Author Topic: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.  (Read 6378 times)

DANZ

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I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« on: January 06, 2016, 02:22:39 am »
I've been producing for around a year now and I really cannot figure it out. I watch so many tutorials on youtube for mix, I try to remake songs, still sounds bad. I finally think I have a good mixdown and in my ears it sounds good but since I clearly do not know how to recognize a good mix, it ends up being just another shitty mix. I can't figure it out and I really need help and tips, not just another youtube video telling me to control every little thing on the mixer for one specific song. Thank you! (:

« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 11:42:11 pm by DANZ »
I got the ideas down.

Mushroomizer

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 02:25:20 am »
Honestly.. The best thing to do is compare to a similar-ish professional track. I mean, the mix may sound good to you, but once you compare it to something professional, you start to realise exactly how your track can be improved.

Shew

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 02:28:21 am »
Building off @Mushroomizer, it could also be what you are using to listen to songs on as well.  When I made the jump from just standard gaming headphones to audio technica m50xs and a pair of studio monitors I really got to hear what music should sound like.

However, some artists are really good at using less than optimal setups... it's really about what you are used to listening to and if you know your equipment
Twitch Music love | always trying to channel my inner Martin Doherty

polymetric

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 02:29:13 am »
YouTube tutorials aren't usually great. I've been producing now for a year and a half, and I have only really made about two or three okay tracks, most of which are unfinished. The best track I've made, (unreleased) is incomparable to most of my inspirations. You've been doing it for a year, you seem pretty dedicated. Keep remaking tracks, maybe work for a few minutes on the sound design, then laser focus on the mix. You'll get there eventually, maybe even sooner than you expect. I was making kind of bad tracks six months ago, then in the last six months I started improving, mostly on my mixdowns. You can do it, you're getting there.

simon

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 02:30:07 am »
I have two big tips that you should try out. the one that's always said but can't be repeated often enough is to always reference another track and AB between that one and yours, because otherwise you're mixing towards an arbitrary goal, so having a reference is the most simple and foolproof way to up the quality of your mixes. The other piece of advice that is about a problem a lot of beginner producers have is that they spent a lot of their time reading and watching videos about how to produce vs. actually doing it. I don't remember who originally said this, but he said that when reflecting on how you spent your 'studio time', you should be aware about if what you're doing is about production or is production. Actually working on music is always going to teach you more than watching videos of people producing, because you're actually doing the skill yourself. Watching baseball on TV isn't going to make you an amazing shortstop on its own, and watching in the studio videos, as much as you can learn from them, isn't a substitution for actually opening up your DAW and mixing down your track, then trying again if it sucks and so on so forth until you've done 1000 mixdowns and start getting somewhere. Hope this helps.

br305893

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 02:31:20 am »
Honestly your mixing is pretty good. You're much better off than I am.

Mat_Zo

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 02:40:46 am »
Don't get disheartened, it takes me a long time before I get anywhere near a good mixdown and even then I'll be super hard on myself

DANZ

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 02:43:21 am »
@Mushroomizer I will start doing that thank you for the heads up!

@Shew, I have KRK Rokit 6's and for headphones are the Pioneer HDJ-500's. That was what I could afford with my budget.

@Polymetric it's good knowing there is hope. I have had so many times I had wanted to give up but I never will, this is my dream and I will work hard till I get it. Thank you!

@Simon The watching videos part was me around the first 6 months, I have laid off on the videos for a while just practicing but I still don't get it. But the reference track option is a really good thing and I will try it out. Thank you for the tip!

@br305893 Thank you! I honestly still don't know when I have the perfect mix, like I can't recognize it.
I got the ideas down.

DANZ

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 02:46:43 am »
@Mat_Zo Thank you for the response, I love your music!! I'll try my hardest to learn it but thank you for the inspiration.
I got the ideas down.

Volant

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 03:06:38 am »
What helped me heaps was a technique I call "band mixing".

