Ask Joe #79 – Questions from Southerners

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • Do I need a direct box going from my synths to say a digimax preamp or can I just use a male XLR to 1/4 cable?
  • I heard someone describe the difference between subtractive EQing and additive EQing – subtractive is corrective whereas additive is creative. Would you agree with that description?
  • You’ve mentioned some recent changes to your studio – what are they?
  • When mastering multiple tracks, do you prefer to use different reference tracks for each song, or use a reference track on the first song and then use the first song as a reference track for the next song?

Ask Joe #78 – Mixing Vocals and Using Samples

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • You always say Get It Right At The Source, and that no amount of compression or EQ will fix a poor recording. Is this true with drum samples? Will a bad kick sample be as hopeless as a poorly recorded kick track?
  • How would you approach mixing vocals with a stereo backing track rather than having all the instruments on separate tracks?
  • How do I add harmony to some vocal tracks? Are there any tricks you’ve learned that could help? Any resources out there that you would recommend?
  • Whose job is it to determine the length of a song – the engineer or the mixer?

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Ask Joe #77 – Banjos and Acoustic Guitars

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • I plan on recording a banjo like an acoustic guitar. I didn’t know if that’s the “proper” or best sounding way to record it. Is a room mic needed, because there’s no sound hole?
  • I’m currently in a square room (11 by 11), but I don’t have the chance of putting up much acoustic treatment. Would I be better off using open back headphones or just putting up a small amount of acoustic treatment and use studio monitors? (Currently I’m just using a pair of krk 4600 closed back headphones to get my mixing done.)
  • Could you explain side chaining, what it is, and what it is used for?
  • I have been recording all of my guitars with an xy set up, and then doubling them with an additional xy guitar (each x and each y to their own mono track)   Would you go with an LCR approach for panning, like the body mic of each up the middle and the neck mice out the the left and right?  Do you thinks it would be better to keep one guitar all the to the left and the other the right?

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Ask Joe #76 – Presonus and Other Fun Stuff

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Check out Presonusphere 2013, happening on October 24-26, 2013 in Baton Rouge, LA!

Also, the new Understanding Mixing class starts today, if you’re interested.

Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • Looking for your insight on all this hullabaloo with matched or stereo pairs of microphones.  Does it really make a difference?
  • When did you switch to Studio One? And what was the reason?
  • When recording drum overheads in stereo, are there any advantages in using one stereo track vs two mono tracks?

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Ask Joe #75 – More Mixing Questions

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • When performing vocals (in studio) what do you do to prepare? Is there anything you do to warm up vocally, drink a lot of water, etc.? Just curious what your steps are to a great vocal performance.
  • My last 3 mixes have come out too harsh and bright; but I don’t hear it as harsh in my room. I know we are supposed to learn our speakers and all, but the difference from my speakers to the real world seems extreme. Is it just because I’m new to mixing and I just need to keep at it or would an upgrade in speakers from 3 inches to 5 inches help?
  • How do you approach mixing an album or EP?  Do you copy EQ settings? Mix all the songs in one project?
  • Do you or have you had a bias towards a certain instrument or voice when mixing? I’m a drummer and focus a lot on the bass. I often find one or the other or both can sometimes dominate a mix. Even after making adjustments to where I feel it’s more balanced I think it’s still a little heavy on the rhythm section. Maybe that’s just my sound or maybe I need more practice. Just wondering if you’ve experienced the same thing and what may have helped. Maybe it was just practice.

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Ask Joe #74 – Appendix Mastering

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • What’s your opinion about overproduced music, how will you know if it’s overproduced, and how to make it not?
  • Would you recommend mixing in mono and as the last step pan the stereo-image or mixing in stereo (set levels and pan first) and flip back and forth between mono and stereo?
  • The range of audio frequency humans can hear is usually said to be 20Hz to 20,000Hz. As such, when eq-ing during mastering, should you just cut off anything above and below that range? If not at what frequency do you suggest rolling of the top and bottom during mastering?
  • Watched your video about normalizing a voice over track for consistency. Why not do that will all tracks as a starting point for your mix?
  • Is the Shure SM57 the same thing as an SM58?

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Ask Joe #73 – Let’s Talk About Vocals

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Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here: www.askjoegilder.com

Questions covered this week:

  • Do you actually “mix” on your “crap” speaker, or if you just use it to pick out problems and then go back and mix on your main monitors?
  • I have a home studio setup with three pairs of studio monitors, what is the best way to set up pairs of studio monitors?
  • When the singer hits some notes on my well EQ’d vocal,there are some frequencies that jump up and are annoying. Any way to get rid of those?
  • As a singer, what do you recommend to get better at singing in tune (live + recording) for someone with minor pitch issues?
  • How much silence (if any) do you leave at the very start and very end of a completed mastered song?

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