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3. Mix­ing a track us­ing Aud­i­fied ef­fects

Computer Music - - Free Software -

1 Fol­low­ing our over­view of Aud­i­fied’s inValve 2 bun­dle, we’ll now put these three ef­fects – and a few other Aud­i­fied plug­ins – through their paces in a mix­ing sce­nario. We’re start­ing with this 110bpm funk-style track, cre­ated us­ing sounds and loops taken from 244’s Sam­pled Funk & Soul sam­ple pack. Able­ton Live 9 is our DAW, but you can fol­low along us­ing any ad­e­quate host. 2 The dy­namic range (ie, the dif­fer­ence be­tween the loud­est and qui­etest points) of the track’s tam­bourine loop is too broad – we’re los­ing the ‘in be­tween’ hits in the mix. To rem­edy this, we’ve used an in­stance of InValve Com­pres­sor to squash the high­est peaks down, then the Gain Make-up knob is used to match the over­all level with the dry sig­nal’s level. 3 The com­pres­sion we ap­plied in the pre­vi­ous step has em­pha­sised the tam­bourine’s high-fre­quency harsh­ness, so we’ve loaded an inValve Equaliser next in the chain. Pulling the HF Cut-off knob back to around 13kHz rounds of that harsh­ness, and we’re also di­alling in Valve Sat­u­ra­tion for sub­tle ana­logue flavour. 4 The drums in our track com­prise six chan­nels. To process them as one, we’ll group these to­gether to a sin­gle bus. For char­ac­ter and ‘squish’, we ap­ply ex­treme com­pres­sion via inValve Com­pres­sor, us­ing max Ra­tio and fastest At­tack and Re­lease times. This is then set up in par­al­lel us­ing Live’s Au­dio Ef­fect Rack – but you can use an aux re­turn if you’re us­ing another DAW. 5 Our main mu­sic loop is a ‘call and an­swer’ bass and gui­tar riff. For more mix con­trol, we’ve chopped the ‘call’ and ‘an­swer’ el­e­ments out, and placed them on sep­a­rate chan­nels, so each can be pro­cessed in­de­pen­dently. This means we can experiment with dif­fer­ent treat­ments and set­tings, and au­to­mate things in a more dy­namic way. 6 For the bass sec­tion of the riff, we’ve used inValve Equaliser to push out par­tic­u­lar fre­quency ar­eas. You should usu­ally re-level your pro­cessed sig­nal with the un­pro­cessed sig­nal, for eas­ier com­par­i­son – but some­times it’s eas­ier to dial in ad­di­tive EQ with more of a cre­ative agenda, like we have here. Plus, our EQ boosts are push­ing into the plugin’s Valve Sat­u­ra­tion stage for ex­tra flavour. 7 Over the sec­ond half of the riff (a gui­tar chop), we’ve used an in­stance of inValve Com­pres­sor sim­ply as a gain de­vice – by au­tomat­ing its Gain Make-up knob over qui­eter sec­tions, we even out the part’s level in the mix. After that, we’ve used a pre­set from TNT Voice Ex­ecu­tor to com­press and limit this gui­tar. Yes, we know it’s a vo­cal pro­ces­sor, but it does the job we need it to! 8 To give our cho­rused wah-wah gui­tar part some dy­namic vari­a­tion through the ar­range­ment, we use au­toma­tion to switch on another in­stance of TNT Voice Ex­ecu­tor when the qui­eter bridge sec­tion drops in. This com­presses the sound, and adds vibey de­lay that changes the feel of the over­all track. 9 Fi­nally, let’s ap­ply a tickle of mas­ter bus pro­cess­ing to gel and re­fine the mix as a whole. First, for a duller funk tim­bre, we use inValve Equaliser’s HF and LF Cut-Off di­als to ap­ply sub­tle fil­ter­ing. Next, inValve Com­pres­sor is again used in par­al­lel to thicken out the mix’s dy­nam­ics. And to fin­ish, we use Aud­i­fied’s MixChecker to vir­tu­ally play back our mix through dif­fer­ent play­back sys­tems.

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