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A mixing question from one of my clients

tdstotler

New Member
Hello All.

I had a client yesterday ask me a to try a technique that I have never heard of anything about, nor do I understand what he is talking about fully, and I wanted to see if you guys have heard of anything like this.
There band is a like a heavy Godsmack sound, but they have a saxaphone player and a jazz drummer (interesting I know, but it does work).
The leader of the band and the one who is going to be mixing the album with me said he read a mixing technique that states the for things like lead guitars, vocals, etc.. That the ear will get tired of listing to it after a minute and you need to slightly change the eq somewhat to keep the listiner intrigued and not bored. He said you would keep adding mids on say the guitars every now and then, starting out at maybe a .5 db boost at the start of the song and the ending at maybe a +2 boost.
I told him in my 15 years of mixing that I have never heard anything such as this but we could try it. I said I am concered about changing the eq's too much because they will effect the sounds themseleves, once I normally get a good sound with the eq I leave it, I told him I was concered this would change that throughout the song.
I have no problem going outside of the box and trying new things but does this sound pretty far fetched to you all?
I know this would be a automation nightmare. Just want some feedback from you guys. I feel the client thought I 'wasnt up to speed' on current mixing trends because I didnt know this.

Thanks

Todd
Echoes Recording Studio
 

Ashermusic

Active Member
tdstotler said:
Hello All.

I had a client yesterday ask me a to try a technique that I have never heard of anything about, nor do I understand what he is talking about fully, and I wanted to see if you guys have heard of anything like this.
There band is a like a heavy Godsmack sound, but they have a saxaphone player and a jazz drummer (interesting I know, but it does work).
The leader of the band and the one who is going to be mixing the album with me said he read a mixing technique that states the for things like lead guitars, vocals, etc.. That the ear will get tired of listing to it after a minute and you need to slightly change the eq somewhat to keep the listiner intrigued and not bored. He said you would keep adding mids on say the guitars every now and then, starting out at maybe a .5 db boost at the start of the song and the ending at maybe a +2 boost.
I told him in my 15 years of mixing that I have never heard anything such as this but we could try it. I said I am concered about changing the eq's too much because they will effect the sounds themseleves, once I normally get a good sound with the eq I leave it, I told him I was concered this would change that throughout the song.
I have no problem going outside of the box and trying new things but does this sound pretty far fetched to you all?
I know this would be a automation nightmare. Just want some feedback from you guys. I feel the client thought I 'wasnt up to speed' on current mixing trends because I didnt know this.

Thanks

Todd
Echoes Recording Studio
IMHO of course. I cannot speak to the technique itself but I will say this: if the song and the band performing it are not strong enough to hold the listener's attention for more than a minute, even in this MTV generatrion of short attention spans, than you have either the wrong band, the wrong song, or both. Tell this guy he needs to have more faith in the quality of his music and not rely on this kind of gimmickry. Of course you may lose the client :))))
 

MASSIVE Mastering

Active Member
Before you go and beat yourself with the Automation stick, try just putting a ridiculously slow flanger on the track using a ridiculously small adjustment.

That will slightly change the EQ of the guitar over time (just figure the time by checking the settings - a speed of .01/sec will take 100 seconds for one swing). Just keep it dry enough that you need to bypass it just to notice if it's even on or not.

Just a thought -
 

akisd28

Member
MASSIVE Mastering said:
Before you go and beat yourself with the Automation stick, try just putting a ridiculously slow flanger on the track using a ridiculously small adjustment.

That will slightly change the EQ of the guitar over time (just figure the time by checking the settings - a speed of .01/sec will take 100 seconds for one swing). Just keep it dry enough that you need to bypass it just to notice if it's even on or not.

Just a thought -
Brilliant!

Anyway, I think the "technique" your client suggested is gonna lead you to a lot of trouble, as the mids usually alter the perceived loudness of the instruments. I imagine you'll have to automate the track(s)' volume to compensate for that, this we'll probably result in a loss of highs/lows... blah-blah-blah.... I think the mix will be heavily screwed in the end. :roll:

Anyway, good luck!... 8)
 

sangha

New Member
tdstotler said:
Hello All.

