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Re: OT: How to mix guitar/synth/drum machines? Guitar DI vs Amp?

Two advices I have been given for the issues you bring up:

1) Avoid mixing two sounds that carry a lot of information in the same
frequency band/bands.
2) Avoid combining musical parts that play a similar musical role.

Now there are of course musical styles that make it more or less easy
to follow the above. For example reggae music is always dirt simple to
make sound good because the style in itself draws on sparse, heavy and
complimentary arranging. Typically an instrument doesn't play when
another instrument plays but rather in between, and that almost fully
addresses the "muddy sound" issue. But then there is phenomenons like
rock music which draws on the opposite, that many instruments shall
play at the same time in order to create a summed orchestral timbre.
That's a bitch to mix! The only trick that works is to listen and
balance frequency bands of all instruments (mixer routing solutions
like level side-chaining is also used here). Often, in aggressive
sounding music, the ghost tones are as important as the played tones.
With "ghost tones" I mean that extra vibration you hear when combining
two notes that is a bit off pitch with each other. This area is really
delicate and you really have to listen carefully to bring out a sound
that works. If taking away too many ghost tones the music loses
vitality and becomes lame but with too much stuff overlapping becomes

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen

On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 10:44 AM, Anders Bergdahl
<anders_e_bergdahl@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Great subject, i'll chime in...
> First, what sound are you after?
> ________________________________
> "I'm using a mono synth, guitar with a bunch of pedals, and some drum
> samples in ableton.
> I have a bit to haul around, so I'm trying to minimize the amount of
> equipment that I have. Which leads me to...."
> "Issue One: Guitar DI vs Amp
> I have a fender bandmaster reverb that sounds amazing. It isn't feasible 
> to
> carry around the amp+cab, pedals, keyboards, etc. This has led me to 
> going
> DI, but alas, it sounds bad. I've considered a small 1x12 mic'ed, but 
> then
> the fullness of the guitar starts to take everything over. Is there any 
> way
> to get a decent sound running DI? Can I somehow run a dummy load from my 
> amp
> head, then send the line out signal to my interface? What about running 
> the
> output of ableton to my tube amp?"
> I LOVE AMPS, I'm lucky enough to have friend who builds world class amps,
> mostly Dumble style but with many special tweaks.. so I love amps.. BUT i
> have found the a cheap V-stack tweedy is actually good enough for much 
> of my
> playing... the trick is to always use a bit of reverb and or echo to
> compensate for the drieness if a line approach.. much the same goes for
> closed miked amp, it need a touch of room sound to sound realistic. Also 
> the
> new PODs are not bad and stuff like ElevenRack, GuitarFX and Kempler can
> sound absolutely amazing if you turn of noise gates and compression.
> You can dummy load the amp with several types of attenuators like THD, 
> Weber
> Mass and that type of stuff. To me the loss of the live feel of a speaker
> makes it sound a lot like a amp sim...
> "Issue Two: Analog Synth and Guitars
> I use my mono synth mainly for bass sounds. I would like to get a juno at
> some point, but for now, I'm sampling the synth and doing poly that way. 
> I
> have a hard time figuring out how extreme the eq'ing should be though. 
> Does
> anyone have suggested reading material for mixing guitar and analog 
> synths?
> "
> "Issue Three: Mixing electronic sounds and acoustic sounds
> Is anyone else mixing acoustic sounds and electronic sounds? I'm having
> issues with the electronics sounding a bit sterile. I've even tried
> synthesizing my own sounds to match the guitar, but it seems to be a
> constant problem."
> Maybe these two questions are the same, how the not get the electronic 
> and
> synth sounds collide with the guitar frequencies. I think that a good
> approach is to tailor the syntsound FIRST so that the are  complementing 
> the
> guitar. As an example i made a "patch" on my octa track that live 
> samples my
> guitar and change pitch so make it into a bass sound, on that I use a LP
> filter to take away a lot of the frequencies that compete with guitar. As
> for electronic sound i construct the from live sampled guitar I gives 
> them a
> more organic fee. Another feasable way is to keep them sounding as
> electronic as possible to add a flavor that does not exist with guitar.
> Basically I think you need to think of the sound as a band, the keyboard
> player should play in a way the complements the other instruments, as 
> should
> the guitar player. I think that the best way is to work with 
> orchestrating
> whatever you have to minimize the need of applying EQ in the mix.
> Not that I succeed in this but it is what i strive for....