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Zen and the Art of Mixing Advanced mixing techniques

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Old March 18th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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Default The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

I was on here a couple of month ago in a thread about a guys refusal to defend him self for spouting shite in a magazine (basically). Anyway, I made some comment about a mixing desk being much more than what most people imagine it to be, In the right hands it can be a mean machine with the ability to completely transform the vibe of the track, and lest not forget - completely arrange the song as you throw and twist those faders. Bob Olhson chipped in to say they used to do this during the Motown days where they would completely reset everything for the chorud, a bridge, etc to give it a 'sound' and then slice the tapes together. We can of course do it much easier these days, and that statement from Bob has given me plenty of food for thought.

I made many records like this ie writing the arrangements as I looped my sequencer bringing in parts, muting them, changing Eq setting as the track bounced to Dat. Theres a helleva lot you can do with a fader, a mute, and some EQ!!. I stopped doing this when I went fully in the box ten years ago simply chucking away a amethod of working I had been doing for ten years years previously THe glint in my eye which the salesman could see was "WOW I can no do this with the coimputer and even edit bits and make the song a billion times better. 26k and three days kater I had my first pro tools Mix + system.

Over the ten tears and despite my very best efforts and the promises of the software and hardware companies with their can do all plastic controllers I have never ONCE been able to do a satasfiying live performance mix, and believe me I have tried many times.

So, about six months ago I started buying hardware again. I just had to see if I could still do this. To day I did my first one take off the cuff live mix/arrangement. You can tell Im a little rusty, but you can bet in a few months Ill be flying with the gods of music.

Of course this is a not a suitable method for all styles of music. Me being electronic based lends its self quite well. But in saying that by using the Olhson method I see no reason why a guitar band couldn't do this

Check out that video to see what I mean, and hey feel free to discuss and embellish me with some new ideas. OH, the only thing letting me down her is lack of outboard. A bit of compression on the bass, keys etc. OH, and don't laugh at the OnYX24, I like it. It actually has a decent analog compressor built in. Its nasty, but its got vibe.

http://youtu.be/hJ9N2cqNH2A



NAH I couldn't figure out how to upload the video image!
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Old March 18th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

Mixing with faders does look more fun than drawing lines in a DAW :-)



Could someone rename this thread to "... performance mixing ..."?
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Old March 18th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

I think if you read Bob O's posts carefully, his position seems to be that arranging - or indeed re-arranging - on the console was a giant step backwards.


Certainly the concept of punching sections of a mix and editing the results together is valid...especially if your working method doesn't include dynamic automation of everything on the channel strip...but we are talking about level/eq/dynamics decisions in a given arrangement - not re-arranging the song.


Cheers,
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

Maybe I misinterpreted him? If the mix required a radical change in sound at the chorus a nifty bit of re-arranging mics, guitars, room might have done the trick - and then splice later

But that's not really the point as that can of course be done in the DAW, The point is to arrange the track using what often isnt considered the most powerful piece of gear in the studio ie Console and Brain/
My fist attempt after so many tears is basic to say the least, but at times Ive been known to be flying across the room in a frenzy of excitement. How often does that ever happen with a Daw?

Neither am I saying dont use your Daw. I love my Daw, but it has to work for me not the other way around. Eventually I will get enough cards so that each channel can be recorded individually in to its own track complete with human automation.

Its all about the moment and capturing it and during the heat of those live console mixes theres things you just wouldnt think of when fiddling with automation dots or comping and pasting bits on your Daw
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Old March 19th, 2012, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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There is no arrangement on the sequencer time line, its simply a four or eight bar repeating loop and YOU create the arrangement in real time as you mix the track down isung the mixer as the means to achieve that goal.
Which is why I couldn't listen for more than a couple of minutes. Nothing in that console can adequately diminish the monotony of hearing an 8 bar loop repeat for ten minutes. YMMV
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

Welcome to the world of manual automation.

I get where you're coming from. I agree with with Nobby in that after a few minutes, an 8 bar loop get boring.

I think the experiment you did was successful though, in that it showed that, yes, you can do an arrangement via faders. So hats off for the experimentation and learning something new. Now try that with 30 or 40 bars worth of tracks and see how that goes.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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Which is why I couldn't listen for more than a couple of minutes. Nothing in that console can adequately diminish the monotony of hearing an 8 bar loop repeat for ten minutes. YMMV
Your wrong and you clearly dont understand what a console can do. Im not saying for one moment my first effort in ten years is the academy award winner, but I have done arrangements on the console people couldn't believe.

