Old 09-05-2019, 04:31 PM   #41
jelloman
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I need a little help here...(I'm #10)...

Several of you have mentioned that I overcompressed the drums in my mix...admittedly last month I knew I overprocessed a number of tracks, so this month I intentionally used minimal processing throughout the mix...if you looked at my project file you'd see there is virtually no compressor anywhere in the mix doing more than 1-2db of gain reduction...

How can those drums sound compressed if I didn't compress them to any appreciable degree?
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:26 AM   #42
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Thanks Tiny T, Dyl and Dave. You may have ALL in fact hit upon my main issue, monitoring. So I am at a severe disadvantage there as I have either got my AT50 headphones or my Creative Surround Sound (basically small diaphragm surround sound speakers with a sub).

From what I'm hearing my final EQ needs work and of course I'm not doing the same thing that I advocate, using reference tracks. So I think I have a positive direction to take moving forward and I thank you all for that.

Finally to address the comment about listening to a lot of music to hear how instruments are supposed to sound together...on this point I MUST defend myself. I am a LIVE sound engineer, mostly retired now (seeking healthcare and retirement and 401k forced me to take a "real job").

However I have been running sound since I was 16 out of necessity. I got tired of paying some idiot more than I made who couldn't keep the feedback from happening...

I spent 2 years working at a concert destination bar and grill with 5 stages, working as the house soundman. In that time I worked for local, regional, national and international artists. I won't name drop here, but if anyone is really interested you can check out my business page on Facebook at SoundAdviceKC for a small list of the artists I have worked with.

Anyway, the point is...I don't think anyone would've wanted to work with me if I didn't know how to mix LIVE.

Having said all that I am not offended. Just wanted to set that bit right.

So the place to focus here I believe is my monitoring and final EQ which admittedly was boosted on the top with a shelf. Also reference tracks are a must. I'll focus on that and see how I fare next month.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:57 AM   #43
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I've downloaded the August zip file with all the projects in but I cannot figure out how to open them correctly.
I've tried this link but it only applies to one file at a time
http://reaperblog.net/2015/02/video-...offline-files/

If I ignore the missing files I get empty items placed appropriately but I don't know if that's right, should I be doing something before/after this stage?
I've tried the User Guide and the forum but I cannot find anything to save me having to do this 70+ times for every project.
Please tell me there is a simple process.
Also noted that a couple of the projects go into a "render file" condition before all the empty items load. Why?
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:19 AM   #44
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When loading the project files Reaper will tell you what's missing, usually effects. All the effects that aren't ReaFX will be in a folder included, you just need to copy them into your JS folder. I've been able to open all projects I've tried. I downloaded a couple months prior to July (when I started participating) to see what everyone was doing consistently from one project to the next to get an idea of any templates or FX chains and such...
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:55 AM   #45
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Sorry PVinKC I didn't want to offend you, I'm glad you didn't take it too personally
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:56 AM   #46
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I'm now creating the new thread for September, the source files are already on the website
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PVinKC View Post
When loading the project files Reaper will tell you what's missing, usually effects. All the effects that aren't ReaFX will be in a folder included, you just need to copy them into your JS folder. I've been able to open all projects I've tried. I downloaded a couple months prior to July (when I started participating) to see what everyone was doing consistently from one project to the next to get an idea of any templates or FX chains and such...
That's helped with the fx, which I hadn't got to because the audios weren't loading.
Turns out it was because I was trying to do it whilst not using ASIO; just using native Windows stuff (dunno what it is). Now I've connected my soundcard they are loading properly. All except jelloman's, that still won't load up properly.
Well, seems like the September track is about ready to start on...
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by jelloman View Post
How can those drums sound compressed if I didn't compress them to any appreciable degree?
I was curious about this so I grabbed the zip with all the actual projects and took a look. Damn, you really weren't kidding about going minimal on processing. The only spot where I can see the sound of that compression is likely coming from is the limiter. Going into it, the peaks on it reach ~-6.4 while the limiter threshold is at -11.3 meaning that on the biggest peaks your limiter is doing close to 5dB of gain reduction, which on a full mix can easily be enough to impart audible pumping artefacts.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:20 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelloman View Post
I need a little help here...(I'm #10)...

Several of you have mentioned that I overcompressed the drums in my mix...admittedly last month I knew I overprocessed a number of tracks, so this month I intentionally used minimal processing throughout the mix...if you looked at my project file you'd see there is virtually no compressor anywhere in the mix doing more than 1-2db of gain reduction...

