Thread: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

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    Default MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    The discussion threadz are NOT just for the mixers. Everyone is very much encouraged to participate. MiX iT! is an educational event for EVERYBODY.

    Please visit the Post It thread to listen to the possibly 98 (!!!) mixes.




    MiX iT! 2 - X vs Y Phase: CaptainHook + Dino

    Sponsored by Kagi Media and Auraleo Advanced Learning

    We are ready to get into the final phase of MiX iT! 2. We decided to change the original plan - discuss & dissect 3 mixes - and go for an in depth look of 2 mixes instead.

    We chose 2 mixes, both based on the qualities of the Mix and willingness of the Mixer to participate in this phase of the event. CaptainHook's Mix was chosen for it's excellent translation of the song and Dino's Mix was chosen for it's less successful translation, be it that these choices are highly subjective and merely our opinions

    What we would love to accomplish in this phase is to create an interactive process between CaptainHook and Dino. By dissecting both mixes we can hopefully pinpoint a few things that make either Mix what they are and by asking both CaptainHook and Dino to closely look at each other mixes they can hopefully learn and improve their mixes.

    So is this phase for CaptainHook and Dino only then ?

    Quite on the contrary. Wether you sit back and enjoy the show by reading the reports of X and Y or actively participate be recalling your own mix to practice on is entirely up to you.
    Either way ... The idea is that CaptainHook's Mix stands as an example of a succeeded Mix and that Dino's Mix or your own mix serve as a basis to evolve.


    So how does this work in practice ?

    Well, we'll find out while we're at it would be the most honest answer but in the meantime check out the guidelines for this phase in order to get a better idea and help us make this a success.




    Timeline



    There is no set timeline for this phase. We'll see how it goes ... 1 week / 2 weeks / ...



    X vs Y Phase : Guidelines



    We need all of your help to make this work, so here are some guidelines for this phase :


    - The platform

    The platform you used to create your mix and / or tools don't really matter for this phase. While it is interesting to know what exactly you used it is more the how you did it we're interested in.

    Everybody got their hands on the same files and from that point on everyone at some point decided to use general mixing tools and techniques like compression / EQ / saturation / panning / volume / verb, delay, effects / automation etc ....

    It is those general mixing tools and techniques that we want to focus on in this discussion.

    - too much compression used on the bass ?

    for example : Let's say Dino's Mix is really bass heavy and boomy or lacks low end alltogether.... And CaptainHook's Mix has this very nice balanced and clear low end in his Mix.

    We want to know how CaptainHook got that low end to sound the way it does by looking at the general mixing tools and techniques he used and comparing that to Dino's Mix.

    Now .... what if Dino would try to apply the general mixing tools and techniques from CaptainHook to his mix ? Would it sound better ?

    That's what we're after folks in this phase .... to find out wether Dino can improve his mixing skills by looking at the example of CaptainHook.


    - So how detailed do we go ?


    We have no idea how detailed this can go. We think we can go pretty deep into the general mixing tools and techniques. Frequencies / ratio's / attack times etc .... Volume settings / panning and so on .... wet vs dry and why ?


    - Do we participate in the discussion ?


    Well ... that's a tricky one. What we're mainly looking for here is a detailed comparisson between CaptainHook's and Dino's Mix. It is not so much a real discussion phase as it is an info & practice phase. We will probably start a general discussion thread that can co-exist next to this one but we would like to keep this one for CaptainHook and Dino info only.

    Of course what we DO want you to do is try out whatever is being said on your own mix and report THAT back .



    We'll see how it goes ........




    C & C
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    Hey CaptainHook and Dino,


    First of all .... THANK YOU ... both of you for wanting to participate in this phase.

    Now, I was talking to Charles earlier today about how we see this. We think a good starting point for you guys would be to post a Drums & Bass ONLY version of your mix. Including all processing and FX on those of course.

    With or without Mixbus processing you ask ?

    Well ... up to you. How 'heavily' do you rely on the Mixbus processing to be a part of the 'sound' of 'Drums & Bass'.

    Once these 'stems' are posted we can look at the differences and see if we can help Dino improve the sound of those elements in his Mix.

