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  #1  
Old 01-28-2005, 03:29 PM
M.H._Muzik M.H._Muzik is offline
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Default Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

Ok fellas I was looking at this thread...and I'm hoping that you guys can help me out. I've been studying the mixing and mastering process via the internet and things of that sort. I started from scratch and I'm progressing slowly but surely. Ok, now after 3 years (lol) I've just purchased Pro Tools Le 6.4. I have a MXL 990 Condenser Mic Running thru an ART Tube Pre Amp directly in to the MBox. I've had no real problems adjusting to the interface and things of that sort. I've just mixed down a test freestyle that one of my friends layed down when I got the system up and running (I do Hip Hop/Rap primarily). Now, the standard process I use to clean the vocals coming in to the MBox are as follows..


First - Noise Reduction
Second - Compression
Third - De-Esser
Fourth - Very Light Reverb
Fifth - Parameteric EQ
Sixth - Normalize or Limit

I dont use presets I try to listen as I clean them and do everything by ear (I read that somewhere). Unfortunately, I am not satisfied with the finish results. The Mix is audible and I can hear everything but for some reason it lacks that punch...the EQ's dont seem to be right either...The vocals are not melting into the track like I want them to...As I edit the songs...I listen to them thru a stereo/surround system with L/R Speakers a Center Speaker and a Subwoofer. I'm saving up for some studio powered-speakers.

I've attached a link to the song I just mixed...It's called "Strat's Birthday Freestyle"

Strats B-Day Freestyle

Is there anyone out there with more experience then me, that can Listen to this mix and give me some pointers or maybe point out wat I may be doing wrong...I'm pretty sure..I'm over doing something...I just dont know wat it is...Thanks for anyhelp or advice u guys leave me...I have pretty thick skin so dont hold back anything...ha ha

Oh Yeah one more thing...The vocals were Mono and the Track (which is a random instrumental) is in Stereo...I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:57 PM
asa asa is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

My 2 cents:

Not a bad track, I do alot of work with Hip Hop/Rap, various styles, and a common problem is people pumping the wrong low-end frequencies in their beat/groove, which muddies up the deep punchy frequencies of your vox track.

Try cutting some 240-400 hz from your main beat/bass loop. Next try juicing that range of the vocal just a bit. Also, try adding some presence to the vocal track, this will give it some sparkle. Try using a hi-shelf around 8-10k, then boost to your liking.

Also, take note of the order you process your stuff and insert plug-ins on your track. Typically I go EQ, then compression, then effects/reverb. I like to have the signal clean and EQ'd before I add the compression, which keeps me from having to compress frequencies I dont really want anyway. I generally use a send/return setup to handle all reverb and delays.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:13 PM
M.H._Muzik M.H._Muzik is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

U have no clue how much I appreciate that response....I'm going to try those editing tips u gave me...I have two questions...u said trying adding "presence". wat did u mean by that? and u also said try using a "high shelf" around 8-10k...Did u mean to boost the gain b/w 8-10 khz frequency?
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Old 01-29-2005, 12:53 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

Ditto on using an aux send to an aux track for verb and delay. EQ can go before or after compression as it acts a little different each way(one may work better than the other for any given project but I prefer to compress first with bomb factory 1176 plugin). Adding a one band eq in the last slot can be used to add presence by boosting a bit above 8K but I prefer the Pultec plugin. Watch out that you don't create too much so you need a de-esser. I prefer to not normalize unless I find a word or syllable that is too soft/loud. I will normalize just those bits that need it. Do you really need noise reduction? If you do, then I suspect you need to re-evaluate how you are recording(gain staging and mic proximity). If memory serves, the 990 is a small diaphragm element inside the larger case so you might be happier with an MXL2003 or V69 mogami edition. You could patch your ART preamp out to the insert return. I hope you are at least patching it to the TRS jack and not the XLR part as this would put the Mbox mic pre in the circuit as well as the ART. Definitly you should be monitoring in stereo-NOT in surround as many surround systems will artificially create surround from a stereo signal by totally screwing with phase. You will never get good results till you have decent monitoring.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:11 PM
M.H._Muzik M.H._Muzik is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

thanks for the input guys...i think it helped out alot...u be the judge...i'm a going to do some research on that bf1176 plugin...it must be good becuz thats the second time someone has mentioned it to me...asa i took your advice and added a slight gain to the 240-400 hz range and also added a high shelf right around 8-10 khz ( i found out wat a high shelf was in the process ). i scratched the desser ( i dont think i really needed it )and ran my d-verb thru a plug in...used the L3 multimaximizer from waves to master/raise the volume level to its max...

check it out and tell me what u think

Strat's Freestyle - UPDATED
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:49 AM
asa asa is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

OK, not bad. I suspect you can get a lot more gain from the track by doing this. Use a low shelf and set it to around 60hz, bring the gain back just a bit. This will free up a bunch of headroom and allow you to lower your threshold on the L3.

Also, try cutting some 180-240 from the main beat/bass or just the bass if it is on a seperate track.

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Old 01-31-2005, 04:37 PM
bigbadhenchman bigbadhenchman is offline
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Default Re: Lend Me YOUR EAR...Please? Help needed ASAP

This is how I would do it:

First - EQ Get things brightend where you want them etc.
Second - De-esser Should be before the compressor, otherwise the compressor will smooth out the signal too much, and it's harder to work the de-esser. Also, since the de-esser is post EQ, all the added sibilance created by the EQ will be dealt with.
Third - If you really need it, Noise reduction.
Fourth - Compressor.
Fifth - If needed, another compressor/limiter
Sixth - Verbs and delays should be on Auxes.

Another tip is to stick a de-esser before the verb on the Aux channel, to get rid of annoying
sibilance frequencies feeding the verb.
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