In today’s video, we take a closer look at mixbus compression, how to set it up, dial it in and where and why I apply certain settings (the only time where I am really going to recommend specific plugin settings!). If you find this video helpful, please go to the YouTube Channel and subscribe and like the video!
I advocate mixing in mono for at least 85% of your mix – your EQ and compression decisions – and my reason why is this:
It is important first off in your mix to establish your gainstage and then to set your levels and panning positions in a phase often referred to as a “static mix”. This means, no plugins are brought in at all. You set the song on a loop and you mix using the faders and panning ONLY. Once we have this sounding as good as we can, we hit the mono button!
Often times, we think we have separated two elements that are competing for space in the mix by panning them away from each other. But, we haven’t necessarily done that at all. If we were to export our mix to a CD and played it on a boombox in the corner of the kitchen, by the time the audio hits both your ears, it is effectively collapsed to mono. When this happens, it will expose those fighting elements in your mix, and one may be masked or even cancelled out by the other, leaving your mix out of balance.
But, if you were to EQ and compress these elements in mono, you would directly address this issue and, by careful use of complimentary EQ and by adjusting your attack and release times on your compressors, while in mono, you can achieve the separation you want.
Now, when you flip it out to stereo, you will find those formerly fighting elements now clearly heard in their places in the stereo field in the mix.
Ironically, by mixing in mono, you achieve a better balance of the stereo field and better control of the elements of your mix.
Does this mean that the final mix remains in mono?
No it doesn’t. Once we have all the elements clearly separated out, clearly heard, not competing for space in the frequency spectrum, and the song actually sounds so good, you have forgotten that you are in mono; then you are ready to flip out to stereo. At this point we will hear the mix pretty much done. This next phase is the real fun part……if you are not having fun already, that is! Here, we start getting ambient effects going – reverbs, delays and suchlike. This is where we sweeten the mix and get extra creative. All this is done in stereo, but it’s also a good thing to quick-check in mono, so we can ensure we are not fooling ourselves.
In my opinion, mixing in mono is really important, if we want to achieve a high degree of clarity in our mixes. We must remember that there are a wide range of listening positions, in the real world, that music is heard. More times than you think, this means that our mixes will be effectively collapsed to mono. For example, in a restaurant, no one, unless you are really lucky with table booking, sits in the same ‘sweet spot’ as we do in our studios; or in a supermarket, no one restricts their shopping movements to just in that spot between two speakers! So, fundamentally, our mixes are going to be summed to mono, unless we are using earbuds. It’s really important, then, that our mixes sound JUST as awesome in mono as they do in their full stereo glory. Mixing in mono will help you achieve that, and will help you achieve a better command of the stereo field at the same time.
So, there you have it: that’s why I mix in mono, and encourage you give it a go on your next mix!
For those of you who have bought this video series, I hope you are finding it helpful and useful to your songwriting and productions. Please let me know via the contact page, or in a comment on this post what you think of the product.
Dave and I have been running this at a special introductory price of $10 for the last few days, but from tomorrow, it will go up to its standard, still insanely low price of $14.95, so, if you don’t have it yet, now is your last chance to get it super-cheap!! Just follow this link: https://gumroad.com/a/638661747
New videos are in the pipeline, including videos on mixbus compression, mixing vocals so that they ‘surf’ on the top of your mixes, recording saxophones in a small space successfully, and many more, so stay tuned to the YouTube channel for those! Also, we plan on doing some livestream Q&A sessions in the very near future, so if you have some questions on recording, mixing and mastering, then shoot me an email via the contact page and I’ll try to get them answered in the streams!
I hope you all have a fantastic Easter/Passover with your families and friends. Take care!
We are very pleased and excited to announce that MIDI Drums Made Easy, my video series product made in association with David Vignola over at homerecordingmadeeasy.com is now available!!
Click the link here to buy it NOW at the INSANELY low special sale price of $10: https://gumroad.com/a/638661747
I am very excited to announce that, in association with my good friend Dave Vignola over at HomeRecordingMadeEasy.com, I am developing a 3 part video series on programming MIDI Drums for beginners! In this video, Dave and I discuss a little bit about the series. I am hoping that, following this series’ success, I will follow this series up with Intermediate and Advanced Level series’ to compliment the beginners series, completing a set of 9 or so 1 hour long in-depth training videos, taking you from beginner to expert drum programmer. Hope you enjoy this interview I did with David as part of a Facebook Live broadcast on his HMRE page.
In today’s video, we go into some more depth into the fun realm of parallel compression and the very useful additional methodology that Studio One provides us with, using the splitter function in the channel editor.
Welcome to the first Episode of the Songwriting In Depth Series. In this series, we will be taking my song, “Paper Deity”, from my 2016 EP “Belonging To Tomorrow”, completely apart and looking at how I wrote it, arranged it, produced it, and mixed and mastered it.
In this first episode, we will go right to the very beginning, with the keyboard vamp that sparked the whole thing off, and look at how I developed the narratives, characters and meaning of the lyrics.
DISCLAIMER: I must apologise for the slight sync issues I had between the camera and audio. I hope it does not spoil your enjoyment and learning experience while watching the video!
In today’s video we look at how to set up automation on a bus, so that you can control parameters on multiple tracks at the same time. In this example, we demonstrate volume automation, but, the variables are pretty endless with this concept. In many DAWs, volume automation can also be achieved using VCA faders, and Studio One (from version 3.2 onwards) can do this too. Automating a bus, is just another way to accomplish the same thing, especially in lieu of VCA faders.