TheWhippinpost is now expanding to encompass both audio and XG MIDI music matters so please forgive the occasional disheveled organisation and appearance.
Audio sound-related material for making-music can generally found here.
This is where you get to delve into things like optimising your (Windows) PC for audio work; why sound electronics (as in: stable, hi-quality electronic components) is essential in getting the most from your sounds... plus other, more specific tutorials targetting audio work
Kicking-off with 10 digestible nuggets of sound mixing essentials you should be practicing when either shaping sounds or balancing the mix.
You might know all, or some of these tips already - cool. However, they've been chosen precisely because they are ones we most-often let slide from our thoughts when dancing with the fairies in laa-laa-land (Note: I'm talking about you here - I've personally never been to laa-laa-land, preferring STRICTLY HETERO nightclubs instead, HTH).
Mixing audio sounds in music is generally regarded as a baffling science by most ordinary folk... being musicians then, we're clearly knackered before we even start!
You've got all those buttons, dials, faders etc., just WTF are you supposed to do with them all?!
Well, fortunately for you TheWhippinpost summoned pro-sound engineer to the stars, Rick Snoman, to be questioned for what we're calling: a mixing tutorial.
So you made it to the last tip, well done. You'll be pleased to know, though, it's all been a load of bollocks! I know - mad aren't I. I bet you are too now.
Ah, just kidding.
So, mixing with headphones? Don't! Do never test!
There are some frequencies in the mix that are basically redundant and do nothing more than steal speaker-power - If we can reclaim this resource-hog, the speaker can concentrate all of its energies onto the important frequencies, and thereby give us more headroom, ie... more volume!
(Noise) Gating is useful for cutting unwanted low-volume noise between the gaps of sounds (amongst other tricks we can cover another day). But gating can also be un-useful if employed without thought.
Effects, hmmm... effects. Such a big subject, but fortunately easily dealt with for the purposes of our sound mixing tips.
Why? Simple really: effects are fun to play with but can quickly mess-up your mix; Reverbs and delays for instance, can result in instruments "over-staying" their welcome, thus "crowding the mix" - particularly if there's plenty going on anyway. It's very easy to lose definition and clarity if we're not careful.
More "slap-on-the-wrist" things to beware of when fondling your EQ knobs (oo-er!).
OK... first of all, before applying and/or messing about with any EQ or effects etc... you should be just setting the relative volumes of each instrument, in order of the importance they have in your song, simple enough?
Seeing as we've used the term masking a few times, I thought we'd better add a few words to describe what it is and how to handle it.
Frequency masking is where the frequencies of two (or more) instruments are battling it out for space - ie... they share the same frequencies - and is probably one of the most common problems encountered when mixing.
Another easy trap to fall into when feeling tired and lazy is the tendency to boost an instrument in the mix via the EQ, when in fact - unless for creative reasons (like deliberately altering the sound to achieve an effect or whatever) - cutting should be your preferred option. Here's a few reasons why...
Simple and quick one today: If you want a thumping bass, keep it centre-stage, together with the kick-drum.
By setting the panning of bass and kick-drum to the centre, you utilise the power of both right and left speakers equally, giving you more punch for your buck.