Old 11-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
teleute
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Default Time taken to mix track to release quality?

So I'm producing an EP for a band, it had already been recorded before I got involved, I'm just tasked with producing it / mixing it down.

By mixing I mean up to a release / radio quality track with all the trimming rather than just a quick demo mix.

I've done this plenty of times for mates bands but this is for a local label and its a paying gig.

I'm estimating on each track taking 10 - 15 hours to do, and so far my estimate seems to be holding up.

So I'm just curious if this seems like a reasonable amount of timer per track.

Its not the most complicated set up
2 guitars, 2 mics on each
1 bass
6 mics on the drums
2 vocals

There's been quite a bit of work getting the drums sounding good to as they were really not well recorded, and the vocals have needed a lot of manually de'ssing too, but overall its sounding good so far.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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10 hours plus 45 minutes fine tuning the next day is totally reasonable IMO. 15 hours seems quite a lot - except there's heavy timing correction involved.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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Yeah, editing and mixing are two different jobs. I think most people figure a day per song for a mix, but it really depends on just about everything else.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
teleute
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Not so much timing correction but the drums sound like the overheads were an inch from the crash and the kick track, except for the transients, has more snare and crash on it than kick, im still at a loss to explaining what the engineer did to get it that bad, so getting them to sound good took a fair amount of time and trickery. That said though whilst the first track has gone over 10 hours with all the repair experimentation, the others are all so far well under 10 hours.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #5
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The tracks that I have been able to actually finish took from about 40 hours from first "okay, let's see what happens when I hit the record button" to final "this mix is okay enough for now stop messing with it". About 1/3rd scratch takes and dialing in the tones/parts/layers/instruments/arrangement/melodies etc I want, 1/3rd actually recording them and doing vocals, then 1/3rd trying to get the mix to the point where I only hate it about 10% of the time.

So, 10-15 hours for each portion of the project, depending on various factors.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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So sounds like I'm in the right general area then. Which is nice to know.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #7
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(grin) Here, let me lend you my piece of string to measure.....

I have one track that has been in the gestation period since the 1970s.

Actually finished writing the final version a year ago and I am STILL trying to nail the right feel.

But if I am really motivated I can mix a track and render it to a stereo file I dont actually hate in about a day
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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I prefer to do all editing as its own task, since it is often left brain oriented. Then I can switch gears and move to what I appreciate as a more right brain activity: mixing. Sure there is some back and forth, but for my personality and workflow, I really appreciate a clear division.

I think that your estimates are fair.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:12 AM   #9
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I tend to flip between the two states the whole time as mixing throws up the need for edits, and I don't like to edit anything until I have at least a rough mix so I can hear everything in context.

But as you say its just personal preference, and so far this thread does seem to suggest that despite people having different work flows we all tend to get there roughly the same in the end.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:00 PM   #10
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In the first studio I worked in we had to edit first as it was 100% analog, splicing tape with razor blades. If we had a client that could afford it we would spend maybe 6 hours comping a track. Mixing, again 100% analog, usually was around 4 hours per song - if it wasn't ready by that point it got put aside until the next day and we would work on something else. They had a fair amount of outboard but the limited choices meant you always knew exactly what to reach for and worked fast, automation is quick too if you can grab 8 faders at once. I've never been able to get a workflow going in the box that comes close to that quick, and once I left that studio and moved further away from analog, mixing became a much longer process. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty I don't miss about that way of working, but it's never been as fast or fun since I stopped being able to gate, EQ and compress a track in about 30 seconds flat

The last few mixes I've done (a while ago now) were around 8 hours not counting editing.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:53 AM   #11
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Yeah there definitely is a trade off, I trained at college on a big SSL desk and a room full of shiny boxes and 2 inch reel to reel, and getting things sounding good took mostly a few flicks of a dial, or a patch lead. Having all those dials to hand makes everything so much quicker and easier, but the cost and space required makes it incredibly expensive too. So it does take longer to work in the box, but I think the trade-off is more than fair. There is no way I could afford a proper old school studio set up that comes even close to what I can do with a good spec'd PC at home.

I may one day get myself a decent control surface though, I’ve tried little midi fader boxes but a mouse and keyboard beats them every time, I guess I need something that feels like a proper desk.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #12
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Unless you have a bus to catch or the client stops paying then it takes as long as it takes
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleute View Post
Yeah there definitely is a trade off, I trained at college on a big SSL desk and a room full of shiny boxes and 2 inch reel to reel, and getting things sounding good took mostly a few flicks of a dial, or a patch lead. Having all those dials to hand makes everything so much quicker and easier, but the cost and space required makes it incredibly expensive too. So it does take longer to work in the box, but I think the trade-off is more than fair. There is no way I could afford a proper old school studio set up that comes even close to what I can do with a good spec'd PC at home.

I may one day get myself a decent control surface though, I’ve tried little midi fader boxes but a mouse and keyboard beats them every time, I guess I need something that feels like a proper desk.
If I was still mixing for money I would get a Slate MTI (or Raven if I was making lots of money). It's the only thing I've seen that could allow such intuitive and fast paced work, the next best thing to having real faders and knobs and without spending lots of time assigning all the controls - see it, grab it, tweak it. I'd love one, but I only mix my own stuff at the moment so I could never get it past the wife
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #14
Andy Hamm
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This depends. If you have 10 songs, all recorded by the same band in the same room by the same tech, you don't necessarily have to dial everything in individually on each track, you can get your drum sounds right globaly and then do final tweeking for each song.

But, it depends, it just takes as long as it takes.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:25 PM   #15
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Default I agree with Andy Hamm

It depends.

Really, on the quality of the takes, and ones experience with the equipment.

I've seen experienced engineers take only an hour or two on a mix, take a break, come back and do another hour, and when you hear it, there's no question its finished.

Then again, I've seen people take two weeks on one track.

It takes as long as it takes
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