Thread: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

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  1. #1
    A Top 10 Beaver Licker Grumpy young man
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Post It: Mix, File + Description

    Hi All,

    I want to kill my computer.

    I want to kill it dead.

    I remember Aardvark issuing a 'Fuck Punctuated' (TM, Aardvark) missive because his browser ATE a very long post he had painstakingly constructed, where MY browser did exactly that, just now.

    I had gone through my mix, blow by blow, track by track, and laid out what I did and why. AND FIREFOX ATE IT. But it wasn't firefox's fault. QUICKTIME. Steve Jobs, you asshole, you're next. Quicktime tried to play a link I was testing, but the audio device was in use by something else, and quicktime crashed taking firefox with it. OH BOY. Urge to kill is EXTREME.

    ANYWAY, now that I have acute OOS in both wrists (From typing, jackass, not the byproduct of marriage) I am going to type the whole fucking thing out again from memory. My bad, alcohol addled memory. And I'm doing it because I love you.

    THAT'S LOVE. TRUE LOVE.

    So anyway, here we go. I'll try and swallow the bile and re-enter the mood of love, overcoming my inbuilt instinct to put my fist through the fucking screen. motherfucker .

    How I approach a mix

    In order to deliver an appropriate mix, generally a good mix I think (You know, one that doesn't suck ass crack or similar), I need to fall in love with a song, or something about a song.

    In this case, the song was pretty easy to like. To love, in fact. This is great, we're off to an easy start. Of course, being handed tracks that sound like molten dogshit would be disadvantageous and instantly kill any feelings of love, but of course, these tracks sounded like liquid gold. Happiness is!

    I am a very visual person. Most of my internalised emotions and memories are accompanied by a minds-eye picture. In the case of this song, I have a cold, bleak day with bad light. It's cold and misty. The deer has taken on human characteristics like love and despair, of course. How else would a deer plead with you?

    Believe me, when I first wrote this, I was more passionate. It's difficult to be passionate when you can still taste your duodenum in the back of your mouth.

    My faders-up is a fader-by-fader thing. I don't use my forearm or my foot. I try and lay out the peices as I feel they will fit during this process, to give me an idea of where I'm going to start things. I find this especially useful mixing a song of this type that has a clear climactic section in the middle, while starting and finishing much more low-key.

    This isn't the first time I've mixed something Mixerman has tracked, so I had a feeling it was going to be a breeze, and it was. The mark of a true tradesman is in the quality of his work. That I had absolutely no struggle on my hands spoke volumes about the skill of the tracking engineer.

    Obligatory ass nuzzling is now complete. Onwards to the 'what I did'...

    What was the setup?

    I am between studios right now. This is what happens when you build a studio into the house you own, and subsequently move house. Yep. That has another byproduct - making you so incredibly broke you have to wait a few months before beginning studio construction again. This will be studio #3. I don't intend to build studio #4 - I refuse to die in this manner.

    So, I mixed this in a rather acoustically poor room. Very sparse treatment, save for a few corner traps and a bit of absorbtion at sight-line reflection points. Far from ideal, but workable.

    Basically all the good shit is boxed up, and stored at the moment, so this was 100% ITB. I monitored with a pair of Tannoy Reveal's, and Avantones. The DAC was an Apogee Mini-DAC. All this driven by the DAW which is Sonar 7 PE. Only hardware DSP was a pair of UAD-1's.


    An Overview Of The Processing

    Because this song is quite gentle and open, I have been a lot more gentle with my processing. My 2buss compression is gentle, though effective. I opted for less compression on the drums, and no drum buss compression, like I'd typically use. I let the 2buss compressor handle quite a lot of the individual duties. Approaching things this way tends to make a better jello - especially with songs like this.


    The Drums

    Kik - Initially i wasn't too fussed on the tone of the kik. I'd usually track something sharper than this, because I'm a rock guy. However, if the kik was all D6 on my ass then it'd have stuck out like dogs balls on a hot day. Not really in keeping with the context of the song.. So anyway, the kik got a dose of SSL E-Channel. I used no gating on the kit, just EQ and compression. The compressor topped out at 3dB metered GR. Pretty gentle by my standards...
    Snare - Sounded fantastic. Brightened up a bit with the E-Channel, again no gating, very gentle compression.

    Toms - That crazy ol' E-Channel made an appearance again. little expanding this time, but certainly not to infinity and beyond - just enough to take care of any obvious ringing.

