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Old 09-02-2009, 03:08 AM   #1
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Guide to Mixing

Attached is a guide to mixing electronic music. (Production mixing, not DJ mixing.) It is a free download. Feel free to use it for any educational purpose.

From the introduction:
Quote:
This document is a guide to the essential ideas of audio mixing, targeted specifically at computer-based producers. I am writing it because I haven't been able to find anything similar freely available on the Internet. The Internet has an incredible wealth of information on this subject, but it is scattered across a disorganized body of articles and tutorials of varying quality and reliability. My aim is to consolidate all of the most important information in one place, all of it verified and fact-checked.
The guide is attached as a zipped PDF. You can also view it online here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/11995844/Guide-to-Mixing

You can also download it here, since scribd has apparently now decided to charge money for the content that I uploaded for free:

http://www.pdf-archive.com/2011/02/23/guidetomixing/#

Table of Contents


1 Sounds 5
1.1 Frequency Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.2 Patterns of Frequency Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2.1 Tones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2.2 The Human Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.2.3 Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.2.4 Cymbals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.3 Time Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.4 Loudness Perception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.5 Digital Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.5.1 Clipping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.5.2 Sampling Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.5.3 Dynamic Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.5.4 Standard Sampling Resolutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.5.5 Sampling Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2 Preparation 17
2.1 Monitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.2 Volume Setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.3 Plugins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.4 Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.5 Sound Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3 Mixer Usage 20
3.1 Leveling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.1.1 Input Gain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.1.2 Headroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.1.3 Level Riding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.2 Effects and Routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.2.1 Inserts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.2.2 Auxiliary Sends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.2.3 Busses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.2.4 Master Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.2.5 Advanced Routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4 Equalization 25
4.1 Purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.1.1 Avoiding Masking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.1.2 Changing Sound Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2 Using a Parametric Equalizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2.1 Setting the Frequency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.2.2 Setting the Q and Gain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.2.3 Evaluating Your Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.2.4 High Shelf/Low Shelf Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.2.5 Highpass/Lowpass Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.3 Typical EQ Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.3.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
4.3.2 Kick Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.3.3 Basslines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.3.4 Snare Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.3.5 Cymbals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.3.6 Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.3.7 Vocals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5 Compression 33
5.1 Purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.1.1 Reducing Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.1.2 Shaping Percussive Sounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.1.3 Creating Pumping Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.1.4 When Not to Use Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.2 How It Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.2.1 Threshold, Ratio, and Knee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.2.2 Attack and Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.2.3 Compressor Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
5.3 Procedure for Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
5.4 More Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
5.4.1 Limiters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
5.4.2 Serial Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
5.4.3 Parallel Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
5.4.4 Sidechain Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
5.4.5 Gates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
5.4.6 Expanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.4.7 Shaping Percussive Sounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
5.4.8 Creating Pumping Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
5.4.9 Multiband Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6 Space Manipulation 44
6.1 Panning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
6.2 Stereo Sounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6.2.1 Phase Cancellation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
6.2.2 Left/Right Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
6.2.3 Mid/Side Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
6.3 Delays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
6.4 Reverb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
6.4.1 Purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
6.4.2 How It Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
6.4.3 Convolution Reverb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
6.4.4 Mixing With Reverb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
7 Conclusion 53
7.1 Putting It All Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
7.2 Final Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
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Last edited by nhomas; 23-02-2011 at 08:49 AM..

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