Reflections Mix Overview and Challenges
Let's talk about some mixes hopefully yes paid attention yesterday to all the prep stuff we discussed because all these mixes were going to go into uh are built on solid prep now one thing that you should know is that I won't be playing mixes that I you know, put together over the years on different systems through different stages of my own personal development and process so some of the prep in there will be a little different than what you saw yesterday just because you knows what I was doing two years ago or something also you will notice at times that the it sounds maybe a little bit different than the final product and the reason for that is that some plug ins don't exist anymore we're going be playing these through pro tools ten and eleven but some of this stuff I mix on pro tools eight tdm you know and some of the plug ins I used just don't exist so I did my best to recreate them you know, recreate those tones but you know I just figured in the interest of full disclosure that ...
you should you should know that and you also one thing you should pay attention to is the difference between a mastered mix in a nun massive mix at the beginning of everything I will let you hear the final version with the master and then we'll start working on the mix you'll notice how different those things sound and I know that a lot of people ask me all the time when they hit me up on my number what's the difference well you're about to hear speaking of that we can talk about this yesterday but talk about how to find me if you feel like finding me after this I'm online a lot and that lots of different avenues for contact you khun go look att photos of my cool life and instagram it's not that cool his pictures of recording stuff in my dog on dh sometimes airplanes but uh yeah instagram at unstoppable killing machine and if you want to then after that of that you know piques your interest all of it or if the information you learned here piques your interests and more you want to learn more about recording and things I'm doing in the way of recording education go to my companies web page I mean well to our facebook page you know facebook dot com such unstoppable km that's for unstoppable killing machine also I'm giving recording boot camps, which is I'd say in person hands on one on one version of the kinds of things I do hear the big difference is that those are about the people attending more than they are about me for instance, if we're talking about out of record guitars tightly, people who attend the boot camp will be the ones recording they won't be me recording and then you tell me that I'm cool because I'm not cool you guys will be the ones that are cool because you'll be the ones recording uh you want to buy some tones you can go toe ukm dup big cartel dot com uh and right now we have a john brown tone pack up there and more to come if you just have questions, any sorts of questions hit me up on my tumbler I answer recording questions all the time if you noticed that there's ever a drop off me answering questions this because I get busy because I have to do things like mix a record or do a creative live and I just don't have time to tell you which interface you should get for your laptop, but sometimes I do and, uh be sure to ask I might actually answer your question and with that let's tell you I do have a mailing list and anyone that signs up for that there's the link will get bonus mixed training videos that I've put together there's three of them uh, sign up you'll get those u k and a big cartel dot com slash sign dash up so enough with that let's talk about some mixing, all right? You know, through these mixed walk throughs so what I want you guys to do uh those of you who know how to write and the reason I'm saying that is because, you know, I don't even know when the last time I actually used a pen was before I do these squiggly lines earlier today get a pen and a pad of paper and what I want you to do when we listen to this is right down two things. Well, two lists list number one would be questions on how did he do that? Like, for instance, that sense sound or something or guitar tone or what? Not just how did this happen? How did this going to be? And then another list I want you guys to make is what seems challenging to you about this mix, what would give you a hard time about it, and the way I want this class toe work is that I want us to write down these lists when we go through the first listening of the song and then start start blowing up the chat rooms with them, try to crash the servers, go for it because I will try to answer every single one of your questions. All we're doing today is opening pro tools sessions and going through mixes, so if you guys don't ask I probably won't talk about it I don't have a million slides or anything this is about what you guys want to learn about these mixes and of course I could talk forever about certain things, but I want to make sure that your questions are answered so that further do let's start with the first track and, uh, I'm going to play it through the whole track and reduce of active listening get your list going this is ah, my cancer by reflections wait. All right, well, that was my cancer by reflections and before I skip to the next slide and tell you my challenges on the mix, I want to start hearing some, uh some of what you guys thought would be tough to mix about this, so we'll start with you, sir, how do you get to kick the stand out in such a dense mix? Okay, we'll get to that when I get the pro tools file shown, but how to get the kick in the snare, too jump out in that mix actually was a challenge because there's more the kick because there's so much low and information I mean it's tuned to f and it's a massive amount of distortion on the guitars more than usual, like normally I'm the type of person who thinks that lower gain harder playing is the way to go, however this guitar players phenomenal, but you hear when I saw the guitars that they're almost a noise level amounts of game and just work because it's supposed to have very, very angry sound, but yes, that's correct. That made it very tough, you know, with base also tuned