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29 votes
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Why is 'additive' EQ more difficult to use than 'subtractive'?

There are many differences between boosting and cutting with EQ. I'll discuss the ones that stand out to me the most: One way to think about a mix is that it's like packing a box, or perhaps like ...
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21 votes

How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?

Before trying any effects at all, I should change that mic if I were you. The SM58 is an amazing live mic – not just because it's dead sturdy, but also because it has a very focused, direct, "shallow" ...
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19 votes
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How do I use an equalizer?

There is no one way to use an EQ, but there are a few common techniques that people use to EQ, and they can be applied on most sources. First a few general tips: Make small changes. EQs are not ...
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14 votes
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Making all elements clearly audible in the mix

Making everything audible in the mix is not always possible. Elements that share frequencies will mask each other. The most crucial part of the mix is not actually in the mixing phase itself, but in ...
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14 votes
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How can I get the vocals to stand out better in the mix when recording?

Well this is a big question, so let me start with a big answer: http://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Senior/dp/0240815807/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426508544&sr=1-1&...
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12 votes
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When is it a remix, and when is it a cover?

I think the difference is in the context, methods, tools, and limitations. 1) "Cover" is often used in a singer/band context, where the artist performs a song from another artist, most commonly ...
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  • 15.9k
12 votes

How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?

Try employing parallel compression. Here is a good article about it. Basically, you make a copy of your vocal track. Leave one copy alone and compress the other. That gives you the original loud ...
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  • 4,690
12 votes

Why is 'additive' EQ more difficult to use than 'subtractive'?

Nothing wrong with the answers so far, but they're missing one important point as to what happens when you use either additive or subtractive EQ. You boost or cut at a frequency, with a Q or width ...
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  • 22.5k
10 votes
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Why do digital mixers use a compressor on each track?

If you run a compressor on the master, a peak being reduced will affect every channel - so for example, you could hear all your instruments dropping volume. It does change the dynamic of the whole ...
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  • 36.3k
10 votes

How do sound waves travel and their reflections?

I refer you to Wikipedia. The motion of sound can be hard to understand because we can't see its propagation. We can sometimes understand it more easily by analogy to waves we can see, for example ...
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  • 2,180
9 votes

What is the difference in using mono reverb vs stereo reverb?

What is stereo reverb "Stereo reverb" may mean different things: mono in, stereo out stereo in, stereo out The latter category is further split between "true stereo" and "dual mono" categories, and ...
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8 votes
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How to give more depth to vocals when mixing?

One technique that works like magic is by splitting the vocals channel into multiple channels, panning each channel differently, and then applying a different equalizer to each channel. This creates a ...
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  • 5,744
8 votes

Does the microphone gear/setup used to record vocals determine the output quality of the music or does the mixing and mastering?

I think the heart of the question is, which is more important: gear or skill? The answer to that question is skill is more important. Skill is the product of training, practice, and experience, and ...
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7 votes
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How to order VST plugins correctly

Are there general rules or tips on how to organize VSTs? (...) I would like to know if there's a way to arrange VSTs properly, so that every plugin uses its full potential. There's no correct order. ...
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  • 15.9k
7 votes

Acoustic Guitar in the Live Mix

In a lot of mixes, it's normal and even intentional for the acoustic guitar(s) to get hidden behind the electric guitars and other instruments during the loud parts. If you listen to the Led Zeppelin ...
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7 votes
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Efficient strategies when recording alone

One simple "technique" can improve your solo recording drastically: whenever you start recording a song, begin with recording a guide track. This is a track where you sing the song, accompanied by a ...
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  • 5,744
7 votes
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Getting the right balance of frequencies in mix

Matthew has provided a great answer. I want to expand a bit and look at different aspects of your question to help with some misconceptions that might be causing trouble. I would take a ...
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7 votes
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Confused by overtones when transcribing music

I think your idea is definitely reasonable: an emphasis in the treble part of any sound will tend to emphasize higher partials which could throw off your transcription. This is vastly more likely to ...
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  • 17.9k
7 votes

Why do digital mixers use a compressor on each track?

It's necessary to add compressors on each track to change the dynamics of the tracks. Generally you should record and mix at appropriate levels so that you don't need to do any peak reduction to ...
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7 votes

How do I use an equalizer?

The best way to use an equaliser is not to NEED to use it. Yes, some instruments share a frequency range, playing them together can sound muddy. So DON'T play that pair of instruments together. It'...
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7 votes
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How do sound waves travel and their reflections?

1) The quantity of sound waves produced in air depends on the intensity or amplitude. If you pull your guitar string back a very short distance from its normal resting position, then the oscillations ...
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  • 11k
7 votes

What’s the Purpose of “Mixing” a song

Let's say you've recorded a couple of vocals, a set of drums, two guitars, bass and keyboards. Using only one track for each, that's seven different tracks. (Keys are usually stereo, drums could be ...
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  • 173k
6 votes

TS vs TRS cables to connect mixer to audio interface

TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) is the name often given to the connector, rather than the cable as such, though of course they would usually be used with a 3-conductor cable. This could be used for stereo ...
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6 votes
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How to judge a mix, on e.g. muddiness and balance?

It's all about practice and experience. You have to train your ears, you have to know your tools. Producing is not the same as mixing or mastering, some skills overlap but they need mostly different ...
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6 votes
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VST difference between valve amp, preamp and tape saturation

A valve and a tube are the same thing -- "tube" was originally more common in American English, while "valve" was more common in England. A "vacuum tube" is any one of a number of types of electronic ...
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  • 35.7k
6 votes

Do I need Phantom Power?

3.5mm mic jacks might (sometimes supported by a jumper or different sound card setting) provide "plugin power". It can power electret condenser capsules with the typical single-FET preamplifier and ...
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6 votes

Getting the right balance of frequencies in mix

equal looking frequency spectrum's do not mean that the sound will be perceived similarly. Dynamics, instrument separation, clashing tonal centers, there are a myriad of things responsible for how a ...
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6 votes
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How to make drums sound punchy and fat?

I would actually say compression and EQ can't do very much to make drums sound great. In order of impact, to make drums sound punchy and fat: Play them well or have them played well. Exactly how and ...
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6 votes
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Judging a mix away from the studio

You are doing it just right. You think the average listener has expensive speakers/headphones? People are going to listen in the car, on their crappy iPhone ear buds, etc. If the mix doesn't sound ...
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  • 6,990
6 votes

How to identify mud and resonance in a mix

I'm not sure if it's a correct board to post this question, but anyway... "Mud" usually refers to too much low frequencies and/or too scarce high frequencies. You should correct it per instrument + ...
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