Who knows , I may post something else but after this bitter affair on this thread Im not sure I would bother.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 07:11 AM
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Well, I dont think many people are doing it all. When I started doing this in 1994 NO ONE in the dance scene was doing it. Nowadays they use controllers to write in automation and then tweak it to perfection, MPC users would switch tracks on and off, but no one I knew used the console to move farder, mute, send auexes and create dynamics. IM sure there were I just dont know wny. Perhaps Orbital, The Chemical Brothers andn Underwolrd sis some of this. Lager Lager sounds very much like an on the conole live to dat job.

There were no sample loops in that tuneless tune, it was all programmed. I dont do what the kids do. Not that Im adverse to using a loop now and then. But let me just reoeat again for the millionth time I wast going for tune of the year I just wanted to see if this concept was common, and hopefully get in to a discussion about it. Instead Ive been slandered for no good reason. It wasnt like I cam barging in here all brash and full of my self looking to take the whole forum on,

WHen ABleton came on the scene I remember the excitement "WOW I can record my live performance and then edit out any mistakes WOW oh WOW" WHy wasnt I excited? I had been doing what Ableton promised for years before it came one on the scene. And why is it the many many times I have tried this with ableton live it never has that vibe you can get from a desk (hands on)

Im honestly not trying to wing the nobel prize for invention hahahh...although they gave Obama one, so why not me
I used to do extended remixes for friends/local guys in the late 80's to early 90's by doing exactly this. I would improv perform a few mix pass and then edit together a long form on the 1/4" out of the best bits.

I was hardly the inventor of the genre.

My remix hero (later client, mentor & a good friend) was an older local guy who, as a young nobody french-speaking dj was hired by Chris Blackwell to do the famous B-52s "Party Mix!" at Compass Point around 1979-80 after some bootleg remixes of them he had made found their way to the Big Apple dance floors. He made tons of dance floor stuff, remixes, radio station idents and even pop song production later on (where he would use me a lot). He performed A LOT on the mixing board. In the early days he was running a couple 1/4"s, a beat box and a couple turntables, mixing all that seamlessly in real time.

Last edited by Le chef; March 22nd, 2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

OK, I just went and listened to a sampling of the stuff on that "album". The reason nobody would download the whole thing for $0.01 is that nobody here would be interested.

It's nothing special or interesting, certainly not new - I've had friends doing stuff like that around San Francisco since the '80s. In fact me and my friend Joey used to go in the synth lab at the store we worked at and get loaded and do crap like that all night long, playing with the Moog Modular, Obie 8-voice, couple of ARPs, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, blah-blah, woof-woof.... Festoons of cable, monster cross-patches...... We never really thought it was anything more than screwing around, although Joey did use the experience to get gigs writing patches for Roland and Korg and doing synth programming and producing on a few major hit albums (yes, you'd recognize the acts) and at least one major motion picture.

It's nothing new, it's nothing special, people did stuff like yours at raves I worked sound at ALL THE TIME during the '90s and frankly it bores the pants off me. All 5 or 6 "tunes" (and I'm using the word very loosely as most of the time there was no discernible melody) affected me the same way. Maybe it's great for club kids wacked out on X, I dunno.

You're 15 years out of date.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
OK, I just went and listened to a sampling of the stuff on that "album". The reason nobody would download the whole thing for $0.01 is that nobody here would be interested.

It's nothing special or interesting, certainly not new - I've had friends doing stuff like that around San Francisco since the '80s. In fact me and my friend Joey used to go in the synth lab at the store we worked at and get loaded and do crap like that all night long, playing with the Moog Modular, Obie 8-voice, couple of ARPs, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, blah-blah, woof-woof.... Festoons of cable, monster cross-patches...... We never really thought it was anything more than screwing around, although Joey did use the experience to get gigs writing patches for Roland and Korg and doing synth programming and producing on a few major hit albums (yes, you'd recognize the acts) and at least one major motion picture.

It's nothing new, it's nothing special, people did stuff like yours at raves I worked sound at ALL THE TIME during the '90s and frankly it bores the pants off me. All 5 or 6 "tunes" (and I'm using the word very loosely as most of the time there was no discernible melody) affected me the same way. Maybe it's great for club kids wacked out on X, I dunno.

You're 15 years out of date.
Lets get this clear pal/ Not once have I said it was special and new. I wanted to find out if this was a common method becasue to date I have met no one who has done this.

