Academy Dashboard Forum Production Production Techniques Where do you start? Reply To: Where do you start?

Just Lisa

    This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing it all -- I have a couple of ideas I didn't have before.

    For me, pianos are purple and belong at the top/far left. In the beginning of my Studio One use, muddling around on my own, keys were imported midi or wav from notation software and kind of "fix it once and forget about it."
    I have a template now, it goes, keys, drums, bass, elec gts, acoust gtrs, other instruments, lead vox, bgvox, busses, fx, mix, main.
    But, I don't load it all straight in. I drag in groups from the multitrack file, merge some to stereo files first if it makes sense for the track, below the template tracks in the arrange view. I figure out what they are, reorder them and then drag them into their destination folder buses. This way, each track imports stereo or mono as needed, I don't have to think about it, and they all start out with their original file names as track names. They get automatically colored to my scheme when I move them into the folders.
    I can't say the template forces me in a direction -- any generic radio song has roughly the same elements that need to be organized somehow. There are only VU meters and Mixtools on the subgroups that I remove when I don't need them anymore. The generic reverb channels have a compressor for sidechaining the lead vocal, if necessary -- and so far, I've made use of most of them.
    Gainstaging, some basic low end eq, check the drums for phase.
    I start with the kickdrum, then the bass, then build the rest of the drums without the bass. Take a stab at the lead vocal. Decide if electric or acoustic gtrs are more important to the song, do them in that order, often I find I am taking stuff out or maybe duplicating a section and adding it somewhere else if I have any strong ideas about the 'performance' I hear. Jump back and forth on other instruments and bgvs. I solo the groups to get their basic levels before adding them to the growing mix.
    Print the rough mix.
    Then start the real eq and compression.
    Then route to reverbs or add other fx.
    Edit performances again -- because there's always something that needs to be removed or cleaned up or whatever.
    Automate volume. (Sends probably got automated when I first added the fx channel.)

    then... I lose my mind and start making mistakes. Good thing I don't have any clients yet.
    : )