An engineer told me many years ago that if you can recognize the note of a certain frequency then you'll be able to EQ your mixes much faster and with more ease. So if you are mixing a track and hear that there's a hump in the low end brought on by the bass playing a C and you know that this particular C is around 13oHZ (it's actually 131HZ) then you can reach for the low band EQ and cut that frequency. Most engineers will boost the low band at any frequency and start to sweep the band until they find the offending tone then they'll cut it. Don't you think it would be much more efficient to know the note and frequency through ear training so all you have to do is reach for the frequency and cut it? No more sweeping needed. Just know the note, relate that note to the frequency and make your adjustment. This was eye opening to me! Ear opening actually, but you get my point.
Below is a chart that shows the note to frequency relationships as well as the frequency range for the most popular wester musical instrument. [Click the chart to see a larger version]
In an article by Bobby Owsinski about his favorite EQ he mentions that he uses a Massive Passive on vocals. He said "This is my go-to plugin for vocals. It can add sparkle and heft to a vocal done even on an SM58 in a way that few others can. It's perfect for carving out space in the mix for a track." Using the Massive Passive on vocals seems a little overkill to me, but Bobby knows what he's doing so I'll certainly have to give this a try.
An Ozone fan on Gearslutz.com nominated Ozone the best vocal channel strip for some type of award or another. Honestly I don't recall, but yes! That's a great idea!
Instead of trying get a great sound with five different plugins I'm going to start using Ozone on vocals in my mixes. It has it all - eq, reverb, compressor, limiter, exciter, imaging, etc. Makes sense to me.
It's so simple (meaning complete) it just might work!
But what do you think? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks on using Ozone in your mixes.
If you have a special way you use Ozone please leave it a comment in the box below.
We all know to push the elements in the chorus, right? It's kind of a no-brainer. When mixing we usually bump the lead vocal or whatever instrument is the main melody of the chorus to separate it from the rest of the track and establish the hook. This is mixing 101. Well, Mr. Rubin has gone one better...
The chorus is the money part of a song. Without a good hook in the chorus the listener won't be inclined to stick around so now your "hit" song will be just another song that they skip. Rick has a little trick up his sleeve that helps push the chorus even further.... He bumps the master fader!
Yep, he performs the ultimate no-no while mixing - touching the master fader. I was taught that the master fader is the last bastian of output from the console to the mix down medium. It needs to be set at zero and not touched - at all! As it happens, Rick Rubin doesn't pay attention to the rules of recording and has this little trick up his sleeve.
"When the chorus starts push the level on the master fader from +1.5 db to about +2.0 db and then bring it back down the for the next part."
Genius! Why is it that the simplest of changes to the norm produce such magnificent results? I ask because I tried this recently on a song I was mixing and it made a HUGE difference. The key is to leave enough headroom so that you feel the energy in the song, but don't hear more distortion in the mix.
If you do this with your mix already being slammed up to 0.0db your mastering engineer will not be happy with you at all. He may even consider you a hack. And no mix engineer wants that now, do they?