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How to do a clean mix on the Kronos Sequencer

 
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Liviou2004
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Joined: 20 Feb 2017
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Location: Fontainebleau - France

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: How to do a clean mix on the Kronos Sequencer Reply with quote

Hello,

My question is on the title : At last, I've learnt enough in SEQ mode in order to create a first song.
Now, I'm looking for a process for a clean and good mixing in wich each instrument stands out clearly.
Do you know a Youtube tuto for example or website to go that way ?

Thanks a lot.
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean to discourage you but mixing is an art just like playing piano. It's not something you will perfect on your first try. YouTube will probably have a few good tips and it might also be worth picking up a book or two. Legendary mixing engineer Bob Katz wrote a few good ones.

A few basic pointers:
- Try to find a reference track that has a similar instrumentarium and style. Use this to compare from time to time.
- Think about your mix as a three dimensional grid; high (mid) low vs left right vs front back
Every instrument needs to go somewhere on that grid and you should try to avoid having two in the same spot. This starts with a good arrangement! Don't be afraid to kill your darlings. For the rest, you have panning controls for left/right, EQ for high/low and volume and reverb for front/back.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:05 am    Post subject: Re: How to do a clean mix on the Kronos Sequencer Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Hello,

My question is on the title : At last, I've learnt enough in SEQ mode in order to create a first song.
Now, I'm looking for a process for a clean and good mixing in wich each instrument stands out clearly.
Do you know a Youtube tuto for example or website to go that way ?

Thanks a lot.


You might clarify how many tracks you lay down, and generally what type of instruments plus the style of your Song.

If you have a basic 4 track Song thats somewhat easy to mix.

When you start getting into multiple tracks, multiple instruments and adding WAV files, mixing becomes critical.

I am lucky in that I have a few friends that help me on mixing. It makes a huge difference to rely on ' objective ears ' to analyze what you are doing and how you are mixing. I have no problem accepting constructive advice and making improvements to my mix.

I have gotten better at mixing over the past year. Its extremely important to develop the skill . You can get a near professional mix out of the SEQ.
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Mike Conway
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the others have said. I always liked horror movie scores (PHANTASM, HALLOWEEN, etc.) They usually did something really simple, which is the "low, high" sound. There is usually a high synth or bell that does the melody and then a bass type synth that handles the lows. A very simple mix of two effective sound ranges. Often times, backing string or vocal tones would come in for the mid range.

Something else to note, is that different technologies tend to be good blends, like a sampled piano mixed with an analogue synth. Both stand out because of their differences.

There are some cool demo songs in the Kronos FACTORY folder. Study these and the Kronos combis. The best thing about them is that they were done and mix optimized on the Kronos, which is what you want to do.

Something that is a trap with a lot of preset sounds, is that most of them are stereo optimized. This is why I put sounds into the sequencer, often without their original effects. As stated, you need to put sounds in different parts of the stereo field, so mono sounds are what you want, in most cases.

Sander hit a lot of good points - high, low, left, right, and the 3-dimensional space. Of course, we are going through a left/right output, as opposed to a 7.1 surround. Simulating front to back can be done with reverb. A sound close to the mic or listener will not have much reverb, but a sound in the back of the room will. Think about the placement of your instruments in the room (virtual room, actually).

Going back to my horror score example, less is more. Don't clog up your mix with too many instruments. Keep in mind, at any point of your song, what the featured instrument is. You can raise and lower levels of the tracks. Drums will generally stay loud, but when you want to really hear the guitar, cut back on some other instrument levels. When a sax lead comes in, bring the guitar down a bit. When two instruments are equally loud, pan one towards the left and the other right.

For orchestral parts, look up different diagrams that show where the musicians sit.



That is one example, but looking at it you can see what your pan settings should be, and perhaps where more reverb would be applied. Your listening perspective is from where the audience is sitting, of course. That puts Violins 1 and Cellos closest to the listener.
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amit
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some great replies here,
One thing, keep levels in check, Kronos sounds tend to be bit loud and when tracks sum up it can get out of hand. Do it 24 bit and keep iinitial track levels low and mix from there. Use you amplifier or a gain plugin on Tfx channel to compensate for monitoring level.

Read/ watch some mixing techniques books/ videos.
What freq Range of tracks being used lie in etc.
Sound is three dimensional, so it's a combination of three essential components. Considering top bottom to be z axis.
X: panning
Y: volume (front/back)
Z: eq (above:highs, below: lows).
Each sounds need its space to breathe so less can be more.

Use compression to fix the position of the sound in its place (less dynamics lesser lateral movement on X)

Theses are just the starting basics from which I start and these can change a lot or little based off type/mood/ imaging etc.

