Musician's Guide to Home Recording Book

How to Create Compelling Mixes (The Musician's Guide to Home Recording)

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Author: Craig Anderton

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
About This Book
Considerations Of Modern Mixing
Tips And References
Mixing Philosophies
Are You A Musician, Producer, Or Engineer?
Right Brain Vs. Left Brain
The Importance Of "feel"
The Importance Of The Arrangement
What's Your Intended Result?
Key Takeaways
Technical Basics
Hearing And Frequency Response
Monitoring And Acoustics
Test Your Mix On Multiple Playback Systems
Key Takeaways
Basics of Mixing With Computers
Mixer Architecture
Unique Aspects Of Mixing With Digital Audio
Key Takeaways
How to Use Plug-Ins
Plug-in Technologies
Plug-in Formats
Stereo Vs. Mono Plug-Ins
Effects Plug-Ins Are Always "re-Amping"
The Four Places To Insert Effects
Using Virtual Instrument Plug-Ins
Using Hardware Effects When Mixing
Key Takeaways
Mixing and Midi
Mixing's Most Important Midi Data
Virtual Instruments And Cpu Issues
Enhancing Midi Drum Parts In The Mix
Enhancing Synth Parts In The Mix
Humanizing Sequences
How Timing Shifts Produce "feel"
Tempo Track Timing Tweaks
Proofing Midi Sequences
Key Takeaways
Preparing for the Mix
Before You Mix
Mental Preparation, Organization, And Setup
Review The Tracks
Render Soft Synths As Audio Tracks
Set Up A Relative Level Balance Among The Tracks
Key Takeaways
Adjusting Equalization
Overview
Equalizer Responses
Main EQ Parameters
Dynamic Equalization
Spectrum Analysis
Linear-Phase Equalization
Mid-Side Processing With Equalization
The Pros—and Pitfalls—of Presets
EQ Applications
Additional Equalization Tips
Key Takeaways
Adding Dynamics Processing
Manual Gain-Riding
Level-Riding Plug-Ins
Normalization
Limiter
Compressor
Loudness Maximizer
Expander
Transient Shaper
Noise Gate
Sidechaining
Should Compression Go Before Or After EQ?
Key Takeaways
Adding Other Effects
Console Emulation
Tape Emulation
Distortion
Delay
Stereo Image Enhancers
Modulation Effects (Chorus, Flanger, Etc.)
Auto-Pan And Tremolo
De-Esser
Multieffects Plug-Ins
Pitch Correction
Pitch Transposer
Exciter
Restoration Plug-Ins
Multiband Processing
Key Takeaways
Creating a Stereo Soundstage
Panning Basics
Panning Tips
Binaural Panning
The Audio Architect: Building Your Acoustical Space
About Reverb
Create Virtual Room Mics With Delay
Plan Ahead With Reverb And Panning
Key Takeaways
Using Mix Automation
What You Can Automate
Automation Basics
Automation Methods
Automating Plug-Ins
Using Hardware Control Surfaces
Automation Applications
Plug-in Automation Applications
Virtual Instrument Automation Applications
Key Takeaways
Review and Export
Mastering While Mixing—pros And Cons
Export Your Mixed File
Check Your Mix Over Different Systems
Key Takeaways
Mixing With Noise
Why Mixing Can Be Challenging
The Backstory Behind Using Noise
Mixing With Noise
Summary

Great recordings are for nothing if the mix doesn’t present those tracks in the best possible way. This book is all about how to make mixes that pull the listener in. It’s not just about the technology, but the art of mixing as well. The book is written in a clear, practical, non-intimidating style.

Topics include the following:

• Feel vs. perfection

• The importance of the arrangement for mixing

• Tailoring material to your audience

• Monitoring and acoustics

• Software mixer architecture

• Unique aspects of mixing with digital audio

• How to use plug-ins

• Integrating external hardware with computers

• Panning techniques

• Equalization

• Dynamics processing

• Time-based effects

• Placing effects in the right order

• How to use automation

• Hardware control surfaces

• Mixing with virtual instruments

• Adding expressiveness in the mix

• Using ReWire, beyond conventional mixing

techniques

• Mixing and MIDI

Loaded with illustrations and featuring sidebars with details on selected topics for those who want to know “why” as well as “how,” How to Create Compelling Mixes is essential reading about getting the most out of the crucial processes of mixing and mastering.

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CRAIG ANDERTON is an internationally recognized authority on technology and music. He has toured, played Carnegie Hall, mastered hundreds of tracks, and been involved with dozens of major-label releases as a player, producer, or engineer. He’s also written over thirty books (including the seminal Home Recording for Musicians) and thousands of articles, and is the co-founder of Electronic Musician magazine. Known for his ability to demystify complex subjects, Anderton has given seminars on technology and the arts in thirty-eight states, ten countries, and three languages. He lives in Nashville.

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