Let’s Get Things Started

Last night I began work on my first real mix.  It was somewhat scary in a sense but I was really excited to being work on it.  I was able to get the 4 tracks that were recorded in Pro Tools converted over to REAPER project files from a very generous individual with the tools to make it happen.  I got the media files located on the projects so everything is in place.  Now to begin!

I got the project somewhat organized at first.  I got the tracks in the order that I wanted and took a listen a couple times while just adjusting the faders a bit.  I think I need to go back at this point and play with gain staging.  You think of all the videos I have been watching I would know what to do.  That is somewhat one of the problems with the way I learn.  While I did take in a lot a information, I have not got to apply it anywhere which makes it hard to stick with me.  Now that I have some material to work with, I should be able to retain a bit more and develop a decent work flow.

After the fader adjustments, I started to do some edits.  I noticed that the 2 drum tom mics picked up SOOO much of the whole kit and were barley used in this individual song.  I began to cut out sections on the timeline of areas that were not in use to give me some more head room for later during the mix.  I did this to the two mic tracks.  Next I played with the bass guitar tone.  There was a DI track and a microphoned amp track.  I blended them together after playing with some EQ and compression on both tracks.  Sounds better in my mind over how it was originally but weather it sounds better to the band, I don’t know that yet.

I did some more of the EQ and Compression on the rest of the tracks that needed it (in my head) but I can tell right now that I am nowhere close to where I want it to be.  Still sounds muddy.  The song isn’t even complete yet because there is only one scratch guitar track that was used for the track recordings of the other instruments plus no vocals.  This is all for practice and hopefully I will get a decent sounding track(s) for the band eventually.  I have a lot of work to do and I need a ton of practice to make it and myself better.  I have been applying some tips that I have retained thus far.  I am working on this mix in mono which has been drilled into my head from Graham Cochrane.  I am also only going to be working with free plugins and tools and I need to understand how they work fully first before venturing out. Plus I just don’t have the funds to spend on them.  They aren’t going to make an inexperienced mixer sound good.

Lots of work ahead of me.  Hopefully I will be able to share some stuff with you in the future.

-The Saga


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