Common Mixing Problems and Tricks Part 1
Let's talk about some common mistakes and, uh, kind of fix them and let me just say this is meant to be a q and a as well as me showing you guys a lot of stuff, so there's gonna be one slide per topic we're going to start with, like, for instance, buried snare and that's what we're going to talk about. So, uh, be sending your snare questions now start thinking about this stuff and start populating the chat room with these questions, because as soon as we move on, we're not going to talk about this anymore. So without further ado, let's talk about us buried snare and, uh, there's a bunch of different ways to go about it. I've got the reflections mix up again and this there's not exactly buried in it, but here's, what I'm going to do, I will bury it for you, and we'll go from there. So one moment, let me do something to make my life easier, going to make a snare ox and have won this makes this is an older mix, uh, did things a little differently back then was called bus twenty, and the s...
nares are all good to go to bus twenty yeah, they're in bus twenty um, so the first thing is, ah, snares buried and, uh, a lot of people don't really don't really know how to get this they're in a pop through everything else, especially when they're mixing into a limiter um or after they get a master back this narrow we buried so the first thing you do this might sound really, really dumb, but just turn it up but I have three to sixty be louder than everything else, but sometimes the way to actually go about it is to get the mix the way like it without the limiter on um just get it, get it to where you feel like the snare is nice and then bump it up, maybe a d, b and a half before mastering and see what that does and then if that's not enough, then you go to the three to sixty we arrange, but what happens in mastering is that your snare will go down and the guitars on the size will go up. A bunch of other things will happen as well, but snare getting buried is really, really common so way around that if you don't want to mix into a limiter is to get it the way you like it and then bump it up a little now I know a lot of people do mix into limiters, and I do that sometimes as well, but if you're not good at mastering you want to be careful because if if you, uh if you've got some jack limiter settings or jack fake master say's that you're not getting a good perspective on what will happen in master anyways, the whole reason I have a fake master is to kind of understand what is going to take place to your mix one against mastered and if you're not good at that, then you're going to be as wildly off the path as if you weren't using the limiter in the first place so I know you like to hear things loudly everybody likes loud louder sounds better, but but be smart about whether or not you're using limiter and remember and turn that snare up just a little bit louder than you think it should be before it even gets to mastering so it's the first thing I would do um another thing to do is a parallel snare bus with heavy compression and I showed that one yesterday uh but I'll show that again that's ah very, very easy to do. Um I would say maybe do it with with a sample, for instance like say, I want to make this pop first of all in terms of my groups and I'll do something else and then turn the stairs down because I think they're at a good level right now so let's pretend like they weren't at a good level just turned them down a dvd and a half and see what happens first give it another point. Five down now interesting thing to note is that now they have turned it down about one point five or two, it actually sounds like a normal snare volume and that's because this is pre master so my snare was already about one point five louder than it should have been because that's about the amount that it was going to come down in the master. So now that I've actually turned it down to a reasonable volume uh it sounds more correct to me and it was turned it down was that apparel chain so step one shift apple and well command in shift command and create new track pair a little snare comp send it to bus twenty as well. And I know that I wanted to be this sample and I know that this sample sounds great with a dbs one sixteen. So one of these days I'll get to the s one sixty here we go. So let's, listen to that real quick I know is it's just a sample? I get it, guys. Okay, so no one thing tio kind of remember to do when you're compressing something is tio match the volume after you're done, compressing it to what it was un compressed so that you're not tricking yourself with volume because louder if you do is you just making it louder you might trick yourself into thinking it's better when in fact it's just louder what happens in this case they got soft okay without the parallel and I'm gonna remove all information from the parallel track no, I wish I had done that on the original you can't be too well hey that's, what happens when you open up of mix that's over a year old it's like, well, why don't I just do that? Yeah, I do like that better, but I don't know if everyone internet land caught that I'm going to play it with the parallel track muted and then the parallel track on peril compression goes a long way with snare the on ly thing is like with anything else a great power with peril compression a great power to improve a mix you have a great power too ruin it so be careful not to go overboard it it's supposed to blend in under the normals your regular snare is not supposed to be the loudest snare of the mall so it was yeah I feel like that made it better that's kind of funny um I am gonna skip the use a cliff for take off one point five the one point five and turn it up but I'll just explain that you know a clipper limiter uh will is just another way of using compression type plug ins you get a similar type of effect happening if you do that um I want to show you a big one because we kind of touched on phase earlier I kind of want to show you guys what happens when you're snares air out of phase and why often times this could just be the problem with why you're snares buried because you know, you guys can all put a limiter on uncertain and just, you know, do what it says there try for yourself, but I want you guys to hear this I want to