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Author Topic: Getting the Mids Right - Your Tips and Techniques  (Read 10741 times)

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September 17, 2011, 02:24:58 AM
I've also got mixcubes for the mids.

Here's a trick from Bob Clearmountain to get better balance: Play back pink noise with your track, pull it up so your mix almost vanishes and then address what sticks out. Next pull the noise down a little, and adjust everything to make sure you can hear every element well. It can be overdone, but it's a convenient way of achieving better balance. So next time you listen to your mix in the car at high speed there should at least be less surprises.

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September 17, 2011, 03:17:13 AM
I've also got mixcubes for the mids.

Here's a trick from Bob Clearmountain to get better balance: Play back pink noise with your track, pull it up so your mix almost vanishes and then address what sticks out. Next pull the noise down a little, and adjust everything to make sure you can hear every element well. It can be overdone, but it's a convenient way of achieving better balance. So next time you listen to your mix in the car at high speed there should at least be less surprises.

Interesting idea! This is a bit like setting levels with the volume very low, I think.

I think my ears are just sensitive to upper mids, to be honest. I notice the same thing on other monitors, in headphones, etc. It just seems like a lot of modern recording have a ton of 'bite' in that 2k-4k range.  I don't mind it in the background, but when I'm listening at anything above about 50db it starts to sound too harsh to me...

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September 17, 2011, 03:05:16 PM
I think my ears are just sensitive to upper mids, to be honest. I notice the same thing on other monitors, in headphones, etc. It just seems like a lot of modern recording have a ton of 'bite' in that 2k-4k range.  I don't mind it in the background, but when I'm listening at anything above about 50db it starts to sound too harsh to me...

This is totally coming from my intuition, but at this moment it kinda seems to me that this "bite" could be a result of modern mastering where the signal
is severely clipped. And this clipping could perhaps build some some upper mid frequencies. Especially on electric guitars. If I master one of my own mixes
and clip (limit) the signal it seems that the frequency curve transforms slightly and starts to show that sawtooth-like curve exactly on this 2-4 kHz range.

Does anybody has to say anything about this? At best I'm only guessing.......  :-\
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"
http://soundcloud.com/spede-1

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October 19, 2011, 07:56:56 PM
I hate the NS10 but that's one thing it does right. When you've get that 500 - 4K region balanced, you've officially got your record mixed.

I cut a bit lower, scoop 1K out on the master (maybe as much as 3 dB!) with a wide slope, so much it can take a whole octave down to 500 and up to 2K out a whole point too. I just like that modern rock sound.

if it's a dual guitar thing rhythm gat gets a slight low mid push and a high mid cut, and the opposite for the lead, and a pass over about 150 to let the bass breathe.

I try not to EQ the lead vocal too much other than filtering the lows out. I'm just too paranoid to do so. So basically I start from there and try to make everything work around it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 08:07:58 PM by Cereal_Killer »

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October 20, 2011, 04:06:47 PM
On a couple of things I tracked lately, I've used my 1084 clones on the guitars, with a slight boost at 1.7k. For whatever reason this sound much smoother than boosting during mixdown ITB. What I notice on a lot of records is that the guitars just have a certain glassy smoothness to the mids, rather than a grainy, gritty high end. The 1084s have that nice tone, which seems to work well.

Another thing I've started doing lately is a variation on the small speaker test.

I get me mix sounding good, then put a HPF on the master buss at 250hz. I adjust the kick and bass until they sound good in this setting, then start to lower the cutoff freq until the bass or kick starts getting too big. Then, I adjust the eq on them, nothing above 250hz, though. Then, once it's good again, I keep sliding down, and do the adjustment again. This method has help me make mixes that translate nicely, where the kick and bass are clear and smooth even on small speakers, and I can get the mixes louder during my quasi-mastering, which tells me I don't have excess energy in the lower registers. Try it, it works really nicely!

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October 21, 2011, 05:53:03 PM
On a couple of things I tracked lately, I've used my 1084 clones on the guitars, with a slight boost at 1.7k. For whatever reason this sound much smoother than boosting during mixdown ITB. What I notice on a lot of records is that the guitars just have a certain glassy smoothness to the mids, rather than a grainy, gritty high end. The 1084s have that nice tone, which seems to work well.

This might be also just because the boosting EQ is analog as opposed to digital. Some of my teachers talked with about this; that my mixes sound slightly
grainy and it might be just because all my EQ:ing (also the +10 dB boosts that I apply to some tracks) is done totally ITB. Most of the "pros" do have some
outboard EQ:s at hand to do some "boosting" on the way to tape. Since that conversation I try to do the same whenever I have the possibility.
I'd strongly suggest "abusing" the 1084s EQ as much as you can. Crank 'em when you have a chance and a reason! :D
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"
http://soundcloud.com/spede-1

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October 22, 2011, 02:50:05 PM
Damn, that small-speaker mix thing is a cool idear!

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October 23, 2011, 04:53:30 AM
Damn, that small-speaker mix thing is a cool idear!

Try it, and let us know if you find it useful. I feel like my mixes translate a lot better since I started doing it that way, seems like translation is 90% about the low end...

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October 23, 2011, 02:49:55 PM
Aiight.

I use CEP,however, and like the mono test thing, it's a bit of a pain in the posterior as you can't stack busses in CEP.

In practical terms, if I run the vox through a compressor/delay buss, I have to take that off to use the EQ, or a mono-panner, etc.

Alla that said, I have some crappy little Dual-brand indoor/outdoor speakers I flip over to ...

But I will use the small-speaker EQ idear before I put on buss effects!

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October 24, 2011, 04:44:44 AM
Haha, I had to use Google to figure out what CEP was! I'm a mac guy, so haven't used that one. I've been able to do this trick in Cubase and Reaper. Any DAW that supports groups (allows a group to be part of another group, like a subgroup) should be able to do something like this.

I'd never tell someone to change DAWs, but have you tried Reaper? I like it pretty well, now that I'm getting the hang of it!