    Sound is a key word here. We all to well realize that it may very well be considered as a HUGE can of worms to isolate items / parts of a Mix like this. One of the very first and basic concepts of sound mixing is that everything you do has to be in the context of everything else. Still, we see it as very usefull to 'isolate' the various elements in the mix from each other and look at them seperately befoire bringing them back together. So ... D&B first.


    Thanks guys.



    Chris
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    Once these 'stems' are posted we can look at the differences and see if we can help Dino improve the sound of those elements in his Mix.
    Hey Chris, (and this other dood as well )
    I like this approach a lot, because I usually start mixing with drums'n'bass.

    Let's see my comment on Dino's mix:
    Dino
    Brrr, that overheads/snare combination is bright and thin. Not good, and doesn't suit
    this song well.
    I like the bass sound, but it's a bit muddy at times.

    What I'd change:
    - drums. Thin and annoying. I'd redo the complete drum section. Start with the
    overheads alone(!) and fiddle around with ONLY them until they rock. Needs some work
    with this song, but once the overheads sound good the rest of the drums fall in place
    quite easy

    - clean up the bass, probably a simple low cut could do all the work.
    Having the stems of the Captain's mix should should give Dino a good idea where to start, especially how it should sound like on HIS system. If you can't trust your listening chain it's always good to have a reference.

    I like this event

    Mac

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    Mac

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    but how good you are at your worst.

    Creating complex solutions is easy.

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    This was Chris' idea + I think it was a great one. The comparison of two mixes will be very educational I think. We're both looking fwd to how this unfolds.

    Basically it's Hook's mentor idea in reverse... HE's the mentor!!

    And yes, THANK YOU to both CaptainHook + Dino. This will be educational for everyone, but we greatly appreciate both of you for agreeing to participate.
    Last edited by Charles Dye; January 25th, 2008 at 11:26 PM.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    Basically it's Hook's mentor idea in reverse... HE's the mentor!!
    What have i done??!!

    Haha.
    Thanks Chris and Charles, i will get the stems as soon as
    possible. I need to listen to Dino's mix at the studio also.
    This should interesting and fun!
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    Here's my drum+bass stem.

    I was never expecting to recall this mix, so didn't take
    appropriate notes of settings on the mixbuss. Pretty
    dumb of me, and now i wish i had. I matched the mix
    as close as i could to my bounce before breaking down
    stems. My mixbuss processing is quite important to
    the final sound for me.

    I was quite surprised how 'weird' the drums+bass sounded
    when i solo'ed them! Maybe, more surprised how different
    they sounded than what i thought they would sound like.

    I've also included a OHs bounce, 'fake rooms' bounce,
    and ohs and fake rooms together bounce. The reason
    being is, for drums i start with OHs.
    I like them to represent the whole kit. So they're quite
    important for me. I seem to remember these OHs
    sounding like there was not much bottom end.
    Either from mic choice/placement, or a high pass/shelving.
    The room obviously could have played a part also.

    When i eq OH's, i'm trying to get the kick and snare
    full sounding. I've mentioned before, i like 'fat' snares,
    so i usually start to dig around 200hz and sweep to
    find the meat of the snare. I'll go deeper for the kick,
    but i don't want it to get muddy. I want the cymbals
    bright, but the first sign off harshness and i'm either
    retreating or narrow q ripping.

    I also don't usually use reverb on drums.
    I use the room mics. But there were none here,
    so i decided to 'fake' them. All i did was to compress
    the OH's HARD. Fast attack/release. I took away
    some high end with a shelf to push them back a
    bit, and this time went fishing for the snare's
    midrange. I prob started to look around 800-1k
    and moved around until i found what i liked.
    Sometimes kick can get boomy on room mics,
    so i may notch something out down there, but
    these fake rooms didn't have much bottom anyway
    so i'm pretty sure i boosted something low for the
    kick to still be present.


    Dino ~ I was gonna come here and make some
    observations about your mix, but saw Mac's post
    above and this will echo basically that.

