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Digital Performer: Using Mix Modes

MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques By Mike Levine
Published December 2022

The Mix Mode controls are accessed from the bottom left of the Mixing Board.The Mix Mode controls are accessed from the bottom left of the Mixing Board.

Mix Modes can help you keep track of your mix revisions in Digital Performer.

One of the critical elements of a mixing workflow is versioning: that is, saving incremental versions of your mix as you go along so you can backtrack if your session goes off the rails. DP offers a unique solution for that and other alternate‑mix issues with its Mix Mode feature. Instead of saving your session under a new file name each time you make a significant change, you can save multiple mixes inside one DP Project.

Mix Mode lets you revert to an earlier mix, and it’s also useful for quickly comparing different mix versions.

Mix Mode lets you revert to an earlier mix, and it’s also useful for quickly comparing different mix versions. Let’s say there’s a song where you’re trying various ideas for the reverb treatment of the lead vocal. Turn on Mix Mode and make a version of the mix for each alternative, and you can quickly bounce them out to play for your client or bandmates.

You may have a client who wants you to deliver a variety of mix versions, such as an instrumental mix and one with, say, the lead vocal up higher or the drums lower. Rather than creating a separate DP project for each — which can get confusing — you could duplicate your full mix in Mix Mode for each alternative and make the necessary adjustments before bouncing out the mixes.

To get the most from Mix Mode, it’s essential to understand what it does and does not do when you turn it on.

In The Mode

Mix Mode is off by default when you open a new Empty Project. You can only turn it on manually. To do so, look at the bottom of the Mixing Board window for the words Mix Mode Off. Clicking on that label or its corresponding disclosure arrow opens the Mix Take pop‑up. You’ll be presented with two choices: New Mix and Duplicate Mix. It’s important to understand the difference between the two.

If you want your current mix to be copied when you turn on Mix Mode, select Duplicate Mix.If you want your current mix to be copied when you turn on Mix Mode, select Duplicate Mix.When you select New Mix, DP creates Mix 1 (or an incrementally higher number if it’s not your project’s first Mix Mode mix) and makes it active. A mix generated with the New Mix command retains many of the properties of your current project — but not all. It includes volume and pan...

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