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miércoles, 14 de mayo de 2008

MIXING AND MASTERING TIPS

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MIXING AND MASTERING TIPS

1. Get the right monitoring.

For dance, bigger monitors = better monitors. Bigger recording room = better room. Remember that dj in club will play your track on a big loudspeakers. If you mix your track on a small monitors or headphones, it may happen that your track won't be suitable for club and dj will not play it.

2. Make adaptation of your recording room.

Your producing/listening room has to be well damped, otherwise you will hear a lot of reverberation and sound coloration during mixing. It is very important. If you don't have a lot of funds (expecially for a large room), don't worry. It doesn't have to look great, more important is to do the job.

3. Do not use noisy sound cards.

Try to avoid using cheap soundcards below $100. They have very poor quality and are good for gamers rather than music producers. If you have enough funds, consider buying card staring from $300 with low latency and all proper drivers (ASIO etc...). Some cards offer also internal crossing which also might be useful.

4. Use good sound synth sources.

There are already some plugins that sound great, however if you only can afford it, invest in a best synth hardware. Hardware in 90% of cases sounds better than software. There are also many different samples on the internet. A lot of samples like sf2, wav, reason refills, midi, vocal samples and acapellas, you may find on this site - also a lot of free samples.

5. Use good reverbs.

For your instruments and vocals try to use good reverb hardware units or plugins. Good sounding reverb placed on some instruments in the mix can bring your track to life. If you can't afford top outboard units, you may use one of impulse-based plugins available on the market. They should work well for your DAW.

6. Use rhythmic delays on your instruments in the mix.

Remember that dance, trance, and techno music is based on rhythm. Don't forget to use rhythmic delays on leads, vocals, arpeggios or trance basslines and other synths. This will help a lot. Don't forget also to quantize your midi tracks (if you use midi).

7. Sometimes less bass = more bass.

Don't make low frequencies too loud on bass, bass drum or bass line. Kick drum should contain a short click at the start as well as enough power near 200 Hz to be enough "pumpy" for dance. You can easy find a lot of free good sounding kicks on the internet. Remember, bass should also contains some mid-frequencies audible near the 1-3 kHz - not only the lowest-octave bass. Compare your bass to the bass used in a good sounding tracks, you will hear "something else" except of a low bass.

8. Less instruments = cleaner mix.

Instead of making many sound layers, try to use not much instruments. Make sure to choose punchy and selective sounding instruments placed in a specific frequency spectrum (not too wide). Try to work on each instrument with equalizers, effects - like delays, reverbs, phasers etc. depending on the sound type. Use eq, to make each instrument staying in its frequency, not overlaying with other instruments frequencies.

9. Set kick and drum section louder than other instruments.

It will significantly helps during the mastering. If you will set drum section louder, you (or mastering engineer) will be easy able to make good, pumping master using good compressor. With drums sounding quiet in a dance track, proper mastering can't be achieved.

10. Send your track to the mastering engineer.

Try to not master your track by yourself and use good mastering engineer instead. He has fresh ear since you worked on your track probably a lot of time already. Mastering engineer will tells you the truth about your track, and what you should fix in the mix. You may find a lot of online mastering studios / houses.

 
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