Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

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Timing and Tuning Adjustments Chapter 6 choice I prefer to put matched-waveform edits in “m” and “n” sounds because their dull closed-mouth tone doesn’t vary as widely. Part 1 Hearing and Listening 3.1 Coping With Cheap Ported Speakers My first set of tips is to help those engineers who find themselves lumbered with having to mix through cheap ported monitors for whatever reason. First, it pays to be aware of where the port’s resonant frequency is located, because this knowledge can help you to correctly identify obvious resonances in that region as speaker-design artifacts rather than mix problems. You can also make a note of the pitch of the resonant frequency, which will give you an idea of which bass notes are most likely to suffer irregularity on account of the porting. Figure 2.2 The frequency response of the Auratone 5C Super Sound Cube, which clearly shows its midrange bias. The chapter on compression was quite good in a lot of ways. He really explains all the different controls and parameters of compression, but then gives you no real idea how to use it on individual instruments, aside from generalities. Dynamics: Tools such as compressors, limiters, gates, and expanders allow the engineer to control the level-contour of a signal over time in a semi-automatic manner.

Part 3 Balance processing strategies in each instance. Lead vocals, acoustic guitars, and pianos, for example, are often of much more sonic importance during sparser verses than during more densely populated choruses. Fantastic book on audio mixing.” – “Outstanding… this book is dynamite.” – “The Bible for small recording studios.” – “Best resource on mixing, hands down.” – “The mixing education I’ve been searching for.” Free On-line Resources Figure 5.4 Multing the lead vocal part, as in this screen grab, is common practice, because it allows you to adapt your mix processing to different sections of the arrangement. The latter part of the section on Balance discusses the relationships between frequency and dynamics, and how to manage those. The section also provides some beneficial information on side chain processing. Part 4: Sweetening to Taste Figure 4.7 No matter how carefully you try to save and document your work, mix recall will always be a bit hit and miss—even on computer systems.F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C Figure 2.4 Stereo recordings made with spaced-pair microphone techniques are a common reason for monocompatibility problems. Figure 8.6 A typical fader control scale. Fader movements around the unity (0dB) gain position will give smaller and more precise gain changes than fader movements toward the bottom of the level scale.

B) Figure 1.5 Two of the most revered mixing speakers are unported designs: the Auratone 5C Super Sound Cube (left ) and the Yamaha NS10 (right ). Below them you can see their waterfall plots. monitors (top to bottom): the ADAM A7X has dual circular ports either side of the woofer, the KRK Rokit 8 has a port slot under the woofer, the Behringer 2030A has two narrow port slots on either side of the tweeter, and the M-Audio DSM2 features a single circular port on the rear panel.Part 2 Mix Preparation It’s often much less easy to line up the waveform in an external editor’s display with that of your main rhythmic reference instrument, so you can’t readily use a visual guide to your advantage in speeding up the editing process. n The keyboard shortcut support may be less comprehensive in a third-party application than within your DAW, so there’s more laborious mousing around to do. n An equally important cornerstone of the production process in many styles is the use of synthesizers (which generate audio signals electronically) and I've now read the book from cover to cover. I plan to read it a second time, working through each chapter's lessons, and then I'm sure it will become a fairly constant reference in my studio after that. Figure 8.1 One possible example of sensible mix dynamics for a typical short song structure. The choruses are more intense than the verses, and each chorus is more intense than the previous one.

On first read, personally speaking, this chapter was a little difficult to digest, and it did take me some time to set up five separate reverbs to understand the concepts. However, it was time well spent as it truly demystified the elements of the reverb processing, and the power of the processing. Review Summary What I most appreciate about the book is that it is strategic, methodical, rigorous, and straightforward. Figure 8.9 The polarity button. It may not be much to look at, but it’s absolutely essential at mixdown, for both technical and creative reasons. Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio is Mike's first published book. The title is something of a misnomer because the advice and guidance contained are relevant to everyone involved in music engineering and production, at all levels and regardless of the size of the studio or its facilities. Novices and grandmasters alike will find plenty of interest here. The emphasis is very much on mastering the correct approaches and techniques, rather than how to use any specific equipment or software, and everything is described in such as way as to make it easily transferable across any DAW platform or even to a traditional console‑based mix environment.This book is a fantastic resource that I expect will dramatically improve my mixing abilities. What more could you ask for than that? Discover how to achieve release-quality mixes even in the smallest studios by applying power-user techniques from the world's most successful producers.

In general, it’s best to choose full-range speakers designed specifically for studio use, rather than general-purpose hi-fi models which tend to flatter sounds unduly. The speakers themselves should be firmly mounted (preferably on solid stands) and carefully positioned according to the manufacturer’s instructions – usually the shorter dimension of a rectangular room will give the better sound. To present a good stereo image, the two speakers and the listening ‘ sweetspot’ should form an equilateral triangle, with the tweeter and woofer of each speaker vertically aligned and both tweeters angled toward the listener’s ears. Speaker systems with built-in amplification (‘active’ or ‘powered’ speakers) are not only convenient, but also offer sonic advantages because of the way the amplifier(s) can be matched to the specific speaker drivers. Or perhaps you might edit that guitar part so that it only plays at those moments when one of the other parts doesn’t really demand the listener’s full attention—perhaps while the singer’s taking a breath or the pianist is indulging

FocalPress is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1GB, UK Part 2 Mix Preparation can fade the kit up further in the mix before it has trouble blending. Tuning is not just a musical issue; it’s an important mixing issue too. However, although unmixably wayward tuning is the most common ailment in low-budget environments, there’s also a significant minority of small-studio practitioners who over-egg the pudding by insensitive use of available pitchcorrection tools, and that pratfall is just as capable of hobbling the mix by squeezing all the musical life out of it. “Something perfectly in time, something perfectly in tune, could be perfectly boring,” warns Steve Churchyard.5 Steering a course between these two extremes is the art of tuning correction, and the remainder of this chapter offers advice for maintaining this desirable trajectory. To begin, there is little excuse these days for inappropriate side effects of pitch correction to be audible in a final mix. Again, the built-in pitch processing within current-generation DAW systems is good enough for a large proportion of applications, and excellent third-party software is comparatively affordable for those who feel their work requires more advanced tools or increased processing fidelity. It’s not the tools that are the problem—you’ve just got to understand how get the best out of them. your singer from transforming into a chipmunk when you’re shifting the pitch upward. For small tuning-correction shifts, though, switching off the formant adjustment won’t appreciably affect a sound’s character in a lot of cases, and it may again improve the smoothness of the corrected sound. Different offline pitch shifters do vary a great deal in design, though, and many of their parameters are frankly incomprehensible too, so the main thing is just to use your ears while editing. If you’re disappointed with the way the processed sound emerges from its transformation, then take the time to tinker with at least some of the available settings. No pitch processing is perfectly transparent, but that’s no reason to let more side effects through the net than absolutely necessary. Although a single sinewave tone will be perceived as a pitched note, almost all real-world musical notes are actually made up of a harmonic series of related sinewaves. The most low-frequency of these, the fundamental, determines the perceived pitch, while a series of overtones at multiples of the fundamental’s frequency determine the note’s timbre according to their relative levels. Logarithmic Scales for Level and Pitch



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