"Cut through the mix"

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aen
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"Cut through the mix"

Post: # 1254822Post aen »

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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Post: # 1254838Post Concretebadger »

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. :lol:

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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Post: # 1254840Post YuriK »

Make bass louder than guitar.
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Post: # 1254841Post aen »

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. :lol:
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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Post: # 1254872Post singlepup »

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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Post: # 1254884Post gusman2x »

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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Post: # 1254895Post ekwatts »

Everything louder than everything else.
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Post: # 1254916Post aen »

ekwatts wrote:Everything louder than everything else.
Oh worry not. I start the article with a joke on the subject.
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Post: # 1255260Post Mattsican »

singlepup wrote: learn to increase intensity without increasing volume.
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Post: # 1256693Post Ian »

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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Post: # 1281964Post henkstroem »

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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Post: # 1286111Post Brandon W »

i love this thread
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Post: # 1286119Post vojtasTS29 »

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 :)
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Post: # 1286120Post Brandon W »

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..
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
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Post: # 1286345Post aen »

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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Post: # 1286416Post Brandon W »

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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Post: # 1286567Post aen »

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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Post: # 1286572Post Brandon W »

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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Post: # 1289956Post CapriOrange »

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.
Can we have everything louder than everything else?
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Post: # 1290015Post Brandon W »

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
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
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