Fixing My Mixing – Finally Making Progress
The book and link I posted earlier today are the two resources I’ve used to solve the Mystery of the Muddy Mix.
Here is a list – on what made the biggest difference:
- Microphones – I switched microphones around and figured out what is best and where. I use an NT1A and SM57 on my guitar amp cabinet. The SE VR2 and SE7 didn’t cut it. I use an NT1A and Royer R10 for vocals. The two SE7’s will work for miking my mandolin and VR2 for voice and maybe mandolin.
- I try to use as few plugins and effects as possible. I have been way over doing it for two years
- I concentrate on the mid tones and mix with my cheapie cell phone speaker in mind. If I can hear all tracks clearly, then I’ve succeeded. If it sounds good enough on my crummy cell phone, it will sound great on a better system
- While I record using two mics per track, I always mute the lesser of the two. This also cuts the Number of tracks in two. This really helped a ton – the mix gets much cleaner and crisper
- I turned my monitors to have low cut set and favoring the mids
- I thought my EQ settings needed help, but the mics were much more important
- I had treated my room acoustically, but I don’t think that made a huge difference because my studio is tiny
- My favorite Arturia Piano patch emulated an old upright piano, complete with the banging of the keys. That really created weird thuds in the mix. I switched to one that doesn’t include that thud
- I set two mics to low cut, but that doesn’t seem to necessary, given the other things listed above
- I ordered Yamaha NS-5 speakers and a single Avantone Mix Cube. The judge is out on this one. I suspect the Mixcube will be a serious surprise hit.