Old 11-13-2017, 09:19 AM   #1
deeb
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Default Presence in a mix?

The mixes that i like they sound much more airy and crisp then my mixes.
I am not sure still how to achieve this.

I am doing some experiences trying to achieve this but i still can't.

- In the context of electronic music: i am doing much more narrow equalization (almost like band pass exactly what i want to hear from each element

- more panned elements to mid- high elements

- common Reverb/ delays Sends for mid - high range

- I am aware i should boost some mid high frequencies in order to achieve more presence.

What else should i be aware and learn?

Thank you !
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:43 AM   #2
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It would be helpful if you post a snippet of one of your mixes, so we can hear what you mean. That being said, my guess would be that the low end of your mix is taking up too much energy. Especially if you use softsynths, they create much low end rumble. Rolling of these frequencies like you already mention is a good idea, but if you use very steep filters, you can still get a 'boomy' low end. I do a little mastering and to fix a mix like that, I'll grab a multi band compressor, and compress the low end more than the mids and highs. Of course it would be better to fix it in the mix. Some years ago I got inspired by a thread on gearslutz to recreate what would happen with a hardware chain: with each effect a little low end gets rolled off using a low shelf filter, a preamp, a compressor, console and tape. As for 'air', you should look for an EQ that doesn't sound harsh when boosting generously. Here's a link to the gearslutz thread, it's an interesting read:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-m...-restored.html
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:03 AM   #3
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- I am aware i should boost some mid high frequencies in order to achieve more presence.

What else should i be aware and learn?
The possibility that it has enough presence already but being covered up by other instruments that when all play together create low-mid muddiness. I would confirm/find that first if it exists and cut there before boosting high end.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mplay View Post
As for 'air', you should look for an EQ that doesn't sound harsh when boosting generously. Here's a link to the gearslutz thread, it's an interesting read:
Low end mud notwithstanding, this is a fantastic EQ for high-end sheen - http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-vos-slickeq/
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:28 PM   #5
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Thank you all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mplay View Post
It would be helpful if you post a snippet of one of your mixes, so we can hear what you mean. That being said, my guess would be that the low end of your mix is taking up too much energy. Especially if you use softsynths, they create much low end rumble. Rolling of these frequencies like you already mention is a good idea, but if you use very steep filters, you can still get a 'boomy' low end. I do a little mastering and to fix a mix like that, I'll grab a multi band compressor, and compress the low end more than the mids and highs. Of course it would be better to fix it in the mix. Some years ago I got inspired by a thread on gearslutz to recreate what would happen with a hardware chain: with each effect a little low end gets rolled off using a low shelf filter, a preamp, a compressor, console and tape. As for 'air', you should look for an EQ that doesn't sound harsh when boosting generously. Here's a link to the gearslutz thread, it's an interesting read:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-m...-restored.html
Thank you mplay. Nice thread !Here are 2 different style examples: first one with added distortion on the master (i don't know if it is supposed ..)

https://clyp.it/hlbwin20?token=a4400...fb0cfcba5ebf7c

https://clyp.it/vxy1grae?token=4e56b...2d610e9e9216fa


Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
The possibility that it has enough presence already but being covered up by other instruments that when all play together create low-mid muddiness. I would confirm/find that first if it exists and cut there before boosting high end.
better Eq decisions must have a big role. I guess This probably one of the most difficult part to learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobU View Post
Low end mud notwithstanding, this is a fantastic EQ for high-end sheen - http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-vos-slickeq/
thanks Robu. Installed this seems on spot for the issue! i 'll try later on material.

Last edited by deeb; 11-14-2017 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:03 AM   #6
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Thank you all!

Thank you mplay. Nice thread !Here are 2 different style examples: first one with added distortion on the master (i don't know if it is supposed ..)

https://clyp.it/hlbwin20?token=a4400...fb0cfcba5ebf7c
Nice bouncy track ! There is a lot of sub-bass going on there, and it does dominate the mix a little.

This is a different style of EDM, but see what you think in terms of mix - https://soundcloud.com/neverbeeninar...anny-of-choice
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:40 AM   #7
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You seem to be almost there, very nice work! I agree with Robu that the first mix is a bit too bass heavy. I would probably use a separate buss to process the bass and kick together. The kick seems to be getting a little lost under the huge bass. A trick I like is to sidechain the bass to the kick, but also send a non-sidechained bass through a reverb (100% wet, just audible and with a high pass to filter out much of the lows.)

