This is the 3rd installment of some simple audio mixing tips I’ve been posting up every so often. Here are five more intriguing tips to try out while mixing your audio!
Check ‘em out…
1) Turn up the monitors pretty loud, then leave the room and shut the door and listen to the mix from outside of the room. Doing this can sometimes reveal weird things in the mix that you may not have heard from directly in front of the speakers. It can also help with making sure the track levels are well balanced. I know this may not make much sense but try it out! It really does work, some professionals use this trick and swear by it!
As I strolled ignorantly to my theater class this afternoon, completely forgetting that it had been canceled, I decided to pick up a copy of The Daily Collegian (PSU’s student paper) to kill some time before my next class. And I am very glad I did, because I came across a very refreshing article.
To be honest, usually most of the articles that come out of our newspaper aren’t the highest caliber. However, the author of this article really surprised me with her knowledge of the music industry! It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me because, until today, I had yet to meet someone at PSU with as much interest in the music industry as me.
If you get me rambling about the music industry up here in Happy Valley, I usually get incessant nodding or eyes rolling from listeners – frankly, it seems like they would rather do a kegstand. Not that there’s anything wrong with kegstands… :)
I was watching America’s Newsroom on FOX News today during lunch and came across this awesome story. It seems the “pay what you want” theory is branching out to other industries — in this case, the restaurant business.
Sam Lippert, owner of the Java Street Cafe was having some trouble keeping his business afloat. He was looking for alternative strategies to bring in new customers during this recessionary period, and decided to implement the progressive idea of allowing customers to pay what they think is fair for the food his cafe offers.
This is my second installment of “Simple Audio Mixing Tips,” so I’m back to share five more interesting tips to try out while mixing your audio! Ok, lets just get right to it:
1) Mute vocal tracks when there is a break of more than a second or two to kill any unwanted noise. In my experience, vocal tracks tend to be the noisiest and contain the most artifacts out of any other instrument. I think it is because much more sensitive microphones (LDC’s, in particular) are being used that pick up everything happening inside and immediately outside of a room (damn you airplanes!!). To cut back on some of the noise in your mixes, try this simple technique to eliminate unwanted breaths, licking of lips, or any other interesting noises that really don’t belong in your audio. A great way to automate this “muting” process is to use a noise gate, which kicks in once the track falls below the dB threshold that you specify.
2) For drums especially, import a known good track into the session, and see how yours sounds compared to the reference. Mix to get yours sounding more like the reference. This is an extremely helpful technique. You should always A/B a reference mix that has certain qualities you may want to emulate. It is much easier to hear it than to think you know what it sounds like already, because you are most likely wrong. Use this technique for any instrument, and for entire mixes, its really helpful!!
So I was reading some stuff on the internet today, and I came across the topic of “selling out.” And by selling out, I don’t mean packing a theater with fans to the point that it becomes a fire hazard — because that’s awesome. I am talking about the attitude a fan expresses towards an artist/band that has done something to propel them into the “mainstream” or “pop” music realms.
“Aw man, I used to like ________ until they totally sold out last month! Lame!”
Being in a band myself, this statement always got me thinking.