#160483  by GeneralGoldilocks
anyone here mix down their band's gig's? I do and I use Reaper. I have been pondering all this Healy no EQ and no compression stuff, which is how I try to mix live, but then when I mix down my multitrack recordings, Reaper has all these preset options on EQ and compression for almost any instrument and vox on any channels. I'm pulling my mix using a hard disk multi track recorder and importing all the .wav files into a project in Reaper. I usually go for some standard EQs and compression on some tracks, and verb on the vox, and mix just enough wet mix in to taste, which usually isn't much. Just wondering if you guys have similar experiences?
 #160573  by Jimv
I think attempting to get super clean sound in a live setting is one thing, and mixing down is a different situation. It really comes down to how it sounds to you, I think. I've mixed live recordings for cd and always felt like the tools available in that environment are there to use if it helps achieve the desired goal. The real thing, in my opinion, about EQ is not even so much about not using it, but having really really good EQ's. In a recording situation, I love Eq. I also had the privilage of using some badass equiptment. I think the dead were all over the place in the studio. If im not mistaken, they had a whole bunch of different producers and experimented with everything at one point or another. I say go with your ears!
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 #160575  by Searing75
Are you telling me that Healey never used compression or eq? I don’t believe it. The kick and snare? The bass? Vocals? Come on! Gotta eq the room. Ring it out. He at least cut certain frequencies for sure.

As for recording. Yeah, different animal. Use your ears. Let the instruments breathe, but not bleed. Keep everything in its pocket. Doesn’t take much. I’m talking compression here. As for eq, you shouldn’t need much fiddling there? A bit. Don’t over due it, as is the tendency for many.
 #160580  by gratefulfork
I think it's really dependant on the source material. In an ideal world you have professional mics in a nice warm hall on perfectly played, high quality instruments whose sounds are sculpted by the performers to fit together seamlessly. If that's you situation, then mixdown should probably just be balancing levels and panning. However, this is often not the case, so you have to do some post production work. In mixdown, I generally use eq to make sure that two instruments are not masking each other by being too strong in the same range as well as to fix room issues such as reflections and bleed. compression would be similar, making sure that each instrument fits into the mix well, but many people also use compression as an effect - especially on drums - to accent or dull the attack.
 #160581  by GeneralGoldilocks
Thanks for the input. Yeah, I try to go no eq live, although I do use a FMR RNC with a very high threshold (so almost no compression) just to tame our wildly out of control vocals sometimes on the mains. It seems to do a good job of not coloring or squashing and keeping dynamics alive. As far as Reaper goes when mixing down, the only channels I don't add fx to are the two guitars and keys. everything else gets some combination of eq, compression, and verb. all very subtle, though. for "mastering" i just use a very light compression. It seems like Reaper's preset's are pretty standard and work fairly well, if the presets are too much, I just use less wet and more dry to taste, or change the threshold. One thing I've noticed makes a huge diffence is normalizing all the tracks first before using any fx on them.
 #160738  by ski_rick
I've mixed down a few band gigs. Some I've had individual tracks for every instrument, others a couple front of stage mics and then the vocal tracks that are the only things going through the PA (maybe keys too).

I definitely use the tools available, EQ, Compression, Console and Tape emulation, and Master using plugins too. No question in my mind it sounds better. Plus, the "mix" is for the room we're playing in and my recording isn't capturing that.
 #160785  by playingdead
I've done a fair amount of mixes after the fact for Playing Dead. Eventually I learned that, for the most part, less is more when it comes to effects and compression. I use Logic Pro. I am a total amateur at it.

I use stereo busses (buses?) for everything -- drums, vocals, bass, instruments, which allows me to adjust the overall balance between everything without having to mess with 12 different drum faders, or three vocal faders. I use some soft limiting on the master to get the overall track gain up at the end.

For me the busses are the key ... if your individual channels are running fairly hot, like they should be, maybe peaks around -3, you run out of headroom in a hurry on the overall mix. The busses let me control everything easily.

I usually pan the piano hard one way, rhythm guitar hard the other way, lead guitar slightly off center, vocals with a very slight spread, and pan one drummer left and one drummer right, with a spread on the toms, kicks and snares pretty hard panned, overheads hard panned. Use stereo to open up the soundscape.

I will typically find a track in the middle of the set, and get the basic mix where I want it, then set the automated faders so I can listen through the set, and bring up levels on the instruments as needed here and there ... boost the keyboards during a solo, that sort of thing. My band generally stays pretty consistent all night long, so I'm not riding a lot of faders, just here and there.

This is a set opener with 16 tracks, a Jack Straw. https://soundcloud.com/vicderobertis/01jackstraw

If you are using the same board every night, then it's pretty easy to just to make a basic template with your mix more or less set up with panning, EQ, etc., then just drop the new tracks on there for a starting point. We usually are using the same mics every night, so I don't have to start from scratch with the kick drum every mix, I can generally get the whole thing sounding pretty good in a couple of hours. Then I give my ears a nice break and go back and listen again.

Post up some samples and ask for critiques. It's good to pick a nice Dead soundboard to listen to right before you mix, too, it sets your ears. One of my go-to recordings is "Candyman" from the first set of the Shoreline 10-4-87. That's a beautiful Healy mix.
 #161068  by GeneralGoldilocks
I missed this great post last month, thanks for the input Vic. I was wondering how you mixed down your band because your mixes are fantastic. Thanks for all the great pointers. I will be working on that on some of our outdoor gigs where I get to do sound this summer. I generally can't get a recording if their if front of house sound reinforcement running it for us.
 #162689  by EdHead
Thanks for all of the great information here. I am looking for any basic equipment thoughts for digital recording of a live mix out of a Mackie 1202 VLZ pro mixer. I have a Focusrite Scarlet and could go with that into a laptop running a DSW, but I am wondering if there is a better compact unit which would lighten the gig load. I am tempted to dust off my old Sony D5 which served me so well over many years but I probably need to move into the digital realm : ). I plan to invest in a digital/USB mixer down the line, looking for an interim solution. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.