So we are now at the stage where we are completing our first mix using a DAW (Digital Audio Workshop) of our choosing. For this project I am using Pro Tools.
DOS 110.2B – Complete A Mix
To begin this project we first had to choose a song from http://www.cambridge-mt.com/ms-mtk.htm and download the original recorded tracks. The song I chose was a rock song called Promises and Lies. After importing the audio files into Pro Tools this is what I started with:
The original files were all over the place with the vocals barely audible while the snare drum was excessively loud. There were no overhead drum tracks but 3 drum room tracks that were fairly quiet and unclear. Firstly I organised my tracks and added some Bus Tracks. I also added an aux send to the main vocals to apply some reverb to the vocals without applying it to the original vocals track. All my tracks were then labelled, coloured and grouped to navigate them with ease.
Once everything was organised I proceeded to apply compression, gates, EQ, and de-esser where required. I added some fuzz and chorus to the lead guitar to get the particular sound I was after. The reverb on the vocals was applied to the vocals aux so it could be blended with the vocals allowing them to be heard with or without reverb as required.
Once all my tracks sounded how I wanted them with all effects and dynamics applied I added the automation of volume and panning, along with any effects that required automation. The final step was to bounce the finished mix to a .wav file.
DOS 110.2C – Reflection
At this time I am fairly happy with how the mix sounds compared to what I started with. This assignment has allowed me to form a much better understanding of how Pro Tools works along with ways to manipulate sounds in the mixing process. Making the vocals clearer by removing some of the cymbal sound was one example of how it is sometimes better to remove sound than try to add it to make something stand out.
Using buses and groups was a great way to keep the entire mix process organized and to get the desired sound and effects from a particular instrument or section of the mix. With more practice I will improve my organization in this area.
I found the use of the de-esser plug in to be challenging at times and I definitely need to spend more time with this plug in to get the results I really want. Although I managed to remove some of the extra noise from the mix, I didn’t get the exact effect I was looking for. With some further research and again more practice in this area I am sure future work with this plug in will deliver better results.
Overall I am happy with how the final product sounds for a first attempt at mixing. More time and practice with Pro Tools will see improvements to the quality of mix produced, methods used in creating the mix and the time taken to produce it.
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