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Looking for Mixing guidance Please Help!


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So I have been through several tutorials and posts reading up on mixing and have done quite a bit of producing myself but have never really come out with a mix that sounds "PRO" to my ears at least. I don't think it is because I do not have the ear, because obviously I can tell a big difference (hence why I am writing this post). I can tell the difference but I am looking for some guidance as to what it actually takes to get to that difference and get a crisp clear DEEP sounding mix.


First of all, I have done my best to research about mastering wondering if it is because my work is not professionally mastered. But most of what I have read people are saying that your mix should sound the same as your mastered pretty much. I would love to hear opinions on this subject and if someone can give me an example of a track before and after they have had it mastered it would help me out a lot to physically hear the difference.


I have read a lot about High Passing all the sub frequencies for more headroom and cutting and boosting with the EQ and know all about compression and how to use it. I am curious as to if there is a certain standard to mixing electronic music or Hardstyle to be more specific. Do you compress each track? Do you high pass every single thing except the bass and kick? Is there limiting on each track? Do you high pass multiple tracks at once to make it appear as though the bass comes in super loud?


Correct me if I am wrong because I just recently have gotten into this genre, but this is what I have come to analyze in listening to Hardstyle. To me it sounds as though all the low end is left out of a lot of parts (I would assume this is done by using a high pass filter) and then when it "kicks in" the bass comes in super loud and deep sounding. When I try to do this to my tracks it makes everything sound too thin. On tracks I admire, the synth will come in super thick and deep sounding before the bass/kick comes in and it sounds like they could not be High passing it because it sounds too deep to cut off any low end. then when the kick comes in it sounds even more intense and deep and good. How is this done? Does it just have to do with setting levels correctly? Also it almost sounds as though everything is in its own place. You can hear everything by itself so easily and it sounds so clear and "in your face." How do you get that "in your face" feel? I would assume it has to do with compression but do not know for sure.



The problem I usually have is that my mixes sound quiet and then when I turn them up they sound muffled. I have some pretty good NHT monitors and try to follow meters as a guideline when I'm setting levels however It seems the levels are all over the place on certain tracks varying in a crazy volume difference. To solve this would i use compression or limiting? Cuz when i apply slight compression it barely changes my meters and when i apply too much it sounds "Squashed." Sometimes a track will say its peaking when it sounds so quiet and I can't get that track where i want it in the mix.



These are some possible hypothesis' as to what i could be doing wrong so please give me some guidance as to what hypothesis' are correct:


1. I am using too many tracks and need to realize some things don't belong because they will just cancel out certain frequencies

2. I do not realize that it is the very subtle difference that really make a mix sound great (cuz i can hear the difference when i slightly boost and cut or compress, but it does not seem to make a big enough difference to make it sound "PRO"

3. Don't have propper equipment (I am using Logic 8 with a lot of Native Plug-ins including the pro 53, FM8, Absynth 4, Massive. I also use the logic instruments and plug-ins. I am only using VST instruments and sometimes wonder that to get a truly "DEEP" sound do you have to go analog? I would love to hear an A/B test but have never got a chance to hear the difference between an analog synth and a VST back to back. would love to hear the difference)

4. Not professionally mastered.

5. Lack of experience/skill

6. My sounds are not good enough in the first place to mix and make sound "deep."


I certainly understand that it takes time and experience to be great at producing. However i feel as though i should still be able to make a simple project sound pro using Logic. Is this possible? using strictly logic with a few plug-ins? or would I need to use analog synths and analog gear and higher quality stuff to get the sound I am looking for.


Below is a clip of something I have been working on, would love to hear some feedback and what you think it sounds like I am doing wrong. It is not really mixed all that well and the bass is pretty low in the mix, but reguardless of that it still sounds quiet and muffled.






Here is a track I thoroughly enjoy and will use as a reference to ask questions.



At first everything sounds super thin and no low end yet it still has depth. at 0:12 seconds how does that synth or whatever it is sound so in your face and deep and crazy? Can that sound be achieved using VSTs? It sounds super deep and full bodied like it has a lot of low end yet at 0:27 seconds the low end seems to "actually" come in. Is this just because the sounds are crafted so well? or is there actually a high pass on everything but the kick and bass at a certain frequency so it appears to not come in till 0:27 seconds. I don't know if I am completely wrong about all this, so please let me know!

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  • 3 weeks later...



Not my style .. but I'll bop to anything on a night out :-)


From what I can see from this sample .. there are a couple of things wrong.


1. the rythm itself .. missing for a looong time at the start .. I would have brought in a bit of hi-hat or something to tease a bit ..

2. The dynamics: The overall bass/drums sound is very weak. You need to compress it and bring up the volume a bit. If you have some strong lead bits that you need to come over the drums .. try using a noise gate on the drum channel and use the synth melody track as a sidechain. Just take off 3-5 dbs from the drums to have the melody pump out.... you might also want to try putting in a real snare behind or beside the dance one .. might give it more of a sharp 'hit' effect.


On another note .. personally I would have normalised this type of tune .. you want the max volume possible.


Also ... have you tried clicking on 'Setting' in the Output 1-2 channel selecting Mastering and selecting some of the mastering sets .. they work surprisingly well out of the box.


Hope this helps,

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