Mix glue with vin­tage re­verb treat­ments

Through the fol­low­ing six steps, let’s glue a mix to­gether with some care­ful vin­tage re­verb choices

Future Music - - TOOLKIT -

01 >

Our track starts with kick and hats from Bat­tery 4, a ba­sic bassline and a pad from Spit­fire Au­dio’s Pho­bos. The two more dy­namic parts are a gui­tar loop and an auto-pan­ning synth pluck se­quence. There’s no re­verb added to the mix at this stage; it sounds very dry.

02 >

We start by send­ing the gui­tar loop to a treat­ment with UAD’s AKG BX 20 em­u­la­tion. We use the EQ con­trols to thin out both tre­ble and bass, whilst select­ing a re­verb time of around four sec­onds. As the fre­quency spec­trum of the re­verb is tamed, the over­all sound feels more vin­tage.

03 >

We add the same re­verb to the plucked synth part, which im­me­di­ately glues the two sounds to­gether. This is ap­pro­pri­ate as they have some sim­i­lar­i­ties in tone and in en­ve­lope shape. There’s a pleas­ing mood­i­ness to th­ese two feature sounds now.

04 >

We want a brighter, dirt­ier re­verb for the top end of the mix, so we use the hats as a trig­ger for this. We pick Val­halla’s Vin­tageVerb as our plugin for this pur­pose and spend time choos­ing the amount of high-fre­quency damp­ing and top-end EQ at­ten­u­a­tion. We’re us­ing the Dirty Hall al­go­rithm.

05 >

There’s plenty of both midrange and high-fre­quency con­tent in the Pho­bos pad part, so we add both re­verbs to this chan­nel. This adds a new layer of mix glue; it seems right that the most sus­tained part of the mix feeds into both re­ver­ber­ant spa­ces.


We rein­tro­duce the other sounds in the mix be­fore de­cid­ing to add a lit­tle of the AKG BX 20 re­verb to the bassline. This fea­tures plenty of bass roll-off, but to en­sure things don’t get too muddy in the low midrange, we add FabFil­ter’s Pro Q-2, us­ing a low shelf, to avoid mud­di­ness.

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