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Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
16-08-2014, 08:48 PM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2014 09:09 PM by Blitzzz.)
Post: #1
Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
Hello,

after writing a lot of comments lately I decided to put up an FAQ about this song.

Who are you:
I´m one of the guitar players of this band and responsible for mixing/recording.

How did you record this song:
Burning Bridges has completely been written and recorded over the internet. We use dropbox to store & sync all files so every band member always has the same version of the song on his harddisk. We are all using Cubase 7.
We recorded the guitars clean and reamped them with my Kemper Amp. The profile we use is a "copy" of the guitar sound of "My Curse" from Killswitch Engage. If you have a kemper you can download it from the database for free. You can listen to the profile here: https://soundcloud.com/darkridemetal/mycurse-kemper1
The riff runs 4 times and is changing between the original Killswitch sound (1st & 3rd run) and my Kemper Profile (2nd & 4th).
For Drums we use Superior Drummer because it's too expensive to get a good drum sound without a proper room and good mics. The bass is an active 5-string Fender Jazz Bass played straight into the audiointerface. I use the Microtubes B3K for bass distortion. Our singer has his own studio so I don't know what kind of mics and gear he has used =)

Are there any reference mixes you recommend?
Yes - all songs on "As daylight dies" & "End of Heartache" from Killswitch Engage. Notice how "warm" their guitar sound is compared with Bands like Machine Head or Trivium.
http://youtu.be/Vn3WKmyprEo?t=12s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPW9AbRMwFU
And here is another mixed & mastered song from Darkride for reference:
https://soundcloud.com/darkridemetal/dogs-of-war

How should I mix this song?
You are free to mix this song in ANY direction you want. the problem is that most people use eq and compression on every track because the think they HAVE to. instead of building some sort of climax, paying attention to small details and making every chorus more powerful then the one before they are mixing individual tracks with "their" guitar/snare/bass sound in mind and completely forget about the fact that mixing is way more then EQ and compression. E.g. somebody told you that a 3db boost at 3khz and a 3db cut a 1khz is a good idea for distorted guitars. While this can be a good move sometimes you should not apply this "rule" to every guitar just because somebody said so. Use your ears. I can promise you that I didn't record the guitars like they are if I wanted a sound like Machine Head. No - I wanted the guitars to exactly sound like this. Same goes for the bass and drums. Find a way to make it all work without changing the "sound" of the band.

Any other tips?
Load, sort and route all tracks of Burning Bridges into a new project and pull up all the faders so that your master PEAKS at -2/-3 db. Don't forget about gain staging - make sure all the levels of the individual tracks are right in the first place. Now take your time and listen to the mix. What sounds arkward? What sounds great? Does the song have a climax? Does every verse sound the same? (if yes = bad). Is there anything special that you want to highlight in the mix like a nice drum roll or really cool background vocals? While listening to the mix you should pull down faders of tracks that are too loud. Make hi/lo cuts and pan the tracks and listen again. Don't use ANY sort of EQ or compression at all, just use the faders. If you constantly have to adjust the volume of a track throughout the song you probably have to fix it with a compressor or - the better choice - with volume automation. You will end up with a good rough mix and NOW you can decide if you want to seperate clashing instruments via EQ or fader moves. But keep in mind that you don't want to change the sound of the band - just give it more definition.

Summary: you can get a rough mix of this song with little to no eq und compression and it will sound good. just concentrate on hi/lowcuts and do some fader rides. Vocals need some de-essing? Cool, do it. Add SMALL amounts of delay and reverb to the solo guitars and the lead vocals and you're done with the basic stuff. NOW you can start mixing the song, give it impact, give it power, let the solo guitars scream! Everything you did before was just a warm up for the real job. And don't ruin your balanced and powerful mix with an Ozone preset just to make it loud Smile

Have fun,
blitzzz
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21-08-2014, 08:39 AM
Post: #2
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
Hi Blitzzz,

Thanks for this -- great insights! Took the liberty of stickying the thread, as I figure it should remain at the top of the list.

Mike S.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
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19-09-2014, 06:15 AM
Post: #3
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
Hey Blitzzz, great song. i had a lot of fun practicing my mixing on this. I posted my mix in the forum of you'd like to have a listen. I was just wondering if you could tell me the name of your singer? It sounds a lot like Jonny Lindqvist from Nocturnal Rites. I couldn't be certain from listening but thought I might ask just to see. There are some differences from the nocturnal rites stuff so I would not be surprised if it was not but it is a pretty unique tone of voice.

Cheers from Australia!
Dom
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19-09-2014, 11:25 AM
Post: #4
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
He's not Jonny Lidqvist, but I know he likes Lindqvist a lot and he always wants us to listen to Nocturnal Rites Smile
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28-01-2015, 06:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
Blitzzz

Something occurred to me. I do not know what control you have over the actual downloadable section but if you were to include this as a text file that is included with the stems then maybe you wouldn't have to sit through so many... interesting mixes.

