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> Advice/tips Please, EQ and Compression
post Aug 17 2010, 10:38 PM
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Do you know how to use E.Q. and Compression properly or, if you don't do you know anybody who/where does that could show me? They're the last barrier to me being able to put an album together, I cannot get the hang of using them right, it's not through lack of trying, there's something I don't understand. I need about 45 minutes of patience, is all!

I also have Miroslav Orchestra - full-on sampled orchestra - Proteus VX - over 1000 commercial quality sounds - several good sound creation synths (which I'd need someone to show me how to use properly, they're subtractive synths/graintable synths but I've never got the hang of them) and lots of great VSTs. And QSE ELITE LEVEL 2. Which is what I write music on all the time. It's the best notation program ever created, I think, you can plug anything into it, you can Rewire it into Reason (something else I've never gotten the hang of - god, I'm useless!) and I've got Reason 4, Cubase with sounds (it's a hybrid, I hybrided it myself, it works if you're gentle with it and it's good.)

I think that if someone could only show me the techie bits I need and nothing else, I really could finish my album and make it sound good. I just need someone with a bit of mixing knowledge and a bit of patience.

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post Aug 17 2010, 11:02 PM
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I don't know much about recording, but you should check out the GuitarGnosis channel on Youtube, hes got a bunch of information in what you're looking for.

Heres just a sample of what you will find.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 21 2010, 12:55 PM
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It's a constant process of learning and trial & error. If you can find someone who is more experienced in the field that can show you how to work while doing a project, that would be a very good learning for you. You have to remember that method of mixing and mastering can be very different from person to person, everyone have their own way of doing things IME. So, it is good to find your own way of doing things, while learning from mixing and mastering professionals.

Here are some links that can help you. The topic of mixing is huge, it's both science and art.

Some general rules with EQs are (not strict rules tho)

- Use the best monitor speakers you can find, and use backup speaker systems as well for parallel listening
- Use small step increments when changing something
- Save different versions of projects/mixes, and render several versions of songs so you can compare
- When EQing, try to cut more than you boost frequencies
- Try to find the most usable frequency of every instrument, and use it. Then enrich the base sound where you have room in the mix
- Listen to other bands/mixes/masters, see how they sound, and listen to each instrument. Try to find the sound you like for kick, snare, toms, cymbals, bass, guitar, keys, vocals etc..

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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 21 2010, 03:04 PM
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+1 to all that Ivan has said.

EQ and compression are IMHO the two most important processors that you need to use for mixing.

Just to add a few suggestions to Ivan's for EQ/general mixing:

Position your monitors properly and if possible have good sound treatment in the room.

Listen to a lot of commerical CDs via your monitoring chain and other systems to get an idea of how it translates. Most monitors suffer from a lack of bass end and a congested mid. Too many monitors aim at sounding nice rather than accurate.

Whilst you can mix on headphones be aware of how headphones affect stereo width and depth and the spectral balance, particular wrt to the extremes.

Try to monitor at @84dB in accordance with the Fletcher Munson curve.

If you have multiple monitors then make sure that they are level matched.

Correct gain structure whether ITB or external hardware for any/all processing.

Find out the difference between bells, shelves and pass bands and filters and their controls.

Be aware that EQs have different filters and so can sound different.

Sweep a parametric in order to find specific frequencies/issues.

EQs can help open up a mix by dealing with different instruments that overlap.

Experiment with where yo put an EQ. EQ before a compressor isn't the same as one after.

There are different types such as vca/opto etc and they sound different.

Controls on a basic comp are ratio (the amount that you are compressing), threshold (point at which it kicks in) and output gain. More advanced comps will add things like attack, release and so on. For ratio at mixing - anything over 10:1 is limiting and aims to clamp down hard on dynamic changes in the signal. A good starting point is 3 or 4:1. How you set attack/release depends largely on the instrument you're compressing - start with medium settings and experiment on a bass and on drum transients and listen to how att/rel affect the signal. Some comps will give you an option for auto att/rel and if you're unsure then use it. As an alternative to auto if you have good metering then adjust for fast att and shift the rel so that the signal meter moves in time with the audio.

Comps are usually frowned on if you put them on the master/stereo/2-bus. Reason is that once on a comp is very difficult to remove by a mastering engineer. If you use a comp on the 2-bus then mix in to it and use it for how it affects the sound and not just to get volume/level.

Experiment with, and don't be intimidated by, comps - the better you get the more you can do with them. There's a whole host of things from basic compression through parallel compression, gating, etc to some advanced stuff like upward expansion and decompression. Just reading about it won't however teach you how to use a comp - you have to do it smile.gif .

WRT mastering:

By all means experiment and maybe master your own stuff. Just be aware that it is unlikely that you will get the same result as a professional ME, not least due to experience and objectivity. Mastering, like mixing, is both art and science and takes years of practice. Mastering also requires a rather different set up to mixing and whilst some people attempt to master on mixing studio equipment/monitoring chains the results rarely are as good.

Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website

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post Aug 21 2010, 03:26 PM
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Agree to everything what said here, but just want to point out the monitor issue: You can do a real good mix in fairly cheap monitors IF you know them very well. That means hours of just listening to different kind of music in Your monitors to get a feel for how they sound - then it will be a lot easier to mix your own stuff.



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