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Logic using Compressions & Eqs on output 1&2 - pre M


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Hi guys.

 

I'm somewhere in between rank amateur and keen creative enthusiast !

BUT! SOMEHOW! i have arrived at a mix that i am really happy with... I've kept things really simple and tried to think about each track individually..

 

Half way through the process of mixing these tracks - someone pointed me toward a section on Logic where you could go and grab some "Mastering" "settings - i tried them... WOW! BROADCAST! awesome ! tweaked the settings until i liked what i heard and ...carried on my merry way...

"there are no rules" someone once told me... "if it sounds good...IT SOUDS GOOD! " etc...

 

So just to be clear these appear in the Output 1&2 Strip before the master of course.

 

So...my Output 1&2 strip is busy...very busy with Compressors and Multi Compressors... Exciters! EQ's - Kitchen Sinks ! you name its in there...

When i hide these guys... the mix sounds VERY different...Not rubbish...just very different you understand...

 

So..now we are getting to the point... How much of "NO NO" is this...?

I've been reading up a little on Mastering and well..... their advice is to basically keep clear of doing exactly what i have been doing! : o

 

I would love to know the Protocol for this as a general rule - wether i am thinking of mastering or not... what do you guys do... do you ever do this at all?

Do i have a lot more work to do here now...if i am to assume i have to get rid of all these creamy settings... :( and work on the mix again!

 

Would an EQ? do any harm sat in the Output 1&2 just to help me out a bit...?

It's a tough thing to Google-ise

 

Any advice on this would be so cool and help me no end.

 

Thanks as always

 

Josh

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...tried to think about each track individually..

 

This is the big no-no in this post for me. I mean, you got a mix you like out of it, but it stands to reason that if you think about each track individually it will be random chance that all your tracks sit well together and do their part in complementing the song. Sometimes a track that sounds horrible and crappy by itself can sit just right when in the context of a mix. For me, it makes sense to always think about the song, not the individual tracks. It's about the outcome, not the process.

 

Half way through the process of mixing these tracks...

 

My second no-no. If you applied these effects to the Output 1-2 half-way through mixing, you will have been mixing all your tracks in the context of all these plugins, rather than getting everything right on the channels first. Better to get a good mix first, with nothing on the output 1-2, except maybe a gain plugin to keep levels under control.

 

So...my Output 1&2 strip is busy...very busy with Compressors and Multi Compressors... Exciters! EQ's - Kitchen Sinks ! you name its in there...

 

Compressors and a touch of EQ are fair enough, but I see plugins such as Exciter and Stereo Spread as being corrective mastering measures (although they can be interesting effects on individual tracks). When your mix sounds better with these on the output, maybe you should ask yourself how why that is, and how to do it in the mixing stage.

 

So..now we are getting to the point... How much of "NO NO" is this...?

I've been reading up a little on Mastering and well..... their advice is to basically keep clear of doing exactly what i have been doing! : o

 

I would love to know the Protocol for this as a general rule - wether i am thinking of mastering or not... what do you guys do... do you ever do this at all?

Do i have a lot more work to do here now...if i am to assume i have to get rid of all these creamy settings... :( and work on the mix again!

 

Well, the thing is, you've made a track that you like the sound of, so no-one can really say "it's wrong".

 

But... In my own, extremely humble, opinion, do your next track differently. Get everything sounding awesome at the mixing stage, and then use the mastering stage for a little glue, polish, and loudness. I'm very far from a pro engineer, but this approach has been working well for me over the years.

 

Hope that's helpful.

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Thanks muchly for taking the time to reply in such detail :)

 

I agree and i suppose in the back of my mind i knew that it was a mistake to get so "into" those output "mastering settings..

 

i'm fairly new to Logic well a year and a bit now...and sometimes I'm just like a kid in a the biggest sweet shop ever! and it's hard to discipline yourself following the "if it sounds good" rule...but that can as i have learnt be quite a momentary thing and when i have bounced these mixes down with the Pluggins set to active - the final result does sounds yukky toppy piffy and thin... (using all my pro engineer/producer terminology there haha) is that symptomatic of doing this kind of thing..?

Would a "Dry" overal output mix sound more like what you have running through Logic in the first place ?

Cos mixes i bounce often sound Dramatically different and V disappointing :(

 

So yeah i am really glad to have someone elses opinion and i am going to de activate the majority of the Pluggins and work on maybe just using an EQ to assist where i cant reach the frequencies on the single tracks...

 

In response to something you mentioned : YES i suppose i did relatively mix EACH track but only with the parameters of the OUTPUT which as you rightly say is compromised with all the effects - not good practice - note to self - DONT get carried away to early on in the process ! and stop looking for easy ways to the prize...maybe... i dunno..

 

But again thanks forall the advice...

All the best with whatever you are doin :)

 

Josh uk

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Try this after you are finished: Send a song out to be mastered, or at least find out what needs to be done.

 

Rarely will they send it back telling you that it is perfect.

 

Many times, they will recognize that you have mixed it the way you did and ask you to remix or have it mixed properly.

 

The wannabe mastering engineers will simply take your money and slap some Ozone 4 software on it and claim it is mastered.

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DONT get carried away to early on in the process !

 

Yeah, it's easy to do, especially with all-in-the-box electronic music. You get a hook or bassline and a beat, then before you know it you've spent a couple of hours tweaking sounds and fx, rather than thinking about the overall song and how other parts could fit in musically, or writing other sections of the tune. Or you just run out of creative energy and it gets consigned to the heap of unfinished ideas building up on your hard drive.