down to f, um, any other things that you think would be a challenge about this, um you saturate the screaming vocals, distortions or anything? Yeah, okay, we'll talk about that too. Definitely. You know, the thing is, in this case, on I'll show you guys exactly why did this singer is brutal? And he does have a lot of good natural distortion to his voice. So we did kind of look out in that factor about you have any thoughts on what might be challenging? Well, immediately, it's it's kind of the same thing I thought, like, you know, obviously those air really, really down tuned high gain guitars. And so it seems like to be very difficult to make all that base just all that low and fit together and not be muddy. And, you know, I can hear that there's a lot of tight, percussive things happening in it. It seems I'll be quite easy to just lose it all or if you get the guitars to sit in there right you know how do you make it make him not somethin or lifeless because they sounded really median and thick and I could hear what was going on but yes, it seems like he really tough what's he that's ah interesting that you bring that up because I think a re amped this six different times but and it just wasn't right just went again and it was I drove myself nuts on it because exactly what you said you get one version where you can hear all the guitars but they sound week another version where their balls is held and they swallow everything uh balancing this out was definitely very, very very tough so yeah that's why I struggled with that before I got the guitars to sit properly but they sound like they're made out of paper, you know? Yeah so that's you know that's to me was the most interesting thing that really biggest seemed like that pose the biggest challenge that probably absolutely correct I think from internet bill some rob said I rob how do you get the guitar based relationship so locked it sounds like the guitar low end is huge thanks. So he let me welcome yeah, you're well dobro on and then charles logic says, how do you separate every symbol in a different track? One recording live drums can do you we'll get into that is well, what about what I want to know what before we get into actual how did things happen? What would they think would be difficult about mixing this too? Sure, marcello says vocals air super tight to that might have been a challenge getting the vocal starting the vocals super tight he said he was a really good vocalist, but getting local state is always a challenge um I will say this when you're working with this kind of music uh ah a lot there's a few schools of thought about how tight it should be, but when you're dealing was so many competing frequencies and such cluttered arrangements where uh yeah, not just that there's competing frequencies but there's just crazy patterns that are hard to decipher going on and everything's tuned down and then also there's massive amounts of gain on literally everything I believe there's gain even on the drums uh face guitars, vocals if at least everything is in time, ellie at least we've got that it's a good starting point s oh yeah, that I think that teo kind of answer what I think his question is that goes to the tracking has got to be tracked super tight um and you didn't hear the track, so I don't know what but I'm sure you I'm sure I'm sure we can have a good conversation anything else from the internet about what they might have found challenging let me check cool while you're checking I'll tell you is what I thought was challenging about this and uh okay, so these were my challenges on the mix low and balance made me insane uh it with music tune this low was so much going on like we just talked about correct that is the number one hardest thing to get and it you know, some mixes it will happen in five minutes other mixes it could take you two weeks and uh yeah, that was really, really tough and then you called it about the guitars um and somebody else called it about the vocals maintain the aggression levels um we're very hard, you know, when you're mixing, you have to realize that a you're doing a technical task, right? You're making everything work together and not step on each other but be you're also doing an artistic task which is fulfilling the vision of this song. So if it's ah song that needs tio make you feel like you just won bust through a wall you know or something like that like it just like so angry wanna punch your windshield? You can't just you can't just make all the instruments sit right with each other and call it a day is like you said you could get the guitar sitting right but then sound weak and that's not going to do it for this song so you had to find a way tio keep the aggression at at a ten uh but also keep the clarity and ah I will say I did sacrifice a little bit of clarity on purpose and sometimes it's okay to do that on day actually I picked this trick up from andy snead once he told me and I've seen him right this on his forums to uh back in like two thousand four two thousand three whenever that was but he also confirmed that he does this he get the mix to the point where everything is sitting together nicely and then dial it back so uh so yeah, you get everything nice and clear and then all the elements that make it clear like cutting low end x amount scale everything back every ten percent and that's a good nice rule of thumb for uh maintaining the the aggression but also keeping the clarity um also I don't know if you guys noticed but there's a lot of little noises throughout the song some trippy clean guitars here and there is not much but they're in there and they're in general to the song and one thing just like it I mean I guess just like metal mixing general fitting everything together is tough getting trippy parts like trippy clean guitars to stand out over something that's tuned to f and uh, it's, playing with double bass at the same time is really, really tough. So that was that was another thing. And, again, you could scale back the heavy guitars. Uh, but then you're losing that wall of power and aggression. So that was that was definitely child. So was where my challenges in the mix and, uh, start going through that with you guys.