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About This Multitrack
10-05-2012, 01:29 PM
Post: #1
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 Multitracks:
    • Drum tracks comprise four stereo loops; a mixed stereo file of MIDI-triggered brush kit; separate stereo kick, ride, and shaker tracks; and a stereo track of miscellaneous percussion/SFX one-shots.
    • The main stereo bass track is a MIDI-triggered upright bass patch, in addition to which there's another stereo track with a bass special-effect one-shot.
    • All the piano parts are on one stereo track, including the vintage-style sound heard during the latter stages of the introduction.
    • A selection of stereo sound-module parts fill out the rest of the programmed backing: a celesta part; a string pad; and five synth parts with printed-in effects.
    • The single acoustic guitar part is recorded in stereo. In addition to the comped performance, three raw unedited takes are also provided, in case you want to redo any of the editing. However, these takes were recorded when the song structure was very different from its final form, so you'll need to shuffle their sections around a fair bit to get them sync'ed up with the comped version.
    • The original violin line is accompanied by two backing violin parts, and I've also included a pair of viola parts which I added during the Mix Rescue remix process.
    • The male lead singer provides only a single track, whereas the female singer has a lead track and nine backing-vocal tracks.
  • Challenges You're Likely To Face:
    • It's not that easy to control the separate sounds within the mixed drum and percussion tracks.
    • The bass part's low end has out-of-phase components which need dealing with if you're after a consistent degree of bass weight on different listening systems. There are also some resonances in the part at around 150Hz and 270Hz which make it difficult to achieve a solid balance on smaller speaker systems.
    • Although both lead vocals are very nicely recorded, and should require very little processing to work in the mix, there's nonetheless a fair bit of work to do so that other elements of the mix don't obscure all their lovely details or push in front of them in the front-back perspective.
    • The performance and editing of the comped acoustic guitar part are both a bit sloppy, and the recording itself is quite noisy and very wide-spread in stereo.
    • The close-miking of the violin parts has captured a very unnatural tone for this instrument, and the performance is also not that accomplished -- which is why I chose to rerecord the part during my Mix Rescue remix.
    • Bollywood music tends to use a bit more reverb than Western chart styles, but even so, you need to work hard to prevent it washing out. Using a number of different reverbs for different purposes can make it easier to manage this tightrope act.
    • Although this arrangement has lots of interesting sounds and ideas, it doesn't quite feel fully formed in the raw multitracks, so some additional editing/layering will probably be required to achieve a satisfying finished product.
    • The backing vocal recordings aren't very well organised, which makes it tricky to create a good balance of them.
  • Some Mixing Tips:
    • If you need to make serious adjustments to the mixed drum/percussion loops, then consider slicing them up and multing the different sounds to different tracks.
    • If you can nail down the balance of the main bass and vocal parts (on big and small speakers, and in both stereo and mono), then you'll be well on the way to conquering the whole mix. Automation is vital for both, and for the vocal EQ/send automation also has a good deal to offer.
    • I used dynamic EQ to tackle the bass resonances, because straight EQ cuts seemed to thin out the overall sound too much.
    • Don't be afraid to carve away the high end of some of the backing instruments quite severely while the vocals are in the mix -- you can always reinstate some of the lost air by automating the EQ during gaps between vocal phrases.
    • The piano and acoustic guitar fulfil both backing and solo roles in this arrangement, which means they're both prime candidates for multing.
    • A lot of the material in this multitrack is 'recyclable', inasmuch as you can often copy and paste sections of tracks into different locations to assist with the arrangement dynamics.
    • I remixed this song for Sound On Sound's February 2012 'Mix Rescue' column, which not only shows how I approached this band's recordings myself in practice, but also includes a selection of audio files demonstrating the effects of some of my processing and layering decisions.

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
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