Category Archives for "Mixing"

87: Super Hacks – Part 2 (Mixing)

87: Super Hacks – Part 2 (Mixing)

Reason number one for doing this series of episodes: 

Malcom wanted to say "SUPER HACKS" on the show. 🤷

Reason number two: 

There are a couple of tricks that we've discovered and learned over the years, which we would actually call "super hacks", because they are really useful, speed up our workflow, solve problems for us and increase the quality of our work. Of course we wanted to share those with you!

Part 2 is about mixing "hacks". If you find these helpful and are a sucker for hacks and tricks like we are, we might even do a third one. We'll see. (Hint: Your feedback, reviews, etc. are helpful here. ;-))

Listen now, take notes and use these super hacks in your next session!

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84: Organize Your Projects Like A Pro

What does your typical project layout look like? 

  • Which colors do you use on which tracks? 
  • What about the routing and your bus structure?
  • How do you make sure you never lose any takes?
  • How do you keep track of all the magic moments happening in a session, so that you can move on quickly and then reliably come back to find them?
  • How do you navigate your session quickly and switch between tasks?
  • What about going back to previous stages of the session, archiving files and accessing mixes, stems, masters, demos etc quickly and everywhere?
If you don't have a good answer to any of these questions, this episode is for you.

Listen now and learn to set up your session and workflow like a pro!

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81: Your Mixes Need More Automation

Are your mixes static? Chances are, things are not moving enough. 

And by "moving" we mean automatic changes in volume, pan, or plugin settings throughout your song.

This is called "automation" and it is a technique that is absolutely essential for creating exciting mixes.

And even if you don't mix, understanding this concept will definitely help you make better engineering decisions and communicate better, because you will understand what is (hopefully) going to happen in the mixing stage.

Using automation, you basically tell your DAW (or desk with built-in automation) to make automatic real-time changes in order to bring certain parts up or down, highlight or hide things and create or enhance the dynamics from part to part, as well as within a part.

With automation you can guide a listener through your song, put the focus on the most important element at any time and turn a static mix into an emotional, dynamic experience of an artistic performance.

As always, there are best practices and common methods but there are no rules. Automation opens up wonderful creative opportunities and we're talking about all of that on this episode to help you make more exciting, less static mixes.

Let's dive in!

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80: What We Use In Our Vocal Chains (And Why We Use It)

The vocal sells the song, right?

It carries all the energy and emotion. And it's the one thing we really have to get right because we humans are so used to the sound of a voice that we immediately notice when something's wrong.

At least as listeners we immediately notice it.

As engineers, however, it's actually pretty hard to get it right.

For whatever reason people overcook their vocals all the time, using huge vocal chains without really knowing why.

Or they don't do enough because they are afraid of messing things up and what they end up with is a flat, amateur sounding vocal.

We've been there. And over time we've built vocal chains that work for us and help us deal with all kinds of different vocalists and situations now.

Our chains are different from session to session, of course. But they are still consistent enough for us to talk about them and share them with you.

The why behind what we do is consistent and knowing the reasons why we use certain things in our chains over an over again is more valuable than the actual settings.

In this episode we talk about what we are using to record and mix vocals, why we use these specific plugins and pieces of gear and how we use it in different situations.

Let's dive in!

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79: Audio To MIDI – How It’s Done And When You Should Use It

Almost every DAW lets you create MIDI data from audio files. And if not, there are plenty of plugins that can do it.

But why would you want to create MIDI notes when you have a "real" performance? What are the benefits and typical use cases? And how do you do it properly, so that the MIDI actually represents the original audio accurately?

Let's discuss!

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78: How To Use Panning To Get Wide, Exciting And Balanced Mixes

78: How To Use Panning To Get Wide, Exciting And Balanced Mixes

Right after balancing, which we've covered in episode 75, panning is the second most important thing you need to get right in your mixes. 

Again, this seems trivial but it's crucial to spend some time diving deeper into the subject. There's more to it than most people think.

There are no rules, but there are definitely best practices, proven techniques and a couple of different approaches that everyone should experiment with to fully understand the concept and idea behind panning.

And then there's the fun part: Beyond the basic stuff there are endless ways of using panning creatively to add excitement, movement and dynamics to your mixes.

Listen now, take notes and then figure out what works for you to give your songs exactly the width and clarity they need!

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77: Apple Spatial Audio & Dolby Atmos – Is This The End Of Stereo?

#77: Apple Spatial Audio & Dolby Atmos - Is This The End Of Stereo?

You've probably heard about Apple Spatial Audio or Dolby Atmos...

...and you've probably heard the marketing message, telling you you're missing out if you're still listening to music in stereo.

Is this true, though? And does that mean we need to upgrade our home studios and build expensive immersive audio rooms? Or switch to headphones exclusively? Is your stereo setup becoming useless?

Let's discuss!

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