make sure you hear this because I know a lot of people don't just don't pay attention about this stuff, so first things first see something say the drummer doesn't hit very hard, all right? So I don't play the two samples that I just I was working with and I'm going to flip the phase on one of them well put actually the third sample in there as well hear that difference all I did was flipped well that's like a polarity flip but that's all I did and now let's listen to that in the mix with uh with the samples out of phase from each other back and forth between in face and out of phase pretty extreme stuff right there and, uh pretty simple fix to think that that example worked way better than I was expecting it to. I was kind of expecting to flip the phase and it kind of get semi haulover that like just about canceled itself out almost completely those fantastic but so that's a pretty extreme example however yeah if you got out of phase drums you will never get a big sound because you have some variation of what I just showed you going on and that applies for all your drums really that's your if you're playing around with the phase on two different snare mikes for example and it doesn't sound too different either way I was going to say there's probably a good chance you could improve the sound just by actually moving one of the mike's a little bit while engineering you know, if it doesn't sound better either way you're kind of probably halfway in phase you know? Yeah, yeah I would agree with that that's when it starts to get a little confusing is when you start flipping phase and nothing happens well yeah, especially if you know the snare is in with the overheads too. If you moved most of too much then you start creating problems elsewhere so it could be quite a quite a game sometimes to hunt down phase issues yeah, but it still hunting it down um is a game but it's a it's a simple game it's as simple as taking two tracks, flipping the phase and is going from there, but the thing is, when if you're doing it across the whole drum set, you just had to keep track of what's what you know like don't just start randomly flipping phase because of you say you realize that your overheads and your top snare or out and so you flip your top snare suddenly it's out of phase with the bottom stair, but then it's fine with the overheads and you need to you need to think about this um, logically and in an organized way so that you don't fix one thing and then cause a much bigger problem or just create, you know, what's that game where you're trying to hit the wacko yeah that's basic fixing phase on drums, khun b like that if you're not keeping track of what you're doing, um, so yeah, have you realized that say the top snare is out from the overheads? Well, maybe what you need to do is change the overheads and go from there. I don't know it's there's a bunch of different ways to go about it, but the most important thing is keep track of what you're doing um, any questions about their, uh, do a few more things about it, but see if anyone has any questions about that yeah yeah we do sure how do you keep there's a couple questions about keeping uh hi hap lead out of the snow and likes besides it's keeping it in the noles own of the mike that's the best way to do it okay um besides that explain the nose on I don't know well every microphone has a different of a pickup pattern you know cardio hypercar good and they should just typed that into google so that you can see what that means cardio hybrid cardio oid omni whatever figure eight every might you use has a pickup pattern and you should learn what it is for every mike that you're going to use if you don't know the pickup pattern on the mike you're you know you randomly do things right but more often than not do things wrong er and you have to aim the mikes in a way point him in a way to where what you don't want getting in there is in his no zone and that's based on his pickup pattern it's very simple it's easier to do also another thing you can do with that is uh tell your drummer to raise his high hats and move them further away from the snare all the all the best drummers I've worked with totally pro guys are very understanding of that whole idea of removing your symbols out away from the drums to minimize bleed but it does come down to mike positioning and there is one piece of software I know of that said to do that have you tried to the drama tom uh if anyone in the chat room has tried it, I'd be interested to hear review apparently you're supposed to be able to remove uh bleed and stuff go it's it's cool I mean I don't I didn't try it on more than one session so I can't say you know for certain I mean that it's that's um that I've demoted as thoroughly as I could have, but it does do a good job of taking away a lot, but I think if in my experience at least if you go into a drama tom expecting to completely built to remove bleed you're probably not going to be quite satisfied it'll kill too much of the actual drum sound you want to get but if you just want to reduce bleed enough that um the bleed is a lot less evident under heavy compression and stuff like that like yeah, it will help you yeah and also getting the snare that's you can the problem with putting a heavy gate on your snare though is that you can kill the ring save you have a really nice ring we'll ring gone and but there's ways to get around that you can get the ring from a sample that you like and uh and trigger just the ring of that so if that is one way to do it I'm not going to totally get into into step by step on that because it could take a while but the idea is and there's tutorials on how to do this and this is very effective is take a sample that you that you like specifically the tale of the transients not important and uh you take your original snare and you get it really really hard to where you're not getting any any ring and then you blend the to get the ring you like in your attack from the real stare and now the only problem with that though is if you're bleed is still really bad you're still gonna have it over the over the stairs natural snare transient so really the best way to do this is proper mike positioning as the number one way you do that right you don't have to deal with that at all so the other questions us there more