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Author Topic: Breaks when Mixing  (Read 3063 times)

  • *****
April 04, 2011, 04:53:55 PM
I'm reading Mike Senior's book, and in it he talks a bit about taking regular 'ear breaks' to reset your hearing and get objectivity back. He quotes a few different mix engineers, and while I do try to take regular breaks, these guys are taking way more, and longer than I have in the past. Russ Elevado is quoted as saying he'll work 20 minutes, then take 20 minutes to rest, when working on a dense or difficult mix.

What's your break routine? I usually take a break when I feel like nothing I do is helping, or everything sounds bad! I am going to try enforcing a more regular break routine though, and see if it boosts my productivity, as well as getting better results.

  • ****
April 04, 2011, 06:47:16 PM
It used to be the time it took to go outside and smoke a cig.

Now it's the time it takes to brew a cuppa.

In the alternative, in the evenings, it's always also been the time it takes to mix a martoonie.

So, that amount of time, every hour or so ...

  • **
April 04, 2011, 11:01:31 PM
Its difficult, I get really into mixdowns and hate to go for a break however I have noticed that if I go for a break, I feel a lot fresher and the mix seems to fit better, i.e. I hear what needs changing quicker than when I have listened intensly for a long time.

If I go for a break, its usually half an hour or so and not just 5 mins. I am forcing myself to do it more and more.
Cubase V5 with Yamaha N12

April 05, 2011, 05:03:11 AM
Hi,

I work at the beginning for about 2 to 2.5 hours at a stretch, then a 15 minute break or so. This is to get the rough shape of the song in order. Usually my very first rough mix, if the producer has not heard all the overdubs, or has not had the time to edit the arrangement (typical scenario), I'll simply make a great sounding static mix for him to listen to and then make his arrangement decisions.
At the end of the mix, it might get into 1 hour or less, then a break to reset the ears, then back in again. this is where we get into 0.5 dB adjustments on certain phrases, etc. once we get to this point, it takes longer, simply because I do not want to overmix it. Usually I will do no more than a few (4-3) of these minute hair splitting adjustments, and then it's done.
When I mix with a producer, we will take turns at the last leg of the mixing, so we can both hone in on different aspects of the song. the producer might mute or unmute a part, and then I'll massage the mix to make those changes he made sound great.

OK, Back to mixing...

Cheers

  • **
April 13, 2011, 09:16:40 PM
I naturally get a break every hour or so when Sonar crashes  ::)

CD
We never finish a mix - We simply abandon them.  Adam A7's , Focusrite Pro24 DSP, Focusrite LiquidMix, Presonus FaderPort, Sennheiser HD250 Linear II

April 13, 2011, 09:42:31 PM

I usually take a break when I get sick of hearing the song or if I cant think of anything creative to do with the mix or perhaps some stems are giving me some problems.

My # 1 hurdle is Overheads and room and how to properly blend the whole kit...Its definately the toughest part of mixing for me...Ive recently started to automate the OH's and room and its definately helping...how to "properly" eq and compress overheads is still a mystery for me right now and usually my # 1 reason for taking a break... :(


June 04, 2011, 09:01:37 PM
I'm reading Mike Senior's book, and in it he talks a bit about taking regular 'ear breaks' to reset your hearing and get objectivity back. He quotes a few different mix engineers, and while I do try to take regular breaks, these guys are taking way more, and longer than I have in the past. Russ Elevado is quoted as saying he'll work 20 minutes, then take 20 minutes to rest, when working on a dense or difficult mix.

What's your break routine? I usually take a break when I feel like nothing I do is helping, or everything sounds bad! I am going to try enforcing a more regular break routine though, and see if it boosts my productivity, as well as getting better results.

Always take breaks, take them as frequently as YOU need them. I really get into my mixes and I focus like a laser beam on a gnat from outer space lol, so I tend to just take a break when I start messing up a bit, have a hot meal and some water, come back to it in an hour or so. Whenever my ears feel back to mix status basically.

In the real world, mixing is not cheap nor free, not lightning quick so people need to start understanding breaks are part of the mixing process, fatigue sets in, thus altering your perception when mixing, it's a process and it's not always a quick one. If artists want great mixes, they'll listen to their engineers, if they don't, they'll proceed to bug and push for a quicker release at significantly reduced quality.

  • ****
June 04, 2011, 11:12:36 PM
One of the few things I miss about smoking is the mandatory hourly break ...

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  • *
June 12, 2011, 10:52:44 PM
i try and break as much as i can when i mix, ive always found coming back and listening with a clear set of ears allows you to pick out any flaws or elements that you have missed.

usually only 10 mins here or there mind so you don't lose the vibe you are in

  • **
June 24, 2011, 01:06:13 AM
I work in chunks as well.  30 mins on, walk away for a 5-10 minutes.  Rinse and repeat.  It's amazing how often I'll hear things right away after coming off a break that I wasn't previously