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Compression. It sux. Here a great lil starter.

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Here is a great article about bass traps and why you need them. It's a heavy read.

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We have another course coming up. 7/14/21 and 28th September 2016. 7-pm - 10pm.. There are limited spaces available so please call Pony Music 03 9702 3244 to book.

Mix YOUR Master. - A personal Mixing course.

Learn how to mix better by mixing one of your own tracks in our studio with the guidance of Damien Young, our Pony Music Mix Guru.

There is no secret sauce, no hidden tricks never spoken about, not one step preset to make killer tracks. This is all rubbish you may read elsewhere.

We aim to teach you what is actually going on, how to pull it all together and how to mix, with your ears and your brain.

We will cover what is needed before you mix (Tracking, editing, arrangement etc). Make these decisions BEFORE you mix.

You CANT fix it in the MIX.

We can help create personal Mix Templates for every attendee.

The course is 4 week nights, from 7pm - 10pm.

Wednesdays 7/14/21 and 28th of September.
$440.00 for all 4 nights.

Remember, there are limited spaces available so please call to book. Pony Music 03 9702 3244.

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This is another Little Feet Music clip we made on the weekend..

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Another "recording revolution" EQ article.

One thing that separates amateur sounding mixes from professional sounding ones is EQ.

Good mixers know how to wield EQ with confidence and intentionality. They use it to take good recordings to the next level. While amateur mixers know they “should” be using EQ, but they only tend to make things sound worse.

Have you been there? I know I have. Thankfully, at its core proper EQ is only a two-step process. And after reading this, you’ll know exactly what to do each and every time you drop in an EQ in your mix.

Step #1 – Clean Up The Mess
The first (and arguably best) move you should make with EQ is to clean up the frequencies that don’t need to be there. That’s right, good old subtractive EQ for the win.

Why does this work and how should you approach it?

Simply put, each track you’ve recorded, as awesome as it might sound, is likely filled with frequencies that don’t need to be there. It could be low end rumble, mid range mud, or harsh highs. The point is, that not every frequency is useful on every track.

By finding what sounds nasty and cutting it out, you do two things:

You reveal the better sounding parts of your track more clearly
You free up headroom in your mix
These are two very helpful results because both give you a mix with more clarity and musicality. And remember, headroom in the digital world is paramount.

Practically what does this look like? Well for me, when I’m ready to pull up an instrument or vocal in the mix I grab my EQ, drop it in, and then go hunting for at least two bad sounding frequencies.

On this kick drum I found that 167hz and 452hz sounded nasty – so I cut both by around 7db!

To do this, simply create a narrow boost (yes, I said boost) upwards of 12db or more and begin slowly sweeping around the frequency spectrum till you land on one or two spots that sound really nasty. Sometimes these are also the places that tend to overload your track as well.

Once you find the nasty spot, pull that boost down into a cut of 3-6db as a starting point.

It’s amazing what one or two strategic EQ cuts can do to make a track sound more clear and present in the mix. Even a simple high pass filter can make the mids cut through better!

Step #2 – Enhance The Best Parts
Now that you’ve cleaned up the messy parts of your track it’s time to enhance what’s left. This is where some boosting is in order.

Listen to your track and ask yourself, “What do I need to hear more of?”

All we are trying to do now is slightly enhance what’s already good about the track so it becomes just that much better. We aren’t trying to change the sound into something it’s not. Rather, we’re enhancing what’s already there.

Similarly to our method above, grab your EQ and begin to do an extreme narrow boost of 12db or so and sweep around. Find the spot or spots that give you more of what you want.

Once you’ve discovered the precise frequency you like, dial the boost back down to a more reasonable 3-6db. Yes, your ear will be sad and want to hear more of the boost, but you must trust that you are boosting the right things and that a 3db enhancement actually makes a difference.

On this kick drum I wanted to hear more weight down low and more smack of the beater. I boosted at 53hz and 6khz respectively.

Why Such Small Boosts?
“But Graham – why only subtle boosts? Can’t I do as much as the track needs?”

Yes, you can do whatever you like. But that doesn’t mean it will sound good.

You see – subtle EQ moves are the secret to keeping your mix sounding natural and musical. It’s extreme boosts and cuts that tend get us into trouble. This is especially true with most digital EQs that come stock in your DAW. They sound great – but don’t push them too hard when boosting.

