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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013

    Post Overuse Of Effects May Be Killing Your Mixes

    Overuse Of Effects May Be Killing Your Mixes

    07-11-2013 04:43 PM

    This post is inspired by a number of recent events. The first one is having to go through mixes sent by those new to mixing and finding the most common error is the overuse of parameters. It’s almost as if a compressor is not really working unless it’s squashing the mix to within one inch of its life, or an eq can’t possibly be working on a vocal unless the top end is as harsh as nails. Secondly it was also inspired by my reading a somewhat bizarre post about the dissatisfaction of user testing a plug-in, which seemed to the poster to not be as good as they had hoped. Although to read the post you would have thought the plug-in manufacture had just set fire to his house and thrown puppies into the flames, not simply missed the mark in their ‘humble’opinion.
    Spend any time around top producers and engineers and there’s one thing that is a common trait, that is the understatement in much of their work. Our friend, mix guru and all around nice guy Dave Pensado uses a lovely phrase “kissing the needle” which really sums up this philosophy.
    Now there are of course exceptions to the rule, for example the Phil Collins drum sound or the crushed synth part in a dance track, this isn’t a treatise against excess and imagination, sometimes the amp on 11 is what is needed.
    However, your mixes may not be suffering from a lack of anything, they may be suffering from an overuse of everything. Plug-ins in the wrong mixers hands are like clip-art in the wrong graphic design hands, often used in the absence of substance or experience. My first piece of advice is if in doubt then leave it out.
    I want to give you two excellent and very different examples of great production one very loud and one not so loud. Take a listen to AC/DC “Back In Black” - a big album in every way, but listen to how little processing that is apparent on the many tracks, there’s some great use of effects but never to the point of stealing the show, be that the drums, bass, guitar or vocals. Then take a listen to Shawn Colvin “A Few Small Repairs” and again the use of effects and compression is so well executed it’s a lesson in production. Listen to the track ‘Facts About Jimmy” the electric piano, vocals, drums, in fact the entire track. Remember it’s the song and the performance that are the stars of the show not the gear you use, if that’s all that’s apparent in the final mix then I think we have somewhat missed the point.
    Sometimes a song needs a big statement, but in my ‘humble’ opinion there are far too many mixes that could do with less NOT more. Discuss…

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  2. #2
    theBadger's Avatar
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    Apr 2013

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    How to Remove a Ford Fan Clutch:


    1. Remove the fan shroud. If it is a split design where there is a top and bottom half held together on each side by a screw, remove the top screws and the two side screws with a socket and ratchet. Remove the top half of the fan shroud. If it is a solid one piece shroud, remove the top and bottom screws and leave it loose. IThe shroud will come out with the fan.
    2. Remove the top radiator hose by using a screwdriver to loosen the clamps.
    3. Hook the ends of the water pump pulley lock on the bolts on the outside of the water pump pulley.
    4. Remove the large nut on the fan with the 1-1/16 wrench by turning counter clockwise. Once loose, turn the fan in the same direction and it will come right off. Lift the fan and the shroud out of the vehicle at same time.
    5. Replace the fan by holding the nut perfectly level with the water pump post and start the nut by hand, making sure not to strip the threads. Once started, spin it on the rest of the way by hand, turning the fan clockwise. Once it will not turn any farther, use the large wrench and give it an assertive yank to lock it on.

    Now produce a similar list of how to use, compression or reverb or delay.

    You can't. This is the problem.

    Music is an art form. Mixing is a magical art form. Making a successful mix is a black art form.

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