If you’re not mixing with Aux sends then you’re missing out on alot of flexibility when it comes to mixing. It will speed up your mixes as well as lessen the CPU load of your DAW – it’s a win win situation! Check out this vid there’s some golden nuggets in it.
Without a popping snare, the whole drive of the song can be lost – if you’re mixing snare drum it can be really frustrating when you can’t get it to sit right in the mix; turning it up – then turning it down; then it gets lost in the mix; then back up again or if just doesn’t sound right and needs a bit of magic these ideas may help you out.
Add noise or handclaps
Adding a touch of noise to a snare hit is a tried and tested method used by many. In the early days of electronic music it was used heavily to simulate snares and is still used today. It can be used as a layer on top of an existing snare drum but a word of advice make sure that it fits with the timbre of the snare you’re adding the layer to. Use EQ on the noise if required to make it complement the snare and fit in the mix. (more…)
Using Submixes and Groups can speed up your workflow. If you don’t use them you’re missing out! If you don’t know how to set them up or what benefits they can offer you then check out this video! I go into the benefits of setting up submixes and groups and how you can go about using them in your mixing process.
Submixes and groups video
There’s so much information on the Internet and sometimes sifting through the information to get what you want takes time. This video gives you what you need to get your compressor up and running in your mixes. In this video I show you how to use a compressor. Highlighting what you need to set and what to do to get your compressors working for you.
If you’re having problems setting up your compressor wondering what it does; whilst also struggling to remember the endless amounts of information to set the ratio, threshold, attack and release times then this video is for you!
Check it out!
How to use a compressor video
Mixing is a skill that needs to be worked on like anything else – be it playing an instrument (for me – my drums) or decorating fantastic cakes (don’t know where that example came from – blame my wife!)
It’s a craft that needs to be developed it doesn’t just happen. You need to put the hours in to make your mixing skills better. Here are some thoughts and ideas as to how to set mixing into practice – some of the time the excuses are in our own heads, and it’s just a case of getting over that and getting on with bettering our skills.
Accept you’ve got limitations
We’ve all got limitations in one way, or another – it’s no bad thing.
If you think, you’ve got limitations in your mixing ability that’s fine. If you don’t try and mix though, you’ll never make mistakes. If you keep putting off mixing that ‘one’ track waiting until you’ve got that ‘special’ plugin or that bit of gear that’s always going to make it sound better – it generally won’t . All you’re doing is putting off the process of mixing which means, you’ll never learn, – it’s good to make mistakes!
Here’s a neat little trick I use with mid side (M/S) to fill out a mono track. If you’ve got a mono track and want to fill it out a bit then try this tip out!
If you’re my age, you’ll remember the release of CD technology. The introduction of it was revolutionary for both me and my friends. I remember buying my first CD’s and listening to them whilst quietly smiling inside due to the omission of record scratches that could normally be heard in every song! Every time I listened back to the CD it was the same as the first time – with no degradation and there was no way I could wear it out!
I went CD crazy!
I wanted to know EVERYTHING about them. How the information was read off the disc by a laser in the CD player? How did the error correction work? What was the sample rate? etc. and I remember when my mum was going out asking her to try and find out what she could when she was passing the library – it wasn’t just the case of nipping onto the Internet as it is now.
What would a world without EQ sound like?? It’s such a powerful tool and also one that can easily be misused. Here are three EQ tips that will change your game and if put into practice will start your journey on the road to mastering EQ.
1. Roll off the low end with a high pass filter
A high pass filter (HPF) or low cut filter, essentially allows all frequencies that are higher than the cut-off frequency through. If you’ve heard of the low pass filter, it’s essentially the opposite. Anything below the cut-off frequency value will be attenuated. The amount it’s attenuated is dependent on two things – the distance (in Hz) from the cut-off frequency and also the roll off of the filter (usually measured in dB/octave) .
You can take the cut-off frequency higher for instruments that only hangout in the higher frequency range including vocals but put a HPF on EVERYTHING- Even kick drums and bass instruments! Granted these hangout around the lower frequency range but the chances are they will still have something in there that a dog can hear – but you can’t! So put a HPF in – just take the cut-off frequency to a lower value around the 20-30Hz area.
EQ is one of the most powerful tools an audio engineer has in their arsenal; be it recording or mixing the importance of it is pretty paramount.
What if I were to tell you that all my microphones have onboard EQ to help me get a better sound to sit in the mix – would you believe me? What if I told you that yours do too!
There’s a great deal to be said about the power of limitation.
Being a vegetarian I get limitations set all the time. When I’m over at friends and they lay on a massive spread of great food – and then point to the small bowl buried in the corner and say ‘there’s yours Mark!’ I’m instantly limited to a certain amount of food on the table – which, for me is a good thing, otherwise I’d try everything (well most anyway).
The same can be true about recording and mixing
Are you recording endless parts that are going towards a song in the belief that more layers means that it’s going to sound better? Whilst that may be true, there’s also a danger that the more layers you’ve got the slower it’ll take to produce the song.
It’s so easy with the technology we have these days to have a massive amount of tracks and layer it up – Limitation is very minimal. If you’re not running a meter in a recording studio or sitting with an engineer in a mixing studio then time doesn’t cost.