Archive for compression

Simple Audio Mixing Tips Part 3

Posted in Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by Chris Bracco

This is the 3rd and final installment of “Simple Audio Mixing Tips!” Here are 5 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!

2) A good rule is to stay away from the last 4 to 5 dB of a plug-in’s red zone. This is important to absolutely make sure your tracks are not clipping. Clipping is bad. Very bad. Don’t let it happen or the monsters in your closet will eat you.

3) If you are recording a singer/rapper on a LDC mic and you’re getting too much sibilance and popping even when using a pop screen, try adjusting the mic (hanging inverted) so that the capsule is lined up with the bridge of the singer’s nose. This tip gets the singer/rapper to sing upwards, opening their windpipe. This helps dampen those evil Ess’s and Shh’s that us engineers hate so much. Have the vocalist step forward or backward from the mic (depending on the sound you desire), and voila. Essless vox.

4) Vocal Compression Tip: Start conservatively by going to the hottest (loudest) part of the track and setting the compression plug-in parameters so you’re not getting more than 3 dB of gain reduction. Begin by adjusting the ratio at 2:1 or 3:1, then try using an automatic attack and release if available, or if you’re hearing the compressor grab and/or release too soon, aka “pumping,” go manual and set your attack to about 40 ms and your release to 300 to 400 ms to keep the compressor smooth on the attack and release. Lower your threshold until you achieve the desired gain reduction. Compression made simple.

5) Beginner Vocal EQ Tip: I like to start by setting up a 6-band EQ on my track (I like Waves REQ, but thats just me). You can add openness, presence and intelligibility by creating a high shelf anywhere from 5- up to 12 kHz. If more presence is needed, try adding a peak EQ in the 3 to 6kHz range, or taking away 1 kHz or adding a little bit of 2 kHz (the main frequency range where the voice resides). Boosting a bit of 200 to 350 Hz will add warmth and fullness, but too much will make your track muddy. These techniques differ from singer to singer and depend on gender. Once you are confident, train your ear by first listening to the vocal solo’ed while you add EQ and then listen to it within the mix.

And that concludes this 3 part series of “Simple Audio Mixing Tips!” Keep an eye out for some more monthly tips and tricks in other aspects of the recording process!

One love,

_chris

Getting a Handle on Compression

Posted in Newbies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2007 by Chris Bracco

For some reason, compression was just one of those things for me that I just could not grasp right away. Ratios, thresholds, limiters, maximizers, attack, release…..I didn’t want any part of it. I just figured that compression was something that HAD to be done on a track, and I would just select a preset I THOUGHT sounded nice, and that was that. Little did I know, I was being a total ignorant jerkass. And my music sounded like shit.

Found this article a while back, really helped me grasp the basic functions of a typical compressor:

http://d4dirtyrecords.com/myblog/how-to-use-a-compressor-tutorial-3.html

I really like the analogy that he uses:

A compressor is like a little man who sits there with a remote control for the volume. Every time he hears the sound is too loud he turns the volume down until it’s quieter and then he turns it back up.

your welcome. 🙂

_chris

The Quick Mix

Posted in Mixing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2007 by Chris Bracco

I thought this would be an excellent article to kick off the blog.

http://www.homerecording.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=51645

Creating a “quick mix” is a very helpful thing to do before even thinking about the final mix. Nice balance between the instruments and the vocals, and some EQ, compression and reverb if necessary. This is a great way to come up with something to show your client as a preview. Also, if you’ve already starting working on the final mix, but something just isn’t right, this method serves as an excellent start-over approach.

quotemark.gifIt wasn’t what I’d call a finished mix, but it was decent and provided me with a model to listen to as I got familiar with the sound of the tracks. It’s a valuable to skill to have, especially when you don’t have time for diving into a complete mix—those times when you want something to hear in the car or a demo to give to a client for review, etc.
quotemark.gif

enjoy.

_chris