Well, it is a ten year old album but the best example of arranged on the console songs I have made that just happen to be on one CD. It has sold 30,000 copies, was album of the month in just about every British and many European and US magazines at the time so it cant be that bad. John Peel played quite a few of those tracks as did just about every other radio one dj you can think of. Or would you say he has no taste either. I mean were not all in to a few guitar chords being strummed together in case you hadnt noticed. Unlike you and your mate piddling about with hardware synths and doing the PA at raves (which is not mixing or arranging by by stretch of the imagination) I was doing this seriously and making records that were released using my method/ Difference it seems between me and you is I saw potential but it bypassed you. If Im fifteen years late why do controllers allow you to record all your movements? Whats the difference?

You clearly dont understand the genre and Im fine with that. But if the best you can do is criticise the music you have already lost the argument.

Tell you what, my next album (once my chops are again up to standard will be made like this) and you can stick to placing dots around your Daw. Ill have my arrangement done before you have even got past bar 4

One thing Ive been told many many times about that album is that no matter how many times they listen to it they always hear something different. I think that speaks volumes for how the tracks were arranged and the subtleties of eq changes, fader moves and fx send

Its about capturing the moment, the performance. I think we lose so much piddling about arranging tracks on a a DAW. Im not anti Daw though...oh no no. Great things, I love my Daw. I still use mine and will continue to use it, but now I have new ideas as to how I can use it
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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[B]
You clearly dont understand the genre and Im fine with that. But if the best you can do is criticise the music you have already lost the argument.
Firstly, criticism is the basis for any constructive debate.

Secondly, I think you greatly underestimate the people on this forum (myself not necessarily included)

Thirdly, to anyone who has been dealing with more complex genres, the genre is not just understandable, it's a little monotonous.

I have nothing against the method or what you do, or even you being excited and enthusiastic. Just don't think that if people don't go crazy about it, it's because they don't understand. They may actually understand it better than you and be past it. In which case you have an opportunity to learn something.

I'll listen to the tracks now with an unbiased mindset and tell you what I think.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

I UNDERSTAND it just fine.

I just don't find it particularly interesting.

And you down-repped me when I was being NICE to you and SUPPORTIVE of what you were trying to do IN SPITE OF THE FACT that electronica consisting of endless synth washes over boring, repetitious beats with the occasional funny noise mixed in are PROFOUNDLY uninteresting to me at this point in my musical development, as I have developed a PRONOUNCED predilection for MELODY in music. Which I knew BEFORE I EVEN SUBJECTED MYSELF to your pap, simply on the description you gave of your "technique" - and I was right - it was EXACTLY what I expected.

But I figured to each his own and attempted to furnish some modicum of understanding and support to a person who was obviously a clueless noob. And because I'm a strong proponent of hardware consoles and mixing OTB. AND YOU TURNED AROUND AND SHAT ON ME!

That's not how you make friends.

Later, when I went to check out your "album" (after I discovered your perfidy and figured I should make sure that my reading of your "great works" was not incorrect and that you were in fact blowing smoke about how you had simply posted an uninteresting exercise here that was unrepresentative of your true work - what kind of idiot would do that?) I realized from reading the PR blather that you are not in fact a clueless noob, you are a clueless raging egomaniac with a vastly inflated opinion of his own abilities and "talent", who has kept his head so far up his ass for the last two decades that he's totally out of touch with reality.

You put out over 200 "albums" of THAT CRAP?

Dig it, junior - if I'm going to listen to electronica I'm going to listen to something INTERESTING, not something that makes me yearn for a chemical lobotomy. Like Morton Subotnick (do you even KNOW who Subotnick is?) or Kraftwerk.

I don't like you. I tried to be your friend and you laid a great steaming turd on my head. You seem to do that indiscriminately to anybody within reach. Keep it up and see how well that works for you.


P.S. I'm pretty sure that's the first time anyone's down-repped me for trying to be supportive of what they were trying to do. So in that way I guess you're unique. Revel in it.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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I used to do extended remixes for friends/local guys in the late 80's to early 90's by doing exactly this. I would improv perform a few mix pass and then edit together a long form on the 1/4" out of the best bits.

I was hardly the inventor of the genre.

