Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Mixing: Pro tips.

Before we begin I just want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to everyone who commented on my 'Fucks who don't read Fuck Off' post. Nice to know a lot of us share that sentiment, and that there are many of us who do pay attention to the blogs we visit and aren't being selfish ignorant attention whores. (Not that I'm not a raving blatant attention whore, but I try not to be ignorant or selfish).

Kewl. You guys rock.

On with the pro-tips:

Don't be a guitarist. Just don't.
This, believe it or not, is crucial, crucial universal and absolute advice. 
Guitarists can't mix.
Guitarists especially can't mix guitar. Dumb ones put it too loud.
Self conscious ones have it way down in the mix. (I'm not even referring to those mixing their own stuff here.)
Same rule applies x99,000 to singers.

Back in my engineering days - before becoming barred from all studios in this city for reasons I won't go into here, I (of course) used most of my studio hours to record my own band.

We had one decent song (or one that stood out as a commer$hal potential chort toppah! It got one play on the radio and evryting!).
Mix was quiet but just fine otherwise until the solo. It fucking screamed out of the mix. Ear melting stuff.

Months later...having booted out our 'singer' I rerecorded myself for the vocal (another production NO NO - I even did it alone without a tape op, in the control room! LOL!) My voice was so sweet and delicious compared to his. Yeah I fucking NAILED it! *WINNING!*

Anyway. This required a new mix.
Guess what?
Yep - you got it. Where is the solo?? People were climbing into their speakers to hear my solo. CLIMBING IN THEIR SPEAKERS! Everyone, everywhere! CLIMBING. IN.... to their speakers yup.

And guess what too? Yuh-huh. The vox was mixed low and all.

We struggled on for maybe a year but that fatal mixstake (haha! mixstake! geddit?) cost us our fame and fortune.
Eventually I stepped on the DISHTORSHUN PEDDOLL one last time and switched to techno production because computers don't try and steal your fucking limelight as frontman and write songs that sound EXACTLY like fucking PRIMUS evendowntothe f...fakeAmericanaccent. AND!!! AND! CHEAT ON YOU WITH EDDIE FUCKING ROCKSTAR IN THE GARDEN OF A PARTY WITH THAT TUNE HE'D ALREADY BROUGHT TO REHEARSAL FOR *US* TO WORK ON DURING THAT FUCKING WEEKfucking cunnnnnnnnnnn.... And stuff.

Yeah, good times. Being in a band is like marriage really. It's all about communication and compromise and other words that start with C. 


  1. yeah dude. I can't stand making music (except if I'm djing) with other people, and I feel if I make something good, I don't want others to fuck it up by wanting to alter it

    also unless it's a catchy vocal clip, i generally can't stand lead singers.

  2. oh also, not saying now, but I could see you didn't like my latest mix as much as my old one, and I kinda agree it wasn't as good, as it didn't have as much variance and was a bit chaotic at times. But sometime in the not too distant future, I'll throw up a new one and one of the tracks is so good i went 'holy fuck' as i listened to it, shit was good

  3. yea - compromise is hard w/ most lead guitars/vocalists. you should post up your old music

  4. mmmm.. i'm just have to say.. good luck with the music.. lol

  5. I'll never be a lead anything, since I can't play worth beans!

  6. god that is so true, I used to use an M-box 2 to record demo tracks for my band, and seeing as I play guitar, I always made the worst mixes. Ive gotten over the band drama and produce electro and house music using Ableton Live, like you said no drama when its just you and some beats

  7. I know how you feel man,I am constantly getting BS comments on all my posts like 'good job' or 'supporting!'... bleh... Anywho, I have no intention of singing and I cant play the guitar so all these tips wont help me... :(

  8. By the way, you rock too and I am going to try to donate to you and Erika to meet IRL. Keepin my fingers crossed for you bro! (Just make sure you she doesnt have any poop left over from last time before you kiss her. lol.)

  9. I, too, agree with your previous post. It annoys the fuck out of me, spot on man.

    As for this post: I have no experience with sound engineering stuff whatsoever, though I'm an experienced guitarist. I love playing in a band, but I can't find any band members. Once played in a band, which went well for a couple of months, but then the bassist became a douche and the singer was just a dumb cunt. Both didn't know a damned thing about music. The drummer was a true bro, but he never had time.
    So after some time the band split up.
    Then I bought a looper and now I jam all alone, being my autistic self.

  10. what is wrong with guitarrists? i still don't get it

  11. That's the reason that the bands I've played in have never recorded anything outside of a student engineered demo. It was a terrible experience. None of us knew what we were doing except the 2nd year music student mixing and recording for us, and it really hurt the demo. And he had his own ideas that we didn't like, including mixing the bass up to unnecessary levels of throbbing. We were pissed at each other and almost fell apart. But we decided to just play live music for an indeterminate amount of time, which lasted for a year until half the band had graduated college and moved forward with their lives.

  12. Some interesting and very similar stories.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Zombie you are so freaking kind. I have no words. Obviously the donation won't buy a plane ticket, but the sentiment alone makes me want to hug you so hard!

    Stare Dad. Just imagine that the Dad from your cartoon is writing the blog. Maybe it will make more sense then.

  13. And Zombie, I would gladly lick Erika's excrement from her face if she wanted me to. :/

  14. other words with a C like clitoris? yeah marriage is all about finding the clitoris (and keeping the wife happy and moaning) but being in a band has nothing to do with clitorises?!
    another C word is crap, yeah being in a band can be crap, but being married is always crap! still not the same, so many examples, so little time

  15. I don't know much about mixing, but why is it that guitarist struggle with it. I feel like if you play the instrument you should be able to mix it well, but then again i don't know a whole lot of mixing.

  16. Computers won't try to take the limelight... unless you're Ke$ha. All you have to do is say words at random and they can make a song out of them via autotune.

  17. Good tip... I've been mixing for a while now. Unfortunately I started with rhythm guitar and now I do strictly vocals. But I do all my instruments so I think I got the jist.

  18. It wont buy much, but maybe if everyone pitches in you two can finally hold each other! AWWWWW!! And no problemo bro, I always like helping out the better bloggers out there! ;D

  19. want to start djing after my exams

    following / supporting
    hit me back bro