I had a client yesterday ask me a to try a technique that I have never heard of anything about, nor do I understand what he is talking about fully, and I wanted to see if you guys have heard of anything like this.
There band is a like a heavy Godsmack sound, but they have a saxaphone player and a jazz drummer (interesting I know, but it does work).
The leader of the band and the one who is going to be mixing the album with me said he read a mixing technique that states the for things like lead guitars, vocals, etc.. That the ear will get tired of listing to it after a minute and you need to slightly change the eq somewhat to keep the listiner intrigued and not bored. He said you would keep adding mids on say the guitars every now and then, starting out at maybe a .5 db boost at the start of the song and the ending at maybe a +2 boost.
I told him in my 15 years of mixing that I have never heard anything such as this but we could try it. I said I am concered about changing the eq's too much because they will effect the sounds themseleves, once I normally get a good sound with the eq I leave it, I told him I was concered this would change that throughout the song.
I have no problem going outside of the box and trying new things but does this sound pretty far fetched to you all?
I know this would be a automation nightmare. Just want some feedback from you guys. I feel the client thought I 'wasnt up to speed' on current mixing trends because I didnt know this.

Thanks

Todd
Echoes Recording Studio
Ask the client if they do this when they play live. When they say "No", ask them "Then how do you keep the listeners intrigued?"
 

number9

New Member
I'd hesitate to say that your client has a perfectly bad idea. Well gee it's a pretty bad idea. Just giving more boost to the mids won't do the song or the mix any good. But after all he is a client so you should take a look what you could do with his hint.

Often different parts of a song have different arrangements (instruments, dynamics, intention, tempo etcetera). Among other things this is meant to keep the song interesting to the listener. Like chorus, verse, bridge. Often they need slightly different approaches also in EQ, compression, reverb.

Maybe you can talk to your client about the arrangements of different parts of the song and what he or the band mean to say with that. This will prevent him of giving you to much directives of what YOU should do in the mix. Because that's your profession and not his.
 

giles117

Active Member
I have done somthing similar in the past (for effects sake) but I tend not to screw with a lead too much aside from varying the verb (s) during the course of the song.
 

Tarekith

Member
My vote is to just try and see how it sounds before you make any judgements. It may not be the norm thing to do, but hey, if it sounds good and makes your client happy, well....

Sometimes the least informed people have the best ideas, never hurts to try new things.
 

killa

Member
For the consistency of the mix, it is not a good idea. Everything has its place, and by adding to one instrument, you take away from another. By the end of a mix a 2db difference isn't much, but multiply that by a few instruments and it can wreak havok. I think your client isn't happy with the way the \"beds\" are and he's hoping this \"trick\" can help things. Just spend some time mixing it and show him that the mix is gonna rock and you don't need to automate EQ.

Lastly, get him to show you the book with the technique. It is possible that he mis-read it or mis-understood it's intentions. I would also like to read into it.
 

peter893

Active Member
Ask him how many bands has he recorded and mixed ?
There can only be one captain on the ship :wink:

Really that would totally make the mix unbalanced. He must have miss read what he is suggesting.

Ask him \"where the fuck did you read that ?\"

Id like to read it myself :eek:

Peter
 

JamesR

Active Member
I'd be looking at the arrangement if keeping interest is an issue, not the mixdown so much.

you can engineer his track / song so that it sounds as good as possible, but if it's just not there musically, it's not something you can compensate for with studio tricks...

J.
 

Jason Poff

New Member
Maybe your client is confused and actually wants some different vocal treatments instead of just changing the eq. Try empasizing important lines with chorus, flanging, phasing, etc...
Maybe first verse band passed and heavily compressed, 2nd verse big and open, more verb on choruses than verses.... That kind of stuff.

Jason
 

Klaus123

Member
ok, there are sometimes eq-automations which are interesting: verse vs. refrain, or verse vs. solo/variation. But this is something which you already know, I assume. I also would use continuous eq-automation just as an effect (e.g. modern drum filtering).

Greetings

Klaus
 
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