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HarryAndre says

Hello everyone!

First of all I want to greed all the members here since this is my first post. The community here seems very nice, though I noticed a few too demanding or complaining posts, but I guess it’s just inevitable in such a big community.

Anyways! I consider myself a new author here. I joined in January when I also uploaded my first track and until June I was kind of inactive. Since June I have uploaded 4 more tracks and I am now ready to work more regularly.

I study music so, as far as the composing process is concerned, I have found my way of working. The reason I made this topic (finally :asleep: ) is because I feel I don’t have a plan once I start mixing my music.

So far none of the items I have sent here were rejected so that was a good start for me. But I always compare my production with other authors or even well-known music from big musicians and record labels etc, and I feel I am in the dark here.

I understand there is not a recipe to follow and you suddendly have a good sound quality. But I would like to know what are the first things you would work on. From what I’ve seen in the forum, there are some very experienced people here. I don’t know many things about sound engineering. Though, I have chosen the Music Technology direction as an expertise at the University and I have been studying stuff about it. But I am only at the begining.

So, any tips, even like if you had to pick only one, what would you consider the most important thing? EQ, compression? anything. Just to help me pick a start.

I hope I didn’t tire you too much. Thanks anyway and again hello to everyone! Keep making music! :)

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SERFmusic says

Hey Harry! Welcome!

Wow where to start? I’ll just tell you what helps me. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

1. Study – Study mixes and productions from whatever style(s) that’s applicable to what you do. For example, if it’s cinematic, then listen listen and listen even more to great cinematic productions and study it. Make it your own as well. If you are into pop, study different pop styles and mixes!

2. Study some More – I put this in another thread but I’ve been following grammy award winning mix engineer on YouTube for this whole year. http://www.youtube.com/user/PensadosPlace. This has literally helped me transform my mixes, the way i mix, and helped me learn a lot in a small amount of time. And it’s free :)

3. I don’t think there’s a “most important” aspect as far as the technical side (EQ, Compression, FX) but they are all vital to polishing mixes and manipulating them to accomplish what you want them to. I personally believe (depending on what you are mixing and what style you are doing) that you need to use a combination to achieve your final result.

4. Play with FX’s (reverbs, delays, panning, etc.) to give the mix depth and character.

5. Try to make your mixes sound like what you are desiring to sound like. Others may disagree, but I always try to make my mixes sound like a veteran mix and mastering engineer out of the top studios mixed and mastered it. Hey, you gotta have something to shoot for right? Am I there. NO! But i’m getting better and better as I strive to get there.

Okay, so it wasn’t so short after all, but there’s sooooo much to this but those are the things that I do.

Oh, and your tracks sound amazing :)

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HarryAndre says

Hi SERF , thanks for the reply! And I’m glad you liked my stuff. :)

Actually, you gave me a very good idea. I think I’ll find 2 or 3 pieces I like and I’ll re-write them myself. Then I’ll try to make them sound as close to the original as possible. I think along with the studying you mentioned, which is vital of course, it will be a good start. I’ll begin right away!

Also, I did notice your other post about PensadosPlace and I started watching some of the videos. I can tell there are some very professional and important stuff there, indeed.

Let’s get working then! Thanks again :)

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tunesurfers says

Hi SERF , thanks for the reply! And I’m glad you liked my stuff. :)

Actually, you gave me a very good idea. I think I’ll find 2 or 3 pieces I like and I’ll re-write them myself. Then I’ll try to make them sound as close to the original as possible. I think along with the studying you mentioned, which is vital of course, it will be a good start. I’ll begin right away!

Also, I did notice your other post about PensadosPlace and I started watching some of the videos. I can tell there are some very professional and important stuff there, indeed.

Let’s get working then! Thanks again :)

Yeah, that’s a good idea. Try to reproduce a top quality piece. Once you finished if you think you nailed it, then it means your ears need more training :)

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MValentino says

Hi Harrycane I completely agree with Serf, and I would add some more on the “study” side: there some good mixing and mastering handbook. They’re lots of pages, but they worth it. Just study them, and then experiment the chapter’s topic, then pass to another topic and experiment, and compare with other recordings and try to find in cds those techniques they were talking about in the handbook.

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Sonic_System says

Hi Harrycane!
From my experience, very important thing is to choose and record your sounds carefully when you start to work on your new song. If all the components of your song work well with each other, sound up-to-date for the genre you work in (if you want to be up-to-date, of course) and are sonically following your idea of a song, then song pretty much mixes and masters itself.
The best way (imo) to train your ears for these tasks, is to listen as much high-quality music as possible and compare your tracks with it, including individual components, too. If you work in EDM , is your kick punchy and fat enough? If you compose nu-metal, are your guitars bassy enough without being muddy? And so on…I hope this helps a little, cheers!

Stuck_in_the_Basement
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Stuck_in_the_Basement Envato team says

Sonic_System has a very important point here. You can learn all the mixing and mastering you want, if your recording is poor at the source, there will be nothing you can do to fix it effectively. So first you need to learn about microphones, positioning techniques and so forth. Once you somewhat master good recording techniques, the mixing part will be a piece of cake! Even if you use mostly virtual instruments, these resources will help you understand how to get the best of them. Good luck!

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Sonic_System says

Sonic_System has a very important point here. You can learn all the mixing and mastering you want, if your recording is poor at the source, there will be nothing you can do to fix it effectively. So first you need to learn about microphones, positioning techniques and so forth. Once you somewhat master good recording techniques, the mixing part will be a piece of cake! Even if you use mostly virtual instruments, these resources will help you understand how to get the best of them. Good luck!

Just to make it clear, my post was about using samples, too. Thanx for chiming in!

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SubKutz says

EQ. I start with EQ before I do anything else. Each element of your track has it’s own frequency. Eliminating frequencies that don’t belong at a certain range is vital.

An amazing read on EQ.

http://www.dnbscene.com/article/88-thinking-inside-the-box-a-complete-eq-tutorial/
BristolMusicTech
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BristolMusicTech says

EQ is vital, not just for ensuring the tracks are balanced and overall well mixed but for accentuating things, a well EQ’d kick drum can make the difference between a great sound and a dull muddy tone.

http://www.bristolmusictech.com/kick-drum-eq/

compression too – here’s a brief guide on how to compress any sound.

http://www.bristolmusictech.com/compression/

Once the tracks are balanced tonally and dynamically you can work on other more exciting things like reverb and delay to give the sounds some space.

I find saturation a really useful effect too – the bootsy/variety of sound plugins are excellent for adding sheen and gloss and depth to sounds.

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