Rock: Recording and Mixing

I've been recording progressive rock for a few years now.

Here are a few of my revelations:

1- The low end of most tracks should be minimized - EQ - roll off the lows

This usually results in a sound that is more 'thin' for those tracks, but the overall mix will sound much less muddy, and the bass instruments will sound better.

2- Decide where you will place the bass guitar and kick drum in relation to each other, in terms of frequency range. I replace the actual kick drum track with a sampled one that has a deep thud at about 45hz, which is combined with the higher frequency beater click. I roll off the bass guitar's lower frequencies, below 100hz and especially at about 45hz so the two instruments are separated.

3- Various experiments with adding compression to individual tracks and/or sub-groups has led me to conclude that compression almost always helps the final mix. For example, I used fairly severe compression on a bass guitar track, to create a very even, consistent bass track. I use parallel compression (in the box) for the drum submix. I also create a brighter submix for the drums that I can mix in with the main drum submix, so I can easily control the mid-highs of the drums.

4- I tend to like tracks that are a bit on the warm side, so I'm learning to create brighter tracks when tracking instruments, with more mid-highs).

5- When I'm finished with most of the mixing, I then create sub-mixes which make it easier to manage the final steps of completing the mix:

a- drums, without the two kick tracks (beater and low thud) (stereo)

b- kick, low thud (mono)

c- kick, hi beater click (levels of the two kick tracks are grouped together)(mono)

d- bass guitar (mono)

e- submix of remaining instruments (stereo)

f- optional separate track for a lead instrument or lead vocal (stereo)

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