Author Topic: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!  (Read 27235 times)

polymetric

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Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« on: January 06, 2016, 02:14:37 am »
If you have some mixing or mastering tips that have helped you, feel free to share them here.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 09:41:38 pm by polymetric »

polymetric

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 02:15:49 am »
When I mixdown my tracks, I prefer to just completely reset the mixer. While you're arranging and composing, you may mix stuff a bit so you can have the right perspective on everything, but when finalizing the mix, you'll want to reset everything. Then, slowly pull up the faders starting with the most important elements. Volume is the most important thing in any mix.

If something doesn't fit, mute it. Never delete things, you may find a place for it later.

When mastering, I usually do the same thing, EQ the final mixdown a bit, then compress/limit/clip it a little with my preferred free mastering VST, LimiterNo6.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 02:17:57 am by polymetric »

fungsway

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 02:19:30 am »
When I mixdown my tracks, I prefer to just completely reset the mixer.

Let me throw you a curveball. I've had projects in which i've thrown the mixers to complete silence, and my attempt at rebalancing the track actually makes it sound worse than what it was before. What issue am I having here?

simon

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 02:21:37 am »
When mixing down a track I've been working on for a while, after doing the initial mix I like to try and consolidate then bounce stems by group (aiming for no more than 25 but usually hitting around ~50 stems). I bring these stems into a new session and then continue my mixdown from there, finding that separating myself from the project allows me to get much cleaner mixes but also doing a bit of compression/expansion on each 'stem' leads to me being able to push my eventual master significantly further.

Another thing, and this took me way too long to realize, but when mixing a track always mix around a central element or else you're mixing at an arbitrary volume. Set the levels on your kick, and mix around that, and don't randomly change the levels of your kick because that's the foundation on which you build out the rest of your mixdown.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 02:31:27 am by simon »

polymetric

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 02:22:28 am »
Maybe you're not starting with the most important elements. In EDM, this is usually the kick, then the snare, then the rest of the drums. Then once you have that going, bring in the bass, then chords, lead, arps/background stuff, then FX (risers, fallers, etc.) last. Also, you might be going too hard with EQ. I've discovered, it's easier to make a good mixdown by actually mixing it first, then EQing later.

polymetric

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 02:24:12 am »
When mixing down a track I've been working on for a while, after doing the initial mix I like to try and consolidate then bounce stems by group (aiming for no more than 25 but usually hitting around ~50 stems). I bring these stems into a new session and then continue my mixdown from there, finding that separating myself from the project allows me to get much cleaner mixes but also doing a bit of compression/expansion on each 'stem' leads to me being able to push my eventual master significantly further.
Great point, although sometimes difficult to actually do, depending on your DAW. In FL Studio, this can be very annoying, especially if you don't have one playlist track for each and every sound. I did this once, and it turned out to be my best mix yet. I've made better mixdowns since then, but at the time it was my best.

rooofy

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 02:24:18 am »
Let me throw you a curveball. I've had projects in which i've thrown the mixers to complete silence, and my attempt at rebalancing the track actually makes it sound worse than what it was before. What issue am I having here?

It's possible you were pushing a limiter hard while you were writing the song, and when the limiter is gone and you're mixing to 0 dB, you might not be able to get things loud enough as they were before when the volumes of track were high. I've done that a few times, and the only way to bring it back to what I had while still arriving at a better mix was to improve the sound of individual tracks so that they could work with each other without being so hot on the meters.

Nomad

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 02:26:46 am »
When I mixdown my tracks, I prefer to just completely reset the mixer.

Let me throw you a curveball. I've had projects in which i've thrown the mixers to complete silence, and my attempt at rebalancing the track actually makes it sound worse than what it was before. What issue am I having here?

You're probably so used to the original sounding mixdown that this newer one just sounds completely wrong to you, whether or not it is better or worse to begin with.

Although I agree, personally I never reset the mixer when preparing for a final mixdown. As long as you are tweaking things along the way and know which elements of your song are the most important and should have the most clarity then resetting it normally wont do any good. IMO its only worth it to reset if the mix is just completely terrible and irredeemable, then theres no other choice but to reset everything and just try again.
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flashsapphire

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 02:35:07 am »
I've found that setting my default MIDI or audio channel set to -20dB really helps with headroom. Then adjusting as I add more layers. :)
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polardubbear97

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 02:35:55 am »
Less is more as a rule of thumb.

And try not to over-do the master! Most things are done in the mixdown.

Blakelight

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 02:36:05 am »
Simple tips :

when it comes to the MIX (not sound design) NEVER eq boost thing until you really know what you are doing , it's dumb tips but it really helps a Lot , as when you boost frequence somewhere you cut it somewhere else and then everything is rebalanced and it can be pain in the ass ;)

simon

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 02:43:35 am »
When mixing down a track I've been working on for a while, after doing the initial mix I like to try and consolidate then bounce stems by group (aiming for no more than 25 but usually hitting around ~50 stems). I bring these stems into a new session and then continue my mixdown from there, finding that separating myself from the project allows me to get much cleaner mixes but also doing a bit of compression/expansion on each 'stem' leads to me being able to push my eventual master significantly further.
Great point, although sometimes difficult to actually do, depending on your DAW. In FL Studio, this can be very annoying, especially if you don't have one playlist track for each and every sound. I did this once, and it turned out to be my best mix yet. I've made better mixdowns since then, but at the time it was my best.
Honestly I do it manually. It's a pain in the ass and takes a few hours, but hard work isn't easy and it's the most precise way to do it  ;)

Kaivaan

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 02:44:01 am »
Idk if these tips are really common knowledge or not but in my case,
some tips that helped me get cleaner mixes -

1) 17khz cut on your final mix will most likely free up tons of headroom for your song
2) automate the master volume for your song so that the choruses/key sections are +1db (or higher if preferred) than the rest of the song
3) divide your basses- I usually have a sub cutoff so it is only <100hz, and then have another bass layer over it for the frequencies >100hz
4) thinking of EQ/pan as an x and y axis grid (Im sorry if this is hard to visualize, Im bad with explaining so forgive me for not having the best word usage)
5) subtractive mixing - put the volume down for all your sounds and raise it up as you see fit, also, subtractive EQing is a gift from the heavens that changed my quality 10000%

Dylan_Hanson

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 03:27:15 am »
I am currently reading a book called "Mixing With Your Mind." I highly suggest you all check it out. Here's the link to purchase the book. http://www.mixingwithyourmind.com/

clearskys

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Re: Post your mixing/mastering tips here!
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 04:09:08 am »
Let your master buss breathe!

Surgical EQing is great in deflating anything that's under 35-40Hz. Use a brickwall highpass filter and get rid of anything under that frequency point to make sure that any inaudible signal is nullified before proceeding to a master comp or limiter.
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