Music Composers Unite!
This is Sukhpal....
It is my humble request to all the music experts to guide me regarding mixing and mastering the music....I compose my own music, generally i complete my songs with 20 to 30 wav float audio tracks....Im using Nuendo 3....I want to know how to do mixing and mastering of my music so that i shud sound professional....Please guide me ....Thanks a lot in advance... :)
There's a lot of stuffs available on youtube. I think, that's the best and most efficient way for you to learn the basics.
Mixing and mastering seems to be in a class seperate from composition.
Being that Capitalism has availed mixing software to be easily marketed to us 99%'ers, everybody has the opportunity to mix and master at home.....(no, this is not an endorsement for Capitalism)
I hate mastering and mixing,though if you choose to do it all yourself,then the best advice to give is hands on experience is the best....Keep on doing it for years to come, and eventually you'll develope your skills in mix and master....if at that point your hearing doesn't start to decline as the result of age(like mine is).
Reading on that subject will definately speed up your craft....along with higher ed.in that field.
But just keep on plugging away and eventually it'll sound decent.
I'm going to second what avila said, that MIXING and mastering, is a completely different field than composing on the computer...
I started out just learning the rank basics of mixing digitally, because the local young musicians I loitered around with, wanted to play ONE part of freebird to learn it, then hear THAT while they recorded themselves playing the SECOND part, then move onto the THIRD guitar part, just so they could LEARN to play all 3 parts...
...they sicced ME onto this, because I was "tech dude"...
*shrugs* this led me to multitrack record, then "mix" a 3 song demo for a local singer kid, who used the demo I made for him to get him into a gig fronting a local band, which turned out to be a long term "day job" for him...
THEN, they wanted me to make "computer drum lines" for the guitarists to pracgtice along to... and so on... THATS how I got started trying to write my ownmusic on the computer, almost by accident.
Anyways, now that I am composing instead of mixing only... my overall thing is I *sort of* stick largely to the "presets" of my "digital orchestra" VST instrument.
If I was SERIOUS with any ONE track I made? I would send a few bucks to one of my buddies on one of my OTHER music sites I am a member of, where at THAT site, the emphasis is on mixing and recording at home and in the studio. I figure I am concerned with WRITING the music, and to make a half decent "rendering" or "sketch" of my piece is MY JOB...
...and I would let the plumbers do the plumbing, so I can concentrate on composing.
but that said... I have slowly learned to mix what little bit I DO KNOW how to do, simply by default,
The RANK BASICS of mixing, are simply setting volume, pan, and effects loop on every track individually... and for the track overall, too...
teh guys that "actually" can mix... are also doing FFT noise reduction on tracks and samples, and have skills with applying "compression" to tracks and overall mixes.
also, there's mathematical principles in play... 2 simultaneous sine waves (sounds) some times "add together", and sometimes "cancel each other out". The real mixers go thru wth paramatric equalizers to raise band(s) of frequncies in volume, or to lower the volume of individual frequencies.
they also apply compression to specific frequencies, and also a lot of stranger stuff.
All of this in addition to the effects loops on every instrument, and the effects on the whole track at once.... and thats just "mixing" professionally. True "mastering" really is a high end art above THAT.
My little digital orchestra VST instrument, as I use it... I figure real professionals "set up" the panning and effects on the instruments I select, to "place them" in the sound field to represent real instruments better than I ever could, so, I just use the presets and concentrate on picking notes on my comuter and selecting instruments.
I try to just set "volume" and let teh plumbers do the plumbing... and if i were ever serious about any one track, I'd drop a few dollars and let one of my pro mixing buddies on another site tackle the job...
because I want to compose instead of MIX, I set overall volume (signal) level to peak several dB under "-2", and thats for the peaks, most of it is at -6 and under... and I found a "preset" for the limiters and compressors in my software that my ears can live with...
thats ohn my orchestra stuff.
for pop and rock? *shrugs* I tend to use one (or three) reverbs on acoustic and electric guitar, and on solo piano.
if I were ever even half serious, I would send out the highest quality individual "wav" tracks my software could render in a folder, and let a pro mixer strut his stuff...
if you want some serious results, find a proffessional and let him work his magic. Some years back I read a magazine article about mastering services (done by studios were really big names record their work), which came with a couple of before/after samples of music and let me tell you, the results were AMAZING. You could reach a pretty good result if you start messing around with it and spend lots and lots of hours until you find the "sweet spots", but why bother when someone is specifically trained to do that better and faster?
and the cost was not too much, I think I saw a price like 50pounds or something per track, with some extra stuff like, redo the mastering fi you do not like it, that kind of thing.
There's is a lot of information available on the subject, and like Kane said- many youtube videos that are helpful. In my opinion, recording, mixing and mastering are strongly connected to composing. When you compose something, you create something with rhythm, melody, and harmonies. The only thing that truly matters is that it sound good. Duke Ellington: If it sounds good, it is good.' How can it sound good? Well, a good performance will help it to sound good. A good recording will help it to sound good. A good mix will also help. If your goal is to have a recording represent your composition, a good mastering job can also help. So you see, composing must be connected with performance and/or recording.
Keep in mind that most composer and most musicians do NOT have the proper equipment for mastering. They also do not have the 'ears' for mastering. Yes, mixing can be more easily accomplished.
How about a useful idea. You will be hard pressed to do better than iZotope Ozone on the end of your chain' unless you own some very expensive hardware. From a mixing in the box perspective this one Vst plugin can do what you need. iZotope Ozone The second thing of course is a flat listening environment and good set of monitors. Mixing remains one of the most illusive arts of the recording practice and can take a life time to master. However if your ear is a truthful one you can get a good mix by just listening and adjusting. Remember the mix will not be just one setting for the entire length of the song, you need to automate the parameters of the plugin as you advance through your song. Bounce the mix and look for trouble spot's. When you find a problem in the bounced mix go back to the unmixed source make your adjustments and re-bounce just that section. Now take the bounced section and cross-fade the ends into the earlier bounce ... make sure its seamless and that it sounds good in the transition. Start with learning the basics and then add tricks to what you know as you progress. There is no reason with today's technology that you cant perform a successful mix even your first time out. When someone tells you if you want some serious results, find a professional don't believe it. The fact of the matter is that when you turn your music over to a so called professional you are asking someone else to finish your vision ... this in the long run will hurt your music. You wouldn't ask them to write your song, so why would you ask them to put the finishing touch's on it. You can do this, it will take some time, but your music will be better because you did. Many of the best composers are also engineers.
Oh yeah also get this book. It will be helpful.
Mastering Audio, Second Edition: The Art and the Science by BobKatz The Book
As Raymond pointed out with the fancy priced processor statement, you don't have to have cash for fancy plugins. Here are some free plugins that will help with your mastering. CS-12 Master Channel Strip 1.56 Found Here I would also grab the Compressors - limiters - enhancers from this same website.
Try going to amazon.com and searching for 'mixing audio', also do a google or yahoo search. There's a lot educational material out there...
thank you very much all !!!! m back after almost a year...... and going to start work on mixing and mastering my own music..... m very thankful for your feedback..... and will expect help in future too..... thanks a lot once again..... :)
A great resource, all about mixing music, pros and newbies: