About This Multitrack
You can find the multitrack files for this project in the 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library
Before posting a mix, please read The Three Commandments!
Please post your mix as a new thread, rather than as a reply to this sticky.
Here's some more project info you might find useful:
- About The Raw Recording:
- The drum tracks on offer here comprise stereo overheads plus close mics for kick, snare, and four toms.
- Bass guitar is presented here as a DI signal.
- The main acoustic guitar and the lead vocal were recorded together, so there's some spill from each on the other's mic.
- A reverse-guitar intro effect and two backing-vocal overdubs complete the line-up.
- Challenges You're Likely To Face:
- The drums have quite a forward sound which doesn't really suit their more background musical role in this arrangement. There are also a number of undesirable pitched resonances in there that would benefit from being reined in, and a few over-spiky transients which will poke to far through to the front of the mix if you don't blunt them a little.
- The low end of the bass is very uncontrolled, which makes normal compression pretty ineffective. There are also some large dynamics variations between the verses and choruses that may further complicate your mix-processing decisions.
- The main guitar part is rather thin-sounding, and also suffers from overbearing pick noise, fret squeak, and string rattle, so it'll take a good deal of mixing work to get it to hold its ground against the bass, drums, and vocals.
- The lead vocal part has some movement-rustle and lip-noise on it which may get obtrusive if you compress heavily. However, chopping out the gaps between phrases on that track is unlikely to achieve natural-sounding results because it'll drop out the guitar spill.
- There is a fair amount of scope for tightening the timing in this multitrack, and if you do it pays dividends for the overal drive of the music, in my opinion.
- Some Mixing Tips:
- EQ dips around 400Hz and 5kHz help put the drum overheads into a more useful tonal space for this mix, and it's worth experimenting with notches at 277Hz, 538Hz, and 833Hz too.
- Even though the toms play very infrequently in this song, the spill from their close-mics is tremendously useful for filling out the drum sound in this mix, so don't just gate it out through force of habit. That said, you should experiment with phase and polarity adjustments if you want to get the best out of it, and you may need some fader automation to rebalance some of the tom fills if you balance these mics according to their spill contributions.
- I used a combination of threshold-independent transient reduction, low-pass filtering, and region-specific HF equalisation to tackle the guitar's mechanical noises, while filling out the tone with EQ, transformer distortion, Aphex-style psychoacoustic enhancement, emulated vari-mu valve limiting, and some more aggressive parallel compression.
- Given the amount of spill on this multitrack, you really shouldn't need much in the way of send effects to get a full sound -- the main things you might still want are a sense of global 'space' for the group and some blending reverb to tie the overdubs in with the ensemble.
- I remixed this song for Sound On Sound's June 2011 'Mix Rescue' column, which not only shows how I approached mixing this production myself in practice, but also includes a selection of audio files demonstrating the effects of some of my processing, layering, and effects decisions.
- You can also download the full Reaper project here, which includes screenshots of any third-party plug-ins I used so that you can inspect the settings even if you don't have them on your own system.
If you have any other general questions about this multitrack, just reply to this post and I'll see what I can do.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio