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What Are Some Examples Of The Technical Aspects Of Mixing?

    Let me now give you a technical explanation of Mixing and Mastering. I will also show you some mixing and audio master techniques that can be used in certain situations. Mixing refers to the process of getting every element of a track to work together and have its own place in the mix. Mixing can be achieved by using the following: _______________________________________________________________________ Volume (or Level) refers to the loudness of other elements in a mix. _______________________________________________________________________ Panning (dedicated space in the horizontal left-right dimension) _______________________________________________________________________ EQ (dedicated area within the audible frequency range) _______________________________________________________________________ There are also tools that can be used for technical purposes, such as dynamics processing. _______________________________________________________________________ Compression is used to reduce dynamic range beyond a threshold. It can be used to shape transients, provide more punch, or give more fullness. _______________________________________________________________________ Multiband compression: This is the same function as a compressor, but divided between multiple frequencies. It gives you more control over a specific range of frequencies. _______________________________________________________________________ De-essing is used to reduce the dynamic range of a particular frequency range. This is usually done to control sibilance during vocal recordings. It can also be used to reduce harshness, such as an "S" or 'Ch" sound. _______________________________________________________________________ Gates and Expanders are used to reduce or completely muffle audio signals below a threshold. This is great for multi-track drum recordings as it can remove unwanted low quality clutter such as the kick drum in all the snare & tm mics. There are also tools that can help you achieve something creative or get specific elements through with style. _______________________________________________________________________ Saturation can be used to add color and harmonic content to a vocal. It can also be used as a technical tool to make a vocal cut through more effectively than a simple EQ. Or, with more severe processing, it can add style and grit. _______________________________________________________________________ Reverb creates the illusion of space by changing the length of the reverb tail. You can make it appear that the instrument is in a small room, or in a cathedral. By placing elements in their own place in the "front-to-back" dimension, reverb helps to create a sense depth. The more reverb you use, the further away it will sound. _______________________________________________________________________ Delay (a time-based effect that creates a sense of depth or distance. It can also be used to make more creative delay sounds. _______________________________________________________________________ Mixing has the following goals: To give each element in a song its own sense and importance (volume and dynamic audio audibility), place in frequency spectrum (EQ), horizontal left to right dimension ("panning"), place in front to back dimension (reverb and delay) and sense of space (reverb or delay). You can also use warm throw delays to add creative effects to a vocal.  _______________________________________________________________________ Applied examples of mixing: _______________________________________________________________________ Let's use these descriptions to illustrate how engineers actually apply engineering concepts to individual parts of a mixed mix. _______________________________________________________________________ -The song's main focal point is the Lead Vocals. We use EQ to remove low frequency rumbles and mud that can hinder our ability to hear the lyrics clearly. We also add some high mids and highs, to give the song more bite and character. _______________________________________________________________________ -To achieve consistent loudness, compress the Lead Vocals (the human voice can be a dynamic "instrument") We want each word to be understandable. Too dynamic can make it difficult for us to hear the words and distract us from the emotions behind them. _______________________________________________________________________ -Finally, we added some delay automation to the chorus' last words to emphasize the important lyrics and added a nice rich reverb that really makes the vocals sound bigger than life. _______________________________________________________________________ -Pan a Synth Pad across and place it in a large space with delay and reverb. This gives it the illusion of being bigger, but it is still recessed and in background. It's not a focal point of the song. _______________________________________________________________________ -The Kick Drum should be positioned in the middle. EQ'ing it to have some rhythmic drive in the song, while reducing its low mid muddiness to make it more space-friendly for instruments like the Guitar or Bass, compressing it to give it a snappy attack and still highlighting the raw boomy nature an acoustic kick drum. _______________________________________________________________________ -Place the Lead Guitars in the center of the mix (or recoding two takes and panning each one hard left). Emphasize the natural mid-range frequencies by using some saturation or broad band EQ. But leave enough space for the Bass Guitar to be just below them. _______________________________________________________________________ =The Bass should be about one octave lower that the fundamental Guitar. This allows for low frequencies to be filled by the bass guitar's natural low frequency content. It acts as a support melodic foundation to the Guitar's higher fundamental melodic content.

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