Here's an old but still relevant video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6VdpN6lb4
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Liviou2004
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Joined: 20 Feb 2017
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Location: Fontainebleau - France

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all, friends for all you very precious advices. I will practice and see what will happen.
Indeed the first issue is the fact that many Synth Program take their power from IFX and fill all the stereo field (as one of you said). So once placed on Seq, it's quite hard to place another instrument.

Once again, thanks a lot for very good answering.What is important : I'll have to give up on mastering mixing techniques just in a while. A great lesson for me !
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arne v
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Many good points here Smile
One more thing to remember (sry if i missed this) is how you use your insert fx on each track and master fx. Remember less is more Smile
Do not throw a lot of limiters, compressors, EQ`s etc in your fx chain. It will only destroy your mix and sound weird
But as several wrote there is a lot of youtube videos on how to mix.

regards avr
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marc1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As SanderXpander already pointed out, find a good reference track from your preferred genre of music and learn from that. Analyse the distribution of instrumental tracks over the stereo spectrum and compare their individual loudness in relation to one another. Bass sounds are usually mixed mono since low frequencies are harder to detect for the ear.

Reverb is generally added to create space, depth, substance and in some cases authenticity (e.g. orchestral music in general). But be careful as not to overuse reverb, since it has a tendency to blur mixes. And not every frequency range necessarily benefits from the addition of reverb.

Keep also in mind that mixing practices have changed over the decades due to changes in technology and listening habits. So if you're looking for an authentic 70ies sound you wouldn't necessarily overrepresent low frequencies (e.g. the loudness of bass and drumtracks) as it is common with modern music.

Try also different mixes of the same song, save them and compare them at a later stage. And whenever you're satisfied, play the final result to an audience of your liking...

Just my two cents
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Schmooster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main drums and basslinr tend to sit in the centre - vocals too - but it's 3D remember. Like has been suggested, everything in its place, there's a massive field to play in - begin by spreading things about; but as has also been said it's an art and it's as dynamic as the music - nothing has to stay anywhere, but for drama and emphasis punch through the centre and pan away - start low volume and bring things out and move them around. Something that sounds great on its own can mess up your whole creation so stay fairly dry to begin with before going mad with FX. The mastering is the hardest part - if you don't learn from a pro then you'll unlikely stumble upon the perfect mix - and it's very subjective. What sounds great to you through expensive cans may sound terrible through speakers. Some say mix using monitors, others say use pro headsets - I use DT770's which are often used by vocalists - but they have their disadvantages. Their big advantage for me is that they're not 'excitable' headphones, so they hold everything back for you and often then the mix sounds great through speakers - but maybe my ears are shot to pieces, who knows, it's just how I 'paint' - these days I don't have the time to compose anyway, I sit and spend more time faffing about than ever before - there's too many sounds now and it's too easy to get lost in one for a couple of hours and then it's back to our 'free' life at the grind. On the hamster wheel. I've rarely met a satisfied professional musician that didn't remind me of 'Cliff Richard' in that you're left thinking 'he'd (or she'd) be happy designing biscuits for a living'. When it's a job I think you maybe lose something that was once just innocent pleasure for no reason other than for the sake of itself.

I think I talk a lot more shite as I age as well....
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again to you all for these important answers.
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To put things in perspective - if it sounds good, it is good. If you can get to where you're happy, don't overthink it.
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Schmooster
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SanderXpander wrote:
To put things in perspective - if it sounds good, it is good. If you can get to where you're happy, don't overthink it.


I totally disagree with that statement. If it sounds good to YOU it may sound dire to someone else - that's why people make a career out of mixing and mastering; it's not something you just 'pick up' - it's an art. How many even use a an audio histogram? How many can interpret one correctly? The most basic of mixing tools for amateurs - it's not just about 'how it sounds' audibly; all our preferences are different that's why equalisers were invented for home stereo systems - otherwise it should sound 'perfect' as it is shouldn't it? Some like bass, some like treble and some like it flat - that's AFTER it's been mastered to 'sound good'. Some artists deliberately request a certain 'mix' that's often not the norm - Sabaton for example, their albums are mixed horribly in my opinion. Mark Knopfler on the other hand sounds incredible in the studio (in my opinion).

Someone once told me there's no need for more than 64 tracks because after that it all just gets very messy - well I guess Nightwish songs (as a good example) must be an absolute s**t-tip then because I recall the studio having to expand to accommodate over 600 tracks (link below for those who think that's bullshit) - 150 of which (or more) were just Floor's vocals - now that sounds like utter madness to me and probably a lot of other people - how the hell can you use that many tracks? Well, their producer must know something because he expanded the studio to accommodate them whereas I'd mix it and then bounce it.

It's just too subjective and personal to make such a sweeping and generalised statement is my perspective.

https://youtu.be/fXVd9h0aAcY
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