My remix hero (later client, mentor & a good friend) was an older local guy who, as a young nobody french-speaking dj was hired by Chris Blackwell to do the famous B-52s "Party Mix!" at Compass Point around 1979-80 after some bootleg remixes of them he had made found their way to the Big Apple dance floors. He made tons of dance floor stuff, remixes, radio station idents and even pop song production later on (where he would use me a lot). He performed A LOT on the mixing board. In the early days he was running a couple 1/4"s, a beat box and a couple turntables, mixing all that seamlessly in real time.
Good stuff. This is what I was thinking some of the early pioneers did with tape. Make a section of the song using specific EQ and level and FX settings then print to tape. Then do the same again with another section to change the vibe. No recall in those days just human ingenuity. I think my method is slightly different and a bit more frantic though. Not saying better, just different because I have to do it in one take and create the arrangement as I mix to tape.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 05:13 AM
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It started a bit slow but took up pace like a real champ. Highly entertaining!

Seriously, this guy should eventually get his npd treated... :(
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

Hey, looks like I missed this thread.

So I went & listened.

To Spaceacademy: what you're doing in its principle is interesting... you just need a bit more interesting base material to work with, if you want to avoid being sandbagged by, let alone impress, a gallery of old musos/ AEs like this one.

The fact that this wasn't obvious to you tells me you actually might have the right energy & spirit & foolishness to do something right at some point. I just hope you're not too much above 25 right now.

Frankly, I was waiting for something like a melody line, or at least some form of sonic events in the high-midrange that your track was clearly missing, even for the kind of ambient techno you seem to be into.

That genre is all about walking a tight rope above the abyss of monotony. If you listen to people like Hawtin, Apparat, Villalobos etc you'll know what I'm saying; with very few elements going on they never let you forget there is a creative mind at work the whole time... which a pair of hands moving a couple faders cannot substitute for.

Personally I think Ableton + the more recent controllers allow for more efficient/ complex live interaction with samples & loops than a traditional console would, but of course to each his own and don't let anybody tell you otherwise if you see a light at the end of that tunnel.

PS: don't mind Mr Eppstein, he's exactly what he seems to be.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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Originally Posted by TubaSolo View Post
Hey, looks like I missed this thread.

So I went & listened.

To Spaceacademy: what you're doing in its principle is interesting... you just need a bit more interesting base material to work with, if you want to avoid being sandbagged by, let alone impress, a gallery of old musos/ AEs like this one.

The fact that this wasn't obvious to you tells me you actually might have the right energy & spirit & foolishness to do something right at some point. I just hope you're not too much above 25 right now.

Frankly, I was waiting for something like a melody line, or at least some form of sonic events in the high-midrange that your track was clearly missing, even for the kind of ambient techno you seem to be into.

That genre is all about walking a tight rope above an abyss of monotony. If you listen to people like Hawtin, Apparat, Villalobos etc you'll know what I'm saying; with very few elements going on they never let you forget there is a creative mind at work the whole time... which a pair of hands moving a couple faders cannot substitute for.

Personally I think Ableton + the more recent controllers allow for more efficient/ complex live interaction with samples & loops than a traditional console would, but of course to each his own and don't let anybody tell you otherwise if you see a light at the end of that tunnel.

PS: don't mind Mr Eppstein, he's exactly what he seems to be.

Thanks Tubasolo.

Im well aware Im rusty at this after a ten year break but I honestly was pretty good ten years ago. I guess I should have waited until my chops were a bit more up to par. Thanks for the kind words. I wont be doing another one until I'm ready
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Old March 25th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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John Eppstein John Eppstein is offline
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

I did some checking with some friends of mine who do most of the major (legal) raves and EDM parties in SF - nobody's heard of this asshole.
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  #18  
Old March 25th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
...nobody's heard of this asshole.
No need for calling Spacer an asshole and you know better.

On the other hand, whiny cunt, as is discussed in the FAQ, can be used but only under certain circumstances... like when you get all bent out of shape over a goofy poster and feel the need to denigrate them and their work... see quoted post.

Don't be a whiny cunt or an asshole.

As for our thin-skinned LFO twister, go ahead and tell John he is an asshole AND a whiny cunt.

There.

Feel better?

Now both of you give it a break.


Cheers,
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Old March 25th, 2012, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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Originally Posted by Aardvark View Post
...
On the other hand, whiny cunt, as is discussed in the FAQ, can be used but only under certain circumstances... like when you get all bent out of shape over a goofy poster and feel the need to denigrate them and their work...

him and his work
or her and her work

singular.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: The Art OF Performace micing - Arrange the song via the console

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him and his work
or her and her work

singular.
Not necessarily.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
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