Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Putting all those sounds together -- Plugs and processing, effects, busses, aux sends, etc.

Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby liberty610 » March 23rd, 2015, 10:34 am

Hi guys,

I'm currently in the middle of tracking seasons for a new metal ep with my new band.

I'm new to this mixing thing overall. I've done it a few times, but want to improve. I learned my last DAW by using an interactive dvd that had files I followed asking with.

Sweetwater is offering this, and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about them or if it would be worth it...

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ITBMetalMix

I'm not expexting to learn EVERYTHING, but it seems like a decent training guide.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby Jowboy » March 23rd, 2015, 4:37 pm

Personally, between this place, the Internet, and experience I don't think that they would be a good investment. A Google search will get you a basic run down on almost any topic and for free. Specific questions can be asked here, and between the experienced amateurs and the actual pros that we have here ANY question can be answered. Of course, you can read and watch videos and read and ask all the questions you like, but to be honest, until you actually put the sounds in your DAW and start working with them, you will be lacking a critical step to getting better at mixing. We even have the listening room here for critiques of your work.

None of this is to say the DVD's are a poor quality product or even that they give poor information. I just think that the same information can be acquired for free (albeit with a little bit more time invested on your part).
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby liberty610 » March 23rd, 2015, 7:34 pm

I understand there is alot out there on the net. I have been looking around and learning what I can when i can over the last couple weeks. I have been out of the recording game for a couple years, but I have recently started getting back into it.

My issue is, I am really the only guy in my band that knows the bulk of any of this stuff, and I am the one who owns all the gear. I am trying to spread myself across writting, recording, mixing, and planning for things down the road. I'm not looking for short cuts on how to do all this or anything. I just don't know what works best in certain situations like plug in chains, proper use of compression, ect. And I know its a wide topic to cover over all. I'm more so looking for more hands on visuals as that is how I learn the best.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby nitten » March 23rd, 2015, 8:02 pm

liberty610 wrote:My issue is, I am really the only guy in my band that knows the bulk of any of this stuff, and I am the one who owns all the gear. I am trying to spread myself across writting, recording, mixing, and planning for things down the road. I'm not looking for short cuts on how to do all this or anything. I just don't know what works best in certain situations like plug in chains, proper use of compression, ect. And I know its a wide topic to cover over all. I'm more so looking for more hands on visuals as that is how I learn the best.

You find tons of free videos of good quality online.

I don't know about Sweetwater's guides, but in general there a lot of scams out there as well as just plain bad info and half truth.
That's not to say this is the case with Sweetwater's, but i would always be vary of these video tutorial things, it's easy to make a video filled with BS and sell it.

Honestly i think the best investment is patience and research, it sucks, especially when you are new and not quite sure what to do, but like Jowboy said, there's plenty of free stuff out there that's great and the people here can help clear up confusion.

I would say save your money, and spend a couple of days researching and experiment. The great thing is that once you understand the basics, it becomes a lot easier to understand the rest.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby Jowboy » March 23rd, 2015, 8:06 pm

^ and regardless of your learning style, you will still have to practice mixing. Your ears need to be trained. Just like a guitarists fingers need to be trained or a pitchers throwing arm. It will still take time. There are somethings that just can't be rushed.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby liberty610 » March 23rd, 2015, 9:49 pm

Thanks for the replies guys.

I understand the training of the ears thing. I need to learn my new monitors and headphones as well. My biggest issue right now, is learning EQ and how to set up FX on tracks. I'm not sure if I should compress the main mix or not, compress vocals individually or all together... things like that. I have access to a huge collection of Wave and Line 6 plugins through the radio station I work with, and I know what a lot of the plugins do, I am just not sure where they should be used in the chains and things like that.

For example, with vocals. I usually send all the grouped instruments together in a bus track. So I'll send all the vocals to a main vocal bus so I can control the entire vocal mix for the parent/master bus. Not sure if this is the 'correct way' but it is one of the things I like doing.

So, should I add, day, reverb to reach individual vocal track? Or to the vocal bus. Same as compression... bus, or individual tracks? I figure if there is a specific effect I want on the less vocals, but bout the back up, I should do it on the lead vocal only. But as of right now, I have the same reverb plugin on 3 different vocal tracks, but that doesn't seem to make sense to do that way...

Am I over thinking things a bit? I tend to do that....a lot.
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Q

Postby J-Bot » March 24th, 2015, 4:31 am

Sweetwater is primarily a music gear vendor. I mean, yeah, they have an interest in helping musicians out to some degree what with offering their seminars and master classes, but I don't know about their video tutorials. I wonder if some of that also goes into their marketing stuff.

I generally agree with people here. Between this forum, and finding good guides and any youtube videos the people around here recommend, I think buying the video set from sweetwater would not be a good use of your funds.

Believe me, I know that training your ears, and learning your way around the frequency spectrum is not easy at first. We all went through it, and some of us are still going through it, haha. There is an interactive EQ chart that is also sold as a poster that I found to be very useful when I was figuring stuff out. Beyond that, for me, it was a lot of just getting my own music recorded, and getting my hands dirty with it all, and listening carefully to how the sound changes when adjusting the EQ, and seeing how the EQ sounds at extreme levels of boost or cut at various frequencies on different instruments or vocals. After I had a solid grasp of how things sounded before and after a change, it became a simple question of, "Did my change sound better, or worse?" Chances are, if the change sounded better, it was a good change.

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn ... isplay.htm

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn ... /index.htm

A well mixed and produced reference CD or track would help too, especially if it's something similar to what you're trying to do with the band. At the very least, it would help you with learning your monitors and your headphones by having something to compare your own mixes against.

If you are a very visually oriented person, you might look at the book "The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering, and Production" by David Gibson. It's supposed to be a decent book. http://www.amazon.com/Art-Mixing-Record ... +to+mixing

But yeah, you can read books, watch videos, and try to get your head wrapped around the concepts until you're blue in the face. But the best way (IMO) to wrap your head around all the info is to get your hands dirty mixing music. Taking the time and effort to experiment, and really try to listen to how things change as you adjust the EQ, and/or apply compression and figuring out, "Did this change sound better, or worse?" Most of the time, if it sounds good, it's good. (you know, assuming that you have accurate monitoring set up)
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby liberty610 » March 24th, 2015, 4:57 am

Thanks J bot. I'm think my biggest issue right now is I'm spreading myself a little thin. Trying to wear to many hats at once for my new project I'm in.

I just got the full video tutorial on how to use Reaper. That has helped out a lot, and I'm only 3 our 4 videos into the 31 video collection, and learned some things that will help my work flow be more organized. I opened an older session and followed along with the tutorial.

I'll be sure to start practicing some new mixes with a couple of acoustic tracks from older sessions, as I don't have anything new recorded yet. My band is still tracking, so nothing final there yet.

I want to thank you guys for the replies though. I guess I'm just worried I'm not going to get the hang of this stuff, and won't be good at it. And I'm back pedalling and over thinking everything. I'll start working on some practice mixes this week.

I'll be in touch with them soon. Thanks again.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby nitten » March 29th, 2015, 5:55 pm

liberty610 wrote:I guess I'm just worried I'm not going to get the hang of this stuff,

Trust me that's a common problem in any creative endeavor, so much so that I would call it human nature.

Makes sense, any creative work will show some of it's author, in a very real sense you put yourself out there for criticism etc. whenever you put something out you have created.
It's only natural that you end up second guessing yourself, especially in the beginning. For me the solution to this was to just keep at it, learning as i go along.

For you it might be different, but for me that was the way to do it, ít's a bit slow in the beginning (which sometimes was really frustrating), before i got a hang of the basics, but after that it was more-or-less smooth sailing.
That's not to say I know everything worth knowing, far from it, but the learning process became much easier and quicker after I grasped the basics.
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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby liberty610 » March 30th, 2015, 4:41 am

Thank you for the words of encouragement my friend. I have had to put things on hold this past week due to a death in the family, but once I get all of that squared away, I'll be back to work with everything.

Thanks again. It was a nice reply to read during a down time...

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Re: Sweetwater interactive mixing guides - Worth it?

Postby iqi616 » April 28th, 2015, 3:42 pm

Best place to start - http://therecordingrevolution.com - Graham has excellent videos on recording and especially on mixing. Some things I don't agree with (L-C-R mixing for instance) but generally he cuts through the confusion and heads for the basics.

...Mike.
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