    I think sometimes in peoples attempts to get
    'punchy' drums, and perhaps match commercial
    recordings, they start boosting top end.
    I find it better to achieve punch by exaggerating
    BODY and WEIGHT. It's too easy to boost some
    highs and get brittle, or harsh. Which sounds like
    what has happened here. Especially the snare.
    I'm thinking it's also the victim of a compressor
    with the attack and release set too fast.

    I like to use a comp two ways, to controls dynamics
    (sorry charles - haha!) and to SHAPE sound.
    With drums, i almost think of it like a transient
    designer. A fast attack can reduce the initial transient.
    A slower attack will let it pass through the comp,
    and then start to reduce the 'tail' of the drum.
    A fast release with a fast attack, will have
    the effect of reducing the transient, and exaggerating
    the tail and rattle of the snare. A slower attack
    and slower release, will let the snare transient
    and attack through, and clamp down on the tail.
    With attack and release only, you could go from
    an 80's white noise snare, to a short sharp 'pop' or
    'blip' sounding snare.

    Try slowing down the attack on the snare, and possibly
    the release too. Not too much so you kill all the tail
    and ambience of the snare, but enough to get it
    to start to 'smack'.
    Hopefully then you can back off the high end on the
    snare.

    I just read your comments on your approach.
    Perhaps you have too much of the 'bright' snare
    channel in there too, but play with the comp settings
    more. Also look at your gate settings. It may be
    killing the front of the snare too..?

    I wish you had used PT, a session i could open would
    make this a bit easier. Haha.
    I'll wait to hear your stems as well.
    Sorry for the novel everyone.

    *Looks like i have to spread the files across posts.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by CaptainHook; January 26th, 2008 at 05:05 AM.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h : CaptainHook + Dino

    OHs only.
    Attached Files
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h : CaptainHook + Dino

    Fake Rooms
    Attached Files
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h : CaptainHook + Dino

    OHs and Fake Rooms together.
    Attached Files
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h : CaptainHook + Dino

    Already picking up some things from the posts here....I will bounce and post the original stems for the Drums and Bass first thing tomorrow and then get to work. I actually can't wait to hear the progress on this.
    We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. --Decca Recording Company, on rejecting the Beatles in 1962


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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h : CaptainHook + Dino

    Awesomeness already !!!!!!!!!


    Chris
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    And yes, THANK YOU to both CaptainHook + Dino. This will be educational for everyone, but we greatly appreciate both of you for agreeing to participate.
    ...and just in case no-one else will mention this: a very very big double burger deluxe thank you to Dino!

    I know most people (including myself) wouldn't feel very comfortable to get used as the 'how to not do it' example in a public forum. This is a guy (saurian?) who shows some balls.
    Kudos for that


    Mac

    .
    Mac

    Don't be worried about your anosognosia.

    Being a professional is not about how good you are at your best,
    but how good you are at your worst.

    Creating complex solutions is easy.

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    ...and just in case no-one else will mention this: a very very big double burger deluxe thank you to Dino!

    I know most people (including myself) wouldn't feel very comfortable to get used as the 'how to not do it' example in a public forum. This is a guy (saurian?) who shows some balls.
    Kudos for that


    I actually thought when i first listened to his mix,
    'it's not that bad is it?'
    And really, it's not. As Chris and Charles put it, it's
    one mix that could be more effective than it is.
    A subjective opinion. Could have been a few i imagine.
    Had to be someone though.
    Thanks Dino!
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    First of all thanks to Charles and Chris for the opportunity to do this. As far as doing it in public, I can't say I have any reservations about it. Mainly because I know I am very new at this and considering the talent that lurks around here, I have no place having an ego. Besides, it really feels like sitting around with a bunch of friends who you know have your best interest in mind. This is really only the second complete song I have mixed (MiXiT 1 being the first). Sure, I mess around with my own stuff, but as far as a complete set of tracks from a real band, this is it.

    So let's get started....here are my Bass and Drum stems separately and then together. I pulled the session up having not touched it since I posted the original and bounced these. Going back now after listening to everyone's, I can see some choices that I made with some things that thinned it out. The snare was something that I consciously tried to leave bright and a little on top, but it lost its balls and became disjointed as well as everything else everyone has said.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Dino; January 27th, 2008 at 03:17 PM.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino



    I actually thought when i first listened to his mix,
    'it's not that bad is it?'
    And really, it's not. As Chris and Charles put it, it's
    one mix that could be more effective than it is.
    A subjective opinion. Could have been a few i imagine.
    Had to be someone though.
    Thanks Dino!
    I agree on this and MacGregors comments. It could have been mine as well.
    Congrats and hails to the CaptainHook and Dino. I think it`s great their willing to to all the work and help out to make mixing a great hobby and in that way, help to make music sound better all over the world. (cause it needs to, when i listen to some off the demo`s produced for big money)

    @ C and C (aka dood)
    Would you take a part and mixit, to let us hear/see what also could be done with it? please? It doesn`t have to be like something we would expect, but totally different vieuw of how you could also producing this song. I curious what you guys would make of it. (guys; support me on this, give them a cheer!)

    grtz Peter

    grtz Peter
    Love the music, music your love
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2 : CaptainHook vs Dino

    bla bla bla bla ..... bla bla ..... bla bla bla .... Sorry for the novel everyone.
    Don't be! I really mean it. I learned something valuable already. The bla bla was just irresistible

    And thanks to both of you. I will follow this thread closely.
    Intellectually perfect only means there's nothing wrong. To me, overproduction means throwing away what's right in a herculean effort to achieve nothing wrong. (Bob Olhsson)
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    So let's get started....here are my Bass and Drum stems separately and then together.
    Hey Dino ... I think you forgot to attach the file ... that or I'm just to dumb to find it


    Chris
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    Going back now after listening to everyone's, I can see some choices that I made with some things that thinned it out.
    So, before CH + the rest comment on what you should do to improve this, why don't you tell us exactly what you would change + how you would change it.

    Then CH will make further suggestions, you can try them out + post your new version of the drums + bass.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    One of the primary things I think I needed to fix was the thinness of the snare, its place in the mix, and utilizing the OH more as a complete picture of the kit instead of cutting most of the mid to low end to get just the cymbals.

    When I brought the session back up, I took CaptainHook's comments on the snare compression and played around with lengthening the attack and release times to cut the tail of the snare some on just my dark snare track and completely muted the bright one. I also dumped the SSL Channel EQ I had used and replaced it with one that allowed me to broadly sweep the freq range for a sound with some additional body to it. So what you hear in this Recall1 are just these changes that I made in about 30 min right after bouncing the stems and posting them. I feel it is a little thicker, but it still seems to be "loose".

    One of the main things I noticed when A/Bing CH's and my mix is that his seems to have a clearly defined space for each element of the drums. It is something that jumped out at me and I am not sure I know just how to accomplish it. The balance of a sense of space, but without it seeming like too much of a wash of sound is a delicate balance.

    My gut feeling is that I had too much going on with spacial effects...plates, rooms, etc... and should concentrate on reproducing a complete picture of a consistent space and then dial in the elements within that space by controlling each sound using compression and EQ. That is when it gets tricky for me....I know WHAT I want to hear...but I don't know the easiest or rather most efficient way to get there.

    Anyway, this Recall1 is very much just a quick scratch of a couple changes mainly on the snare that I did yesterday.
    Attached Files
  20. #20
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 2h - XvsY: CaptainHook + Dino

    One of the cool things about mixing is that from the outside looking in, it simply appears to be about a singular skill: mixing. Which can leave people in awe of just "how did you do THAT!"

    But from the inside looking out, mixers (or @ least myself) don't see mixing as a singular skill. We see it as simply a bunch of individual techniques. Like how to get a great kick drum sound, or great snare tone, or space, and so on.

    And one of the best ways I know how to teach these skills is to focus on one instrument @ a time, like we're doing here, and discuss how each sound was accomplished.

    Of course mixing is also about HOW you choose to put all the techniques together. So, we should also discuss the WHY behind the choices made, between the various techniques that could've been used for each instrument, and the one that was finally chosen.

    I already expect this to be very educational.
    Last edited by Charles Dye; January 28th, 2008 at 05:40 AM.
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