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How long do you spend getting your rough mixes together?

Asked 1963 day 15 h | Viewed 4327 times | Updated 1929 day 22 h |

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Gravatar photo Justin Vencel

Do you guys spend a ton of time putting together your rough mixes (cleaning up audio, project, and timing issues, setting up audio routing and basic plugins/outboard effects, basic levels and automation)?

I feel like it takes quite a bit of time to setup a project to the point where I canreally dive in -- like 4-5 hours or longer.

I'm just wondering how long it takes other people to setup their projects to this point and if there is any special processes your use.

6 Answers

  1. Answered: 1931 day 17 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoMix Master

    If I'm being hired to mix a project, I request that all of the edits are cleaned up.  That all of the vocals are tuned and that if there are any tracks that will defintely not be used that they are deleted, not just muted.  And that ALL of the tracks a properly labeled (have recieved hundreds of tracks labeled audio 12.3_4.22!!!). 

    All of this is a poor use of my time as a mixer.  It's much more efficient for me to spend that time mixing, not doing the house cleaning.  I'm not above it by any means (I do it myself on projects that I've recorded) but 2-3 hours X 12 songs = a few days work.  Considering that by the time a track is being mixed, it it always needed yesterday because the whole project is way behind schedule, the less "stuff" I have to do before mixing, the better. 

    I'll put together all of the instrument & vocal sub groups and effects sends and returns myself.  I have my own "system" or work flow that I'm comfortable with that probably wouldn't make sense to many other engineers. If all that I requested is completed (99% time it is) I can be mixing within less than an hour. 

    I'll start every mix with 3 reverbs to choose from, a room, plate, and a hall.  Then a few delys set up for really short, then 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 notes with some feedback.  This way as I'm mixing I can instantly try the plate verb vs. the hall verb on a vocal or a horn and get the reults I heard in my minds ear quickly. 

    This a great starting point and obviously I can add a different verb or dly if one is need later.

  2. Answered: 1962 day 7 h (1) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoDanny Gallagher be honest thats more of a "how long is a peice of string" question.

    for myself i've taken anywhere from half an hour (acosutic guitar and vox) to a few days (12 piece band)to have good mixes.

    i usually take time to think about engineering ideas before and during the recording process, if you know the band it makes it so much easier becasue u already know the general sound they want and they may have already had some ideas interms of producing.

    i recorded a band earlier on this year took 8 hours to record, mix, engineer, produce and master and its now the single off there next ep.

    so in back to the original question, it takes as long as it takes.

    • I realize this is really an open-ended question, but I wanted to to see how long others are taking to setup their projects. Thanks for the response.

      Justin Vencel | Sep 12 at 11:09

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  3. Answered: 1930 day 22 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar phototheclyde

    I have a few templates that route tracks to subs and the subs to mains. For a take with guitars, bass, vocal, sax, and drum (kick, snare and overheads) I would say less than an hour to get a rough mix together. That includes trimming obvious gaps, setting some basic levels and panning, and adding a few effects I know I will use. Most times the levels start out fairly nice as I spend time before I track making sure my gain is set correctly. Now for a mix that is ready for more than the band to listen to/practice against - that might be hours and hours and days and weeks :)

  4. Answered: 1930 day 4 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoApe Trax

    The ubiquitous event trimming and some tom gating takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes a song. Then I'll set up a Drum reverb, a Plate, a vocal reverb and a parallel compression FX send. That step doesn't take more than a few minutes, as I've got my favorites already. I also set up a sidechain group channel for the kick and bass, which takes about 10 minutes if I still haven't had my coffee. however if I wasn't working from such a finely crafted template, I expect the routing of the group channels, sends and busses would take about an hour at the top of the mix session.

  5. Answered: 1963 day 7 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoKen

    I know, sometimes it seems to take forever to get it all in place - especially "in the box". I did set up a few templates awhile ago- like busses for drums and vocal comps, etc. but I still seem to be pressing the same buttons over and over again. You know every project is different. But if the musicians have their act together, and there's time to set levels correctly and fix minor issues before recording, mixing set-ups seem to go a lot faster. But I say relax, let it take as long as it takes to get it right. Cheers!

  6. Answered: 1926 day 2 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoBrian Zieske

    Rough mixes are rough, so I dont spend much time on them at all. I make sure the mix is balanced and then I compress the whole mix just a little and then bounce it. Its rough its ugly but you can hear the performances fine. Why waste the time?

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