To help you with it, you should download a free visual analyzer called SPAN which displays your frequency response on an X/Y graph. While the way your mix looks isn't as important as how it sounds, a visualizer can help you diagnose potential issues in your mixdown quicker.
http://www.voxengo.com/productversioncheck/span/?version=2.4.1

I load up SPAN and an EQ plugin, then put my own track into my DAW next to another one, both going into the same mixer bus. I listen to the lows, mids, highs seperately and compare them to the other track (A/B) and try to find out the differences between what I am doing and what my reference track has going on. This can be a good way to develop a better ear and better understanding for what your mix should sound like at the end.

Another way to do it is to put a lowpass in at around 100 hz and to keep sweeping it up in small steps while A/Bing until you start noticing a difference in quality between your track and the reference track. You might notice weird peaks in your song (either audibly or visually in SPAN) that aren't there in the other one in the process, allowing you to diagnose potential problems. Also, sometimes when I'm clueless about why my track isn't flowing well, I'd do this only to find out everything was fine apart from the crashes and hihats.

Starting from the lowend and working your way up makes sense because the bass regions generally dont have as much going on as the mids and highs. As a result it becomes easier to compare them, and as you gradually move your lowpass up you can start focusing on each region of the spectrum on its own. Just remember that the level of one region affects your perception of another, so try not to focus on all the regions on their own too much. Instead make your changes in context with the rest of the mix. Most mix problems you can't figure out stem from the mids or highs and their dynamics, plus their relationship to each other and with the lowend.

Finally, keep in mind that every song is different, your record might call for a different mix than the reference track does. This technique can just help you analyze other mixes and take them apart to help you study good songs, but you'll still have to spend hours on your mixes to understand what really makes your music shine.

-v

Dylan_Hanson

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 03:29:21 am »
I am reading this book called "Mixing With Your Mind." So far it has been really helpful and really goes in depth on how to create a good mix. It even has tips how on to strengthen your ears. Here's a link to the author's website. http://www.mixingwithyourmind.com/

clydesdale

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 03:30:08 am »
One thing that helped me a ton was to learn the difference between "loudness" and "level".  You have to manage the loudness of your track with your ears and with a good meter (I use the Melda multi-analyzer but I think Ozone has one as well).  I spent too much time trying to keep my master under 0db thinking that was good mixing and then getting really thin mixes even with a peaking master.  The truth is that you want to have really consistent loudness in your track so that all the loudest parts are pretty similar and that the quieter parts are a pleasant counterpoint.  Some tools for that are obviously compression and make-up gain but you have to use those wisely and adjust them throughout the track-- don't just slap them on.  You can also start add or thin your musical elements to compensate for their relative loudness too.  Crank the synth when it's all by itself but back off when it sits with your kick,bass and arp.  Does that make any sense?

imreach

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 03:49:42 am »
One thing people forget is, mix's are subjective. I do agree with the other post's about using a track that is in the same style or similar vain of music as a guide. But if your a mad scientist its really up to you.

Dylan_Hanson

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 04:08:13 am »
@Volant I just installed it (I am using FL Studio) I just fast scanned it and it is showing that it exits as "Span" however when I open my mixer "Span" is not apart of all the other plug-ins. Do you or anyone else no how to fix this?

EmilioRamirez

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Re: I can't figure it out and it is frustrating.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 04:16:00 am »
My best advice would be: give it time! Don't push yourself to do stuff like pros do. Why? Because it's going to block your workflow. At least for the first years. Try to do stuff, copy, analize your favorite tracks. And find out what you're missing.  Learn about EQ, use automation clips, think outside of the box. You'll be making tracks you love one day and the day after you'll hate. Lol  ;D It's all part of the process.  ::)

Music production is a never-ending learning process. It can take years before you get a decent mixdown...

Eventually you'll be making good mixdowns!

Good luck!  ;) ;) ;)