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willard cottrell

Audio mix down -- novice ?'s

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I had a friend tutoring me w/ audio, but unfortunately he has been sidetracked lately.   Well, for 6 mos actually.  I doubt I'll have access again.  I've been on my own just as I was starting to understand a little!?!

1.  I remember he'd have me take midi trks and record them as stereo into the audio .  Then he would take them back to mono after bouncing them.  Never understood that nor was experienced enough to question the process.

2.  He would use a process to create silence between inactive sections within the bounced trk, why?  Should I?

3.  I can understand a mono trk  I believe, if using a solo instrument or section.   But, I occasionally use ensembles (GPO5, orchestral comp). Why make this mono?   I don't remember that he did this or even suggested it (getting foggy at 75).  Should or can the two be present in the mix down?

3a  Ancillary to that, how does pan fit into the process.  For ex, if I use a full string ensemble, does pan influence the balance?  I'd say yes intuitively.

4.  Is there a concise tutorial suggesting a process after the input portion - ie all midi trks ready to go in terms of balance, EQ, volume etc?   I use orch stuff primarily and don't know if there is an actual difference in technique from current pop music mixing ideas.

I appreciate any help.

 

Willard

 

 

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Well, I don't do orchestration, but the inserting of silence between the "notes" seems like a long way around just selecting the area between the notes and hitting delete, if you want complete silence. Maybe I missed something.

Also, why record in stereo if your final goal is mono? Just record in mono.

Lastly, there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to music (or any art form). If you think something works/sounds better doing it a certain way, then do it that way.

I remember years ago when I was in the biz, I would read most of the articles in Mix magazine. I remember within the same edition one successful producer said EQ always comes before compression in the signal chain, and in another article another equally successful producer said compression always comes before EQ in the signal chain . I started to realize, we all put our own little twist on how we do things, and that's what makes it art!

I'm sure if you search YouTube you can find some great tutoring.

That's my .02c

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May I suggest the Groove 3 video series, Sonar Mixing Tutorial.  https://www.groove3.com/tutorials/mixing-with-sonar

YouTube videos are great.  I watch a ton!  But it's easy to waste time viewing a video with bad information or on information you don't need.  The way Groove 3 video series are organized is just as important to comprehension as the video itself.

There are 36 videos in this series that time out to 5 hours, 27 minutes and 24 seconds total viewing time.  $30 US and you can download the videos and view online or offline as you desire.  Load them onto a tablet or e-reader and you have a wonderful resource that you can also use as  a quick refresher and reference as you try things on your own.

The other deal they offer is $15 US for online only access to everything Groove 3  offers for a month.

 

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Howdy.

+1 on the value of YouTube tutorial videos. I've learned a lot from them. Do a search on how to mix whatever genre you're trying to learn to mix. You don't spell it out. Cinematic scores? Show tunes? Pop?

The default seems to be synthetically-produced pitch-corrected R&B-tinged vocal pop, whereas my deal leans more toward indie rock recorded with instruments you have to stick microphones in front of, so I've had to sit through a lot of music that ain't exactly my thing and interpolate.

Another +1 on remembering that mixing is an art and as such, every person's opinion is just that, including your buddy's, and razor's, Jim's and mine.

As far as your questions about mixing orchestral instruments, personally I would not use ensemble samples in mono. I mean, they go to great pains to record these things in big concert halls with expensive equipment so that it will sound authentic in stereo. That goes for the solo instruments as well.

There are some contexts when using orchestral samples where I might squash them down to mono, especially a solo instrument, if I wanted to use my own reverb on it to make it sound more like it's in the room with my band or something.

Everyone's workflow is different. It sounds like your friend likes to bounce his MIDI virtual instruments to audio tracks early in the process, maybe to conserve memory. That's also known as "freezing." I don't use very many tracks, so I just let my MIDI tracks stay that way until mixdown. I like to mess around with the instrument sounds themselves.

Noise between sounds is something that we audio recordists need to be concerned about. Mostly things that vocalists do. Breath noises, lip smacks. If you're doing virtual instruments (MIDI) only, it's not a thing.

Panning will affect the balance of instruments in an ensemble sample. To hear the extent of it....listen! Put on your best set of studio cans and turn the pan pot and check the effect.

Hope this helps, hope we see more of you.

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