- This topic has 20 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Warren Huart.
January 8, 2016 at 4:16 am #1773tblizzParticipant
I often work with tracks recorded on budget or semi-pro gear. Before I begin my mix I’ll have “pre-mixing” stage where I’ll run these tracks through analog gear or saturation plug-ins. This often helps to fatten up tracks and smooth out some of the (digital) peaks.
I was wondering who is doing the same thing and what gear or plug-ins you’re using.
Martijn.January 8, 2016 at 5:27 am #1782Andrew MckenzieParticipant
Hiya mate, I'm trying to get myself into good habits early on by following a few steps in "preparing" a session for mixing but I've never actually altered any of the tracks before hand.
For me, it's the process of importing the raw tracks in wave format to the virtual SSL console (sorry...using Reason) and then gain staging each track to peak about -10 while keeping all the faders at zero. This way I end up with a good level at the top of the chain so no worries with clipping into anything else.....Then arrange and colour code the tracks and add a sub bus where needed.
Once that's done then the fun can start by adding whichever effects are required and getting stuck into the rest. 🙂
I know that Reason is quite a bit different to the other DAWS but the principle would be the same I reckon, I've watched other guys that use pro tools and setup templates etc to add a trim plugin on every track at the top to accomplish the same kind of thing....the idea being to tame the incoming track at the trim rather than the faders (which doesn't actually alter the signal coming in to the top of the chain....if I remember correctly)
It will be interesting to get some more feedback from others. 🙂
AndrewJanuary 8, 2016 at 7:44 am #1787tblizzParticipant
The virtual SSL console in Reason sounds interesting. It may be similar to the Harrison Mixbus DSP mixer. No such thing in Logic Pro X, but I like to use the UAD Unison Preamps & Channel Strips or the Slate Virtual Console Collection to add some colour.
Good point about gain staging. I use Klanghelm VUMT at the default -18dB on every track. It especially makes a difference when using (UAD) plug-ins emulating hardware.
Martijn.January 8, 2016 at 8:04 am #1792Anonymous
Plus one for Virtual Console Collection. Use it all the time on my stems 🙂January 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm #1806camoe
Another vote for Slates VCC. I will run tracks through an analog channel strip if I if needs some vibe and saturation as well.January 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm #1929jaywoolcott101Participant
I'm doing s similar thing to you guys, applying the Slate virtual tape via audiosuite to save cpu and clip gain to gain stage at around -18 (I use s lot of analogue emulations so -18 makes a lot of sense to me). I also use Slate VCC on every channel, it just sounds great.
I actually love mix prep, it's that calm before the storm moment that gets me into the right mindset. I always colour code, order and edit before starting a mix too, it just allows me to focus on the mix rather than break my concentration every 5 minutes during the mix to perform some mundane task.
To my mind there's a few things that an amateur can't replicate from the pro world due to financial restrictions, but there's tons of stuff that the pro's do that cost nothing, good mix prep is one of those.
JayJanuary 10, 2016 at 3:25 am #1976tblizzParticipant
To my mind there’s a few things that an amateur can’t replicate from the pro world due to financial restrictions, but there’s tons of stuff that the pro’s do that cost nothing [...]
Very true. I just need more time and a plugin that emulates great taste + experience, but other than that… 😉
Seriously, I think 2016 will be an exciting year for plug-ins in closing the sonic gap with (expensive) hardware. Acustica Audio with their new Acqua line can be a ‘game-changer’ if they can get the plug-ins to work flawlessly.
Slate will have to prove their subscription model works and have quite a few products in beta that will be released this year.
IK Multimedia may no longer want to be “second best” and surprise us with new releases.January 10, 2016 at 11:52 pm #2006jaywoolcott101Participant
Has anyone seen the channel emulation from bx (plugin alliance), they've modelled the tolerance variations of components from channel to channel!!!! I'd love to have a spare £200.
JayJanuary 11, 2016 at 7:01 am #2018Anonymous
"Very true. I just need more time and a plugin that emulates great taste + experience, but other than that… ?"
Well, they've been able to emulate analog circuitry, why can't they emulate top mixing engineers' brains? 😉January 12, 2016 at 9:23 am #2169jaywoolcott101Participant
I think we're expected to provide that aspect of the job :o(January 12, 2016 at 2:54 pm #2189Charles MonteiroParticipant
what I like to do first is to do some corrective EQ and that really means subtractive, clear up any boxiness/harshness,i.e. make up for issues with the source, I tend to also do just a minor touch of comp both with transparent plugs which nowadays means FabFilter. I then go for a console emulation which used to mean Slate but I"m sort of experimenting going more full blown UAD, so recently I started using the API Vision console plug. I then do my buss-ing and I will put a UAD Studer on the very top of every buss, all of these driving into my 2 buss where I will have a "glue" comp, usually an FG-Grey but again recently I started using the UAD Manley Variable MU comp.January 13, 2016 at 1:57 am #2245tblizzParticipant
For pre-mixing I generally don’t use EQ, I leave that ‘till the actual mix. Like you, my attention has been drawn to the UAD Manley Variable MU comp. Not only for the mixbus, but the tube-emulation and overal character that comes from vari-mu could also help to fatten up tracks during pre-mixing.
Transformers are another piece of the puzzle that could help. Lately I’ve been using (vintage) EQ plug-ins, like the Pultec EQP-1A, Tonelux Tilt & Eventide UltraChannel, completely flat and just run signal through them.
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