I know I didn't read or see this post until after I made the "in your face helicopter is visiting" mix. Big Grin
Just a thought.
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18-09-2015, 11:15 PM
Post: #6
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
I was just finished mixing when I read the info, so I mixed the song all after my own preferences. Would be cool if You listen to it. :-) A question, I really like your music, do you have any album out ? Would like to hear more.
Thanks
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08-07-2016, 05:21 AM
Post: #7
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
Really dig the tune . Epic chorus
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02-02-2017, 03:04 AM
Post: #8
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
(16-08-2014 08:48 PM)Blitzzz Wrote:  Hello,

after writing a lot of comments lately I decided to put up an FAQ about this song.

Who are you:
I´m one of the guitar players of this band and responsible for mixing/recording.

How did you record this song:
Burning Bridges has completely been written and recorded over the internet. We use dropbox to store & sync all files so every band member always has the same version of the song on his harddisk. We are all using Cubase 7.
We recorded the guitars clean and reamped them with my Kemper Amp. The profile we use is a "copy" of the guitar sound of "My Curse" from Killswitch Engage. If you have a kemper you can download it from the database for free. You can listen to the profile here: https://soundcloud.com/darkridemetal/mycurse-kemper1
The riff runs 4 times and is changing between the original Killswitch sound (1st & 3rd run) and my Kemper Profile (2nd & 4th).
For Drums we use Superior Drummer because it's too expensive to get a good drum sound without a proper room and good mics. The bass is an active 5-string Fender Jazz Bass played straight into the audiointerface. I use the Microtubes B3K for bass distortion. Our singer has his own studio so I don't know what kind of mics and gear he has used =)

Are there any reference mixes you recommend?
Yes - all songs on "As daylight dies" & "End of Heartache" from Killswitch Engage. Notice how "warm" their guitar sound is compared with Bands like Machine Head or Trivium.
http://youtu.be/Vn3WKmyprEo?t=12s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPW9AbRMwFU
And here is another mixed & mastered song from Darkride for reference:
https://soundcloud.com/darkridemetal/dogs-of-war

How should I mix this song?
You are free to mix this song in ANY direction you want. the problem is that most people use eq and compression on every track because the think they HAVE to. instead of building some sort of climax, paying attention to small details and making every chorus more powerful then the one before they are mixing individual tracks with "their" guitar/snare/bass sound in mind and completely forget about the fact that mixing is way more then EQ and compression. E.g. somebody told you that a 3db boost at 3khz and a 3db cut a 1khz is a good idea for distorted guitars. While this can be a good move sometimes you should not apply this "rule" to every guitar just because somebody said so. Use your ears. I can promise you that I didn't record the guitars like they are if I wanted a sound like Machine Head. No - I wanted the guitars to exactly sound like this. Same goes for the bass and drums. Find a way to make it all work without changing the "sound" of the band.

Any other tips?
Load, sort and route all tracks of Burning Bridges into a new project and pull up all the faders so that your master PEAKS at -2/-3 db. Don't forget about gain staging - make sure all the levels of the individual tracks are right in the first place. Now take your time and listen to the mix. What sounds arkward? What sounds great? Does the song have a climax? Does every verse sound the same? (if yes = bad). Is there anything special that you want to highlight in the mix like a nice drum roll or really cool background vocals? While listening to the mix you should pull down faders of tracks that are too loud. Make hi/lo cuts and pan the tracks and listen again. Don't use ANY sort of EQ or compression at all, just use the faders. If you constantly have to adjust the volume of a track throughout the song you probably have to fix it with a compressor or - the better choice - with volume automation. You will end up with a good rough mix and NOW you can decide if you want to seperate clashing instruments via EQ or fader moves. But keep in mind that you don't want to change the sound of the band - just give it more definition.

Summary: you can get a rough mix of this song with little to no eq und compression and it will sound good. just concentrate on hi/lowcuts and do some fader rides. Vocals need some de-essing? Cool, do it. Add SMALL amounts of delay and reverb to the solo guitars and the lead vocals and you're done with the basic stuff. NOW you can start mixing the song, give it impact, give it power, let the solo guitars scream! Everything you did before was just a warm up for the real job. And don't ruin your balanced and powerful mix with an Ozone preset just to make it loud Smile

Have fun,
blitzzz


Hey Blitzz, everything ok? I hope so.
First of all, AWESOME song, great work with the guitar tone, pretty spot on.
Could you give me more details about the superior drummer set that you've used?
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02-02-2017, 12:16 PM
Post: #9
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
It's the SDX-version of Metal Machine: http://www.toontrack.com/product/metal-machinery-sdx/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=019UQykJ0pM

That expansion is probably as close as you can get if you want a more or less unprocessed drum recording from Andy Sneap. If you really want to capture his sound and vibe, you also need to use the samples he regularly uses which are also provided with this SD2 expansion. I don't use SD2 anymore, but at that time it was my goto sample library.
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02-02-2017, 03:27 PM
Post: #10
RE: Tips & tricks for mixing 'Burning Bridges'
(02-02-2017 12:16 PM)Blitzzz Wrote:  It's the SDX-version of Metal Machine: http://www.toontrack.com/product/metal-machinery-sdx/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=019UQykJ0pM

That expansion is probably as close as you can get if you want a more or less unprocessed drum recording from Andy Sneap. If you really want to capture his sound and vibe, you also need to use the samples he regularly uses which are also provided with this SD2 expansion. I don't use SD2 anymore, but at that time it was my goto sample library.

Thank you!
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