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Mixing Analysis:
As part of my portfolio I mixed two tracks. One was my own track, which is called: Timpani & Bass
and the other was given to us. This track is called: Africa.
On every day that I was at collage I would always work on both mixes the same day. (In the
mornings I would work on Timpani & Bass and in the afternoons I would work on Africa).
Timpani & Bass:
This tracks name came from the instruments that I used to create the track. I used the timpani for
the rhythm and the bass for the melody. When making this track I was out of my normal zone
because I normally make my music out of time. However in this case I had to make this track in
time so someone could play to it. Despite this change I knew how make something in time. I
listened to the metronome and placed each note on the same beat of the bar, like all of the other
notes that I have composed. This didnt take me long to do. The metronome is used to keep the
musicians in time when they are practising or being recorded. To set the metronome right we have
to consider the volume and the tonality and weather or not it suits the musician. I had to record
midi instruments before recording live instruments. Also somethings were recorded after the live
recordings just so there is something a little bit extra in this mix. (The recording equipment is talked
about in my pervious analysis; Recording Analysis). For the mixes I had multitrack and single track!
I also did the following mixing tasks for both of my mixes:
Eq, distortion, lyric editing, buses and effects, tuning, delays, compression, reverb, echo,
automation and mastering the sound (volume).
I did change the eq of Timpani & Bass with the instruments being of different frequencies. However
I do not have any screen shots for this. I used the different eq s to create tension and affect. Some
of the frequencies are high and some are low. This makes the track more interesting and complex.
Sometimes finding the right eq can be hard because sometimes the instruments that you use
might not go to a frequency that is out of their frequency response spectrum. However if you put
the analyser on you can find some of the unfound frequencies. Plus if you change the frequencies
so they are out of the frequency response spectrum you might find that the hidden frequencies
have changed to suit the mix better.
It was the same for Africa. In Africa there are a lot of different frequency spectrums, for example
some are narrow and some are wide.



You can also create eq s that

are not even narrow or wide.
Like these two above:

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I found the eq s by listening to each instrument/audio region and picking out the right frequencies
and tones. Each instrument has their own frequency, so when mixing we have to make sure that
no interference happens. To prevent this dont make the different regions have the same
frequencies; vary them! This can be very difficult. Despite this I have learnt a lot about eq and I
have used this knowledge in my work.
Here is some useful information about eq:
There are three variables in a fully parametric eq, which are: frequency, bandwidth (this is weather
or not it is narrow or wide), Q Factor and DB Boost/cut.
Parametric eq are multi-band variable equalisers that allow us to control the three primary
parameters above.
Q Factor is a parameter that is dimensionless. This parameter describes how under-damped the
oscillator/resonator is. The characterises of a resonators bandwidth is relative to its centre
DB Boost/cut:
If the shelf is high then it boosts or cuts the frequencies at the cutoff and all of the other higher
frequencies are set at that cutoff point. The only two parameters that is has are: the cutoff and the
gain. This is usually used at the mid-high and high parts of the spectrum. It uses a positive gain of
3 or 4 dB. Also a cutoff frequency of 10 kHz and higher. This is used to reduce the noise/sound of
the mix by reducing the 3 or 4 dB frequencies that are around 15 kHz and higher.
If the shelf is low then it boosts or cuts the frequencies at the cutoff and all of the other lower
frequencies are set at that cutoff point. The only two parameters that is has are: the cutoff and the
gain. This is usually used at the low-mid and low range of the spectrum. However this spectrum is
audible! This is also used to reduce some of the rumble noise/sound. The rumble noise/sound is
caused by the microphone stand that is used. Also the other low end sources that you use.
If the shelf is high pass then all of the frequencies that are below the cutoff point are cut off. The
only one parameter it has is: frequency. This is known as a very drastic filter! This filter is used to
cut the very low rumble noises/sounds that are below 60 Hz.
If the shelf is low pass then all of the frequencies that are above the cutoff point are cut off. The
only one parameter it has is: frequency. This is known as a very drastic filter! This filter is used to
cut very high hiss noises/sounds that are above 18 kHz. When using this we should be careful
because sometimes you can cut too much high end of the mix.

More frequency information:



20-60 Hz

Cut these frequencies to reduce the rumble nosies/

sounds that are related to the electric interfaces.

60-80 Hz

Boost these frequencies to add more life to the

instruments that play low frequencies, for example,
bass drums and bass.

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100-200 Hz

Boost these frequencies to add more life to the

instruments, like snares, piano, trombones, French
horns and guitars.
If you cut these frequencies you can reduce the
boomy effects on the instruments that play the midrange frequencies, like drums and string bass.

