Converters transform your constant electric sign into an attentive indicator that a workstation can get it. “Interfaces” are gadgets that incorporate preamps, converters, observing directing – a few steps in one. Despite the fact that there are shabby remain solitary converters also that avoid this stuff. For an interface, I suggest the Apogee Duet, or the Mbox 3. These have the best sound generally to my ears. Standalone converters have a tendency to be extremely lavish — however — the Behringer converters are exceptionally shoddy and really reasonably OK (one of the better makes for their general product offer.
Reverb within a mix is near enough mandatory. However, it’s incredibly easy to overcook a mix with ambience, even though modern mixes are increasingly becoming less reverb heavy.
Using reverb effectively can take a mix – and the song – to another level. But with many productions becoming increasingly busy and complex, the crucial space for this near-essential effect can become difficult to navigate.
In this tutorial we’ll look at various ways you can creatively optimize your use of reverb, particularly in productions which may prove otherwise tricky.
Learn the Rules…
One of the most universal or commonly known reverb “rules” is to avoid inserting a single reverb on each individual track or channel.
Not only is this incredibly computer-processor-hungry, you won’t do your mix any great favors, layering reverb on top of reverb, on top of reverb, and so on! (And if you’re working out-of-the-box, unless you have stacks of reverb racks this becomes fairly impossible anyway.)
As you can hear, the part is almost immediately swamped, and would certainly not fit well within a mix when other components are pulled in.
This is an over-the-top example, but serves well. There are only six tracks (kick, snare, ride, OH, and two room mics) within this project. Imagine what could happen to a project with 30 tracks!
The usual solution is to set up an auxiliary/effects track and send/bus any tracks you wish to be processed by the reverb. In other words, any tracks within the mix can now be sent to simply one individual reverb. This is almost a direct replication of older desk mixes, and keeps the reverb in your mix clean, tight and under control.
Using a reference track when mixing might be the best proverbial compass to guide you to the mix you were striving for. Using a similar song with a similar sound, style or structure as a reference track to A/B your mix is a practice endorsed by even the most professional engineers.
Having this reference guideline will keep you in bounds during the build of your mix. This is particularly helpful in checking a final mix, but can also help along the way to reference EQ, Panorama, dynamics, levels, reverb size and so much more.
When working with a client, it is always a good idea to ask them to provide a reference track for what they envisioned their song to sound like. Granted, you should always keep their expectations in line, particularly if you are mixing something you didn’t track, and the quality is less than ideal. Regardless, this type of A/B’ing will not only make your mix better, it will help to hone your skills as a mix engineer.