 

I don't think it ever stops being tempting to do that, it takes a bit of discipline for me to do only necessary tweaks to instruments whilst in the composing phase (sometimes fx are integral to the part, such as delays or distortion). But I really do feel it pays off to get almost all the parts down before making them sound polished and shiny.

 

In any case, you won't really know what spit n' polish is necessary for the tune as a whole until you've finished laying down all the parts. Always try to think of the tune as a complete entity, not a collection of seperate awesome sounds.

 

I try to split the process into three distinct parts:

 

1. Composing/tracking

2. Mixing

3. Mastering (or pre-mastering as shivermetimbers would have it, and I'm not entirely sure why, but I think I agree with him).

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3. Mastering (or pre-mastering as shivermetimbers would have it, and I'm not entirely sure why, but I think I agree with him).

 

Because as Ski puts it, "Great minds think alike."

 

I suggest sending it off to a real Pro engineer for the sake of reference or (gasp) rude awakening.

 

The progression is usually ...

 

"Wow, I wrote a great song"

"I must buy recording equipment."

"Wow, I just did a phenomenal mix on my great song"

"Wow, this sounds Fkn awesome."

 

(plays song in the car for a friend and thinks to self ... )

 

"What the Fk happened to my song? It sounded great in the house."

 

(back in the house)

 

"I know, I will download the latest free mastering software. That should solve my problems."

 

"Sht, that made it worse, .... maybe if I spend my life's savings on the Waves plug ins, I will sound better."

 

"That didn't help, maybe it IS time to treat my room. Where is that number for Auralex foam?"

 

"I know what's wrong - it needs more cowbell!" :oops:

 

 

 

So my advice is to play and experiment, you will either be humbled or get better as you go.

 

G'luck.

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You get a hook or bassline and a beat, then before you know it you've spent a couple of hours tweaking sounds and fx, rather than thinking about the overall song and how other parts could fit in musically, or writing other sections of the tune. Or you just run out of creative energy and it gets consigned to the heap of unfinished ideas building up on your hard drive.

 

:cry:

 

I suffer from this. Been suffering from it far too long.

 

Any esoteric discipline tips and tricks?

 

J.

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You get a hook or bassline and a beat, then before you know it you've spent a couple of hours tweaking sounds and fx, rather than thinking about the overall song and how other parts could fit in musically, or writing other sections of the tune. Or you just run out of creative energy and it gets consigned to the heap of unfinished ideas building up on your hard drive.

 

:cry:

 

I suffer from this. Been suffering from it far too long.

 

Any esoteric discipline tips and tricks?

 

J.

 

Yes.

 

Throw a cup of cold water over yourself, slap your face good and hard, then say: "I am composing, NOT mixing. No toys for me until I've been a good boy and finished writing my song."

 

Repeat this procedure until the tweaking compulsions pass.

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Absolutely agree with whats been seaid here...

 

Thanks so much for the interest in the topic!

 

I'm not so new to song writing... but i know what you mean...the song is paramount for me...

BUT i am new to the advances in home recording thats for sure! and it is distracting!!!!!

 

Working with producers a lot you watch and think i could do that...How hard can it be!

Half the time they are just jammin' it anyway...experimenting... but it's sometimes more about science than creativity...wave forms and frequencies are'nt always that clear to me where as a great chorus is plain to see

for me anyway....

So the job of fusing those 2 world happens every time i sit at the mac!

Sometimes it works ...sometimes it doesnt... : o

 

I dont think i'll ever be a great engineer...but learning and trying is less painful than paying someone else to give you what they think you want...

I was looking at going to a pro mastering guy...but not yet...This Mix needs sorting out..

 

All this made me think about maybe tryin to visualise LOGIC or any DAW as more of an analogue situation...

So you have instruments...your tape...and maybe a reverb a compressor then the desk...

Thats it!

Until you have completed the recording session...

You could even consider growing a long beard for maximum authenticity ...

Then when all the tracks are down..

Step into the digital world for mixing!

Thats a discipline i may try..

 

again thanks for the thoughts!

 

Josh

http://www.myspace.com/twinfifty

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All this made me think about maybe tryin to visualise LOGIC or any DAW as more of an analogue situation...

So you have instruments...your tape...and maybe a reverb a compressor then the desk...

Thats it!

Until you have completed the recording session...

You could even consider growing a long beard for maximum authenticity ...

Then when all the tracks are down..

Step into the digital world for mixing!

Thats a discipline i may try..

 

Yeah, that's pretty much how I approach it. Though at home I have the luxury of being able to experiment and try stuff out during tracking as much as I want, which would get pretty expensive if I was paying a studio by the hour!

 

There are two very good .pdf guides kindly supplied by Lagerfeldt, a regular contributor here, one is a guide to levels in digital audio, the other is a guide to mix-down for mastering, both are very useful whether you're doing everything at home or sending stuff off for part of the process. There's also a guide to Copenhagen if you've ever thought of going there :D

 

http://www.popmusic.dk/links-us.html

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You get a hook or bassline and a beat, then before you know it you've spent a couple of hours tweaking sounds and fx, rather than thinking about the overall song and how other parts could fit in musically, or writing other sections of the tune. Or you just run out of creative energy and it gets consigned to the heap of unfinished ideas building up on your hard drive.

 

:cry:

 

I suffer from this. Been suffering from it far too long.

 

Any esoteric discipline tips and tricks?

 

J.

 

Yes.

 

Throw a cup of cold water over yourself, slap your face good and hard, then say: "I am composing, NOT mixing. No toys for me until I've been a good boy and finished writing my song."

 

Repeat this procedure until the tweaking compulsions pass.

 

 

Awesome advice, I suffer from this alot - its easy to get distracted with all the wonderful toys.

 

Thanks

 

Dan

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