While mix engineers can undeniably make improvements in order to those elements of productions there is only so much wizardry you're able to do at the mix stage. Resulting from oversight, laziness, deficit of talent or several other factors, the possibility ceiling for greatness on a production is often effectively capped. Listed here are the problems with productions that can not be simply fixed in post production.
Less or No EmotionThis might well be the lowest amount of malleable musical quality once a song is recorded. While you'll find emotional traits that mix engineers can enhance, one example is using a mixture of saturation and fast, aggressive compression to brighten the ‘intensity'or ‘urgency'of your vocal performance, once something is recorded, there is only so much we is able to do to improve the expressiveness of your performance.
I am not saying in fact about vocals, either. An awesome musician can convey a little feeling making use of their instrument(s) of preference, although if the recording engineer and/or producer don't cultivate a breeding ground where the musician is emotionally open capable to go to town, there's little that can be performed at the mix stage to entirely fix that.
I would need a plugin featuring knobs that had been labeled ‘sadness ', ‘anger ', ‘sensuality'and many others, that permitted you to exaggerate these emotions, unfortunately, no software company has yet perfected a plugin that will accurately alter the wide array of emotional states present with a person's experience.
Bad SongwritingMy passion for songwriting really inspired me to take interest in engineering. I want to to recognise how you can make my own personal songs could be seen as the methods to the radio. I'm a huge fan of the art form, studied songwriting over the summer at Berklee, and wrote a huge selection of songs within my life. I'd venture to state that I care more about being an integral part of great songs than being known as the great engineer.
As a real mix engineer, being capable of enhancing songwriting quality is a smaller amount of an issue with an upswing and current popularity of dance music. Plenty of tracks currently are built to make listeners dance, and definitely not admire the chord progressions, expert use of song structure, masterful use of counterpoint, etc. While there are numerous danceable songs which also have been completely well-crafted, undoubtedly, songwriting quality is less vital that you listeners than it was decades ago.
Regardless, a huge part of mixing is embellishing transitions and creating contrast between various chapters of a song. On an up to date mix, I made use of a stereo expander and high-frequency enhancer on precisely the choruses so as to add extra excitement and width to them. I adore applying little tricks similar to this that assist emphasize variation between chapters of an audio lesson, however, if these different sections don't exist from the start, there's clearly nothing that a real mix engineer can do.
One of many troubles with low-budget, indie projects is the fact that artists generally have unrealistic expectations about your skill inside mix. In case a song doesn't effectively use a mixture of chords, lyrics and melody to consider listener with a believable journey, there's only so much this mixture engineer is able to do to maintain your listeners'attention.
Arrangement IssuesOnce songs are written, we use a mixture of instrumentation/orchestration, harmony, layering and other compositional processes to develop the arrangement. Because I actually do production besides mixing, I actually don't mind buying a gigantic and dense arrangement. Layering sounds is loads of fun, as is creating countermelodies, so I am aware when I receive sessions with over 100 tracks. Certainly one of my latest productions has in excess of 150 separate tracks, so I'm no stranger towards “everything but your home sink” way of music production. “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys is an early example of a dense arrangement done masterfully.
Troubles are introduced however, when multiple parts are occurring simultaneously, and are composed in a way how they clash rhythmically, melodically, or harmonically. A person's ear can just truly consentrate on a few elements immediately, and if the arrangement consists of parts fighting for attention, the resulting sound is likely to be displeasing. When arranging, attempt to bear this in mind and make a a sense of flow and balance between various instruments and melodies. Being a guitar player, I adore the instrument, but multiple layers of crunchy instruments playing vastly different parts are an absolute nightmare to mix.
Setting within the correct balances, using EQ, compression and volume automation are valuable tools when carving out space for anybody parts of a dense arrangement, however, if you're using the services of 100+ track sessions, ultimately, compromises has to be made. Don't expect every single child hear each and every do without pristine clarity, and be ready to work with your mix engineer in deciding which elements become featured prominently, and which will take on more of your support role.
Poor SoundIf you are likely to deliver a monster session on your mix engineer, hopefully the tracks have not less than been captured in a fair sounding environment. Most mixers can accept recordings that are created within a flat, boring sounding room because we can use the variety of processing including reverb and delay to find out the sense of space that people so desire. When the tracks were recorded in an extremely reflective environment, there's not much a real mix engineer is able to do to treat that. Sure, you can find de-reverb plugins, but a mixer would prefer to spend their time creatively adding spatial characteristics than the need to meticulously subtract them. This becomes especially bothersome when you've got stacks of tracks that counseled me recorded in less-than-ideal acoustic environments.
When possible, avoid recording all of your current tracks in boxy bedrooms, overly-bright bathrooms, and also other non-treated spaces. Don't forget that it could be fun to make use of the several rooms at home to create a feeling of spatial variety when recording a low-budget project, so approach with intent, make certain to use your ears when recording at an experienced studio isn't an option.
No Care and Attention to DetailIf you are sufficiently fortunate to get have a high-quality space at it stage, you will still find loads of oversights that may lead to unfixable damage to a real mix engineer. Employed in music production, we rely lots on technology, and because of so many variables used when capturing even 1 sound source, there is great prospects for some of those variables to get damaged, broken or misused.
I've held it's place in situations the place where a $400 microphone functions superior to a $1,200 microphone on particular sound sources. Understanding microphone theory, electronics, signal flow, basic troubleshooting and the way to listen critically have unfortunately become unsung qualities a great engineer to have. It seems sensible noisy, harsh, or perhaps distorted multitracks that will still only ever reach some volume of greatness, despite the quantity of work that a real mix engineer puts in. An engineer can identify when a device is the least bit out of tune, and aid the participant in tuning up if need be. Seems like obvious that musicians should understand tuning, however it never hurts a great engineer to make use of their acute sense of hearing for a failsafe.
Rhythm, Feeling and GrooveThere's no work load that can be done in the mix stage if your musicians don't play while using right groove. This is especially important with drummers since they are crucial in determining the ‘feel'of your song with dynamics, and just how ahead or behind of your beat they can be at virtually any moment. Sure, we can chop, nudge, drag and quantize for hours on end, however, there is no replace a gaggle of musicians vibing on the musical idea together. The possible lack of ‘musical spark'generally captured is one of my qualms with a digital recording process. It's not unusual should go through and precisely edit the bass to be working in concert with the kick and snare, but something is definitely lost if your rhythm section isn't tight in the 1st place.
These qualities directly affect that which we perceive as being the emotion of your performers, and they also are necessary in nailing an appropriately expressive musical performance that might make the listener want to dance and truly “feel” the music.
Pitch CorrectionMelodyne and Autotune are perfect tools for fixing the process of pitch, but you are no replace actually knowing the best way to sing or tune an instrument. As while using other aforementioned points, we can achieve impressive results with these tools if you will find something lacking, but the very last product will still only ever be so good. Autotune is excellent for a dramatic, almost comical musical effect, and Melodyne is better designed for subtle tuning tasks. While are undeniably valuable tools for modern production, all of them inherently have ‘a solid'and are also no replacement a prepared singer.
I desire to be careful to mention that many modern productions are supposed to sound polished and ‘perfect ', and that I absolutely advocate using tuning software to quickly attain these results. For productions that are supposed to become more raw, organic and emotive, however, I've found the tools might be detrimental.
In summary, there are incredibly few perfect recordings, and mixers can readily make marginal to substantial improvements while using work perform on the multitrack, but our music would be much better served if more care were exercised from the particular start of each production.