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Mixdown - do you mixdown to a track?
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SkylineUK
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Joined: 14/01/2011 17:18:03
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When using Sonar I would always mixdown to a track so I could see what the waveform looked like, i.e/ how 'hot' I was making the mix and/or to examine any peaks that might need compressing, etc. Studio One defaults to mixing straight to a WAV or MP3 although you can of course choose the option to mix to a track as well.

What method do you use? Do you, like me, need visual as well as aural information on the waveforms?
I'm just interested if there's a best practice here or some general tips.

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Musicmakerr
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Use s(M)exoscope



http://bram.smartelectronix.com/plugins.php?id=4

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 26/02/2012 12:33:32

SNS
Presonic
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Musicmakerr wrote:Use s(M)exoscope



http://bram.smartelectronix.com/plugins.php?id=4


ahh had forgot all about that plug,is there something like that in a 64 bit version
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SkylineUK
Presonic
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So you don't rely on the waveform shown in the track if you export to a track?
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tyacko
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To be fair, I haven't mixdown any final product yet so take this for what it is worth...

I too came from Sonar and it was nice to have the ability to see the WAV. It was nice to see how much headroom I had left (visually) when trying to get final mixes done.

To this point I've only exported to MP3's in S1v2 just so we could take the material out of the studio and give it a listen with fresh ears. It is a bit frustrating to get the message about the output being +something db and do you want to abort the export without being able to see what might be the main peeks that are causing the issue and work on them surgically.

What seems odd is that it is telling me I'm over yet when I listen to the mp3's they are not very loud as I would expect from the message that S1v2 is telling me.

Now I know that I can import the mp3 into S1v2 to see what it looks like as yet another step it's just a bit time consuming.

Tom
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kelldammit
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tyacko wrote:
To this point I've only exported to MP3's in S1v2 just so we could take the material out of the studio and give it a listen with fresh ears. It is a bit frustrating to get the message about the output being +something db and do you want to abort the export without being able to see what might be the main peeks that are causing the issue and work on them surgically.

What seems odd is that it is telling me I'm over yet when I listen to the mp3's they are not very loud as I would expect from the message that S1v2 is telling me.

Tom


If you're not seeing any clipping on the master fader, but get the clipping error on export, are you exporting to a lower bit depth?
another place i'd look is for any steep highpass/low cut filter curves.
the way digital eq's work is that when you use a steep curve on an eq, frequencies will "pile up" at the frequencies above the point of the filter. so if you put a 36db curve highpass/lowcut at 40hz, you could have a 10 db "hump" starting at 40hz, and going up to maybe 50hz. The trick is that daw metering usually can't see this hump, as it's inter-sample. if you use any such filter curves, make sure to allow at least 10db on that channel to accommodate the inter-sample (thus invisible to daw metering) level boost.
it's cool that s1 seems to catch these errors on file export. most other daws that i've worked with don't.

if you really don't want to be bothered with any of that, simply put a limiter on the master bus, without any gain...if they're only short peaks, the default setting would work.


kell

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 27/02/2012 16:06:33

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kelldammit wrote:
tyacko wrote:
To this point I've only exported to MP3's in S1v2 just so we could take the material out of the studio and give it a listen with fresh ears. It is a bit frustrating to get the message about the output being +something db and do you want to abort the export without being able to see what might be the main peeks that are causing the issue and work on them surgically.

What seems odd is that it is telling me I'm over yet when I listen to the mp3's they are not very loud as I would expect from the message that S1v2 is telling me.

Tom


If you're not seeing any clipping on the master fader, but get the clipping error on export, are you exporting to a lower bit depth?
another place i'd look is for any steep highpass/low cut filter curves.
the way digital eq's work is that when you use a steep curve on an eq, frequencies will "pile up" at the frequencies above the point of the filter. so if you put a 36db curve highpass/lowcut at 40hz, you could have a 10 db "hump" starting at 40hz, and going up to maybe 50hz. The trick is that daw metering usually can't see this hump, as it's inter-sample. if you use any such filter curves, make sure to allow at least 10db on that channel to accommodate the inter-sample (thus invisible to daw metering) level boost.
it's cool that s1 seems to catch these errors on file export. most other daws that i've worked with don't.

if you really don't want to be bothered with any of that, simply put a limiter on the master bus, without any gain...if they're only short peaks, the default setting would work.


kell


I use a free VST that can monitor intersample peaks. Seems to work great. It called Inspector and its from RNDigital. I put it on the master channel on all of my songs. You can set alarms on it to flash it there are intersample peaks.

Thanks
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DuckieTheAnk
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tyacko wrote:To be fair, I haven't mixdown any final product yet so take this for what it is worth...

I too came from Sonar and it was nice to have the ability to see the WAV. It was nice to see how much headroom I had left (visually) when trying to get final mixes done.

To this point I've only exported to MP3's in S1v2 just so we could take the material out of the studio and give it a listen with fresh ears. It is a bit frustrating to get the message about the output being +something db and do you want to abort the export without being able to see what might be the main peeks that are causing the issue and work on them surgically.

What seems odd is that it is telling me I'm over yet when I listen to the mp3's they are not very loud as I would expect from the message that S1v2 is telling me.

Now I know that I can import the mp3 into S1v2 to see what it looks like as yet another step it's just a bit time consuming.

Tom


Check the "Import to track" box (in the mixdown dialog) and it will automaticly place the .wav on a new track in the song!
Same thing as recording to a track, but better as you don't have to do it in real time!
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Toth
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I don't use any visualization software for mixdowns, as I am not sure how the look of the waveform would help me get a better sounding track. I just use my ears to listen to the song. How do you use the visual information to help your mixdown?
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LMike
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Toth wrote:I don't use any visualization software for mixdowns, as I am not sure how the look of the waveform would help me get a better sounding track. I just use my ears to listen to the song. How do you use the visual information to help your mixdown?


Use the same meters from the project section. Spectrum meter, phase meter, whatever. Size the spectrum meter full screen to get a really detailed FFT view or similar.
SNS
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btw is it possibe to open the spectrum analyzer with a key-command?that would be handy
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I mix through a dangerous D-box so I record my mix back into a new track so I do the waveform as I'm printing my mixes
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SkylineUK
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Toth wrote:I don't use any visualization software for mixdowns, as I am not sure how the look of the waveform would help me get a better sounding track. I just use my ears to listen to the song. How do you use the visual information to help your mixdown?


In Sonar I always:-
- 'Bounce' the mix tracks to a new track (call it 'A').
- Apply finalisers to that track (limiter, compressor, in my case TRacks3, Ozone, ProL)
- Bounce that track to a new finished one (call it 'B')
- Export to WAV, MP3, etc. from B.

I find this method helps me as I can use both my eyes and ears to check things; as ears can play tricks through fatigue and so on but eyes don't. My method enables me to e.g.:
- Check for isolated obvious peaks in A that might benefit from individual taming with some automation on the offending individual track(s).
- Be able to see as well as hear the effect of final processors, i.e the differences between A and B tracks.
- See if my final limiting and/or compression is 'reasonable' and not giving me a 'sausage' shaped final waveform.
- Where required, to see that B looks similar to the waveforms of other reference songs, e.g. commercial tracks or other songs of mine.
- My pre- and post-finalised mixes are archived inside the project as tracks and not separately, i.e as WAVs or MP3s separate from the project.
- I can easily go back and re-finalise a mix without risking changing anything in the main mix.

I can also work that way in S1 of course, but I just wanted to see what others do.
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