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  #1  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:04 PM
Speed_45 Speed_45 is offline
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Default When to let it go????

Newbie here... (pre-apologies)!

Just wanted to get some general feedback on what others consider acceptable (or not) to let the project get out the door.

First of all I have the procrastinating perfectionist trait/skill , so hurrying up and letting it go less than perfect does not come easily. Here is where I am coming from in more detail.

For examples: The overall cut with all tracks may sound great to me but, if I solo an instrument track where elastic audio stretched and shrank time a bit - I can here a little wobble and some slight messing with pitch. Or if after using melodyne to move a vocal up on pitch or change some phrasing (being more creative than just snapping to correct pitch), I can hear the effect when soloing the track but, all the vocals and music together sound great to me. etc. etc..... you can add many more examples like this .. great as a whole .. less than perfect solo'ed. And to be clear, I am not talking about large issues when soloed.. just things you know are there.. but, don't stand out when playing all tracks back.

Now here is where I am going with this....
I have been doing the tracking, editing and pre-final mix/mastering steps to prepare the tracks for shipping off for some industry respected / professional named mix/master team to do (mostly for the name association but, they are really good also and it would be good to have other ears on it at this point).

My request for feedback is based on sending the pre-mixed product to an outside mix/master team what is an acceptable amount of "letting it go" or whatever this is called in the industry? What would a mix/master process expose downstream from my examples above?

I realize the answers here may vary and that is fine... just trying to find some best practice to work to/from. I do realize and have made all efforts from the start to 'get it right at the source'; and the performances during the tracking phase have been great. Its just me trying to understand just how perfect others shoot for in order to get it out the door with great "radio/retail/review" quality, within a reasonable time and money budget and get it out the door without over doing it/themselves.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:12 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is online now
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Default Re: When to let it go????

My advise is make it as good as you can within a reasonable timeframe and let it go. We do this with big artist tracks as no one is gonna solo a track and will never hear what you arE describing. You should hear some of the track stems we get from the highest paid producers and I say that as apposed to ”the best” as i dont agree with that and these stems sound like crap when solo’d and listened to in small batches. I am talking billboard top 20 songs and top 3 aswell so dont worry as long as those artifacts doesn’t come out in the final mix. All IMHO of course
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:20 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Reality check; Mixes are never finished....they are only abandoned

My 2 cents, if its a client, its not done till they are happy, but after revision #3, I charge for further revisions(rev #9 has only happened twice in 14 years). If its my own stuff, Mix #1 is never the final. I will listen over a few days and likely make changes, but I try to NOT go past a 3rd revision. I do save every revision as a .PTX(and I move the older versions into the Session Backups folder)

I also agree with Southsidemusic as I have heard plenty of hits that have questionable(to me) choices. Going back 40 years, I can think of lots of hits that were poor mixes or have outright mistakes in them, but they were/are still hits. An okay recording/mix of a great song and performance beats a perfect recording/mix of crap
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:14 PM
Speed_45 Speed_45 is offline
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southsidemusic View Post
My advise is make it as good as you can within a reasonable timeframe and let it go. We do this with big artist tracks as no one is gonna solo a track and will never hear what you arE describing. You should hear some of the track stems we get from the highest paid producers and I say that as apposed to ”the best” as i dont agree with that and these stems sound like crap when solo’d and listened to in small batches. I am talking billboard top 20 songs and top 3 aswell so dont worry as long as those artifacts doesn’t come out in the final mix. All IMHO of course


Thanks Southside... that’s what my gut was telling me but, being uncertain what the norm might be, always good to hear from the more experienced and seasoned been there don that engineers! Thanks.


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Old 11-18-2019, 07:18 PM
Speed_45 Speed_45 is offline
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Default Re: When to let it go????

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Reality check; Mixes are never finished....they are only abandoned



My 2 cents, if its a client, its not done till they are happy, but after revision #3, I charge for further revisions(rev #9 has only happened twice in 14 years). If its my own stuff, Mix #1 is never the final. I will listen over a few days and likely make changes, but I try to NOT go past a 3rd revision. I do save every revision as a .PTX(and I move the older versions into the Session Backups folder)



I also agree with Southsidemusic as I have heard plenty of hits that have questionable(to me) choices. Going back 40 years, I can think of lots of hits that were poor mixes or have outright mistakes in them, but they were/are still hits. An okay recording/mix of a great song and performance beats a perfect recording/mix of crap


Thanks and I agree ... this helps make sense of what I felt was going on in the real world! I suspect a mix/master pro is just going to take what you give him and do best they can with what you give them as a whole. They are NOT going to be focused on single tracks I suppose other than effects as necessary on the individual vocal/instrument. Thanks for the affirmation.


