to think that if the instruments sound great individually then they will sound great in the mix after just setting the respective volume levels. However, in reality that's not how our ears and brain hear/process audio.

    There's tons of information available online on the finer points of mixing such as carving out space for instruments.
  10. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1

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    Well not exactly. Its common mixing practice to roll off the low end Well Above 20 hz, definitely in the very audible range, on a variety of instruments and vocals.

    Again, plenty of information on line.
  11. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

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    He said he's using Sonar, which means he already has a DAW, and being a Windows-exclusive one, he wouldn't be able to use Logic anyway.
  12. Stubs74

    Stubs74

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    Thanks everyone who has replied so far. Ive taken on board all your comments. Robus i dont have propper monitor speakers but i do use a really good set of monitor headphones that i bought for this purpose.
    I have found out like Silky Smoove said Sonar does have everything i should need to mix my tracks.Unfortunately ive only got a very basic version of Sonar so looks like im gonna have to upgrade.
  13. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

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    I think a lot has been said, but just to reiterate and ad:

    If you have Sonar and some monitors you likely have the hardware/software tools to mix. So it is about fitting the individual parts together. Dude was right, lots online and you can get books and check out other forums. (Cakewalk has a great forum, but its not about the basics.)

    I've been on this quest the last couple of years too. I use Sonar X2 (may upgrade to X3 at some point). I started with Home Studio and been working at it. You know, its one of those things that takes time.

    The individual parts need to fit in their space, but meld together with the other parts. Start off playing to a click (even if playing all together) to keep it all in time. Then eq parts so they fit better. Pan and use the stereo field...

    DD was pretty much saying this. You didn't learn bass in a week or just because you liked music. I could play a mean air bass like I was shredding, but you know I wasn't. Takes time just like learning your instrument. And fundamentals are important. Take your time and enjoy.

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