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> Tone / Mix Shaping
bleez
post Jan 26 2017, 01:52 PM
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Where do you start when trying to learn how to dial in better tones and also getting a tone to sit better in a mix?
Often I can hear a tone which is not 100% but I dont know exactly what it is that Im not liking. Is it a bit muffled, does it need more / less middle or presence or gain .... etc rolleyes.gif
Its the same with a mix, if its not solved with volume or reverb then Im out of ideas.
Its a difficult thing to google and Id really like to learn how to use my gear properly cool.gif

This post has been edited by bleez: Jan 26 2017, 01:52 PM


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Mertay
post Jan 26 2017, 03:34 PM
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Yeah thats a common problem among guitarists. You got to get familiar with eq'ing sooner or later...

Trick of eq'ing is always adjusting volume with any change of eq. Say you have a backing track and you brought the guitar to a similar level but its too muddy;

If you simply increase the volume then the guitar would sound better but the backing will be inaudible. So then you have 2 options with the eq, either increase the mid/high eq or decrease the bass eq. If you increase the the high or mid. eq then immediatly lower the the output to match the backings output, opposite if decreasing the bass (which eq adjustment sounds better is up to you, listen with the backing trackas it will help with whats working and whats not).

Start with amp eq section when experimenting, they aren't detailed but usually work to a usable degree if adjusted correctly. When you feel confident, then other eq'ing options can be considered.

PS; This goes with pedals tone knobs too. To get the desired fatness or cutting edge from a pedal the output adjustment while tweaking is also important.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 26 2017, 03:36 PM


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Darius Wave
post Jan 26 2017, 04:21 PM
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Essentially MErtay is on spot with this. It's all about parallel eq and track volume adjustment. We try to get even guitar tone, so if some part of frequency that is unpleasant, makes the guitar stick out from the mix, than it's naturall that taking it sloghtly off will affect guitar volume in the mix. Usually adding 1 or 2 dB more on volume ,will help.

Of course there could be books written on mixing process but for one instrument we can simplify it as muych as possible.
1. Launch parametric eq (usually the deafult one in your DAW)
2. Turn on one of eq sections. Set it to make narrow boost or cut.
3. Boost around 10 dB and literally grab the eq point and scroll it through all teh spectrum until you'll hear what you didn't like, has been boosted
4. Once you find it, leave your eq point at this spot, and then start to match with the mix. Cut 1 or 2 dB of that frequency, and if it had and affect on guitar presence in the mix, than go and add 1 or 2 dB of guitar track volume

Of course those values are a startting point but it's worth "polishing it step by step". Otherwise we can get lost among our eq experiments and will get to where we've been at the beginning smile.gif


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bleez
post Jan 26 2017, 07:17 PM
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I'll definatley try those suggestions guys, thanks. I might also post a few mixes which I think need tweaked to see if Im correct about where they need 'fixed' or if Im using the correct terms for what exactly is sounding off.
I still cant get my Tele sounding good though the Kemper. My Les Paul is much easier, I just run that through an MBritt '69 Marshall and sounds great but the Tele seems to need a bit more 'something'.

QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jan 26 2017, 03:21 PM) *
Otherwise we can get lost among our eq experiments and will get to where we've been at the beginning smile.gif

LOL! This is totally familiar to me biggrin.gif I often go down a rabbit hole of tweaking things to come out an hour later with a mix that is much much worse than when I started!


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Mertay
post Jan 26 2017, 07:54 PM
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biggrin.gif

Yeah sure feel free to share any mixes, also I forgot to mention always check the mix in mono if you don't feel confident with the eq it really helps.


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 28 2017, 12:12 PM
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This is some VERY good advice packed in to a small form and should go in the WIKI IMHO!!!! It boils years of knob twisting down in to a few vital points.

P.S. If you don't know what a parametric e.q. is or haven't used one. It's time to start smile.gif Engineers use parametric eqs for the control and superior tone shaping they offer. They are a pinch more complex to get used to but they are worth it smile.gif Just think of Parametric EQ as having two stages. One stage is where you select the frequency(high/mid/low) to be effected, then stage two is where you determine how much gain/cut as well as how much the gain/cut will impact the frequencies next to the ones chosen. You can make a very tight eq spike/dip or a wide hill shaped spike/dip, or somewhere in between smile.gif


Todd


QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jan 26 2017, 11:21 AM) *
Essentially MErtay is on spot with this. It's all about parallel eq and track volume adjustment. We try to get even guitar tone, so if some part of frequency that is unpleasant, makes the guitar stick out from the mix, than it's naturall that taking it sloghtly off will affect guitar volume in the mix. Usually adding 1 or 2 dB more on volume ,will help.

