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> Mistakes Home Recordists Make
Todd Simpson
post Feb 20 2017, 11:12 PM
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Read a very spiff article on things we home recordsts often do that do not help our mix sound good. This one really stuck out so I thought I'd share:)

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Jonny Maudling, Wayland's Forge Recording Studio
Wayland's Forge Recording Studio on Facebook
Jonny Maudling is an English composer, keyboard player, and record producer. He is a keyboardist for the band Kull, former drummer of Bal-Sagoth, former bassist of the UK thrash band Igniter, and frequent collaborator with the English doom metal band My Dying Bride.
He has contributed to three My Dying Bride’s studio albums "The Light at the End of the World", "The Dreadful Hours" and "Evinta", did orchestral parts for Sermon of Hypocrisy, and played guest keyboards on a full-length release "Ordo Bellictum Satanas" by the Ukrainian metal band Semargl. He composed music for the video game Adellion. Currently, Maudling is a producer and engineer, operating his own recording studio called Waylands Forge Studios in Yorkshire, England.
The main mistakes of home production, according to Jonny Maudling


"1. Letting too many people other than the mix engineer interfere with the mix. Yes, take on board comments made by those relevant, but don’t let the mix become schizophrenic and unfocused. It is like painting a picture with three or four people holding the brushes.

2. Not high and low shelving in the mix. For a more separate mix high and low shelve every track. This gets rid of artifacts in the sub-bass and high-end frequencies of the sound and creates clarity and better separation.
*todd note: this one in particular seems to impact tons of folks. Recording and mixing in a less than perfect room makes it even more crucial imho. Trimming out the bits that do nothing but mud things up and add noise is crucial.

3. Out of time/tuning issues. Constantly check timing and tuning, every bar if need be."


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Mertay
post Feb 21 2017, 10:50 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 20 2017, 10:12 PM) *
2. Not high and low shelving in the mix. For a more separate mix high and low shelve every track. This gets rid of artifacts in the sub-bass and high-end frequencies of the sound and creates clarity and better separation. [/b] *todd note: this one in particular seems to impact tons of folks. Recording and mixing in a less than perfect room makes it even more crucial imho. Trimming out the bits that do nothing but mud things up and add noise is crucial.


Although it may seem a begginer thing to clean highs and lows, this process can get very technical. My advice to start with cut filters (12 or max 24 db) as shelving may complicate the process for them.


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 23 2017, 07:49 PM
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Very true. It's something that takes some practice as most folks don't deal with shelving eq until much later on. All it's really talking about is reducing the volume for the very low/bass and very high treble. These can cause problems when each track has bits in it that mix poorly with the next track. So keeping them in their own little sonic pocket can be helpful wink.gif

Todd

QUOTE (Mertay @ Feb 21 2017, 05:50 AM) *
Although it may seem a begginer thing to clean highs and lows, this process can get very technical. My advice to start with cut filters (12 or max 24 db) as shelving may complicate the process for them.



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klasaine
post Feb 24 2017, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Feb 21 2017, 02:50 AM) *
Although it may seem a begginer thing to clean highs and lows, this process can get very technical. My advice to start with cut filters (12 or max 24 db) as shelving may complicate the process for them.


Yes. Subtractive EQ as opposed to additive.
On so many home recordings there's just a bunch of loud and louder, big and bigger.
Also, focusing way too much on getting a great 'solo' or isolated tone on each individual instrument/track rather than on EQing the instrument (or the part) for the track. In other words, not every guitar track needs the Eric Johnson or Joe Satriani tone. Some parts will actually benefit from a thin and what would maybe be considered (by itself) a 'crappy' tone. *That's the main reason I own a few shitty and weird, cheap-o guitars (that play in tune). Many times they are the perfect sound for the track.

Here's a good example. There are two 'lead' guitars right at the top. Guitar 1 has this big, beautiful, stringy and very present tone and guitar 2 is thinner, a little cloudy (washed in reverb) and harder to the right in the mix - all giving the impression that it's smaller and farther back ... making it fit perfectly as a musical statement within the whole.
*This is also why every guitar player needs a Telecaster.



This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 24 2017, 05:24 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 25 2017, 08:45 PM
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BINGO! Just to explain a bit

ADDITIVE EQ: Using EQ past the flat point/zero point/e.g. adding anything in the + (plus) range of a dial or knob. This always adds NOISE which is the bane of good mixes.

SUBTRACTIVE/REDUCTIVE EQ: using eq to subtract sound, going below the falt/zero point, going negative on the dial/slider/knob to reduce a given amount of audio signal in a specific range.


So when mixing/mastering, using anything to boost eq always adds a bit of noise. There is just no way around it on any recorded source. On a purely digital source like a keyboard, not so much, but anything recorded with a mic, yup. So using eq to pull things out of a track or mix is good idea smile.gif Be careful when adding eq as you always have to listen for other things being added. LIstening for this in low/bass ranges can be very hard as most folks mix on speakers that simply can't go as low as their eq can. E.g. Most desktop monitors drop off around 60hhz. So pushing eq up around 40 hz will increase bass that you can hear, but also bass that you can't hear.

So "trimming" reducing the ranges that you can't hear with your speakers gives you a better idea on your mix and keeps the tracks from interfering/phase cancelling each other out. This assums that you know where in the mix each instrument should "sit". E.g. The bass sits in in the low frequency range, the guitars/vocals in the mids and drums/keyboards need more range.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 24 2017, 11:08 AM) *
Yes. Subtractive EQ as opposed to additive.
On so many home recordings there's just a bunch of loud and louder, big and bigger.
Also, focusing way too much on getting a great 'solo' or isolated tone on each individual instrument/track rather than on EQing the instrument (or the part) for the track. In other words, not every guitar track needs the Eric Johnson or Joe Satriani tone. Some parts will actually benefit from a thin and what would maybe be considered (by itself) a 'crappy' tone. *That's the main reason I own a few shitty and weird, cheap-o guitars (that play in tune). Many times they are the perfect sound for the track.

Here's a good example. There are two 'lead' guitars right at the top. Guitar 1 has this big, beautiful, stringy and very present tone and guitar 2 is thinner, a little cloudy (washed in reverb) and harder to the right in the mix - all giving the impression that it's smaller and farther back ... making it fit perfectly as a musical statement within the whole.
*This is also why every guitar player needs a Telecaster.



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