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Establishing Your Mix.

Written by Richard Dolmat

Now that you’ve spent hours and days and weeks and months recording your musical masterpieces (and you’ve also read my article “Tips for a Great Recording Session”), you have arrived at my favorite time inrepparttar studio; The Mixdown. But don’t think your job is done yet! The mixdown is just as important as recording. As an artist, you have to approachrepparttar 124128 mixdown from an artist’s point of view and stay onrepparttar 124129 ‘creative’ side ofrepparttar 124130 fence where it’s still possible to shape and mold your songs throughoutrepparttar 124131 mixdown process. Rememberrepparttar 124132 old “Yin-Yang” principle which states, “whenever you turn something up, something else disappears. Furthermore; whenever you turn something down, something else gets louder”. This applies to EQ, levels and almost anywhere you have two or more tracks.

The Beginning Of The End

STOP!! Don’t even think about starting your mixdown onrepparttar 124133 same day you finish tracking. Take a day off, have a break and then come back refreshed with a new perspective.

Now back to business...

First of all, let’s “zerorepparttar 124134 board”. This is simplyrepparttar 124135 action of bringing allrepparttar 124136 faders torepparttar 124137 bottom (-∞) and centering allrepparttar 124138 pan knobs and effects sends. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “but our mix sounded good when we were tracking!”. OK, but didrepparttar 124139 mix actually sound good or were you just accustomed to hearing it that way? That’s why zero-ingrepparttar 124140 board is important. It flushes your memory and allows you to start from scratch. It might even be better to mix a song that you finished recording a while back.

1.Get Kicked. This is where I prefer to start. Other people like to start withrepparttar 124141 vocals and build around them. But I’m more rhythm based and prefer to start withrepparttar 124142 kick drum. One tricky part of any mix is getting a good gain-stage structure where you don’t cliprepparttar 124143 master faders atrepparttar 124144 end of your mixing session when all your instrument faders are raised. We must be careful to keep watchingrepparttar 124145 master bus clipping lights to make sure they never get intorepparttar 124146 red. Here is whyrepparttar 124147 kick is a good place to start. Play your songs and watchrepparttar 124148 master bus VU meters. This is probablyrepparttar 124149 only time you will “mix with your eyes”. As you’re watchingrepparttar 124150 master VU meter, slowly raiserepparttar 124151 kick fader untilrepparttar 124152 master meter reads about -7dB. If you are a four piece band, then you can leaverepparttar 124153 kick there and move on. But if you have a really dense tune, then you may have to lowerrepparttar 124154 kick to -8dB or so (to leave room for allrepparttar 124155 other instruments as they come up). Now you are set to mix. The kick should berepparttar 124156 only channel that you set levels by watching. Every other channel mixed intorepparttar 124157 song will be with your ears relative torepparttar 124158 kick.

2.Moving On From now on, it’s pretty much a free-for-all. Some people like to move on torepparttar 124159 bass next, in order to findrepparttar 124160 balance forrepparttar 124161 low-end ofrepparttar 124162 song. Other people like to keep working onrepparttar 124163 drum kit “as a whole” before moving to other instruments. I prefer to move ontorepparttar 124164 drum kit over-head mics. They say that a great drum kit sound can be captured using only two over-head mics, and a kick mic. And it’s true. Some of my tunes only use three mics onrepparttar 124165 final mixed versions, even though we had used up to ten mics forrepparttar 124166 recording ofrepparttar 124167 kit. If you placed your over-head mics properly (i.e.: sorepparttar 124168 snare sounds centered inrepparttar 124169 stereo image, and not skewed torepparttar 124170 left or right speaker) then you will have a better stereo image ofrepparttar 124171 drum kit whenrepparttar 124172 mix is finished. Otherwise you might have to do some fancy panning or EQ to get a balanced image withrepparttar 124173 drum kit. You can now bring inrepparttar 124174 rest ofrepparttar 124175 kit underneathrepparttar 124176 over heads to fill outrepparttar 124177 sound. I prefer to leave EQ and effects torepparttar 124178 very end ofrepparttar 124179 mix, after all ofrepparttar 124180 instruments are playing. Try to place your toms inrepparttar 124181 same panning position asrepparttar 124182 overhead mics recorded them. If your floor tom inrepparttar 124183 overheads is torepparttar 124184 right at 3 o’clock then pan your individual floor tom fader torepparttar 124185 same position. And don’t forget to check your phase between your mics pointing down and your mics pointing up.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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