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gain structure and mixing aka THE MONEYSHOT THREAD

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Postby daft cunt » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:46 am

Let's say the drums hit up to -3 dB, what should be a fair volume for the sub?
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:14 am

Sorry if it isn't really answering your question, but -3 is way too high.

Remember that 6dB is half. So if you have one element at -6, that is half your headroom gone. Two elements at -6dB each = all your headroom gone. Having the drums at -3 will leave you fighting against clipping and struggling to keep everything down and under control.

Rather, set your drums for *around* -8 / -10 (ie, a bit less than half). The bass - if we are talking a pure sine sub - would probably sit best a dB or two below that, any distorted/fullband bass sounds should be effectively treated as different entities and mixed appropriately (due to Fletcher Munson).

This leaves you with a few dB headroom, and everything else is just parsley. No more fighting anything, you *will* get repeatable and consistent levels in your mixes, and better mixes as a result.

:) :) :)
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Postby daft cunt » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:14 pm

Thanks a lot! That's definately going to help!

While you're here, can I have your view on that one:
http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=74831
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:29 pm

I read that but it looked like you'd sorted it out :)

Besides, I was only going to say 'fuck all that shit - how does it sound?' :D I thought that might come across snobby/rude/condescending so I didn't post :oops: .


I feel a bit of a rant/preach/lecture coming on :oops:

The above post I made is proooooooperly important. Good fundamental gain structure from the word go is the easiest way to get a good mix. You should, IMHO, always be looking to get any/all sounds as right as possible, as early as possible in the signal chain IMHO. Think of a top notch jazz band - they play at the right level, it gets recorded, no mixing/eq/compression, no editing, no fuckin nothing. And it sounds the absolute bollocks.

While that doesn't totally apply to dubstep etc, the principle is the same. If your 'band' plays the right thing at the right level with a good sound, your tune will mix itself. All these sidechains and multiband doodads and insane eq curves blah blah - unless used specifically as creative effects - are just sticking plasters for the fact the 'band' fucked up.

[/preach]

IMHO of course :oops:
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Postby 3rdeye » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:19 pm

Macc wrote:I read that but it looked like you'd sorted it out :)

Besides, I was only going to say 'fuck all that shit - how does it sound?' :D I thought that might come across snobby/rude/condescending so I didn't post :oops: .


I feel a bit of a rant/preach/lecture coming on :oops:

The above post I made is proooooooperly important. Good fundamental gain structure from the word go is the easiest way to get a good mix. You should, IMHO, always be looking to get any/all sounds as right as possible, as early as possible in the signal chain IMHO. Think of a top notch jazz band - they play at the right level, it gets recorded, no mixing/eq/compression, no editing, no fuckin nothing. And it sounds the absolute bollocks.

While that doesn't totally apply to dubstep etc, the principle is the same. If your 'band' plays the right thing at the right level with a good sound, your tune will mix itself. All these sidechains and multiband doodads and insane eq curves blah blah - unless used specifically as creative effects - are just sticking plasters for the fact the 'band' fucked up.

[/preach]

IMHO of course :oops:


100% absolutely spot on! :)
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Postby jalfrezi » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:37 pm

Macc wrote:I read that but it looked like you'd sorted it out :)

Besides, I was only going to say 'fuck all that shit - how does it sound?' :D I thought that might come across snobby/rude/condescending so I didn't post :oops: .


I feel a bit of a rant/preach/lecture coming on :oops:

The above post I made is proooooooperly important. Good fundamental gain structure from the word go is the easiest way to get a good mix. You should, IMHO, always be looking to get any/all sounds as right as possible, as early as possible in the signal chain IMHO. Think of a top notch jazz band - they play at the right level, it gets recorded, no mixing/eq/compression, no editing, no fuckin nothing. And it sounds the absolute bollocks.

While that doesn't totally apply to dubstep etc, the principle is the same. If your 'band' plays the right thing at the right level with a good sound, your tune will mix itself. All these sidechains and multiband doodads and insane eq curves blah blah - unless used specifically as creative effects - are just sticking plasters for the fact the 'band' fucked up.

[/preach]

IMHO of course :oops:


once again

:h:
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Postby daft cunt » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:59 pm

Jalfrezi wrote:
Macc wrote:I read that but it looked like you'd sorted it out :)

Besides, I was only going to say 'fuck all that shit - how does it sound?' :D I thought that might come across snobby/rude/condescending so I didn't post :oops: .


I feel a bit of a rant/preach/lecture coming on :oops:

The above post I made is proooooooperly important. Good fundamental gain structure from the word go is the easiest way to get a good mix. You should, IMHO, always be looking to get any/all sounds as right as possible, as early as possible in the signal chain IMHO. Think of a top notch jazz band - they play at the right level, it gets recorded, no mixing/eq/compression, no editing, no fuckin nothing. And it sounds the absolute bollocks.

While that doesn't totally apply to dubstep etc, the principle is the same. If your 'band' plays the right thing at the right level with a good sound, your tune will mix itself. All these sidechains and multiband doodads and insane eq curves blah blah - unless used specifically as creative effects - are just sticking plasters for the fact the 'band' fucked up.

[/preach]

IMHO of course :oops:


once again

:h:

+ 1 :D
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Postby ketamine » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:24 pm

Macc wrote:Sorry if it isn't really answering your question, but -3 is way too high.

Remember that 6dB is half. So if you have one element at -6, that is half your headroom gone. Two elements at -6dB each = all your headroom gone. Having the drums at -3 will leave you fighting against clipping and struggling to keep everything down and under control.

