Sign in to follow this  

How to mix an acoustic duo

Recommended Posts

Hello there. I am in an acoustic duo and hoping to get some mixing advice. Our setup: two male vocalists using SM58 mics, two acoustics - one steel string, one classical, both guitars run into Fishman preamps and then into the mixer. For the PA, we're running through a pair of EV ZLX-12p monitors and a Behringer XAir XR12 mixer.
 
I'm able to get pretty darn good sounding guitars independently, but when both guitars combine neither particularly stand out enough in the mix. The vocals also sound lackluster... everything gets muddied when both vocals and guitars are playing together.
 
I'm primarily looking for recommendations on some of the parametric EQ settings that you guys might recommend. Should I boost and cut uniquely to give each channel a spot in the mix? Any frequency recommendations? If no bass guitar is present, should I still use low pass filters? Should I use compression at all?
 
I know a tiny bit about EQ, compression, reverb, etc in DAW use, but am new to live sound mixing. The primary audience is just me and my friend for practicing in my garage but at some point we plan on playing some small shows with this setup. I've read a few guides but they seem to address vocals and acoustics in a mix with drums and bass, whereas our setup is just the two of us.
 
I'd be super grateful for any pointers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I wrote some advices and read only afterwards that you're asking about live mixing.  :rolleyes:  But mostly the same principles work either way:

I guess you've panned everything appropriately? Guitars on the sides and vocals in the center or a bit sides if it's more like a duo singing.

If the guitars aren't good together, carve let's say some low middle out from the other guitar and add some to the other and maybe some nice higher middle vice versa. So that they sound at least a bit different. If it isn't working in any way and they are fighting each other maybe it's because of the arrangement of what they play, think that also.

You could try some sidechain compression so that the vocals duck some middle of the guitars. (Harder to do live depending on your gear)

Try to listen what frequencies are the most prominent when everything is playing together. If it's the muddy low middle take some out from guitars or vox, whichever sounds most natural.

Make all the EQ fixes while everything is playing together so you'll hear how it affects the mix, not only the instrument you're working on. (Well, It's ok to do some really fine surgical EQ as a solo.)

Use low pass filters if needed. No use to cut the lows too high if it isn't boomy and sounding bad. You can even boost some nice sounding lows on the guitars.

I'd compress the guitars and vox a little to quite a lot depending your taste and how good the players/singers are.

You're practicing in a garage so I'd say the room emphasizes the muddy and boomy low middles. Try to find the worst frequencies and cut.

Mostly some random advices but they work in most situations. Cut the bad narrowly and boost the good widely  :ph34r:

Edited by Kasu-_-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this