mixing and mastering 35-40 hours

When i moved onto mixing i started with the song i recorded but had issues with it and found it difficult because of this i put it to one side and decided to come back to it with fresh ears. I then moved onto the the song I got from the cambridge mix library, i developed a  method and order that i found it easy to work in this order was 1. find any obvious problem tracks, this could be tracks that sit properly or are way too loud. 2. put in place any EQs that are needed this will give you more space in the mix. 3. apply the compressors where necessary this will reduce the dynamic range of the tracks. 4. apply reverb I started to use 2 different reverbs both on sends, one for vocals and one for instruments. 5. pan tracks to fill space. after this i would just continue with whatever that particular song needed.

In total I mixed 5 songs and it took aproximately 25-30 hours purely on the mixing.

After this I started mastering the songs, I made use of the templates in CuBase and used parallel compression techniques, this is where you add a heavily compressed vesion of the song to the original version this tends to bring out the vocals and reinforces quieter parts of the song without reinforcing the peaks of the waveform too much.

In total I mixed 4 songs and it took aproximately 10 hours just on mastering.


WBL final summary

General summary

I have recorded one artist called Oscar Prince, this song is now finished and on my new SoundCloud page, i made this new SoundCloud page to represent myself as a mixing and mastering engineer rather than an artist as my other SoundCloud does. approximately 5 hours was spent contacting the artist himself, booking studios and organising recordings with himself and the violinist. I spent approximately 15 hours recording over a total of three sessions, two of these sessions were done in Leicester colleges studios and the third and final was done at an external home studio of a family member. because of where the recordings took place the studio time did not cost me anything however if i was paying for spaces i would and could have streamlined the recording process as 15 hours for one song is too much especially for the song that was recorded as it had limited instrumentation. The recording could have been done in two sessions but we had issues getting the violinist available at the same time as myself and Oscar.

After finishing the recording I got feedback from Oscar advising me on the sound he desired from the mix, I took this input at the time because I didn’t want to waste more organising a time we were both available again and then being in a studio again which would be costing me money in a real situation.

I then moved onto mixing, i started to run out of time to record more artists so I downloaded unedited stems from the Cambridge mixing library, my thoughts behind this was they would be for my new SoundCloud page as an online portfolio in total I spent approximately 5 hours sourcing mixes even offering my services to other students on my course that i knew were releasing EPs however they didn’t get back to me, I tried to pick a range of genres from the mix library. I picked a selection of genres to test myself more than if i just stuck to one genre, this also meant i had to approach them differently.

The only mix i had issues with was mixing Oscar’s song i sought the help of a tutor for this and he assisted me giving me pointers for EQs and levels, one of my question was about the track sounding a bit muddy and messy and one of his pointers was to use the EQ before the compressor and take the bottom end out before compressing and this is something that i now use in most of my mixes. I finished mixing 5 songs including Oscar Prince’s and this took me about 25-30 hours.

After mixing I moved onto mastering I master all 4 songs which took me approximately 10 hours I used techniques such as parallel compression a technique that i learnt from a guest lecturer, I used this technique to bring out the mid of the track a bit more including the vocals. this technique is done by compression one bounce of the song heavily to squash all of the peaks down you then add this heavily compressed version to the original and it brings up the lower energy sections of the song without reinforcing the peaks too much, this avoids distortion.

All masters are available on my new SoundCloud page “KJN Audio

looking forward

moving on from here I will continue adding to this SoundCloud using it as my portfolio I will eventually use this portfolio to help myself gain a job either in a studio or clients for recording, mixing, or mastering work. I have more of the raw stems downloaded from the cambridge mixing library ready. I will also work on making the SoundCloud page look more professional and consider the idea of making a website as this will be more customisable and professional than a SoundCloud page. My personal target is to have people paying me to mix and master their songs within 2 years, and within 5 years i want to be working in a studio whether it be my own or someone elses. To move me towards these goals I think I may try offering my services on Fiverr and then moving off of Fiverr once I had gained enough money to start my own proper website.