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Last edited by Speed_45; 11-19-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Bit of a different angle here, but I'll throw it in there; First thought I had when I read your post, Speed_45, was; how confident are you that your listening/minitoring is the best it could be?
I mean, how shure are you that those 'errors' won't be much more audible on another system? I bet the mastering guys could notice stuff that you don't, perhaps ask them?

I get stuff from people for time to time, and I notice problems that they weren't aware of, even on my little home setup. Less than optimal monitoring can bury things in a mix that will show up elsewhere.

More to the point of your post; I think one has to find a sense of when more work on a mix actually will help or not. Working on it too long will make you more and more 'blind' to it. Often the best thing is to let it go for a while, pick it up again and you'll be able to easily notice things, fix them, and you're done!

Sometimes, if you're not happy, best thing is to start from scratch.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed_45 View Post
Thanks Southside... that’s what my gut was telling me but, being uncertain what the norm might be, always good to hear from the more experienced and seasoned been there don that engineers!
Trust what he says.

Even if you had "infinite" time available and wanted to do your best, your ears get biased when you listen to the material long period of time. You are always hunging something more to fix. Your previous decisions start to sound like you need to redo something. It never ends, because your brain does not accept anything as "perfect". So your mix after one day might even sound better than mix after a week of endless tweaking.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
More to the point of your post; I think one has to find a sense of when more work on a mix actually will help or not. Working on it too long will make you more and more 'blind' to it. Often the best thing is to let it go for a while, pick it up again and you'll be able to easily notice things, fix them, and you're done!
Beat me to it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
Sometimes, if you're not happy, best thing is to start from scratch.
Sometimes (if you have the time and are a bit bored) it is also good to do this in purpose. Just take an old song and mix it again from the scratch. Notice yow your skills have developed.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: When to let it go????

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Originally Posted by Speed_45 View Post
I suspect a mix/master pro is just going to take what you give him and do best they can with what you give them as a whole.
You can always ask for feedback, as in "what were the biggest problems with this mix" -- especially so, if you are using same ME from time to time. Everything is always easier to fix in the mix, so the ME will appreciate this question and should gladly take the time to answer. ME would be happy to just do quality check and return your track unchanged. That will probably never happen, but the goal is Me needs to tweak in 0.x rather than 1.x changes
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:08 AM
Speed_45 Speed_45 is offline
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Default Re: When to let it go????

Understand Ben... your questions are similar to mine... thats kinda what I wanted to hear about. What sorta of nuances in as solo track typically show up when panned and separated 2 and 3D? I don't mean the obvious. I do believe when the tracks are all together everything sounds great (IMHO) in the pre-mix/master phase (a reference mix). But, I am aware of some "things" that 'could be better' within a single track or two... just wanted to see what some others might be doing .... spend the extra time since you know it 'could be better' or move on.

I do agree with letting the mastering guys give me feedback and that's part of the deal with them... to show & tell me what they see/hear/find so I can learn and fix. I expect to learn a lot but, wanted to at least do all I can/should do before handing it off. That's part of the letting it go part.. knowing there is something you COULD do but, perhaps not SHOULD do. This is likely a personal preference or even more so a time and resource choice at some point?

Agree also on the more you tweak doesn't necessarily mean it gets better. Thus far, each edit / cleanup "revision" has produced better results... but, again, I am more focused on the actual recorded material than the final mix. I am going doing a reference mix and even some mastering (not final) so I can get a listen to anything that sticks out of an individual track. Its just a time concern more than anything .... and not knowing what I need to know to just let it go at this point but, I am still learning!

Thanks for the feedback - Ben!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
Bit of a different angle here, but I'll throw it in there; First thought I had when I read your post, Speed_45, was; how confident are you that your listening/minitoring is the best it could be?
I mean, how shure are you that those 'errors' won't be much more audible on another system? I bet the mastering guys could notice stuff that you don't, perhaps ask them?

I get stuff from people for time to time, and I notice problems that they weren't aware of, even on my little home setup. Less than optimal monitoring can bury things in a mix that will show up elsewhere.

More to the point of your post; I think one has to find a sense of when more work on a mix actually will help or not. Working on it too long will make you more and more 'blind' to it. Often the best thing is to let it go for a while, pick it up again and you'll be able to easily notice things, fix them, and you're done!

Sometimes, if you're not happy, best thing is to start from scratch.
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