And as some might point out – many great mixers are advocates of drastic EQ boosts. One of my favorites is Chris Lord-Alge. He’s been known to push things as high as 12db or more on multiple tracks (especially when it comes to drums).

But one thing I would say in response to that: He’s working with tracks that were recorded very well in very good sounding rooms.

If you recorded drums in a bedroom or basement studio and then went EQ trigger happy and dropped in multiple 12db boosts, you’d start to hear more and more of your bad sounding room. This is exactly the opposite of what will make your mix have more clarity and depth.

I know it’s hard to do subtle EQ moves. We are hard wired to want to hear drastic improvements when we mix. But trust me the little mix moves do add up to huge results.

Remember, EQ Is Only Good For Two Things
Mixing can be overwhelming. And it’s easy to overdo it with things like EQ.

But if you stop for a moment before you insert your next EQ and remember this, you can’t go wrong. EQ is really only good for two things: cleaning up the bad and enhancing the good.

It’s a cut or a boost. That’s it.

Both subtractive and additive EQ moves have their place, just be sure you are intentional about them and your mixes will be better for it.


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This is a great article from "The Recording". They have some great information (I dont agree with all of it, but ALL engineers argue about EVERYTHING, so this isnt an issue).

There’s a reason why you might struggle to get a great mix. And it has nothing to do with your mixing abilities.

In fact, your mix was already determined long before you dropped in a single plugin or moved a fader.

Indeed, for better or for worse, your mix’s fate was sealed on recording day.

I Had The Formula Backwards
For years I didn’t understand this basic truth – that your mixes are determined by your recording quality.

Sounds obvious, but in reality I worked in the studio as if it weren’t true.

I had a “formula” for making records but it was completely backwards. It went something like this:

Quick Recording + Long (i.e. Complicated) Mixing = Sonic Success

I would literally record as swiftly as possible.

Not wanting to “kill the vibe” I would pick a mic placement and go. After a couple of takes I would move on. No real thought was given to tone, arrangement, or dynamic.

Just capture the recording cleanly and move on.

Then when it came time to mix, I would brew some coffee and prepare to dig in for many hours. Mixing (in my mind) was where the song came to life, and I was determined to give it all the time it needed to really shine.

Turns out this was the complete opposite way I should have been working.

A Pro Mix Exposed
The frustrating part about this process was that mixing was like surgery. Plastic surgery at that.

I was trying to use every tool, trick, and tip in the book to construct something beautiful out of something deformed and broken at worst, and incomplete at best.

No wonder it was painful, time consuming, and exhausting.

But one day I was watching some interview with some famous mixer and he had opened up a Pro Tools session of one of his mixes. He bypassed all the plugins so we could hear the raw, naked tracks.

My jaw dropped.

These tracks sounded amazing without any plugins!

In fact, they didn’t sound much different than the final mix.

What the heck?! Was the mixer even doing anything?

(The answer, BTW, is yes – but that’s the simple secret to mixing).

In that brief moment, I was so informed about the reality of great mixing (and likely all the great mixes of our time): great mixes are actually won (or lost) in the recording phase.

For me the bar was instantly raised and my formula for sonic success was in question.

Weight It Heavy On The Front End
These days I have a very similar (yet completely different) formula. It looks something like this:

Slow, Intentional Recording + Quick, Big Picture Mixing = Sonic Success

Do you see the change?

I’ve simply shifted the bulk of my time and effort from the mixing phase to the recording phase. I’ve weighted my time and energy more heavily on the front end.

Now instead of simply trying to “capture” a performance:

I think through which microphones and instruments will compliment each other better.
I think about arrangement with more intentionality than ever before.
I’m carving out EQ holes in the recording phase, rather than waiting for mixing to take care of things.
There is a LOT you can do in the recording phase to end up with tracks that virtually mix themselves – and I bust my butt to make that happen.

The result?

Mixing can be done quickly and effortlessly. And all with a better sounding result.

But - as we've seen - it all starts with the recording.

Tomorrow I'm going to share with you the absolute BEST way to start churning out killer sounding recordings in your home studio. Watch your inbox!

Graham Cochrane


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