200-300 Hz

Cut these frequencies to reduce and unwanted

resonances on certain instruments, such as
Boost these frequencies to add life to the vocal
tracks of the mix.

400-600 Hz

Cut these frequencies to reduce the not normal

boxy nosies/sounds on instruments, such as,
Boost these frequencies to add clarity and presence
to the bass.

1.4-1.5 kHz

Boost these frequencies for a clear bass and piano


2.8-3 kHz

Boost these frequencies to add clarity to the bass.

Also boost these frequencies to add punch and
attack to instruments, such as, guitars.

5-6 kHz

Boost these frequencies to boost the vocals

presence and also adds attack on drums, guitars
and piano.

7.5-9 kHz

Cut these frequencies to avoid the sibilance on the

Boost these frequencies to add attack on
percussion instruments and you should also add
sharpness, breath and clarity to the following
instruments: guitars, piano and synthesisers.

10-11 kHz

Boost these frequencies to increase the sharpness

on instruments, such as, cymbals.
These frequencies also add sharpness to guitars
and piano.
Cut these frequencies to darken the following
instruments: percussions, drums, guitars and piano.

14-15 kHz

Cut these frequencies to reduce sharpness on

guitars, piano and cymbals.
Boost these frequencies to add more life to the
Furthermore these frequencies to add ambience to
sampled and synthesised patches.

18 kHz

Cut these frequencies to reduce hiss nosies.

Boost these frequencies to add clarity the whole

This table shows us that instruments have different frequencies. By knowing these frequencies we
can cut and reduce the inactive frequencies. If you do this you will reduce the volume of the overall

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When mixing tracks I consider these different frequencies. To eq successfully I look at each
frequency range and see which one is best to use.
I try to use as many different frequencies as I can. This is known as shelling EQ and this ranges
from 20 Hz - 20 kHz.
Here are the different frequency ranges that you can get:
Sub-bass frequencies
Bass frequencies
Mid range frequencies
High mids frequencies
High frequencies
Frequency links to compression!
Compression Parameters:
The audio compression is the reduction of an audio file in order to increase the overall volume of
the mix. (This reduction is in the dynamic range).
Compression evens out the audio levels and reduces spikes in mixes.
Threshold, Gain and Compressing:
The threshold affects the gain. So to prevent this the threshold should be turned down and the gain
can then be turned up. However sometimes it can work the other way around!
Compression sounds better if the threshold is at zero and if the gain is higher than the threshold.
The Compression Ratio:
The compression ratio indicates how severely the audio file is compressed.
Here is an example of a compression ratio:
Ratio = 3:1 3 DBS = 1 DB (2 DB)
In my mix Timpani & Bass I have used compression, like this:
This screen shot shows that I have put compression
on the Heavy Drums in my mix. I did this so they
stand out. I wanted them to stand out because they
only happened a few times and you wouldnt really
notice them if you was to listen to the whole mix
However adding in the compressor has made the
Heavy Drums noticeable. You can hear them very

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Reverb is the direct sound is a room, its like an echo. It is also the persistence or echo of a
sound after it has been produced. (In studios most sources produce little or no reverb).
In Africa I used reverb, like this:

This screen shot shows that I have added some

decay and sustain to the track. (The decay is at
300ms and the sustain is at 52%).

Also the following:

Dry single delay= 50ms
Destiny= 100%
Spread= 100%
High cut= 5000Hz
Crossover= 500Hz
Low freq level= 0.0dB
Mix= 25%
When adding in reverb sometimes you can add in too much, so I always do a little bit of reverb.
The Delay Designer:
This effect allows you to delay interments and audio files, for example, in Timpani & Bass I used
this effect, like this:

I added delay onto the kick. The kick plays

through most of the mix. So I added in delay
to make the kick last longer. This made a
good impact on the mix. It made it more
amusing because it was something that is
Delay is like reverb because if you add too
much the mix will not sound right.

Tape Delay:
I used this in Timpani & Bass. (See next page).

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I used Tape Delay on the timpani. I did this because

the timpani is the instrument that keeps mix in
time. (There is a lot of Tape Delay at the end of the
mix). By me adding this Tape Delay the end was
successful and effective. It ended the mix well and
made the track different from all of my other
I used distortion twice in Africa! This is an add on from the delay.
I did it like this:

This distortion is for the dynamic microphones.