How can those drums sound compressed if I didn't compress them to any appreciable degree?
I listened again to your entry and then opened your project. I think the problem was that the compressor on the mix bus was triggered basically only by the kick. In fact, if you use the lowpass filter in the sidechain section, this issue goes away. I generally tend to lowpass and highpass the mix until the compression is happing on more the average frequency range of the mix.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny Tortoise View Post
I was curious about this so I grabbed the zip with all the actual projects and took a look. Damn, you really weren't kidding about going minimal on processing. The only spot where I can see the sound of that compression is likely coming from is the limiter. Going into it, the peaks on it reach ~-6.4 while the limiter threshold is at -11.3 meaning that on the biggest peaks your limiter is doing close to 5dB of gain reduction, which on a full mix can easily be enough to impart audible pumping artefacts.
OK, I get that...any tips on how I can achieve -14lufs and keep that from happening at the same time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKeehl View Post
I listened again to your entry and then opened your project. I think the problem was that the compressor on the mix bus was triggered basically only by the kick. In fact, if you use the lowpass filter in the sidechain section, this issue goes away. I generally tend to lowpass and highpass the mix until the compression is happing on more the average frequency range of the mix.
Cool, thanks for that...I'll try that this time...

I'm still learning the stock REAPER plugins...
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:20 PM   #51
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Yeah sure...first thing I do when I import new tracks is "normalize to number" or something to that affect
It's a sws action. Just search for normalize in the SWS thing. I have mine mapped to alt+shift+n. It brings up a box where you can type in any number. I usually go with -14 but have gone as high as -18. This keeps the tracks from overloading the effects and makes the whole mix notably quieter.

I would say you could really do this anytime during mixing however. If I were you I would pull up your last mix and play with it. Select every track and then play the whole thing back and see how far off you are. Then try normalizing to the number you need to hit -14. In other words if you see you are at -10 then you are off by 4...so normalize to -4 and see how that works.

I haven't tried that and actually just thought of it. I may be way over compressimg on the master buss with the limiter as well, causing some of my bigger issues too.

I normally tweak the limiter to get the level where I want it. It hadn't occurred to me that I could normalize to hit the level I want. Sounds like a good idea though. We'll see how it work in practice!
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:45 PM   #52
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OK, I get that...any tips on how I can achieve -14lufs and keep that from happening at the same time?
It's essentially the question of "how do I reduce dynamic range", so I'll keep it fairly generalised to that. More or less it's a combination of the appropriate use of EQ, compression, saturation, and volume automation.

EQ: Lower frequencies require a lot more energy to produce a similar perceived loudness. More peak energy trigger more compression, so stronger low frequencies often means more compression artefacts. On top of that, dynamic lower frequency content doesn't translate to 'sounding dynamic' as easily as higher frequency content does, but on the other hand can be pushed harder before it starts to sound offensive. Good spectral balance minimises the issues in either case.

Compression: As with anything else, you could say it's possible to over-do it, under-do it, or get it just right. Actually though, it's better to think of it as using settings that either are or aren't appropriate for achieving an intended goal. Too much and too little both present their own downsides, and you still want your compressor to be doing enough to get what you're looking for.

Saturation: lowers the crest factor (peak-to-average ratio) without losing as much perceived energy as compression does. If used before an EQ or compressor it helps them both to work more evenly (EQ because there's more harmonic content to 'grab' onto; comp because more consistent peak level means more even-handed compression). Too much though, and clarity takes a hit.

Volume automation: sometimes a performance is just too loud/quiet at certain points and the most transparent way to deal with them is with volume automation, whether before/after/somewhere in the middle of your FX chain.

As an extra, short reverb/delay for ambience can also improve audibility of peaks without simply making those peaks louder.

In the end, these are all your standard mixing tools. The only difference is the intent behind the use of them, and working out what's more effective at doing what you want in a given context.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:54 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny Tortoise View Post
It's essentially the question of "how do I reduce dynamic range", so I'll keep it fairly generalised to that. More or less it's a combination of the appropriate use of EQ, compression, saturation, and volume automation.

EQ: Lower frequencies require a lot more energy to produce a similar perceived loudness. More peak energy trigger more compression, so stronger low frequencies often means more compression artefacts. On top of that, dynamic lower frequency content doesn't translate to 'sounding dynamic' as easily as higher frequency content does, but on the other hand can be pushed harder before it starts to sound offensive. Good spectral balance minimises the issues in either case.

Compression: As with anything else, you could say it's possible to over-do it, under-do it, or get it just right. Actually though, it's better to think of it as using settings that either are or aren't appropriate for achieving an intended goal. Too much and too little both present their own downsides, and you still want your compressor to be doing enough to get what you're looking for.

Saturation: lowers the crest factor (peak-to-average ratio) without losing as much perceived energy as compression does. If used before an EQ or compressor it helps them both to work more evenly (EQ because there's more harmonic content to 'grab' onto; comp because more consistent peak level means more even-handed compression). Too much though, and clarity takes a hit.

Volume automation: sometimes a performance is just too loud/quiet at certain points and the most transparent way to deal with them is with volume automation, whether before/after/somewhere in the middle of your FX chain.

As an extra, short reverb/delay for ambience can also improve audibility of peaks without simply making those peaks louder.

In the end, these are all your standard mixing tools. The only difference is the intent behind the use of them, and working out what's more effective at doing what you want in a given context.
I applause you for the great post to be completely honest I don't think about loudness until the very few steps. I mix very quietly and as a result I generally get to -14 lufs at the end just increasing the final output with a basic limiter
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