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"Cut through the mix"
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aen
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:35 pm    Post subject: "Cut through the mix" Reply with quote

Is probably my least favorite marketing term. But as it stands I'm writing an article about, maybe not cutting through the mix, but presenting a good mix live.
I'm planning on covering a few areas, such as mid scoop (probly don't) and the perceived volume Vs. actual volume of distorted sound.

But I'm just wondering what y'all have experienced in that area. I'm not really looking to advise people on how to CUT THROUGH THE FUCKING MIX, but more of a "how to be heard and appreciated." So, if someone said to you after a gig "Your sond was rilly good" or "Gr8 Tonez bro" this would be a decent spot to recall the recipe for that.

Thanks! And obviously, I can't just write "Have good amp, don't scoop mid. Tell bass player 'get out of my highs' Have good person run sound." Because I'm supposed to do like 750 words.
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only have experience with recording, but trying to get a decent mix usually involves trying to think more like a songwriter and less about the instrument I'm most familiar with (i.e. trying not to make the guitars louder than everything else, putting the vocals and drums further 'forward' instead). Mainly it's an exercise in 'decluttering' - finding room for everything so instruments don't compete in the same frequency bands. e.g. give the eq a sharp roll-off below 80Hz and above 5kHz with bass guitar to tighten it up and get rid of string buzz. It seems to give more room to the 'range of human hearing' frequencies.

Dunno whether that applies to a live situation though, because that low-end is felt rather than heard so I guess is pretty important. The only obvious things I can think of are back off on the guitar distortion and avoiding the mid scoop like you suggest, and don't use reverb on the bass guitar. I couldn't work out why my bass lines sounded like shite until I stopped using a reverb pedal on them. Laughing

I've been to a lot of live shows where the vocals are buried under overly loud cymbal crashes and woolly, loose farty bass so I'd want to avoid that. A chart of what frequency bands are dominated by which instruments would be really helpful actually. Does this look accurate to the more experience among you? LANK
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YuriK
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make bass louder than guitar.
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aen
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concretebadger wrote:
I only have experience with recording, but trying to get a decent mix usually involves trying to think more like a songwriter and less about the instrument I'm most familiar with


I think that's even MORE important live!

Concretebadger wrote:
don't use reverb on the bass guitar. I couldn't work out why my bass lines sounded like shite until I stopped using a reverb pedal on them. Laughing



Haha! Also a good call. At least with traditional "rock music" bass. If you're playing some atmoshperic shit it can be pretty cool, but if your bass is really low, reverb is just going to muddy that shit.

Concretebadger wrote:
LANK


That chart looks pretty accurate, to the ears anyway. I'm going a little simpler in the article though, basically like "HEY. GUITAR LIVES IN THE MIDS, OK?"
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a live situation, all players need to really listen to each other continually throughout the performance. After you have a basic mix dialed in, control the dynamics of the mix with your hands. Drummers and guitarists often tend to get carried away during the climax of a song, really letting loose and burying other sounds. I think a good mix is based on restraint. I suppose what I'm trying to say is learn to increase intensity without increasing volume.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's important to remember that cutting through the mix is a competition. And if you're not winning, you're losing.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything louder than everything else.
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aen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ekwatts wrote:
Everything louder than everything else.


Oh worry not. I start the article with a joke on the subject.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singlepup wrote:
learn to increase intensity without increasing volume.

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Ian
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boosting 2-4K, will "cut" through the mix. These are the nasally but still meaty mid frequencies, and the easiest for the human ear to hear. As you go higher you reach the sibilant sounds, picking, and cymbals, which don't need any help cutting through the mix. if you want a bass guitar to pop out of the mix, 700h-1.5K will help bring it forward.
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henkstroem
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cutting low frequencies on everything but bass guitar and bass drum has been effective for me, both live and on tape, and for all instruments. Bass freqs clouds stuff up if everyone cruise around there.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i love this thread
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess use mids on the guitar and don't have the tone knob rolled off on the bass too much. That's the basic idea i use with my band all the time and it works fine Smile
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Brandon W
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i need more information.. i have some abbey road plugins that are fantastic but i'm not great at knowing what they do so the info in here helps me figure out how to use it..
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aen
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm, this one was more about a live situation, but a lot of the principles are the same. As far as mixing goes, you kind of want to trim off extraneous frequencies. SOmeitmes that's half the battle.
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Brandon W
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aen wrote:
hmmm, this one was more about a live situation, but a lot of the principles are the same. As far as mixing goes, you kind of want to trim off extraneous frequencies. SOmeitmes that's half the battle.

yeah yeah bro but i like a "live sound" even in the studio.. so i want this done in studio but to sound like it was cut live with incredible equipment.. i don't know how to make sense of what i'm trying to say.. If you hear it i hope you say damn it sounds live but it sounds professional like it was done in a studio.. fuck man. nevermind,
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aen
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahaha, I think you're on the right track.
One trick I've heard of but haven't tried is to use a room mic in the same position for every track, then it sounds like it's all in the same room at the same time!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aen wrote:
hahaha, I think you're on the right track.
One trick I've heard of but haven't tried is to use a room mic in the same position for every track, then it sounds like it's all in the same room at the same time!

makes sense.. thank you aen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 Don't crowd. If there are 2 guitarists, NEVER double up (I don't care what Metallica do). Stay out of each other's way.

2 Don't compete. It's a BAND.

3 Let the singer shine. (In other words, don't play like Santana does now-he never shuts up!)

4 What are you trying to achieve? Dancing? People dance to drums and bass, not solos. Concert type vibe? Then let your solos SHINE and shut up for the rest of it-you rarely heard much "rhythm" playing from many great players because they left a SPACE.

5 Leave spaces.

6-10 Leave space.
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Brandon W
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

man i'm struggling.. i like the drums, bass, guitar, and vocals on a track i'm doing.. so what you just said makes total sense.. i want them all louder but then i can't hear the other one as well.. i keep mixing and trying different masters but none seem to make them all loud and perfect.. haha fuck it
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