I used bitcrusher distortion.
The drive is on 6.0dB
The resolution is on 18bit
The downsampling is on 5x
The mode is in the middle
The clip level is at 0.0dB (This means that it will
not clip)!
And like this:

And this distortion is for the condenser

And for this one I used clip distortion.
The drive is on 35.0dB
The tone is on 13300Hz
The symmetry is on +18%
The clip filter is on 2900Hz
The mix is at 80%
The LP filter is at 920Hz
The high shelving frequency is at 4200Hz
The gain is at +30.0dB
I wanted the distortions to sound different. I did this by choosing different types of distortions.
By doing this it made each the microphones stand out and thats what I wanted to do. Also I one
stronger than the other to make them stand out even more.


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I added echo in Africa, like this:

In most of my tracks and mix I have used echo. It is

one of my favourite effects. As you can see:
The time is 1/16
The repeat is set at 68%
The colour is set at 52
Dry is at 70% and wet is at 68%

I added the echo on too instrument 8, which is called Rock Kit (they are drums). This instrument
is played all throughout the mix. So to make it more interesting I added in an effect that would
have a great affect on the mix. Echo can create many emotions in just one mix!
In Timpani & Bass I originally had automation. However when I mixed it I turned it off and I have
decided to not to turn it on again. So this mix has no automation!
But in Africa I have used automation on the guitars, like this:
For this part of Africa I did the
automation like this because I
wanted peaks in the mix. So on
each note there is a little peak
so that each time a note plays it
goes high in volume. (It can be

And like this:

In this part of Africa I made

volume change with the mix.
This part starts of low and slowly
goes high and then low again.
This goes with the vocals. I also
did some automation on the
vocals to make them with the
rest of the mix.

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The Lyrics In Africa:

These two screen shots above shows that I have edited the vocals. If I am honest it was quite
difficult because if you cut it wrong the lyrics will not follow after each other. I edited the
vocals because I edited the other audio and midi tracks.
Despite these problems I managed to edit the vocals to go with the whole mix.
I feel confident after practising this skill. So next time when it comes to editing vocals I know
what to do.
The Tuner:
I used the tuner for the recording of the bass in Timpani & Bass. Here is the tuner:
We should allow musicians to tune their instruments
before they play/record. This is because when you
dont tune an instrument it can sound too flat or too
sharp. (Tuning the instruments will make the recordings
sound a lot better). The tuner is very clever because it
can recognise all of the notes perfectly. So the
recording will sound professional because the
instruments do!

Mixing the Volume:

Mixing the volume in Timpani & Bass looks, like this:

Timpani & Bass has varied volume. The timpani is up high and the drums are at different
volumes to make them varied a little bit. Also the bass is is in the middle because it is just
background music to help the mix flow.

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And in Africa it looks, like this:

Africa also has varied volume. Instrument 8 is up high and the drums are at different volumes to
make the drums unlike each other. Also the guitars are roughly at the same volume. This is so
they sound the same. Lastly the other instruments are either low, in the middle or high. (The
master in the middle because when I took the screen shot I had my headphones in and it was too
loud). But when I took out my headphones I put my mix onto speakers it was quiet so I tuned it
up. This means that headphones and speakers sound different. So thats why it is best to mix on
both sources so you can get the best results. Also the effects will stand out on the speakers
Buses and effects:
The buses and effects in Timpani & Bass looks, like this:
This screen shot shows
you the effects and buses
that I used in Timpani &

The effects are:

Delay Designer
Channel EQ x 6
Space D x 5
Tape Delay
The buses are:
Bus 6

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Bus 5
Timpani & Bass from start to finish:

Africa from start to finish:

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I have learnt a few things while mixing these tracks, for example, I learnt how to record and mix
the tracks competently. I have been able to practise using the different effects and because I
have practiced I have memorised what each of the effects do and how you use them properly.
Timpani & Bass was harder to mix than Africa because it was tough to cut and edit parts as there
was a lot of clipping and loud booming sounds from the drums. However I managed to get rid off
these unimportant parts that effected the mixs effects and automation.
Africa on the other hand was easier to edit because their was no clipping and booming sounds. I
made Africa different by duplicating certain parts of the song, for example,
I added more Marimba and
Xylophone sounds at the start
of the mix.

Each mix was different and had different parts that needed editing. Timpani & Bass and Africa
are mixes where you can do almost anything and it will sound good. I found these mixes
entertaining, especially Africa. This is because Africa is a song that everyone knows and loves.
However Timpani & Bass is a track that I created so people might not find it pleasurable like
Africa. But some people will like my work because it is unique. All of my mixes are dissimilar
because some have effects and some dont. Also I dont always use automation and audio files.
Most of my tracks or mixes are midi instruments!
I am update with my work and I cant wait for the next project. Finally the written work has
helped my with my practical work because I have researched during this project and I have
picked up a lot of information that I never knew about. (I will use this information for my next
project and other projects to come).

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