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Old 07-11-2007, 01:02 AM
Cuzson Cuzson is offline
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Default Good Mixing Tips/Steps Needed!!!

Im trying to get some good basic mixing tips. I know you have to level the beat and vocals together just right. But what kinda tips, do I need to know for apply effects on vocals. Like reverb, eq, etc.... I have pro tools with the basic ignition pack. Its a deverb. etc... I mostly do Rnb and Hip Hop. So some basic tips can help, I do understand that its take practice and time to get your mixing skills better. But a few tips is cool
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:27 AM
tomdiek tomdiek is offline
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Default Re: Good Mixing Tips/Steps Needed!!!

One thing you should do when you first start to learn to mix is pay close attention to current recordings in your genre. Get your session up and import a track in to your session and start to A/B the two. How loud is the vocal compared to the rest of the track? How much reverb or what type if any? What is the relationship between the other tracks in terms of level and EQ?
This is going to get you to start listening critcally.
There are too many issues regarding mixing technique to get into here. I would highly recommend doing a search "Audio mixing techniques" or something similar and you will begin to compile lots of information from different sources that you can begin to apply to your mixing.
I would also highly recommend getting a book on the subject, something like "The Mixing Engineers Handbook" by Bobby Owinski.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:38 PM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Good Mixing Tips/Steps Needed!!!

Quote:
Im trying to get some good basic mixing tips. I know you have to level the beat and vocals together just right. But what kinda tips, do I need to know for apply effects on vocals. Like reverb, eq, etc.... I have pro tools with the basic ignition pack. Its a deverb. etc... I mostly do Rnb and Hip Hop. So some basic tips can help, I do understand that its take practice and time to get your mixing skills better. But a few tips is cool
The way I see it, all the "tips and tricks" fall into one of 3 categories w.r.t. Hip Hop and R&B: thickening, delay, or distortion/filter. But before that, a vocal is usually compressed somewhat to control the dynamics, EQ'd perhaps to bring out character and/or to get rid of excessive low-end energy, and de-essed, though not necessarily in that order.

For example, recording a vocal track twice serves to "thicken" the sound, because the two takes will be slightly different. It will also be less intelligible, though, but does wonders for backup vocals. Many producers track ungodly amounts of vocals for this reason. For a less obvious, more "synthetic" chorus effect, you can copy a vocal track, de-tune it by a few cents, and mix it in underneath the original (parallel processing). It's not uncommon to copy a vocal twice, de-tune one copy up and the other down by a few cents, delay the copies slightly differently by a few msec, pan them off to the sides and then sneak these back in. If it suits the music, one can forego the de-tuning and just delay; it's an interesting sound.

Any kind of delay will serve to situate the vocal track more to the rear of the mix, meaning it will seem further away and less "in your face". A reverb can be thought of as many many smaller delays strung together. It's rare you'll hear alot of straight reverb these days on commercial records. The illusion of distance can be created more subtly and musically with a combination of delays and reverb, if desired. For example, a vocal track may have an 8th note delay, a quarter not delay, and a reverb all going at once, which keeps the vocal from "washing out". The LPFs on the stock Digirack delay plugs are your best friend, too. Often in rap music you'll hear whoops and whatnot that sound "in the background". For this, nothing beats having the artist stand a few feet back from the mic and turning up the gain.

Distortion and filters can be used to create "low-fi" sounds, as would be heard through a telephone, megaphone, etc. You can use an EQ plug to eliminate both the low and high end, leaving only the midrange frequencies to hear what I mean. If you don't have a distortion plug, you really should get one, or at least borrow a guitar stomp box and run the vocals through it. A different kind of distortion occurs with analog tape, and there are a few plugs avaiable that simulate this.

And then there are the infinite combinations of the above. For example, each "tap" (echo) of a delay could get more and more distorted and weird, by setting up a feedback loop.
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