Mixing in the Digital World

Robert Katz Leave a Comment

From: carlo celuque

My comments are:
I am a Keyboard player and work with Synths in a “Progressive New Age Electronic style”, I am looking for articles about mixing Synthesizers.I use Hard Disk for recording my work.
What is the best way of mixing it, i.e. Track by Track or every track at once, and whether to use EQ, Compression. Thank you.

SYNTHerely,
CArlo

I’m sure there is such an article, but I have not read it. Frankly, it’s not possible to say whether or how much EQ or compression to use until one hears the music and what it is trying to convey. I suggest you use wide dynamic range loudspeakers and amplifiers, listen in the cleanest environment you have, and let your ears tell you.

Frankly, even for “New Age”, the limitations of the 128-step MIDI system, and the poor samples which have generally been made, (especially drums) tend to make synthesized New Age music sound small and undynamic and unimpressive. These recordings are therefore already compressed even before you consider using more compression. Thus I would steer away from compression and concentrate on mixing to achieve as much naturalness in feel as you can accomplish from using the mixers as possible. I normally suggest trying to accomplish this by doing as much as possible your “swells” and individual instrument crescendos/decrescendos in the instruments themselves, but then output the level of each instrument at 127 and do the rest of your magic within the digital mixer itself, trying to further extend the impact of the instrument(s) perhaps even with expanders instead of compressors. The trick is to find the right expanders and not overuse them. Try some of the Waves plugins set for compression with a ratio LESS THAN 1.

Then, finally, send your material to an experienced mastering engineer who knows how to further enhance the space, depth and purity of this synthesized material so that it sounds more like natural music.

Good luck, Boa Sorte,

Bob

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