    Overheads - You guessed it. EQ and a HPF at about 300. A bit of sizzle added, and GR topping out at about 12dB metered GR. Okay, so maybe I wasn't totally gentle...

    Room - The trend continues. I like to use the same breed of processing on the drums, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and synergistic. I'm sure it's all in my head. Anyway, a bit of shaping to bring out the mids, and to kill any rumblies that might skew the compression. Again about 12dB metered GR at maximum.

    Mono Room - nothing but compression with the G-Master Buss compressor. Blended to taste.

    The Smash Buss - The kik, snare and toms all go here, where they are greeted by a G-Master Buss compressor. This compressor achieves up to 16dB GR with a 30ms attack and 300ms release. Ratio of 10:1.

    Why The Smash Buss - I'm a punch freak. Plain and simple. Blended in parallel with the drum buss.

    So the drums sounded like this.


    The Bass

    The bass was pretty straightforward. I loved the sound of the cabinet, so I gave that some compression with a Sonalksis compressor, followed by some shaping with a RenEQ 6 band.

    The DI, i took into Amplitube2 and roughed it up a bit. I gave it a stereo component with a bog-standard Cakewalk chorus, followed by Mac's MacEffectOne.

    And the bass sounded like this.


    The Guitars

    The guitars all got a tickle from the PSP Vintagewarmer. Individually and to taste, they got compressed with various things from Rencomp to Sonalksis, and EQ'ed with the SSL EQ. Most of the EQ was for penning purposes, ie, LPF and HPF. The tone in tracking was awesome and didn't really benefit from any further brutalizing.

    Ambience was provided by UAD Plate140 and CSR Hall. Some delay added here was Voxengo AFDelay.

    Here and there I used some HRTF to place guitars a little wider than the speakers. Couldn't go too silly with this or the song would start to sound weird.

    And the guitars sounded like this.


    The Rhodes

    This really didn't need anything. So, it didn't really get anything. No EQ. No compression. I sent an aux of the rhodes off to an instance of Plate140, and widened that out with S1.

    And the rhodes sounded like this.


    The B3

    I actually forgot to bring these tracks up till last, at which time they blew my mind. I compressed the L & R separately to preserve as much of the stereo difference as I could. They got a little bit of limiting on the stereo buss by a UAD 1176, just to take care of any pedal craziness. Other than that, nothing really happened to the B3..

    And the B3 sounded like this.


    The Tamborine


    Best tamborine track ever. Took nothing, left nothing. Might have squirted a little verb onto it, but that's it.

    And the tamborine sounded like this.


    The Vocal

    The vocal sounded great. If I was spending more time in editing, I may have cleaned up some of the punches, but it was generally pretty good. I really like the Cakewalk Vintage Channel VC1 for vocals, so I used that. Bit of deessing, bit of compression, bit of EQ for air. That's about it. Ambience was Plate140 and Voxengo AFDelay.

    And the vocal sounded like this.

    Those MP3's I posted

    They're all via the SSL on the 2buss. I can't figure out the math in my head, but I suppose if you took all those MP3's and played them back at unity, you'd get my mix, and a bunch of lossy MPEG artefacts. I did use a bit of limiting on the mix I presented to bring up the level a bit, but I was pretty gentle with it.

    I'm not exactly sure what the point of me going to all this trouble and WRIST PAIN to describe what I did here IS.. but I hope it's helped shed a little light into what I did, why, and how. As always I'm happy to address any questions about stuff, so, feel free to question me about stuff.

    As the fearless Mixerman would say, enjoy.

    -PX
    Attached Files
  2. #2
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Post It: Mix, File + Description

    Our 2nd featured mix is Pimp-X with his awesome mix dissection + breakdown.

    Please post any questions you have for Pimp about his mix here.

    And BIG thanks to P-man for doing this.

    You rock dood!!!
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    "Digital banjos sound just as bad to me as analog ones." -Pimp-X
  3. #3
    In a world of ones and zeros...this one's the latter. Breast reduction surgery candidate
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    Pimp-X, thanks a bunch for putting in the time to do all this. Much appreciated! I'd be interested to hear more about the HRTF techniques used.


    "My experience has been that people who perceive a conflict between science and spirituality generally know very little about one or the other. Often they know very little about both." - Bob Ohlsson

    "Real men do hard things." - Anonymous - Don't know who said it first, but I like it.
  4. #4
    President of local Trekkie club. Reprobate
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    Pimp,

    Just wanted to say that I dug your mix. Kinda where I was trying to get to but didn't. Punchy as fuck. Prolly my favourite one so far.