Rather, set your drums for *around* -8 / -10 (ie, a bit less than half). The bass - if we are talking a pure sine sub - would probably sit best a dB or two below that, any distorted/fullband bass sounds should be effectively treated as different entities and mixed appropriately (due to Fletcher Munson).

This leaves you with a few dB headroom, and everything else is just parsley. No more fighting anything, you *will* get repeatable and consistent levels in your mixes, and better mixes as a result.

:) :) :)


:?: I suppose you mean on the Master channel.
If drums are -3 to 0 on their own channels what different does it make.
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:31 pm

district wrote:this is interesting, might test it out on the tune i'm working on later as a rough guide.. cheers


It's just good, sensible mix practice :)

- You'll never have to move your master fader again :)

- You'll never get clipping again (unless you're really doing something wrong)

- You'll mix more consistently as you won't be 'chasing your tail', pushing things up on the left and turning them down on the right (sound familiar anyone?)

- You'll get a sense for where tracks should sit peak-level-wise depending on what they are (drums ~ -8 to -10, bass a bit lower, pads maybe -18dB, shakers down below that etc).

- following from that you'll start getting the sound right at source, and find yourself moving the faders less = better fader resolution for finer level tweaking

- Your tunes are more likely to be easily master-able (no clipping or shoehorning under 0dB happening)

- Your ME will thank you for it by making it sound fucking huge

:)
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:36 pm

Ketamine wrote: :?: I suppose you mean on the Master channel.
If drums are -3 to 0 on their own channels what different does it make.


I'm talking peak output. Nothing to do with faders here (if I am reading you right). If a solo'ed channel peaks at -3 then the master will peak at -3. That's eating more of the cake than it should :)
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Postby serox » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:45 pm

Macc wrote:Sorry if it isn't really answering your question, but -3 is way too high.

Remember that 6dB is half. So if you have one element at -6, that is half your headroom gone. Two elements at -6dB each = all your headroom gone. Having the drums at -3 will leave you fighting against clipping and struggling to keep everything down and under control.

Rather, set your drums for *around* -8 / -10 (ie, a bit less than half). The bass - if we are talking a pure sine sub - would probably sit best a dB or two below that, any distorted/fullband bass sounds should be effectively treated as different entities and mixed appropriately (due to Fletcher Munson).

This leaves you with a few dB headroom, and everything else is just parsley. No more fighting anything, you *will* get repeatable and consistent levels in your mixes, and better mixes as a result.

:) :) :)


But you are talking about how you want a tune when it is handed to you for mastering, right? If say someone is only boosting things to sound good to play on a rig from a CD then they have to do this, don’t they? If they don’t compress + limit loads then things will sound weak.
Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:54 pm

Nothing to do with mastering. You're completely missing the point :)

This is mixing :) It is the simple fundamentals of gain structuring for building a good mix. Whatever comes later, comes later - level boosting and what not. But I 100% guarantee (and I don't do that very often) that your mixes will improve with consistent, sensible gain structuring.

As a side effect, mastering (or level boosting for DJ play etc) becomes easier, and will yield better results because the mix is better built. It's as simple as that.

FWIW 'If they don’t compress + limit loads then things will sound weak.' is so terribly wrong. Quiet yes, weak no. Do some level-matched comparisons of heavily limited tracks vs their clean counterparts and tell me which is weaker ;)

POWER comes from a good mix. Get the mix right and the level will take care of itself.
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Postby serox » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:03 pm

cool thanks. I cannot be alone with this but I often have my bass sitting around the same as my kick or it just doesn't bang. I often try get my tune to peak at the same level as another Dubstep tune and I will need to put the bass volumn up or it just doesn't come near where I want it too :oops:
Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.
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Postby martello » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:07 pm

[listening like 6 years old kiddy how grandfather is talking]

:o
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Postby macc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:59 pm

Serox wrote:cool thanks. I cannot be alone with this but I often have my bass sitting around the same as my kick or it just doesn't bang. I often try get my tune to peak at the same level as another Dubstep tune and I will need to put the bass volumn up or it just doesn't come near where I want it too :oops:


Remember that you're (probably?) comparing to a mastered tune. I'm going to put this in big letters :)

DO YOUR A-B COMPARISONS AT MATCHED SUBJECTIVE LEVELS

Turn that tune down so it sounds the same level as yours, not the other way round. THen you can properly assess the quality of your mix without being fooled by the level. Once you make your mixes sound as good as those, mastering will become almost trivial.

Ah, it sounds so easy when I write it like that :lol:
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Postby serox » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:29 pm

Macc wrote:
Turn that tune down so it sounds the same level as yours, not the other way round. THen you can properly assess the quality of your mix without being fooled by the level. Once you make your mixes sound as good as those, mastering will become almost trivial.

Ah, it sounds so easy when I write it like that :lol:


sorry to argue but :lol:
if I leave it like that when I give it to people to listen to it sounds really quiet:/

Dont know why but it seemed to make sense if I made my master volumn the same as other tunes and try and mix everything so it sounds the same. I am not putting things in the red but they are quite close:)
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Postby james fox » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:31 pm

mix it down to -4db, then put a decent limiter on it before you play it to people to get the level up.
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Postby serox » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:39 pm

james fox wrote:mix it down to -4db, then put a decent limiter on it before you play it to people to get the level up.


I am not sure where I am limiting it too cos I am doing it in reason (no numbers). All I know is that its out of the red and I hear no distortion.

If I was going to be giving the tune to a ME then I wouldn't limit at all.
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Postby djake » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:59 pm

this thread is gold :D
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