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  #1  
Old 12-17-2002, 05:41 PM
vox vox is offline
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Default my tracks should sound better than they do

so i finish my album. produced, mixed mastered, done.

i put it in my changer with the new J-LO album.
my tracks sound good and i am for the most part happy with the mixes, but when i play the J-LO it is louder, crisper, clearer..... (note: i am not very impressed with the J-LO production, her vocals. that album is by no means the ideal sounding record in my mind. it was simply the latest release i own)
when i go back to my tracks they sound muddy, muffled, quiet....

i know there are millions of variables and ultimately the the final track is a product of everything (writing, tracking, arangement, production, equipment, mixing, mastering...)

this is my situation:
i moslty produce pop and house music.
i own a mix ++++ and have been using an 888/24 for conversion.
i use neve, api, & manly for pre's.
i always have someone else mix .
and get my projects mastrered, at a local mastering studio

i would like to know from someone who knows:

what can i do to get my tracks sounding better?

is it bad to mix in protools?

who can i send a couple tracks to who does big name mixes or just who knows what they are doing?
(i would be willing to pay what it takes)
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2002, 11:13 PM
jsmooth226 jsmooth226 is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

check out...
www.slangmusicgroup.com to hear some of my mixes
if they sound close to what you want drop me a line music226@aol.com
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2002, 12:35 AM
THETHRILLFACTOR THETHRILLFACTOR is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

i would like to know from someone who knows:

what can i do to get my tracks sounding better?

Keep trying. Mixing like any talent takes lots of practice. No one who mixes for a living learned to mix well overnite. But one thing that I don't agree with everyone is that yeah anyone can mix. But there are a chosen few who are born to mix well(its a god given talent).

It would be a little foolish to give out technical advice without hearing the tracks.

is it bad to mix in protools?

No not really its all up to the user. I will share that the guys who do mix her stuff(Tony Maserati and Dexter Simmons)do work in analog(9000J). They use both analog outboard gear and some plugs.

Vox, your humble attitude in wanting to get better is good(or hire someone else). Hopefully it will get you where you want to go. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2002, 06:58 AM
zboy2854 zboy2854 is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

As of the current state of things, yes, it is worse to mix all in the box with Pro Tools than to break out individual channels to an analog console and mix through the board with outboard gear. I haven't heard your mixes, but I know from personal experience and have confirmed it recently with some A/B critical listening tests that none of my mixes done all in PT with plugins are as loud, clear or present as when I mix going through an analog console with hardware EQ's/compressors. There's a reason every big time mixer still mixes through a big board with outboard gear, and it's not just because that's what they're used to, it's a sonic quality thing.

The main problem lies somewhere in the 2 bus summing of PT and how the algorithms deal with summing all the signals to a stereo out. There is a flatness and smallness relative to big board mixes. Also, with respect to plugins, they've come a long way, but still don't act upon audio the same way hardware units do.

I wish all this weren't so, as I love Pro Tools' convenience, recallability, and ease of working. However, having done a lot of critical listening and testing, it is clear at least to me that to get the clarity, loudness and punch I'm looking for I have to go through individual channels on the analog console and avoid Pro Tools' 2 buss.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2002, 11:37 AM
mark IV mark IV is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

Vox, maybe you could clarify things a little to help figure out what's going on with your tracks.

For starters, you mentioned that you've had other people mix and master for you. Have you compared these people's other past work with other big time releases and if so how do they hold up? Were you there when the tracks were being mixed and if so was the room acoustically correct and what equipment was being used? What is it about the tracks that make them sound bad(like lack of spacing, volume, definition, warmth or what)?

Ibne, I have no idea how your post is being helpful, as far as J-LO goes it doesn't seem like he's holding up her album as the epitome of what he wants. Personally I can see what a bummer it would be to pay people to mix and master your album and pop it into your CD player and see it get wasted by something like her stuff. And he said he's not doing it on his own, it sounds like he's doing production and tracking and having others mix and master for him.
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2002, 02:07 PM
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A1 A1 is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

For the type of sound you're after (assuming Hip Hop) try at least putting the most important instruments (drums, bass, vox) out through an external analog mixer and processors.
Everything else make a sub mix in PT and output them through the analog mixer as well.
In other words finish your final mix on an analog mixer and processors (mackie analog mixers are good and cheap for this type of application).
Record your mix on a DAT machine (or better on a R-R two track analog tape machine).
Bump the final stereo mix back into Pro Tools (using a nice stereo preamp, Neve, etc.) for pre-mastering and tweaking.
A-B your material with a reference CD that is close to the sound you're after, tweak it just right without overdoing it and let a trusted mastering engineer do the rest.
Remember to include your reference CD for the mastering engineer.
This should improve your final product without spending much.

I'm all for in PT mixing and mastering, go for it if it works for you.
Personally, combining the new and the old technology has worked better for me.
It is all different depending on the type of project and the kind of sound you're after.
There is so much good stuff out there (especially off of indie labels) that are way better sounding than the million-dollar budget records.
Musicians, Producers and DJs are rolling out great records using cheap sequencers and low tech gear.
I don't believe that one needs state of the art equipment but rather a creative mind to deliver good material.

**************

PS: I have to say ibne has some harsh but good points!
I was in Europe for the last two weeks and was amazed with the type of music played in European MTV, French MCM and German VIVA.
Whole bunch of different genres from World, Jazz, House to Hip-Hop, Rock and Electronica (and everything else in between) all very inspiring, making one think how musically colorful this world is.
But here in the US one or two dominant genres makes being a musician/producer less inspiring.
It really is a drag hearing the same tunes over and over again.
....my new iPod changed things a bit [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:42 PM
div32 div32 is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

Quote:
Originally posted by THETHRILLFACTOR:
Keep trying. Mixing like any talent takes lots of practice. No one who mixes for a living learned to mix well overnite. But one thing that I don't agree with everyone is that yeah anyone can mix. But there are a chosen few who are born to mix well(its a god given talent).

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well said. You may also want to compare your mixes to other albums you like as you go. It's a good way to learn as you go for balances and tones. You can also compare to CD's during mastering...
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2002, 12:58 AM
germ germ is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

Bro best of luck asking here.

Yes you can mix in PT.

Yes you can mix thru outboard gear.

With a bunch of education & experience you can approximate what you hear in JLO ( or any other artist's ) tracks.

BUT_

Do not forget by listening to a finished CD you are hearing a product at the end of its edit decision list ( editing, arrangement, mix choices & mastering)So to try & work backwards is at best very hard.

Best of luck
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2002, 03:57 PM
bjorn for a reason bjorn for a reason is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

You tell um Ibne... What ever happened to the good ole' gun totin, dope smokin, Woman beratin, sample stealin, 95 IQ testin' Hip hop we all loved so much? Gee those were the days! [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2002, 07:07 PM
Joz Joz is offline
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Default Re: my tracks should sound better than they do

If it is that bad like he says, it seems to me that you gotta work with a better mixer.
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