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Gswitz

Noise hints at relative track volume

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I record bands and mix down song after song, basically using the last song as a template for the next. I copy the project, delete the audio from the last song and paste in the normalized audio for the next song.

Adjusting drums so the different toms are at the right relative volumes to each other can be a challenge since all the toms are not always hit hard so normalization changes relative volumes. Sometimes a vocal that should be more in the background is too loud. I twiddle the faders until I get it close to what I want and call it a day.

Like a goldfish lapping a small tank and re-discovering the same castle again and again, today I noticed that the background noise on the Toms can be a guide for how to set the level relative to each other, then move the volume for the toms as a group to the right place. This helps keep me from over emphasizing one tom randomly because it isn't hit very often.

This may be obvious to everyone already, but today I felt like it was useful and not something I think I've ever put into words.

This is the mix I'm working on...

http://gswitz.blob.core.windows.net/tunes/20181216_Roadhouse.html

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Just slap Sausage Fattener on there and crank it to the max. No need to adjust anything after that.

 

Disclaimer: I am just kidding. Sincere apologies to any beginners who might be misled into taking such horrible advice seriously. What I meant to say was "slap on BBE Sonic Maximizer and you can avoid having to learn how to mix. altogether"

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1 hour ago, bitflipper said:

Just slap Sausage Fattener on there and crank it to the max. No need to adjust anything after that.

 

Disclaimer: I am just kidding. Sincere apologies to any beginners who might be misled into taking such horrible advice seriously. What I meant to say was "slap on BBE Sonic Maximizer and you can avoid having to learn how to mix. altogether"

That made my day.  (I do use BBE on certain recordings.  It was great in the old cassette days.  I used it on every thing).

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I just Bought the BBE Sonic Sweet mostly because years ago I owned the old Aural Exciter with Big Bottom. 

Anyhow it certainly sounding better if you use just a little bit. 

On sale right now cheap enough. 

Question.. are you tool copying your tracks to a wave editor or are you using Sonars normalizer? 

I always tool copy into Wave lab because I can then analyze the RMS level as well as ask what the peak value is before  normalizing. 

Cakewalks Normalizer is sort of working blind for me. 

 

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My actions are very memorized.

I load @4 hours of sixteen tracks into a single master sonar project. The last song done is obvious because it was normalized.

I mark and split clips before and after the song I'm going to work on.

I select all between markers (by select all then clicking the ruler between the markers) and bounce to clips.

I select all between markers  and normalize to -3 dB peak.

In windows explorer, I copy the last song folder and rename the project file and folder to the name of the new tune.

I open the new project and i see all the audio and settings for the last song.

Select all and delete twice to ensure I get it all regardless of whether focus was on clips.

Save and close.

Delete all audio from the audio folder for the new song.

Re open the new project.

Paste all audio in to the new protect from master project.

Move the now time to the middle of the song and set the tempo by tapping so i have it for tempo sync delays.

Do volume and gain automation on all vocal channels. Any that have no vocals get muted.

Manually remove silence from Tom tracks by splitting around the hits and muting the clips with no hits. I drag the fade arms in on the beginning and end of the clips.

If i want drum augmentation, I use audio snap and adjust percentage until hits match playing. I usually listen through, enabling and disabling transients. Copy midi and paste into drum synth midi track. I sometimes do this for kick or snare. Rarely do i do it for toms.

I have and old video that might be a little dated for this process.

Finally i listen and adjust levels, measuring peak on the master bus and level in the rme digicheck ebu meter.

I might raise guitars during leads.

If I'm hitting my ebu level... -12 or -14 and not limiting, i back off compression until i use all the headroom. Conversely, if the limiter is hitting too hard and i can hear it, i apply mspectral compressor (Multiband compression) to tighten the mix before the limiter.

Edited by Gswitz

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This video was from 2013 and my process today is a bit better. See above text.

Edited by Gswitz

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The efficiency is important, but so is my ability to come back and make changes later.

At 2 hours per song, a thirty song night is 60 hours of mixing. At 4 hours a song, 120 hours.

Being efficient means more listens before I move on.

Having a different project for each song means that as the band listens or a car-listen i can come back and make changes without impacting any other song.

Space is minimized as well. Once mixed, I can delete the master project because the per song projects have all the audio.

Those video bounces aren't hard but they are slow. 10 minutes to save a video, 30 minutes to upload to YouTube. When I change the mix, I want to do it again.

Edited by Gswitz

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I made and updated video. Actually I caught a bug on the video related to flipping between projects fast. At least I think it's a bug.  Anyway, the idea is captured.

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