Previous: 12. Apply effects to the tracks.

13. Action: Record your mixdown tracks.

Ingredients: The tracks you set up, the model song, software or hardware for recording your mix.

Explanation: Choose your destination tracks for this mix.

In software, this is usually as simple as setting up the mix (all the stuff we mentioned about compression, effects, panning and levels) and clicking a "Mix down" button. In Sonar, it's called "Bounce to track". Each to his own. Remember to mute any tracks that you don't want in the mix, and to be sure the mixdown function excludes muted tracks.

For hardware recorders, the easiest way is to simply choose two tracks in your multitrack sequencer or recorder. If you have two free tracks there, using them as your mixdown destination gives you the ability to punch in and out during the mixing process. Rare, indeed, is the time when you will record a mix in one take.

If your music has varying dynamic levels, you may find yourself riding faders. To have the option of fixing one verse that didn't come out quite right is important. If your multitrack program and mixer gives you the ability to record your fader movements, then having synchronized destination tracks becomes less important.

If you are using another recording program or piece of equipment, try to ensure that it can run synchronized with your multitrack recorder program. Without this, you will be forced to record your mix in one shot. If you mess up, you'll have to start from the beginning again.

Result: You have your first mix.

Next 14. Tweak and redo, if necessary.



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