Of course there could be books written on mixing process but for one instrument we can simplify it as muych as possible.
1. Launch parametric eq (usually the deafult one in your DAW)
2. Turn on one of eq sections. Set it to make narrow boost or cut.
3. Boost around 10 dB and literally grab the eq point and scroll it through all teh spectrum until you'll hear what you didn't like, has been boosted
4. Once you find it, leave your eq point at this spot, and then start to match with the mix. Cut 1 or 2 dB of that frequency, and if it had and affect on guitar presence in the mix, than go and add 1 or 2 dB of guitar track volume

Of course those values are a startting point but it's worth "polishing it step by step". Otherwise we can get lost among our eq experiments and will get to where we've been at the beginning smile.gif



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PosterBoy
post Jan 28 2017, 01:22 PM
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Have a look at some of the Recording Revolution youtube channel videos he is sure to have one that goes over it

Maybe this one


This post has been edited by PosterBoy: Jan 28 2017, 01:24 PM


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Darius Wave
post Jan 28 2017, 01:54 PM
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Thanx Todd!

Bleez - don't worry. I think this feeling never goes away smile.gif Even at the point when you're really experienced at why and how to use all the mixing tools, it still doesn't make you free from that kind of situations biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 29 2017, 05:43 PM
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Very cool vid!!! Should go in the wiki with the rest of this thread in the recording section IMHO!!

Todd

QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jan 28 2017, 08:22 AM) *
Have a look at some of the Recording Revolution youtube channel videos he is sure to have one that goes over it

Maybe this one



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bleez
post Jan 30 2017, 12:09 AM
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Out of curiosity, here's a mix straight from Reaper with nothing done to it. Im not trying to match the tone from the original song, just trying to get something that fits with the backing.
What would be the first thing it needs to sound better ( other than being played better! ) ?
Also, does the initial guitar sound okay, is it a bit muffled?
https://soundcloud.com/bleez666/hotel




QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jan 28 2017, 12:22 PM) *
Have a look at some of the Recording Revolution youtube channel videos he is sure to have one that goes over it

Maybe this one

thanks, Ive not seen that channel before, I'll def check it out. Cool video as well, cheers.


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Darius Wave
post Jan 30 2017, 10:57 AM
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Actually this tone fit the mix in terms of layering instruments. It doesn't cut with lot's of bass and harsh treble. It's only a bit dry. Because the track is dense I would suggest to use a reverb that is bright and cut it's lows. Just to make some ambience, without making mess in lows interferring with other instruments. Maybe....just maybe...I would add 1 more dB to guitar track volume, just to make sure it will cut through the mix on different rehearsal gear as well.

Notice:
With this kind of guitar level in the mix you can freely add much more reverb to mix, because it has no reference to how guitar track sounds alone in solo mode.


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Mertay
post Jan 30 2017, 11:23 AM
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This to me isn't an easy one as the original sound isn't very studio-like but has a good live recording sound-vibe to it. So the definition of blending the guitar into it can be a bit personal cause "lower definition" in such case can be acceptable.

I agree with Darius, a tiny volume increase and a reverb that cannot be noticed easily when played with the backing track. You can actually place the original track on reaper to compare your changes but just don't make big moves when comparing.

After this is finished, try some backing tracks from GMC lessons. Most as far as I remember don't have too much ambience thing to them so you can focus more on eq'ing etc. rather than reverb/delay.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 30 2017, 11:24 AM


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bleez
post Jan 31 2017, 08:16 AM
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thanks, I'll try those suggestions tonight and see how it compares. I need to watch a couple of vids on cutting / adding frequencies and get a better reverb vst as Ive just got the default reaper one.
I also need to get a tone for the 'stoner for strat' lesson on my tele. Ive not been able to get close to it yet.


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 1 2017, 11:12 PM
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Don't forget that you can use your pod farm(whatever line 6 product/software you have) for signal processing in general, e.g. use just a reverb from a huge selection of verbs that come with pod farm and or the editor for your line 6 processor. Pod farm has wads of fx as do most guitar vsts. If you have guitar rig for example, you have wads of reverbs. Just don't use the amp/cab section. smile.gif Then bam all the fx you could ever want. You can apply the fx to a sinlge track, the entire Make sense? Just activate the plugin on a given track or activate it on the main mix bus. Most folks have at least one guitar plugin which means most folks have wads of fx that they don't realize they have smile.gif

Todd




QUOTE (bleez @ Jan 31 2017, 03:16 AM) *
thanks, I'll try those suggestions tonight and see how it compares. I need to watch a couple of vids on cutting / adding frequencies and get a better reverb vst as Ive just got the default reaper one.
I also need to get a tone for the 'stoner for strat' lesson on my tele. Ive not been able to get close to it yet.


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