| Originally posted by Medicine Dog |
Just curious as to how some of you approach building your mixes. Things can get a bit myopic when working by yourself all the time and I thought perhaps "sharing the wealth" of this board might help break a routine here and there.
So, do you build from the bottom up (drums, bass, instruments, then vocals), or do you build from the top down? From the middle out?
Do you build a static mix with no comps/limiters and then add comps as needed or do you add comps as you go?
Do you buss drums to stereo and compress the buss? How about things like back-vocals - Do you buss those or not?
Do you use multi-band compression on your mixes or do you save that for the mastering engineer?
What works for you?
First rule of mixing is to keep your overall outlook. I always say "mixing is like looking at the Earth from the stars, but still being able to pinpoint exact street names numbers".
My personal approach 99% of the time is vocals first (lead) and then work from there(the focus of the song and what i devote most of my best processing on).
I only go drums first when:
a) i can hear that the vocal was done right from the get go(getting rare and more rare these days).
b)The drums are in so dire straights that they need major surgery right away.
Also if the producer is there for the first time at the mix, I might do the drums first to get them excited and build confidence that i know what i am doing and won't ruin their song.
I add comps as i go(its part of my sound).
I sometimes compress the drumbuss and most of the times i like the back vocals on stems(non compressed). To me it sounds more open(especially if they are 48 track thick). I only compress backgrounds for a color(if they were tracked to thin). I like the Vac Rac limiter for this.
I don't do multi band compression per say, but i do parallel and sub processing. Most of the times on the individual tracks, once in a while on the mix itself(on an SSL9000J).