SOUND ADVICE: “MIXING (SECRETLY) WHILE TRACKING”
“Sound Advice” is a recurring feature in which SAE Institute instructors offer helpful production techniques. Today, we learn tips on how to expedite the mixing process courtesy of SAE Nashville Instructor Cameron Henry.
I don’t like doing tedious activities when I mix. Editing, compressing, and EQing a bloated number of drum & guitar tracks are annoying chores for me. While I am aware that all those tasks are essential to a great recording, I prefer to focus on the vibe & overall sound of a mix, and I loathe time spent having to sort and organize while I’m trying to mix.
Early in my career, I was guilty of leaving myself too many mixing decisions at the final stage. As a result, my mixes suffered (don’t tell anyone) because I was too focused on menial, left-brained activities instead of keeping my focus on the overall vibe. Now I’ve learned to trust my creative instincts early on, while making more critical decisions during the tracking process. Often, I see young engineers struggle with this, so I’ve outlined my approach to certain critical tracking procedures to help get you in the habit of not leaving decisions to the last stage: Read More
Sound Advice: “Vocals & Compression”
“Sound Advice” is a recurring feature in which SAE Institute instructors offer helpful production techniques. Today, we get pointers on tracking vocals and compression from SAE Atlanta’s Course Coordinator, Scott Kieklak.
Tracking vocals properly can be a little tricky: a great deal depends on the vocalist and their performance chops. A vocalist who has not had much experience in the recording studio can create a lot of work for the engineer on the back end. Some engineers feel that heavy compression while recording is the answer. However, I personally don’t subscribe to this approach. The process below will assume a lead vocal. Read More
Sound Advice: “The Parallel Trick”
“Sound Advice” is a recurring weekly feature in which SAE Institute instructors offer helpful production techniques. For our first installment, we learn how to make kick drums sound bigger from SAE LA’s Beat Lab Production instructor, Alan Dash.
Many of my students ask how to get their kick drums to sound monstrous and yet controlled. I like to teach them the “parallel trick.”
To get the kick drum to cut through the track, I initially compress it quite a bit to make it a very controlled kick. This will usually take out the low end and bring up the attack. Read More