about room miking and phase issues how much should you be moving your room like to deal with phase issues uh get a mountain well here's the thing I think that's right uh here's the thing you should do the ear test first with room likes you should walk around your room and look for good places because there are different spots in every room that sound better than others and you should be trying tio put rooms and those types of spots and working around the spots and there are spots in the rooms were placing the drum set on a sound better than others. So first you just figured that stuff out, then there are ways tio, get the phase right, like measuring fromthe snare. Make sure that, like, save your doing a stereo room pair uh, no matter, no matter what kind of cereal room perry is, it's uh, um the same distance from the stare that usually will take care of it, you know, just like we were talking about keeping track of, uh, what you're doing with phase in the mix, when you're checking during the different drums you keep track also the distances between the room mikes and snare, just like you do with overheads and stare. I hope that helps. Well, anything else in here with a snare? No. All right. And try one other a little, uh, technique that was suggested to me that I've actually never tried it before, but I think that would be a cool time to do it. Um, well, I'm setting this up. Aaron, do you have any cool? I'm gonna take a second to set something up so well, so if you have any cool snare tricks I don't know if you're about to set up the same kind of thing you had in your notes there about room samples, though, but I love using I was also go ahead and bring samples. Well, I mean, if you if you have the ability to track a good drum set and a great room and have real room mikes and stuff that's great, but, um, you probably still have some symbol bleed and those were mikes, so if you're not trying to rely on the room likes to, you know, if you want to remix, to be more of, like a full kit sound, I think that generally makes more sense than trying to just get on ly snare out of them. So sometimes even with good room mike's it's kind of fun to have ah, room sample track going with your snare um, that doesn't even have to be necessarily the same same snare like from the same session that you recorded the drums, then it could be something different, but, like was that yesterday? It should be pretty close and pitch to the snare that's on the actual kids, so it doesn't just sound. It sounds strange, but, um, I've actually kind of gotten away from using like reverb. On snares just because I think room sample sounds so much more cool and lively it's very similar to what you would try to accomplish with river but it's just like more riel just just sounds cool. I completely agree nothing it's kind of like nothing really beats ah good room, though I do find that the right kind of river does make a big difference at the end of the day. Yes, it's sometimes lined up with room samples and a little bit of river to it's kind of like a blend of the two that ends up making the final cut, but but, yeah, I don't don't underestimate room samples, though don't make it especially like a drum kit recorded in a really small room, like even like a you know, a little bedroom or something like that if that's all you khun that's all you can do try putting some really good room samples in there and you'll you'll fool the listener into thinking the kid was in a lot better space. Yeah that's absolutely true. All right, I'm almost done with this and I'm doing this the simple way. By the way um, so um, in the interest of speed so there's a few different ways to do this idea and I'm doing this a simple wages because I have this track is set up because to do it the other way I would have to import a whole new master chain set up and just take forever so the idea being that if your snare is buried another thing you could do is just not route it to your master bus compressor you just have it go parallel to that never even hit that compressor but another way to go about that is to just not right to your drunk conference since just have it go by itself to the masters section says what we'll try right here so I have ah looks to me like I have routed all the drums to this eleven, seventy six who knows that is going to sound and uh the snare ox is uh is still just going to the master so we'll see what happens might be crazy it might be amazing too and just in the interest of speed let's just see here see what we got now I'll just make it myself I guess it's kind of crazy, isn't it? That idea wasn't working almost there just making sure that this is going to are supposed to go going on now as you're getting that weird delay compensation issue from older pro tools so I guess you can't do this sort of thing with older pro tools without without real life what's that a compensation turned on in there, you know? Yes, it should be yeah yeah I know older this is before they got this stuff taken care of so anyways we'll just I'll just tell you the concept the concept is that when you send all the drums to a comp or you go to the master bus so everything gets jelled together and maybe some things do don't you know don't pop out as much as you like you're going for more it's more of a glue sort of sound um if your snare is just not popping through enough just skip that compressors that's simple that's the main idea so I'm gonna put this back and uh yesterday we were talking about problems with routings and delay compensation pro tools you just saw there were here you go perfect example a lot of things and older pro tools that you just couldn't do very well that in newer pro tools that would never be a problem so I can't I cannot emphasize enough that you're mixes will get better if you switch tio pro tools eleven were you about to say something I've heard of standing the snare toe a sighting gate with pink noise or white knight is on it so only opens up when the snare heads and you hear the pink noise or white noise or whatever and you blended in yeah yeah has anyone here ever tried that I have been turned yeah, but I've tried that one and uh doesn't work very well. I mean, I know it has worked for some people very well, but ah, it's, I feel like it's kind of weird, but but I would love for someone to show