Some of you may know that I tend to keep a fairly extensive mixing template on hand when I’m mixing.
I have my go-to settings, stand-by plug-ins and regular effects busses always set up and ready to go. This is something that I walk you through in detail inside Quick Mixing, where I teach you to create better mixes in less time.
However, as much as you want to make your mixing template a one-size-fits-all solution, that’s not always the case.
I was working on a mix revision this morning and doing some tweaks to the vocal track. We were going for a raw, live sound but there was something about the vocal that just sounded to processed. I looked through the session, and although I didn’t have a bunch of processing on the vocal, it was the combination of my
I looked through the session, and the vocals didn’t seem to have too much processing in general.
However, when I investigated further I noticed that some of the processors were really adding additional artifacts to the sound that wasn’t necessary.
For instance, I like a lot of different analog summing, tape saturation and channel strip processing in general.
But if you end up with a lot of additional processing that’s not contributing to the mix.
So instead of using the fancy channel strip, a tape emulation, an exciter and an analog summing strip, I threw it all away and started anew.
This time the only “sweetening” I kept was the analog summing plug-in. With some EQ, compression and some effects, I ended up with a much cleaner vocal that blended better with the style of the song.
Think about that next time you’re fighting with your mix. You don’t always have to keep adding more plug-ins to make your mix better. Sometimes subtlety is the best way to win.
Although I don’t always need to use all the plug-ins I have on my mixing template, it definitely makes