Band 4: Glenn and Lindsay: “Got no Pity” (Mixing)

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This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

Firstly I went through all the available takes the band did, selecting the one which was most suitable; since they didn’t play to a click I had to go on consistency, while the vocals I had to go on what I had, which was a about half a songs worth of vocals between both singers.

I chose not to use the track of the D112 on the outside of the kick drum, as it lacked the higher end punch the Audix had, as well as the later also having a decent low end response as well, resulting in me only using the D6.I also chose to only use the top snare, as the bottom one ended up sounding too noisy and since the drums where very simple in the arrangement, It didn’t fit with the rest of the  mix.

Next I went through the track and tempo mapped it, as this allowed me to work out what tempo they were playing at, ranging from 80-85bpm, plus also being able to understand the songs structure to then put the vocals in the right places, which I then added markers for.

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2.1I did this by using a combination of different techniques, involving tab to transient, the “spot” feature to move tracks by milliseconds, as well duplicating the existing segments so they were at the right time. The female vocals where also recorded on many separate tracks, so I had to sum them down to the lowest amount ending up with two.3

Once this was in place I then proceeded to warp certain parts of the drums to tide some sections up, since I had used a combination of the piano and the drums to build the tempo map, creating a more consistent recording, while also adding two additional snare hits to the beginning of the recording to give it more of a lead in before the song starts.4

Now the song assembled the song with everything where It should be, I then proceeded to EQing separate tracks, starting with the Kick drum, which I boosted the bandwidth around 75hz by 5.0dB to further accentuate the “boom” of the kick, while cutting 300hz by 3.6dB creating a dip for the bass’s fundamental frequencies to sit in, plus also take out some of the “boxiness.” I then boosted 3Khz by 6dB to exaggerate the beater, adding clarity to the kick drum.5

By listening to the track, I also noticed that the kick was getting drowned out by the rest of the mix during the choruses, so I sent it pre-fade to a mono auxiliary input and then automated the volume so that during these parts both kick channels would be playing, making it louder.6

I edited the snare track, boosting around 240hz by 3dB to get bring out the “body” of the snare, while cutting 300hz by -3db to take out further emphasise the body by getting rid of the “boxiness.” Finally I boosted around 3.21Khz by 4dB to add to the snare “rattle” making a nice compromise giving I didn’t have a bottom snare.7

The Overheads were panned hard left and right, and bussed to a stereo auxiliary input, then I added a High Pass Filter (referred in future to HPF) with a 6dB/Octave shelf at 148Hz, which gently rolled off the lower frequencies so the kick could be heard more clearly in the mix.8

The bass track was then supplemented with a HPF, which was placed at 35.3Hz with a 12dB/Octave Shelf, which rolled off the un-needed extremely low frequencies, while boosting 87Hz by 2.5dB, so its doesn’t overlap too much with the kick, but boosts the fundamental frequencies. I also boosted the mid range around 600Hz, by 2.7dB, giving the bass a warmer tone.10550947_10204126448305462_6001693741697622701_n

I was going to compress the bass, but I decided against it due to it not playing that often, giving the player more time instead of worrying about keeping a consistent rhythm throughout.

By panning the Piano channels hard left and right, It more accurately represents how you would hear it if you where sitting down playing it, while also keeping it out of the way of the vocals and bass in the mix, sitting in the center. I chose to do this and then bus the separate channels to a stereo auxiliary input, where I could control the overall volume as well as EQ-ing the tracks, boosting 855.6Hz and 2Khz by 4.4dB and 5.3dB respectfully to bring out the instruments presence in the mix over the other elements.

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Next I moved on to the Male vocals, Which I added a HPF at 100.8Hz with a 6dB/octave shelf to gently cut his deeper voice to make room for the lower elements in the song such as the bass and kick drum, not making the mix as muddy. This was the compressed with a 2:8:1 ratio and a -23.6 threshold, with the addition of the makeup gain adding 3.1dB to bring up the track to a constant level, while the A/R time being 13.6us/5.7ms allowing the higher falsetto parts to be brought down.12

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The Female Vocal tracks I EQ-ed similarly, using a HPF’s around 99.3Hz and 172.9Hz with 6dB/Octave shelves to filter out some of the throat resonance, as well as give more frequency range for the male vocalists voice to sit in, while boosting around 1Khz to give her voice a more warmer tone.1614

These tracks where then also compressed similarly with a 2:8:1 ratio and a lower threshold of -25.7dB, while having a A/R time of 10/53.3ms, this compressor slowly compresses the signal, working with the sustained notes at the end of the choruses.15

Finally I send all the Vocals via sends (Pre-Fade) to a stereo auxiliary bus, which acted as a reverb channel, allowing me to control both the dry and wet signals. the room itself sounded  quite good, so I had to try and emulate it with a reverb that complimented them, ultimately setting on a medium room reverb with a diffusion rate (87%) plus a middle ground decay time.

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I then applied a master fader and checked all of the levels to see if anything was peaking, and made some minor adjustments, setting the master faders output to -0.4dB.

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