To improve on what I have done I would streamline some processes so that they did not take so long however most of this will improve with practise such as recording mixing and mastering. however generally turn around times of both the recording and mixes would of had to be faster whilst working in a competitive environment. all feedback i got from Oscar was good and he plans on recording with me in the future infact we are currently talking about recording some more violin for a song he has recorded a while ago.


WBL social media

I weighed up the idea of having a social media page and decided to go with a FaceBook page rather than a twitter page, this is because I don’t use twitter and therefore would sort of have to start from scratch whereas on FaceBook I can invite allow my currant friends and even if they don’t follow i can share the posts on my personal page to spread the word. another reason for not using twitter is the limitation of characters you can use in each post this could be frustrating when using it for a business rather than a personal page. I have set up a SoundCloud and uploaded my mixes to start my online portfolio, both FaceBook and SoundCloud are under the same brand name of KJN Audio, this will be my name as a mixing and mastering engineer whereas my name as an artist will be Rhythmical Thinking. I think it is important to have the two different alliases so you can cater more to each fan base the fans of me as an artist may not want to hear the latest rock mix that I did.

to improve my social medias i need to put some branding and personalisation onto them such as logos or pictures. i am considering approaching graffic design students as this could be a budget approach to getting a logo done.

WBL marketing myself

To market myself i have set up a FaceBook, SoundCloud, and WordPress. I will use these sites to build a fan base urging people to share the posts on each site. currently I am marketing myself as a free mixing and master service however after I have built my portfolio a bit more and got a bit better and faster I will begin charging or possibly move onto a site such as Fiverr where I could do quick mixes for any price this could be a good place to start as i would only be charging a small amount. I need a logo and I am considering using Fiverr for this too or approaching some college students, as I think this could also be a budget approach.

live performance 23/02/17

So far i have been making myself familiar with Ableton and the APC40 I have a song  that isn’t quite finished yet but i have started cutting up and putting into Ableton this is just so that i can practice while i finish the song. I spent the first week learning how to cut the audio files and put them into the session view without this i wouldn’t be able to even start, i still need to finish the song and decide which effects i want to use in the performance as well as considering whether to introduce a second MIDI controller to use the faders to control the effects which could result in a nice dub delay. the effects i am definitely using are a delay and reverb some i may consider are a chorus or flanger but i will have to see how they fit into the song.

WBL Oscar Prince

I have been recording a singer song writer that i have recorded before, i have a couple of songs that we have recorded in the past and we plan on recording another two so he can release them as an EP, I am recording the songs as well as starting the mixing process with him because he is very much the producer he knows what he wants from his songs and is very particular about which  parts stay in and which parts get cut out i continue the mixing by myself after the outline has been created with him i will also be the one mastering the songs for release. so far we have nearly finished one song the reason we have not finished this song yet is because we are trying to get a violinist in to record violin over the top and provide backing vocals how ever it has been struggle to find a time where we are all free and have access to a studio, I plan to start recording the second song with Oscar now and see when the violinist is available to record and when she is we will track both the songs on the same to avoid this problem again. while Oscar is very much the producer i do have input on his music where he will do a few takes and ask me which i preferred often going with my choice.

beatboxing and the loop pedal.

Beardyman is a beat boxer that utilizes technology in his performances this allows him to be more flexible whilst beat boxing because ultimately there are only so many sounds you can make with your mouth at once. Like most other beat boxers he originally would use a standard loop box and other hardware effect boxes, but having all of the effects he wanted in one place resulted in a very cluttered stage as a result he designed some software that would have everything he wanted in one place. The software he created was Beardytronics the current iteration being the Beardytron 5000 MKii, this software uses multiple ipads connected over wifi to interact with each other with live improvisation in mind. The creators pushed the software so far that it became more of a live DAW but where as DAWs such as Ableton are to make music for live Beardytronics is for making music while live with built in samplers, launchpad integration and loop recording features similar to those of Logic. Beardytonics is a way of beat boxers to streamline and diversify their set-up allowing much more flexibility over past hardware based set up if you compare two Beardyman performances one before Beardytronics and one using it then you can notice the change in production, using Beardytronics it sounds much more like a full song because of the extra features and flexibility of the software.


The Beardytron 5000 mkII: Building Beardyman’s Ultimate Live-Production System