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How do I get a good mixdown from a digital 8track?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by APouncer, Jan 15, 2001.

  1. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    I record on a digital Boss BR8 8track recorder. So far, so good - I think it's a great, easy use machine. I mixdown using an optical cable to a mini-disc. I am fairly new to all this so am wondering the best tricks to mixdown, I tend to record drums in stereo then guitar, bass, piano, vocals etc in mono. What is the best way to pan them? What are the best EQ's (ie should I EQ bass track with more bass gain?)? Should I have a big master level and low rec level or the other way round? What things should I look out for when auditioning the final mix? Any hints or tips would be appreciated.
  2. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Well, there are a couple of factors that come into play when doing a mix.

    1: It's your music, make it sound like you want to.
    2: When EQing one instument, always do so while listening to the total sound. Don't over do it, just slightly correct the sound to compensate for other instuments being in the same frequency range.
    3: Try to add a LITTLE reverb to the vocals and maybe drums.
    4: Listen to other CD/MD's, on the same speakers you are going to mix on so you know the speakers sound.
    5: Try out your mix on various other amps/speakers. Unless you have expensive professional studio monitors what you hear is NOT what you get. What sounds good on one set of speakers might sound horrible on the next.
    6: Keep a balanced sound. You should be able to distinguis (sp) all the separate instruments in the final mix.

    Panning, start here and work until it sounds ok.

    Left -5..-3..0..3..5 Right
    Drums L : -5
    Drums R : +5
    Vocal Lead : 0
    Vocal backing 1 : -3
    Vocal backing 2 : +3
    Bass : 0
    Git : -2
    Keys : +2

    It's cool for a g**t*r riff to be doubled, slighty delayed and then panned hard left and hard right. Just experiment.

    Oh yeah, one more thing....
    MD is a lossy medium. Meaning that you will lose some sound quality when doing a mixdown on MD. (Even with an optical cable, the MD just can't store all the bits it gets from the BR8)

    Maybe you should consider mixing down on a CD-R. I hope someone has more advice on this. I just mixdown on my harddisk, and then burn a CD.

    Sorry for rambling. I hope this will get you started, the rest is up to you.
  3. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    One thing about EQ:there's a lot of situations where cutting a little works better for the final result than boosting.For example,I often take a couple 2-3 db out of the bass track with a narrow Q at around 400hz,and maybe a couple db out of the electric guitar track at 160-200hz.This can help the two instruments not get in each other's way in a busy mix.There's a chart which shows the frequency content for all the most common instruments,including the human voice.I think it's published by ElectroVoice,who make nice speakers btw.A good read.
  4. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I've been referring to a frequency chart at http://www.azstarnet.com/~solo/insrange.htm. I record on my PC and use a 4-band parametric EQ plugin so this chart has been very helpful while learning. It has some not-so-comon instruments, too (how many of us are recording contabassoon?!?! :D )!

    Unfortunately, if the BR- doesn't have a pararmetric or grahic EQ it probably won't help you much.

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