What Makes A Record? Pt 1

By March 30, 2012Lee, Music, Uncategorized

Warning! This will be the first post of many.

Over the years we’ve recorded a few demos here and there that seem to sound OK, but they’ve been nothing more than just EP’s and Demos. Sitting down to make a record truly sound like something you would pick off the shelves has presented to be a challenge especially when you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.

I tend to compare mixes I’ve done to others as a reference point and something always seems to be missing. Granted there’s no one way to mix a track, but even when I figure out one aspect that makes an album sound great, there still that little something special I can’t put my finger on.

However, I think I picked up on something new. So today’s lesson is “Don’t be afraid of Treble”. Often times I feel like my mix is lacking energy and I think it’s because I’ve been afraid to push those higher frequencies. For instance, on the toms I’ve noticed that when I boost the higher range just beyond what I’ve always thought sounded good it brings out their energy all the more. This also applies to the cymbals. Something I learned a while back is that boosting frequencies in the 12k-15k range ads “air” to cymbals. I think Alex actually brought this to my attention in an article he found. So basically, I’ve always known of trebles importance, but have been too skeptical to push it.

Toms:

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Cymbals:

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The differences may seem slight but once in the mix it is noticeable and adds clarity.

I realize this is something that’s pretty elemental, but sometimes it takes time for these things to click and get past stubborn mixing habits.

There are so many aspects to take into consideration while mixing that it can be overwhelming at times. It can become quite the task once you take into consideration choosing the right room, micing the instrument correctly, EQ, compression, reverb/delay, then you ad 150 -200 (layering will be another topic) tracks of that and they all have to balance each other out and blend together.

On the flip-side, you eventually just have to call it done and move one. This is something I have the hardest time with. No joke, I can spend an hour or more tweaking 1 decibel or EQing for 7 hours at a time and still not like it.

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