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Author Topic: When good mixing isn't good  (Read 3417 times)

Craig Smith

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When good mixing isn't good
« on: April 27, 2014, 08:36:29 pm »

I went to a concert a little while back for an older big-name group, and at the beginning I was appalled at how poor the mixing was -- I could barely hear the lead singer.  After a little while though they brought him out more, and then I wished they hadn't.  His voice had deteriorated and he was off-key and couldn't hit half the notes.  I guess sometimes things sound better with a "bad" mix.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 11:38:36 pm by Craig Smith »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 09:04:06 pm »

I went to a concert a little while back for an older big-name group, and at the beginning I was appalled at how poor the mixing was -- I could barely hear the lead singer.  After a little while though they brought him out more though, and then I wished they hadn't.  His voice had deteriorated and he was off-key and couldn't hit half the notes.  I guess sometimes things sound better with a "bad" mix.
Or lots of reverb/delay--------------------
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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frank kayser

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 09:06:13 pm »

I went to a concert a little while back for an older big-name group, and at the beginning I was appalled at how poor the mixing was -- I could barely hear the lead singer.  After a little while though they brought him out more though, and then I wished they hadn't.  His voice had deteriorated and he was off-key and couldn't hit half the notes.  I guess sometimes things sound better with a "bad" mix.
Turn the monitors up.  Can't hear themselves.


frank
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 09:46:55 pm »

I went to a concert a little while back for an older big-name group, and at the beginning I was appalled at how poor the mixing was -- I could barely hear the lead singer.  After a little while though they brought him out more though, and then I wished they hadn't.  His voice had deteriorated and he was off-key and couldn't hit half the notes.  I guess sometimes things sound better with a "bad" mix.
It is not uncommon to slightly bury the vocal in the mix because of pitch issues from singers. 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 10:29:10 pm »

I went to a concert a little while back for an older big-name group, and at the beginning I was appalled at how poor the mixing was -- I could barely hear the lead singer.  After a little while though they brought him out more though, and then I wished they hadn't.  His voice had deteriorated and he was off-key and couldn't hit half the notes.  I guess sometimes things sound better with a "bad" mix.

If the act is who I think it is, the singer blew out his voice a long time ago, has had surgery and sings better than he did before the surgery, but that's not saying much.  Think of the under-mixed vox as a mercy killing.

The band plays well and the songs done by other singers are fine.  The band's franchise still makes money or they'd just go fishing... ;)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Chris Eddison

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 03:24:42 am »

It is not uncommon to slightly bury the vocal in the mix because of pitch issues from singers.
I call it "Subtractive Pitch Correction"  ;D
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Craig Smith

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 08:57:45 am »

You guys are too funny.  Not sure if it's the same act but it's true, this guy never has been known as a great singer.  Although the friend I went with seemed to think it was all good.  I guess I should cut him some slack, but it's amazing how some people make it so big when there are so many talented people out there.

I forget how much processing happens during recording.  My wife recorded one song and we spent many hours in the studio.  When she "practices" her pitch isn't always perfect and the engineer was using pitch correction and I could hear it and didn't like it, so we worked on it until she got it right naturally.  But live she is always perfect; something about being on stage makes her do better.  I did see one artist that I thought sounded better live than recorded, but I don't think that's the norm.

I did one band once where the lead continually said he couldn't hear himself.  I had it louder than any other person I've ever done and we were riding the edge of feedback; I practically didn't need mains, and I turned everyone else down in his monitor.  But he still said he couldn't hear himself well enough and blamed me for his performance not being perfect.  Never did him again.

I've had others that always want more reverb.  I don't like to overdo it and don't like to put it in monitors; I usually just tell them I have it in the mains and will make them sound great.

A friend of mine just posted some clip on facebook with an engineer madly working in the studio to make a horrible singer sound good.  Completely unrealistic but it was funny.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 09:06:16 am by Craig Smith »
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 09:26:07 am »

Now I have heard that Reverb in the monitors can make it harder for the artist to get his pitch correct because the reverb will mask. 

In a recent article on monitors (IEM) they stated that reverb helps the artist.   

So do we have a vocal coach willing to chime in and help with getting good info on what to provide to the monitors for an artist to be able to hear them self and get the pitch correct? 

Is there a study that we can refer to.  So that we can provide documentation to back up our Opinions and beliefs. 
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 10:55:47 am »

Now I have heard that Reverb in the monitors can make it harder for the artist to get his pitch correct because the reverb will mask. 

In a recent article on monitors (IEM) they stated that reverb helps the artist.   


I'll add verb to the monitors if that's what they want but I was always under that same general assumption. I also read the IEM article.

Unless instructed to do other wise I'll mix instruments and vocals to sit at the proper mix levels regardless of performance quality. Sure enough if you tuck something away in a mix someone will come over saying they can't hear so and so playing or singing.
 

frank kayser

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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 12:45:00 pm »

Now I have heard that Reverb in the monitors can make it harder for the artist to get his pitch correct because the reverb will mask. 

In a recent article on monitors (IEM) they stated that reverb helps the artist.   

So do we have a vocal coach willing to chime in and help with getting good info on what to provide to the monitors for an artist to be able to hear them self and get the pitch correct? 

Is there a study that we can refer to.  So that we can provide documentation to back up our Opinions and beliefs.


I mix for a Johnny Cash cover band - the singer is a trained baritone/bass - he likes some slapback in the monitor - "pumps him up" says he.


frank
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Re: When good mixing isn't good
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 12:45:00 pm »


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