Here is a selection of audio files to accompany this month's Mix Rescue of Alex Giddens' song 'Get Blown'. You can listen to these as MP3s in the media player in the main article (/sos/oct09/articles/mixrescue_1009.htm) or can download from this page as CD-quality WAVs for more critical auditioning in your DAW.
The original kick-drum sample wasn't a bad specimen, but I felt it needed a bit more weight for the style, and I also wanted to see whether I could make the attack more aggressive.
Here is the kick drum from the final mix. First of all I added some extra LF energy in a fairly narrow band centred around 70Hz using Logic's dedicated SubBass plug-in, and then increased the punch with Enveloper, with which I was also able to pull up a nice bit of background noise during the sample's release phase. Some slight EQ contouring (+1dB at 95Hz, -2dB at 1140Hz) finished off the insert processing, but some extra grit and roominess was also applied using a high-pass filtered Overdrive plug-in set up as a send effect.
Compare this with KickFinal to hear the impact of the Enveloper plug-in on the final sound -- I've bypassed it here.
Compare this file with KickFinal to hear the contribution of the Overdrive send, which has been muted for this example.
Compare this example, where the SubBass plug-in has been switched off) to hear how the extra low frequencies support the main kick sound.
The original bass sound felt a bit soft to me, and also suffered from a very uneven low end -- a significant problem in a style like this.
In order to simultaneously sort out the low-end unevenness and bring out the inner details of the sound's character further up the spectrum, I duplicated the audio region to a pair of tracks and then used Channel EQ to separate the frequency range into two separate sections, whereupon I could compress each independently.
Adding in a distortion send-effect helped harden up the sound a great deal, allowing it to occupy its position in the mix more solidly. I drove Logic's Overdrive plug-in quite hard in this case, adding more than 20dB gain, before tailoring the frequency response of the effect using the plug-in's Tone control and an in-line high-pass filter at around 200Hz.
The final ingredient in the finished bass sound was another distortion send, but this time passed through Garageband's Microphaser plug-in -- a bit of an experiment, but one which yielded a good degree of extra stereo width and a nice hint of 'growl' subjectively.
A section of Sonny's unprocessed rap for the song. Within the context of the mix the AKG C414B mic he'd used made his voice sound rather woolly and ill-defined.
A simple high-pass filter at 50Hz was all the EQ I used before feeding his vocal to a couple of Compressor plug-ins in series -- an optical compessor model acting more slowly to control average levels and a FET model grabbing peaks in the signal more assertively.
The final lead vocal sound, as it appears in the mix, complete with additional distortion and Exciter effects to add attitude to the performance and bring the sound forward in the mix. While you can hear the distortion quite clearly in isolation, it's much less obvious within the context of the mix itself.
Alex Gidden's track 'Get Blown', with MC Sonny Mac Gillespie, as submitted to SOS for Mix Rescue.
My remix of Alex's multitracks, working within Apple Logic Pro 8 and using only the built-in plug-ins -- the same resources that Alex had at his disposal.