Another thing I'd mention is that for low frequency content, the way it's perceived is important. You can get away with cutting more low frequencies if you add more harmonics with distortion/saturation. This also greatly helps translate a mix onto small/crappy speakers which won't be able to produce low frequencies at all.

I'm also heavily invested in acustica audio Nebula, which to me can really help give a mix that polished 'sounds like a record' feel. I'd be happy to run your tracks through my mastering chain, using some Nebula console, tape, eq's and compressors. Drop me a pm if you're interested

Last edited by mplay; 11-15-2017 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RobU View Post
Nice bouncy track ! There is a lot of sub-bass going on there, and it does dominate the mix a little.

This is a different style of EDM, but see what you think in terms of mix - https://soundcloud.com/neverbeeninar...anny-of-choice
Nice work man! :Thumbsup:
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by deeb View Post
better Eq decisions must have a big role. I guess This probably one of the most difficult part to learn.
If we take a bunch of instruments and throw them on tracks and play them together, the low end mud can and often does, just naturally sum up without doing anything. Mostly because depending on instrument choice, that area of the spectrum almost always has a lot of information. That's what I was talking about - you don't really need to make any bad decisions for this to happen. Another point is instrument sounds are designed in isolation - in that scenario each needs it's own low end - however, if we suddenly mix them all together, each can survive with less low end usually because they all participate together.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
If we take a bunch of instruments and throw them on tracks and play them together, the low end mud can and often does, just naturally sum up without doing anything. Mostly because depending on instrument choice, that area of the spectrum almost always has a lot of information. That's what I was talking about - you don't really need to make any bad decisions for this to happen. Another point is instrument sounds are designed in isolation - in that scenario each needs it's own low end - however, if we suddenly mix them all together, each can survive with less low end usually because they all participate together.
Amen to that!

And this is why I've started to compose and arrange my songs differently, OUTSIDE of the DAW, even before recording anything.

Twenty years of playing guitar and signing by the campfire make for a great night for people, but can make for a boring muddy mix in the studio. Note, this does not apply if the goal is to record a guitar and vocal piece that aims to recreate the campfire dynamic.

But, it took me a while to figure out that slapping a bass on top of my guitar/vox compositions was not always the best strategy. Never mind adding drums and synth... I'm still learning how to re-arrange my songs so that the guitar, sometimes is played full, but other times I'm only playing the small strings. Heck, I'm even playing inverted chords or putting on the capo and playing them way up there on the guitar neck.

Same goes for the bass. Sometimes, if I know I'll have a synth driving the bottom end along with a full guitar, I might record up the bass riff an octave and have it play there for these bars.

What's more, I may change a strumming pattern to a picking pattern to make room for the vocals in the quiet sections of the song.

I'm clearing the mud way way before anything ever gets recorded. Not always, because I do like the endings of my songs to be very busy and finish that way. Sort of like classical Indian music - starts with slow Alap on the sitar and ends in a crazy fast frenzy of sounds fill the space, letting little room for you to interject, and lifting you up real high...

Anyway, that my little story on a possible way to fix the mud in a song.

Note: All this growth in song writing and arrangement is due to REAPER. This DAW is taking me to new places I never would of gone without. Glory to REAPER and the generosity of the makers and all who have crossed its path.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #11
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What's more, I may change a strumming pattern to a picking pattern to make room for the vocals in the quiet sections of the song.
That's precisely the right way to think about it. Believe it or not, great sounding recordings often sound great simply because those who wrote and played the music took care of this at composition time - often not even realizing they did it as all they are thinking about is what sounds good and don't necessarily need to make the technical mental connection. Sometimes that the "it" that separates an OK and a great band with otherwise equally technically sufficient players.

If a group of musicians compose a bunch of parts to create a song and all they are thinking of is their part, their favorite tone etc. - which is very common for newer musicians - mixing them can be incredibly difficult because none of this was taken care of during the writing phase and now everything is stomping on everything else - cue 1 million threads with tips and tricks as to how to carve out room for stuff that would have never needed carving had it been orchestrated from a "sonically serve the song" perspective to begin with. That song vs individual focus can be very difficult to get a grip on since we are all by nature usually emotionally attached to our art and we fall in love with some motif we love that in reality is destructive to the song as a whole.

When the more pro/seasoned musicians record songs and have done this as part of what they do, mixing is more about just turning it up and not screwing up what is there.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
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Case in point:


Taken from: Fleetwood Mac 'Go Your Own Way'

By Richard Buskin

https://www.soundonsound.com/people/...o-your-own-way

(EQ carving and song arrangement were important factors on the final sound of the album...)

"While the songwriting and performances were obviously central to the album's success, the production and engineering cannot be discounted. And this is particularly true with regard to how the instruments not only blend together but also retain their own space, courtesy of Dashut and Caillat ensuring that each was allotted its own place within the frequency spectrum.

"We had a lot of time to dial everything in, and the band members were incredibly tolerant," Caillat says. "But then again, if you think about how we started, with them asking us to be their ears, that was just a natural progression. When we were recording Rumours, Christine would ask, 'How does everything sound, Ken? Did you like this take better than that take?' and sometimes I'd say, 'Y'know, Chris, I'm having trouble hearing the keyboard and the guitar.' The first time I said that, I didn't really know what I meant, but she said, 'Oh... Yeah, you're right, Ken. We're playing in the same register. Why don't I invert the keyboard down a third and get out of Lindsey's way?' Which is what she did and it worked brilliantly. After that I'd go, 'Hey, you know, you two guys are playing in the same spot. One of you should go up or down, so let's figure out who's going to take which frequency.'"

...
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:19 PM   #13
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The better way to archieve presence in a mix, is by making it more dynamic...
presence is basicly a definition for something that stands out... you want elements
to stand out from others at the right time, but mostly you want every key element on your track to be well balanced...

how do you archieve this? there are many ways to do it, depends a lot on the type of elements you intend to mix..

percussive elements tend to stand out with good snaping compression... you want them to be sharp when played to stand out in the mix, but you dont want the percussive sounds to make other things blury or muddy...

so you need to EQ and use use some compression tricks, like the sidechain compression
also known as NY compression...

the use of Sends (usualy reverb and chorus are better used in BUSS sends) is also very good to add detail and presence to elements such as keys and leads)

mixing is all about earing, you need to archieve well trained ears to be cappable of doing good mixes, your room and speakers is also part of this, as well as the headphones you use...

But a great professional mixing is a combination of knoledge, tools and talent.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:29 PM   #14
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I have been learning a lot from this thread. i am getting answers from my self too with your answers on this topic! big thank to you all! my next mix will be better Wawawaweee!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobU View Post
Nice bouncy track ! There is a lot of sub-bass going on there, and it does dominate the mix a little.

This is a different style of EDM, but see what you think in terms of mix - https://soundcloud.com/neverbeeninar...anny-of-choice
Thanks! i feel i can't remove bass it works as a driver , the purpose is to be heard on Funktion one :P
https://i2.wp.com/www.jumble.blue/wp...fit=1024%2C811

I have heard this tune I liked it, specially when voice starts grunging! in terms of mix sounds very clear ! you have more sensibility on eq and maybe is mastered which i know very little!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mplay View Post
... but also send a non-sidechained bass through a reverb (100% wet, just audible and with a high pass to filter out much of the lows.)
Thank you! i will try that : ) i am curious !



Quote:
Originally Posted by mplay View Post
I'm also heavily invested in acustica audio Nebula, which to me can really help give a mix that polished 'sounds like a record' feel. I'd be happy to run your tracks through my mastering chain, using some Nebula console, tape, eq's and compressors. Drop me a pm if you're interested
When i am finished doing my them i'll probably do that ! thanks a lot mplay! we will keep in touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
If we take a bunch of instruments and throw them on tracks and play them together, the low end mud can and often does, just naturally sum up without doing anything. Mostly because depending on instrument choice, that area of the spectrum almost always has a lot of information. That's what I was talking about - you don't really need to make any bad decisions for this to happen. Another point is instrument sounds are designed in isolation - in that scenario each needs it's own low end - however, if we suddenly mix them all together, each can survive with less low end usually because they all participate together.
I get what your saying! i am assuming that i always have to equalize (in Electronic music) and so if not well equalized it was my decisions that gone wrong : )


Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
I'm clearing the mud way way before anything ever gets recorded. Not always, because I do like the endings of my songs to be very busy and finish that way. Sort of like classical Indian music - starts with slow Alap on the sitar and ends in a crazy fast frenzy of sounds fill the space, letting little room for you to interject, and lifting you up real high...

Anyway, that my little story on a possible way to fix the mud in a song.
Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
That's precisely the right way to think about it. Believe it or not, great sounding recordings often sound great simply because those who wrote and played the music took care of this at composition time - often not even realizing they did it as all they are thinking about is what sounds good and don't necessarily need to make the technical mental connection. Sometimes that the "it" that separates an OK and a great band with otherwise equally technically sufficient players.
nice insights! you talking about arranging techniques and musicality as a natural step for natural equalization. It is a bit poetic but it is true. Instruments with good player and beautiful arrange everything working for the whole! is a magic combination.
I will try to remember this every time i play or record : D
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeb View Post
Thanks! i feel i can't remove bass it works as a driver , the purpose is to be heard on Funktion one :P
https://i2.wp.com/www.jumble.blue/wp...fit=1024%2C811
With those babies, you will likely be heard in the next country...

If you don't want to cut the bass, try mplay's suggestion of a sidechain from kick to bass, ReaComp works well for this.

You could also try a dynamic EQ to selectively duck the kick's fundamental frequency - TDR Nova can do this, and it's free http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/

R
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeb View Post
Thanks! i feel i can't remove bass it works as a driver , the purpose is to be heard on Funktion one :P
Another option is to apply a generous low-cut to just the sides (of the M/S matrix) to the kick and bass, or at least the master. There's no good reason to have any stereo info at 60Hz; mono down there will tighten up everything, as all the subs will be pumping in unison. [If you're mixing on headphones, it may sound bass light, but I promise it will tighten it up!]

I'd suggest Tokyo Dawn's Nova, and I believe the free version has M/S processing. Set it to side only and low cut as desired around 200-400 HZ, depending on how steep the cutoff is. It will make a difference!

Also, as RobU [edit: and mplay] pointed out, sidechain the bass with the kick. It will bring out the kick a lot without any real sacrifices; the two sound like they're overlapping pretty hard, but this method lets them occupy the same frequency range, and also give the kick room to thump. Waves F6 is _beautiful_ for this, and is a great general-purpose EQ as well.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeb View Post
- In the context of electronic music: i am doing much more narrow equalization (almost like band pass exactly what i want to hear from each element
...
- I am aware i should boost some mid high frequencies in order to achieve more presence.
If both are true (and it sounds like they are), you could start by bringing those things up in the mix. (I'm reluctant to use too much additive EQ, but that might be a bit old-school of me.) Using a dynamic EQ or split-band compressor will allow you to brighten up any element (at any frequency range); find a good tool or two there, and you'll be greatly rewarded.

Otherwise, if you keep having issues with mixing, whip out a couple of reference tracks and a/b compare (make sure to level-match if you can). It will be revealing.
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricciardo View Post
The better way to archieve presence in a mix, is by making it more dynamic...
presence is basicly a definition for something that stands out... you want elements
to stand out from others at the right time, but mostly you want every key element on your track to be well balanced...

how do you archieve this? there are many ways to do it, depends a lot on the type of elements you intend to mix..

percussive elements tend to stand out with good snaping compression... you want them to be sharp when played to stand out in the mix, but you dont want the percussive sounds to make other things blury or muddy...

so you need to EQ and use use some compression tricks, like the sidechain compression
also known as NY compression...

the use of Sends (usualy reverb and chorus are better used in BUSS sends) is also very good to add detail and presence to elements such as keys and leads)

mixing is all about earing, you need to archieve well trained ears to be cappable of doing good mixes, your room and speakers is also part of this, as well as the headphones you use...

But a great professional mixing is a combination of knoledge, tools and talent.
Sidechain compression is NOT NY compression. Other words for NY compression is parallel compresion or Bus compression.

For reverb on sends it's a good idea to put an eq afterwards so you can sculpt the frequencies removing some low end high end to taste or to fit the mix. It can also be used in series on the same channel without sending to an aux bus. But the reverb idealy has a mix knob or you could use Reaper's mix knob found on every plugin window very practicle. Idealy the reverb used like this has it's own eq.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:18 AM   #19
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i will try all what has being said ! thank you so much!
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:55 PM   #20
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I've found that adding some Stillwell Bad Bus mojo (available as JS in Reaper) and Transient controller adds a welcome amount of presence and liveliness.
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