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Old 20th May 2003
Lives for gear
jpaudio's Avatar

What great topic, considering i've recently been discovering submixing tricks for the first time myself.

I'm hoping some of the more notable engineers (at least those who's work some of us are familiar with) will contribute, but here are some things i've discovered:

Drum bus: send the drums off to their own stereo bus and the rest of your mix off to another, then compress drum bus seperately from rest of mix. I've found something like a DBX 162 or SSL FXG384 to work great for this.

Drum bus stereo submix: a little different than above, instead of sending all drum tracks to seperate bus, you would send them to main stereo bus AND another pair of bus outs, which feed a pair of compressors such as EL8s set to "Nuke" or Alan Smart C2 set to "Crush", completely destroy the drums in a musical and rythmic manner, and return just a bit of the compressor outputs back into the main stereo bus. Fun fun fun! I've done this with just kick and snare, for a more solid "center" to the drum sound, and also on stereo toms. Can get wierd on overheads/cymbals.

Mono submix: send anything that could use a stronger "center", such as kick, snare, or bass, into a nice big fat comp of some sort... did this with a Fairchild 660 when I had the privalege, beautiful. Can add tremendously to the sound without EQ or phase artifacts.

Vocals: Mult off the lead vocal track into a somewhat aggressive, "character" box... birng in more compressed track behind original track when needed... kinda like automating a compressor. I've done this with one vocal going through my Manley ElOp for a more smooth compression, and a mult feeding my EL8 on a more aggressive setting (usually 10:1 with an attack of 7, release of 3-4, and a hell of a lot of gain reduction... adds some extra character to "opto mode"). Can give a vocal some extra balls without messing with what already exists too much.

Hmm, that's about all I can think of off the top of my head... can't wait to hear more!!!
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