Great resource for mixing practice

mixsecretsReaders of Sound On Sound should be familiar with Mike Senior’s “Mix Rescue” column.  He has posted a number of multitrack recordings in different styles at his Mixing Secrets Multitrack Library, a resource that is part of the online content to support his book, Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio, (affiliate link).

There’s even a section for people starting out at mixing, featuring a number of smaller projects to get you going.  Check it out!


Panning re-amped guitars

Traditionally, the lead vocal sits in the middle of the stereo image, along with the kick, bass and snare.  Other instruments may be panned into the centre, but even then, some might be stereo sources that spread themselves across all of part of the stereo field.  One mono instrument that tends to take centre stage is the lead guitar, but what do you do with it when the lead vocal comes back in?  One has to give way, but unless you double-track the guitar, it tends to end up with the lead guitar either being panned outwards or ducked.  In this example, I show how a reamped guitar solo avoids being obviously panned to one side, whilst at the same time being panned outwards to leave some space for the vocal.


Moving your Kontakt Libraries

Having struggled with moving the EZDrummer2 libraries to my SSD audio drive, I was prepared for an equal struggle with Kontakt.  However, as you don’t have to force Kontakt into an error to move the libraries, (unlike EZDrummer2), the task was less fraught, although it still didn’t quite work the way I expected…


Moving your EZDrummer2 Library

Having written previously about installing an SSD, (Solid State Drive) as an audio drive on my laptop, the first thing to do was to move my existing Cubase projects and sample libraries to the empty drive, once I’d formatted it.  Moving the Cubase projects folder was a simple click-and-drag operation, (although you do have to confirm the new location of the project the first time you open it in Cubase – hardly a hardship).  However, moving the EZdrummer2 core library and the samples for the various EZDrummer expansion kits was not as simple as the Toontrack website made out…


Why pay full price?

If you’ve watched any of the videos on this blog or read any of the articles, you’ll know that I have a good selection of virtual instruments and plugins that I run through Cubase.  Whilst I like having these, I don’t like paying full price for anything, (it all seems so expensive).  In this video, I look at how to get perfectly legal copies of your must-have plugins from the manufacturers without paying full price – and on occasion, without paying at all!  And to prove the point, I end by showing you how you can get an effects plugin of any type you want for free.

When I posted the video below on YouTube, there were sales on and, as I post this on the blog, there are more sales on again.  It just goes to prove the point I make in the video, that if you can live without a piece of kit that you want to (eventually) add to your toolbox, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run.



Stereo effects on a mono source

Reamping a DI guitar signal is a great way to ensure that your tone balances with the rest of the mix, not to mention allowing you to comp multiple parts if you want to without worrying about clashing delays and mismatched reverb tails.  However, a mono track can only have a mono output and if you want a stereo effect, you have to do some clever routing to divert your mono signal to a stereo output.  Or do you?


Solo Safe/Defeat

There’s an unsung feature in most DAWs that allows you to prevent a channel being muted when you solo another.  At first, you might wonder why on earth you would want to do such a thing, but consider this.  Imagine that you’re mixing a track and one of its effects sends is routed to a reverb.  When you solo the track, what you hear is the dry signal – your reverb has been muted along with everything else.  You would then have to locate and unmute the effects channel in order to hear the track and reverb together.  In this video, I look at how you can use Solo Defeat or Solo Safe, (as it’s called in Cubase and ProTools respectively), to ensure that you can always hear it.