You can find the multitrack files for this project in the 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library
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Here's some more project info you might find useful:
- About The Raw Multitracks:
- The drum tracks include stereo overhead and room mics, two additional mono room mics, and close-mics for kick (two inside mics and a Yamaha KickSub outside), snare (over, under), hi-hat, and two toms.
- The bass part is an upright string bass captured with a single mic.
- Three acoustic-guitar parts are provided, all miked in stereo, and there are also tracks for stereo dobro and piano, dual-miked banjo and fiddle, and mandolin.
- There's one track each for a lovely lead vocal performance and its accompanying background vocals.
- For more information about the performers and some photos of the recording sessions, check out this page on the Telefunken site.
- Challenges You're Likely To Face:
- All the drum mics appear to have been processed quite a bit during recording, and although this processing fortunately doesn't include gating, the degree of compression may paint you into a corner if you're looking for a more open, natural sound.
- In the stereo drum room, the kick appears to be located well off to the right.
- The bass has a big resonance around 70-75Hz (whether from the instrument or the room, I couldn't say) which is seriously imbalancing the musical phrasing.
- The stereo overhead, acoustic-guitar, and piano parts all lose quite a lot of midrange and high-end definition when summed. If you try to pan them all wide, you'll have to be careful to avoid suffering a big tonal hit in mono.
- The piano and mandolin seem to have quite a soft tone, so bringing them to the attention of the listener may prove tricky.
- There's a good deal of sympathetic resonance on the tom tracks, which might not be what you want for the sound you're after.
- With a lead vocal that sounds as good as this one, it's probably worth going the extra mile to ensure that as much of that raw quality shines through as possible. As such, I suspect that there needs to be some careful EQ and automation work to minimise vocal masking.
- Some Mixing Tips: Although this isn't a mix I've attempted myself, here are some suggestions that come to mind:
- Just because tracks are 'stereo', it doesn't mean that you have to pan their left and right channels hard to the extremes, especially where the raw tracks have potential mono-compatibility issues. In this case, I'd certainly narrow some or all of the stereo tracks to achieve a more consistent tonality for my stereo and mono mix versions.
- Dedicated transient processing may be handy here if you want to reinstate some of the snare 'snap' that's been lost to the recording compressor.
- That tom ringing isn't necessarily a reason to gate the toms, given that most of it is removable by localised EQ cuts focusing on the lower resonant frequencies.
- For the piano and mandolin parts, I reckon the 1kHz zone might be worth a boost.
- Personally, I'd almost certainly start mixing this multitrack from the vocals, in order to make the most of the quality of the raw sound, and to give the singer and his lyrics the importance that I think this kind of style demands.
If you have any other general questions about this multitrack, just reply to this post and I'll see what I can do.