    Cheers.

    Paulie.
  5. #5
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    I'm more than mildly surprised that this mix isn't getting more play. Where's the interest? I'm still interested to hear more about the HRTF techniques used on the guitars. Also, and believe me I know Pimp-X has already put in a ton of effort on this to provide the stems and the write-up, I would love to have a listen at the smash bus for the drums. I'm pretty happy with the way my drums turned out for this tune, but I wouldn't mind learning a bit more about creating outrageously punchy drums, which Pimp-X obviously excels at.

    Calvin


    "My experience has been that people who perceive a conflict between science and spirituality generally know very little about one or the other. Often they know very little about both." - Bob Ohlsson

    "Real men do hard things." - Anonymous - Don't know who said it first, but I like it.
  6. #6
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Post It: Mix, File + Description

    They're all via the SSL on the 2buss. I can't figure out the math in my head, but I suppose if you took all those MP3's and played them back at unity, you'd get my mix, and a bunch of lossy MPEG artefacts.
    When i was mixing on our desk without recall, i stabbed myself
    everytime i needed to make an adjustment later.
    But the point is i ended up printed stems without buss comp,
    so when tweaks were made i could send it back together
    out to the ssl comp and recall the settings on just the SSL.

    Printing each stem with 2-buss sillyness and combing
    didn't really get back the mix.

    Then i stopped mixing on the desk and just use it now for tracking
    and the routing options. What?! Ahh, go fuck yourself.
    I can do as i please.

    This really is of no relevance and quite an unnecessary post
    but it's not my first today so why stop now?
    "Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality." - Henry Moore

    >> York St Recording Studios <<
  7. #7
    Junior assistant coffee maker trainee ACME recording engineer...just add water.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Post It: Mix, File + Description

    Because this song is quite gentle and open, I have been a lot more gentle with my processing. My 2buss compression is gentle, though effective. I opted for less compression on the drums, and no drum buss compression, like I'd typically use.


    hee hee hee

    You're right - this is nowhere near as crushed as I'm used to hearing outta your mixes, and I think you've made the right choice. Could just be that it matches my taste so I tend to agree with your choice.

    I don't think it was in this thread, but somewhere recently you mentioned compression and using it to shape drum dynamics with an ear toward getting them to punch through the mix. Ever since hearing your mixes I've always been kinda dumbfounded by how much "point" you get on drum attack while you're still crushing so much. The interesting thing is that I use compression with drums for exactly the same thing, but get a very different result - haven't been ABLE to get your sounds even when I try to. My ideas about drum attack tend to include a bit slower attack time so that my speakers kinda stress out a bit about it.

    dik
  8. #8
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    Hi there,

    just wanted to put my 2 cents about your mix here...

    I've listened to it on a hifi-system connected to a satellite/subwoofer speaker combination. Translates pretty well here, maybe a bit too much low-end at the bass but that might have been intentional and anyway...it's just the way it sounds here.

    Best wishes,

    Marco.
    "Here ain't there..." - Unfcknblvbl, June 17th, 2010
  9. #9
    Ducked in here to avoid the paparazzi Home Skooled
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    Pimp-X, thanks for the documentation. I liked your mix a lot; the biggest thing for me, in this tune, was achieving emotional power, and I think you nailed it. I did make some notes while I listened, though; sorry to be terse:

    Not digging the snare sound, but not sure why; seems flattish. Vocal stays in-your-face, which is nice (maybe a bit wet for me). Choruses build nicely, really good emotional shape to the mix. Beautiful bass. Love it in the final verse.
  10. #10
    Ducked in here to avoid the paparazzi Has every David Cassidy record!
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    Pimp, this is my favourite mix of the whole event. Hands down. You owned it.

    I'll emulate it some day... darn you...
  11. #11
    wardrobe malfunction investigator Can't buy me love...considering rental options.
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Post It: Mix, File + Description

    I can`t open your final mix dude...?!!
    has something changed?
    I can open everything else..
  12. #12
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    Default Re: MiX iT! 3d - Discuss It: Pimp-X

    This mix is by far the best!! AWESOME job. Kenny comes in second for sure. He could have had more overall guitars in his to give it more life. Mixerman's WEAK!!!! sorry bro muddy, boring mix.

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