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Mix Reference Reset Trick
Old 9th August 2019
Mix Reference Reset Trick

Thought I'd share something that helped give me perspective and eventually led me to (quickly) re-balancing the kick drum and bass in a rock mix.

After a session earlier in the week, I started down a rabbit hole about external clocks, looking into getting new converters, so I was poking around a mix that I considered nearly done and solo'ing tracks without plugins to really listen for how clear and realistic they were before processing with an ear to room resonances / mud as well. Kind of in a phase right now where I want to improve anything I can afford to (from a quieter A/C to snake to converters...).

I was listening to a mix that I considered done and wanted to take a step back--I always reference commercial recordings as well as other things either myself or the band has done to make sure everything is in the same ballpark. With this mix I didn't necessarily hear anything "wrong" but it was definitely dense and on the loud rock side of things and I was looking for warmth.

After listening with different tracks solo'd with and without FX, I created a new version of the project and disabled every plugin except the bus fx (pultec and ssl comp).

I rebuilt / adjusted the mix and use the bus eq to get it close to the presence of the original project then started a/b'ing them - this helped me discover that the mids and highs weren't why it sounded LOUD and rock-y but the punch in the lows was lacking a bit. Toggling between the two projects allowed me to add dynamics in the low region which I achieved with slightly changing eq and somewhat drastically changing compression settings.

Totally opened up the mix. Hope this helps someone out!
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