Some believe that mixing and mastering is one and the same, others think that these are different things. I just want to explain how I think the mix is the process of creating the final record from separate tracks, in which attention is paid to such aspects as balance of volume, panning, density of sound and arrangement of effects, and mastering equalization and compression, bringing the sound of the mix to the required level. So, to the mixing.
The process of data sets us two tasks: firstly, we need to combine a lot of audio tracks into a single whole, and second to try to get rid of the “computer” sound that would play as dynamically and beautifully as possible.
Here are some tips before we begin to reduce:
It is not necessary to cover tracks with effects like delay, reverb and most of all the compressor up to the data stage. In 90% of cases, you will remodel them. Of the effects, it is worth adding only those that emphasize or change the sound of the instrument, such as a flanger, chorus and all sorts of distortions (although here you need to be more careful), etc.
Do not change the panorama to the information stage. In 90% of cases you will have to redo it.
Do not change the volume until the data stage. In 90% of cases you will have to redo it.
It is not necessary without a special need to export tracks from the sequencer to the audio editor. Modern sequencers allow you to carry out mixing and mastering at a high level, especially since it’s not too late to change anything. By “special need” I mean the use of “heavy” plug-ins and sound banks in a sequencer that does not support the “freeze” of tracks, or you can simply compress it in an audio editor.
Take into account that for different genres different methods of information are required. Before starting to reduce, it is advisable to read listen how others reduce, otherwise there is a risk of getting absolute nonsense at the output. It is checked up to itself. The creation of music like any other kind of creative activity is subject to a terrible scourge, better known as the “pursuit of the ideal,” especially at the information stage. Set a goal, a kind of “quality bar” to which you can reach and stop reducing after achieving it. Otherwise, there is a risk you spoil everything and get absolute nonsense at the output or reduce it to the end of life.
It is checked up to itself. So, the first stage we connect the tracks into a single whole. If we did not write down any tools from outside and everything that we wrote was done in one program, this paragraph can be skipped, otherwise we read further. Let’s assume from external tracks we have a guitar recorded live. To begin with, I want to note that it’s better to write such things in an audio editor, because in most cases you will have to remove the “left” noises if they are (it’s better to do it in the audio editor), and adjust the volume, everything else can be done later in the sequencer, having the other tracks on hand, or connecting the sequencer and the editor via ReWire, If the power of the PC allows, because The load on the processor and memory will be rather big. Or you can whip up a bit and bass section (in the case of guitars), export to wav and add it as a separate track to the audio editor. At worst, almost everywhere there is a metronome during your mixing and mastering process.
Stage two. Just want to note that what I’m writing here is not an instruction, it’s just a description of the process “in my opinion” and not the fact that it will be more convenient for you to reduce this way. The first question is where to start, with effects, volume or panorama? I prefer to start with a set of effects, primarily with a reverb. The fact is that in most cases, after using this effect, the volume of the instrument drops noticeably, and if before that we were indulging in loudness we would have to rework everything. By the way, reverb will help you to achieve a more “live” sound of the instrument, the main thing is not to overdo it. Also for these purposes, you can use chorus (again very neatly) and Stereo-Enhancer to expand the stereo signal.
At the same stage, we add the delay where necessary, it can also reduce the volume of the instrument by the way. To add “density”, you can add a little bit of compression. After adding all the necessary effects, go to … the panorama. Yes it is to the panorama, not to the volume. The fact is that if we first adjust the volume, and then the panorama, there is a possibility that on one channel there will be instruments with the same (or vice versa too different) loudness, eventually you get nonsense and everything will have to be reworked in your mixing and mastering. Therefore, first we make a general panorama, and then we rule the volume of the instruments.
At first glance, like everything, the mix sounds more or less decent. Many, by the way, use sidechain at the stage of data, for vocals or percussion, I advise doing this at the mastering stage, because there is a possibility that after the equalization the need for a sidechain will disappear. For example, I also like to play around with a panorama somewhere in the middle of a track, such an artistic device when the sound of the instrument smoothly flows from one channel to another, you can also play with loudness. In general, when mixing and mastering it is possible to diversify your track and make it sound really fine, so do not ignore this process.