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Author Topic: staying focused on a mix  (Read 921 times)

Russell Arnold

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staying focused on a mix
« on: October 13, 2019, 11:57:48 pm »

Heres a question for you all .
when I listen to a mix I hear everything and wonder why the FOH engineer is missing it.
When I mix I loose sight of my own mix and longer hear my own mix and get "lost" in my mix.
has anyone travelled down this path and or know how to re focus?

thanking you in advance.
Russell
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2019, 09:24:29 am »

Heres a question for you all .
when I listen to a mix I hear everything and wonder why the FOH engineer is missing it.
When I mix I loose sight of my own mix and longer hear my own mix and get "lost" in my mix.
has anyone travelled down this path and or know how to re focus?

thanking you in advance.
Russell

Know exactly what you mean. I'm listening to someone else's mix wondering why they can't hear that the vocals aren't loud enough, but have occasionally failed to notice something was completely missing from my own mix without someone pointing it out.

My wife has a simple thing she does when she mixes that I've now adopted.  Once you think you have good mix, take a real hard look at what is on the stage as one overall image in your mine, and then turn your back to the stage and listen without benefit of your eyes and see if you hear everything that you saw. 

Won't keep you from missing a guitar solo, but I find it does really help with making sure your basic mix is solid.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 05:23:09 pm »

I tend to look down and away from the stage when trying to hear if my mix is on point.
As noted, your eyes can cause deception!
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brian maddox

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 05:25:51 pm »

I tend to look down and away from the stage when trying to hear if my mix is on point.
As noted, your eyes can cause deception!

This^^

I will sometimes look down at the console and then do a mental inventory across the channel strips  [without touching anything] to make sure i can clearly hear everything.  The trick is to not change anything until you're DONE with the inventory or else you just find yourself trying to make everything louder than everything else....
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 06:37:42 pm »

After an hour, or when I feel this is happening to me if sooner, I'll walk away and quickly get as far from the sound as possible- usually outside if show is inside. I wait just a minute or 2 and return. Sometimes I get a surprise when I walk back in and then I can be objective again.
Also, at the start of every song, I quickly go through each instrument/voice on stage and listen for it. Once in a while it gets tough sometimes because I am also singing and manually running lights but it comes quite naturally now.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 12:10:05 am »

I'm listening to someone else's mix wondering why they can't hear that the vocals aren't loud enough,

Usually vocals are too low for me (when I'm in the audience) on songs that I don't know.  I try to keep that in mind when mixing that people who don't know the music usually need more vocals.  Same principal for the other more important parts of the instrumentation.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 06:58:02 am »

Usually vocals are too low for me (when I'm in the audience) on songs that I don't know.  I try to keep that in mind when mixing that people who don't know the music usually need more vocals.
This is a very important thing to keep in mind! Your brain knows the words to the song and will "fill in" what may be missing or low level.
I just saw Massive Attack in Toronto and while the overall sound was very good, the vocals were so low in the mix, it's a good thing I knew some of the lyrics. ::)
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lindsay Dean

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 02:13:51 pm »

Overall foh mixing can be very subjective .
Beyond cues missed etc etc
Before you say whether the mix is good or not, you should always make sure your most important tool is in good shape, have your ears checked yearly to make sure you're not unknowingly compensating for a hearing loss.
      Also different loudspeakers and deployments right or wrong, and different parts of the room will sound different so it's best to scrutinize at the mix point.
     Just sayin
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frank kayser

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 03:37:22 pm »

Normally, my attention is all over the place - for some reason, not with mixing. Rarely do I have to re-boot my focus.  I don't get much feedback on things missing or overdone, but no doubt there are many things folks here would find.  Something comforting about small ponds.

My brand of focus is that I'm rarely "listening" to music at FOH.  I'm constantly scanning left to right and back to be sure everything is being appropriately heard. I make adjustments to both levels and EQ as I scan.  I may concentrate on, say a bass.  What are they doing? Is one string/freq blooming?  Can I hear the higher notes? Fix, go back to scanning. Revisit.  I listen to vocals enough that I can recognize what words they're using, not particularly what they're singing. Is it volume or is eq masking intelligibility?  Familiar songs do complicate judging the audibility of words.  Mind games.


Picking a mix apart like this is almost re-booting my focus each scan. I find that necessary when someone wants to chat.  Inevitably, the second I give them any attention, I've missed some type of cue.  Never fails.  Highly stressful.


I do tend to look at the iPad too much, and can miss when the band person is trying to get my attention.  That seems to be at odds with my first statement, but I guess the scan back and forth includes looking at channels and meters and listening.


I go home with a combination of exhaustion and being wired even after a briefcase job.  Hours before I wind down enough to hit the sack.


frank
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 04:31:18 pm »

Mix?  Sorry, I was on my phone. ::)
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Re: staying focused on a mix
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 04:31:18 pm »


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