me how to do it properly, I guess, um, anyone in here ever tried the pink toys under the snare trick that years ago when before I was even really starting recording there's a little demo my band in high school did when I was, like, fifteen or something, but my buddy was triggering a sign wave along with the cake, which is similar similar concept. Um and that was actually pretty cool, at least at the time I thought it was when I was fifteen. What what you're what frequency the sign way was that fifty six hurts I remember that I can see why that would work the thing that I was noticing when I tried the pink noise on the snare trick, maybe someone in the chat rooms has tried it before, the thing that I was noticing with that, was that it it just added this weird noise under the snare that I just didn't want in there like or something? Yeah, exactly it's an eighties trick? Yeah, and, you know the big eighties snares and don't always sound like snares that just sound like big eighties I could see it may be working better if you really really filtered it you know and tried to tried to hone in on the frequency is within the white noise that only on lee worked you know but if you if you're leaving a full a full frequency burst in there I don't know there's gonna be some something you don't want it going on yeah if I haven't I don't know anyone of the guys I know who makes you really do that oh we're all snare masters um and uh you know obviously make sure that you pick the right samples and that there pitched correctly and I just showed you guys about things being out of phase and should you guys earlier about using auto line um but ah delay compensation uh you guys also just so what happens when delay compensation is messed up those of you who use pro tools um go to eleven but uh go to your playback engine and maybe because it's not set to maximum that was the problem but sometimes if a session is too overloaded with plug ins or for whatever reason it won't load in maximum in pro tools ten but you want to always try to be in maximum of you can't if it'll handle it some sessions it won't be able to handle it and then what will happen is when you start doing these boxes and things like that things will be way off and you might need to slide them by hand and that becomes a whole mess so all the other day w's seem to have figured this out but for those of you pro tools users uh watch out for this make sure delay compensation is on and try to get it is close to maximum is possible always like don't mix without doing that um also just to recap there plug and you want to get to fix uh to fix tend to fix phase issues with its called auto line so we'll move on to the next thing since we already talked about quite a bit of phase stuff I think unless of there's anything face what do you guys think we should cover? Yeah all right cool start about the drum sounding robotic this is really, really common um touched on this before but we'll go into this again I don't know how many of you guys use one shot samples I know that I do not on lee but I have a good amount of one shots that are just you know they're cool they work really nicely and uh I know lots of guys who use one shots in combination with multi layered samples one shots are very good for especially for just getting a very consistent tone throughout a song the same way that like we were just talking about with wade even if you're changing up the drum mix from part apart, you want something that keeps the consistency going so that's that's one place where one shot samples are really, really cool and, uh feel like any talk about that? Because a lot of people put down one shot samples uh, you got to know what their four and how to use and what they're for is for consistency. However, when you use one shot samples uh or one velocity samples whatever, you can get stuff sounding very, very robotic like, for instance, this sorry I was talking with this plane that sounds stupid it's most apparent when you hear things playing back to back to back for in close succession and it's a big issue on phil's and blast beats um see, we have any other cool examples of horrible one shot that's not as bad. Yeah. So I mean, you get the idea, you put one shots like too close together and don't do anything about it and that's what you end up with and I feel like this should be common knowledge to me it is to everyone I know that mixes this is common everyday stuff, but I hear so many mixes where the drum sound like complete robotic piece of garbage that I don't think there's common knowledge it's worth bringing up again uh way to handle this situation is too like I did right here turned down the one shots you turn up the bottom snare it turned out the natural let me play you the bottom snare were you about to talk about upstairs? Okay, I'll get to where you were going to say a second. I'm sure it was awesome. So that's the bottom snare now, when you say one thing for so bottom snare never sounds great by itself s so don't be thinking that it needs to sound like a big singer sound, but one thing that you can tell right here is that this drummer actually played this very consistently listen, no consistent this performances then with the natural drums it's going to be hard to get it not to sound robotic because the actual performance is a little robotic, but still that natural snare does is because what you're hearing is the actual snare wires vibrating against the head of the bottom head and there's, a bunch of stare wires and it's random vibrations uh, it's a random sound every single time uh, that introduces variation into the tone, which makes it sound less robotic. So you bring that up that's, what gives it and that's what gives it it's humanity so keep the one shots for the consistency reasons, but bring up the, uh bring up the rial snare for realism and specifically the bottom snare. And, uh, I'll jack that, I'm saying right now, just weaken and that's too loud for me. That's. Too much bottom snare right there, because it starts to sound already. But that doesn't sound anything like what it did before, when it was just playing you. The one shots, one shots. But I just remind you, stupid. You put that all together, the different blend, it's, not stupid anymore, okay? And now, just and show you moving on into the next section.