suggestions for a procedure to mix
Hi all, I just finished recording 15 songs with 2-5 tracks each of vocals and acoustic guitars. Now I need to make it sound nice and was hoping for a brief explanation (or a place to find one) of what to do next. For instance, eq each track, or just the mix, how to keep the tracks sounding the same from one to another etc. Thanks in advance!! Jon
The answer is one I hate to say - use your ears. I hate that answer because everyone’s ears are subjective. You can do a search on “Mastering audio” and come up with a lot of suggestions. Two sites (and software) to look at are Ozone and Harbal. Both have some good reading that you will learn from. I would recommend Ozone 3 or 4 to anyone who is serious about distributing their music. www.audiominds.com has some giid reading that can be accessed from their home page.
That said: a some things I can suggest:
n-Track can do non-distructive editing. That means you can mix and remix till your littl’ ears fall off and the origional wave files are kept the same. Experiment!
Move all of the wav files into one sub-directory - I use the name of the song - File > move/rename song. You can use this to put the name of the song at the front of the wave file and put them in a unique named sub-directory that you can always go back to and find all the files.
Play your mixes on more than one set of speakers. What sound great on really good speakers with your woofer and tweeters all working just right, can sound terrible on a simpler system. Cars systems are a good test.
Don’t listen at the same volume - I mix at about 75 db, (some say 85 should be used), but make it a point to play the mix back at different volumes when you have something you like. The human ear responds differently to different sound levels.
Finally, we are back where we started. Who is your audience? Are you happy with the sound/mix? To me, that’s the winner.
Here is the guide for Ozone. The information can be used with the features you have in n-Tracks. It really is a good document for learning about the answers to the questions you asked.
HOpe this helps,
Download the PDF from this link…
PS Use your ears!
EDIT: Posted better link to PDF…
Thanks for your quick responses and links, they are helpfull!
untill the DAW developers supply ALL of us with a set of universal monitors, what you hear on your monitors will not sound the same on another set - so before you start take your base sounds and play then on as many different playback devices as you can - after you have heard your untreated songs on different systems you will come up with an idea of what is required to mix a universal (RADIO) mix that sounds great across the board -
Yup - mixing for Lo-Fi seems to be growing. 'cus most people are listening on ipods and such. 300hz to 3khz.
A simple thing that I use for every mix of mine is to make sure that I play the song and “Move to different areas while the song is playing”.
Hit play and walk from room to room. Remember…most listeners don’t sit in one spot and listen (unless in the car). The advice of “Use your ears” has to be the most simple and one that yields the most results. Only YOU know when YOU sound the best !
Good luck and have fun with this…
I use a step process that seems to work well. Once the tracks are recorded, I try to get the best sound I can without using any effectors, just pan and track levels. I listen for volume drop-offs and swells, then use auto-volume, or compressors to make everything even where it needs to be. Then I start tweaking the EQ of each track while listening to the whole mix - a piece of advice I got from this forum many years ago - Never EQ a track while listening to it soloed! What sounds best for one guitar (for example) seldom sounds best when that guitar is part of an ensemble. I usually like different tracks to have different reverbs, so I add those next. Once this mix sounds right, then I mix down, but without using any master channel effects. I find it easiest to add master EQ, compression, and reverb to a master 2-track. Sometimes you do something in mastering that makes you realize one instrument or vocal needs to be pulled back, or pushed, a bit, and it is easy to go back to the original song, tweak, then re-mixdown.
first link posted by bax Bubba.
Great stuff, thanks everyone.
send us a link to listen when you finish dog!
first link posted by bax Bubba.
Curse you blindness...
I’m not blind why you cursin me?!
I’ve got a few mixed, where can I post the mp3s?
Hi znurt, if you don’t have a web site to stream your music you can go a few other choices.
Free accounts at
Soundclick - https://www.soundclick.com/community/MemberLogin.cfm?action=register
Motagator - http://www.motagator.net/index.php
Then go to the nTrack music forum here and post a link to your page so everyone can surf in and listen.
You guys rock! Here’s my new Motagator page http://www.motagator.net/Znurtdog//info.php Please give a listen to the 2 tunes I’ve uploaded and let me know what you think.
A little background…
Recorded with 1 Rode NT1 (not 1A) into Tascam US-144 usb interface into amd desktop with stock soundcard (hopefully I’m avoiding that card using the 144)
My friend (I swear) is a solo artist locally and wants to have a cd to hand out as a ‘thank you’ at shows. His wife sings on Leather and Lace with him.
Recorded on N Tracks OF COURSE!!
Did first pass with his drum machine (he controls with foot pedals)and guitar to 2 tracks.
Second and third passes for vocals and that was it. (Thinking about adding bass parts)
We’re trying to keep it fairly simple, and I’m trying to keep mixing simple as well.
Here’s what I’ve done to these tracks;
Master Channel-Reverb (first time I’ve not used Aux sends)
Drum machine- just level, so far
Guitar- Soft Knee comp, default 1.9
Vocals- Soft knee comp, “”
After ‘Mixdown’ in N Tracks I pull up the new file and trim the ends and normalize, though that hasnt’ had any significant boost to the original. Thanks again for your help!