Simple Audio Mixing Tips Part 2

Hey all,

this is my second installment of “Simple Audio Mixing Tips,” I’m back to share 5 more interesting tips to try out while mixing your audio! Ok, lets just get right to it:

1) Mute vocal tracks when there is a break of more than a second or two, to kill the noise. In my experience, vocal tracks tend to be the noisiest and contain the most artifacts out of any other instrument. I think it is because much more sensitive microphones (LDC’s, in particular) are being used, and really just pick up everything happening inside & immediately outside a room (damn you airplanes!!). Well, to cut back on some of the noise in your mixes, try this simple technique to eliminate unwanted breaths, licking of lips, or any other interesting noises that really don’t belong in your audio.

2) For drums especially, import a known good track into the session, and see how yours sounds compared to the reference. Mix to get yours sounding more like the reference. This is an extremely helpful technique. You should always A/B a reference mix that has certain qualities you may want to emulate. It is much easier to hear it than to think you know what it sounds like already, because you are most likely wrong. Use this technique for any instrument, and for entire mixes, its really helpful!!

3) Cool Vocal Sweetener: Duplicate your vocal track 2 times (so now you have three). Take one of the duplicates, detune it (downward) by12 cents, delay it by 25 ms, and pan it hard left. Take the other duplicate, detune it (upward) by 12 cents, also delay it 25 ms (you’re delaying both of these 25 ms behind the main vox—they’re in sync with each other) and pan this second dupe hard right. Now bring the faders all the way down on these new “mangled” tracks. While your listening to the original vox (which is still in the center), bring these 2 new ones up gradually. Too low—there’s no difference. Too high—it just sounds wrong. Just right—the voice is nice and thick with a cool edge to it. If you’re doing reverb on the vox, you can also just add it to the two new tracks—so you get some depth, but your main vocal in the middle stays big and present. I have yet to try this one, so please let me know how it sounds if you ever play around with it!!!!

4) Octave track: same thing as whisper track but the 2nd track is an octave above or below the original—tough to do, but if they’ve got the range, it can be cool. I have tried this with mixed results — in the end i usually just omit the octave track because it sounds odd to me, but if you have success with it let me know!!

5) Always mix in mono, until you think the mix is ready and done and sounding good. THEN start panning. I don’t mix this way, but i thought it was an interesting approach to go about mixing because the assumption is if you can get it to sound great & balanced in mono, panning will be a cinch! But personally, i believe panning is a great way to get the mix sounding balanced & less cluttered, so I usually bring up the faders to desirable levels, then pan, THEN start EQing & other effects. But anyway, try this way out maybe you’ll like it better than what you’re already doing!

Hope these are interesting/helpful — I thought they were, for what that’s worth 🙂

_chris

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2 Responses to “Simple Audio Mixing Tips Part 2”

  1. samyx93boy Says:

    i like your blog ! 🙂 See my new blog : http://www.plsuinfo.wordpress.com

  2. Excellent tips and tricks. Looking forward to more updates.

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