Previous: 11. Set levels and panning.

12. Action: Prepare for mixing song tracks with reverbs, echoes and such.

Ingredients: Properly adjusted tracks, and effects processor or plug-in, your model song.

Explanation: Here you will create the depth and ambience of the mix.

Using our model of a band on the stage, we have already decided how far to the left and right each instrument will be. In mixing song tracks with digital signal processing effects, we can determine how far back or forward they will be. The more forward ones will give us more direct sound, and less reverb. Vice versa for the rear ones.

The first factor you must decide is what type of room your band is in. Most reverbs have presets for everything from large empty auditoriums to small crowded rooms. Variations on the reverb theme include delay, and other echo type reverbs. It is recommended to only use one or two types of reverb on all your tracks. Putting a large auditorium on one instrument and a small echo chamber on another will generally damage your sound. You can change the relationship between the instruments by the amount of reverb much more effectively than by the type.

Some recommendations:

  • Use the chorus effect on your backing vocals. What it does is slightly echo their singing, which makes it seem like there are even more vocalists singing backup.
  • Use a little less reverb on the lead vocal, so it is clearer and stands out more.
  • Use the same type of reverb on all the singers and instruments, but vary the amount of "return" - the volume of the reverb - to gove the feeling of space.
  • Be careful when applying reverb to bass frequency instruments, as it can muddy up the mix.

Result: All of your tracks are ready to mix.

Next 13. Record your mix.



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