What Do You Use on Your Mix Bus?
Got this email from Ben, about mix bus processing.
“Hello ever since I bought Step By Step Mixing…and EQ Strategies my mixes have dramatically changed to better, but I have a question, which is concerning the mixbus and master channel. I use EQ, compression and saturation on my mix bus before mixing as I learnt from you. Now what I want to know is that, 1) do I use another EQ on the master stereo output when mastering or I just go ahead to use multiband compressor and limiter, and 2) can I master the song direct on the mixbus or just on the master bus.”
First of all, I’m really glad that my information has helped Ben improve his mixes! It’s stories like Ben’s that makes it all worth it.
Whenever I release singles I will still mix through my bus compressor the entire time. Then I’ll use mastering processors in “mastering mode” and use multi-band compression, EQ and limiting (or Ozone), until I’m happy with how it sounds. I never use a limiter when I’m mixing, reserving that process for the mastering phase.
When I send singles to mastering engineers I usually give them a “mix bus processed mix” and a “clean mix bus mix” where I take off most of the mix bus processing (unless it drastically changes the sound).
I often add another EQ, especially if I’m mastering multiple songs and they need to sound like a cohesive whole and flow like an album.
I route all of my tracks to a separate “mix bus” and then that gets routed to a “mastering” bus where I keep all my metering tools and mastering processors that I use if I’m also mastering the single.
In fact, here’s what I keep on my mix bus template these days.
- UAD API Vision Channel Strip
- Fabfilter Saturn
- Waves C4 Multi-band Compression
- A Pulteq style EQ (for my weird low-end frequency tightness trick)
- Fabfilter Pro-Q2
- Waves F6
- Izotope Neutron
I don’t always use all of the plug-ins on every mix, but they’re permanently on my mix template to save time. I’m a big supporter of saving time and being efficient in the studio, and it’s something that my readers have sought me out for.
In fact, another customer, Bryan, felt that purchasing Step By Step Mixing was the best choice to help cut some of the time he would normally take to produce something he felt was able to be put out into the world. He was looking for general knowledge of mixing, and after reading my book he told me how great of an investment it was for him and his mixes.
If you’re interested in similar results, grab your copy below: