Ever wonder why your mix sucks compared to other commercially released tracks when played on different systems? The most likely culprit….your monitors. Mixing without trusting your monitors is akin to driving without your glasses. Without hearing a proper representation of your music, how are you supposed to make key processing decisions? No matter your budget situation, here are some steps to drastically improve your monitoring and your mixes.
There’s no denying that retro and vintage style tracks and production styles have been making a comeback in modern productions. Motown-esque RnB and funk ala Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse and Adele vintage throwbacks, and 80’s synths and rhythms in current pop. Modern mixing can incorporate early recording methods and processing in order to give that old-school vibe to a song.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel that we mix engineers have more than enough compressor emulation plug-ins to choose from. When a new one comes out, it really has to blow me away in order to add it to my arsenal. In this case, the McDSP 6030 Ultimate Compressor packs a real punch by offering TEN different compressors in one plug-in. I’ve spent some time with the plugin and am sharing my findings.
Nearly every plug-in used in mixing and mastering nowadays comes with a hefty list of included presets for nearly every use imaginable. Presets can be both a blessing and a curse to the music creator and knowing how, when, and why to use presets is key to keeping your music’s integrity intact. Here are three reasons you should and shouldn’t be using presets when producing music.
Delays are an effect that is essential to modern mixing. Whether it is used subtly to give the vocal a sense of depth and space or used overtly as a distinct echo that listeners will sing along like it’s part of the song, delays are the ear candy that adds so much interest and dimension to music. Here are a few of my favorite delay plug-in
Distorted electric guitars and lead vocals often take up energy in the same frequency spectrum. This poses a problem. We still want the guitars to sound crunchy and present, but the vocal must sit on top of the mix and maintain its clarity. The solution? Using side-chained multiband compression.