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Mix Rescue Audio

Audio Examples From Mix Rescue May 2010 By Mike Senior
Published May 2010

These audio files accompany the Mix Rescue article for May 2010 (

Download | 236 MB


This is the processed bass sound from the final remix, but without the dynamic EQ processing. Notice how uneven the notes feel, especially at the low end of the spectrum. The sound is already compressed, but subtly via a parallel compression setup, so it doesn't really provide a solution to the unevenness.


The same processed bass sound as in the BassDynamicEQOut example, but this time with dynamic EQ processing from Platinumears IQ4. The processing comprised two peaking filters with Q values of 6.5 (in other words, as narrow as possible) trained to compress the fundamentals of the bass notes independently of the upper frequencies. The frequencies used were 50Hz and 75Hz, and both EQ bands were compressing at a ratio of 4:1. Attack and release settings were 10ms and 42ms for the upper band and 5ms and 108ms for the lower band. A compensating 50Hz EQ boost from Reaper's ReaEQ plug-in then rebalanced the overall tone.


Here's a section of the final mix in which I employed all of my different send effects to some extent. The other files with the 'FX_' prefix solo each of those effects returns in turn so that you can hear what each is contributing to the overall sound.


The first of three reverbs I used in the remix. This one is the Dark Room preset from Universal Audio's Dreamverb plug-in, with input high-pass filtering at 100Hz from Reaper's ReaEQ. It was used to glue all the drum samples together into more of a kit sound, to add some space to the strings, and to distance the lead vocal delay effects. I sent a little of this effect return on to the chorus modulation effect too.


This is a 4.3s plate reverb from Universal Audio's Plate 140 plug-in. The low end has been shelved away by 7dB from 380Hz, and it has an eighth-note (185ms) pre-delay to keep it from pulling sounds back into the mix. Reaper's built-in Jesusonic Transient Controller plug-in is being used to process the input signal and knock off attack transients which would otherwise have ricocheted distractingly in the reverb tail. The purpose of this patch was to add a rich sustain to the non-percussive instruments.


The final reverb patch is a simple 0.7ms dark reflections patch from the Smartelectronix Ambience plug-in, high-pass filtered at 145Hz with Reaper's ReaEQ. This effect was used to sit the lead vocals into the mix, but without adding an obvious reverb tail.


A chorus effect was used to widen the drums, strings, and piano, and this was provided by Kjaerhus Audio's flexible little freeware plug-in Classic Chorus, as you can hear in this example. The Spread button is engaged to give unlinked left- and right-channel processing (essential to the widening effect); delay Range is set at 40ms; and modulation Rate and Depth parameters are at 0.166Hz and 21 percent respectively.


The second modulation send effect in this remix is another Kjaerhus Audio plug-in, this time Classic Phaser. Again, the Spread button is lit for a wide stereo effect, 12 stages of all-pass filtering are selected, and feedback is set at around 30 percent. Modulation rate and depth are 1.45Hz and 11 percent respectively. This effect helped spread out the strings, piano, echo synth, and mandolin parts.


There are two delay effects in this remix, the first of which is my usual stereo-in/stereo-out tempo-sync'ed delay, set in this case to an eighth-note length. Reaper's built-in Jesusonic Transient Controller plug-in knocks any sharp transients off this effect's input signal to keep the delay well undercover, and gentle high-pass filtering from Reaper's ReaEQ at around 160Hz avoids any build-up of woolliness at the low end. This effect was primarily used for the drum and vocal sounds, giving a little extra warmth and sustain without taking up too much space in the mix or narrowing the stereo picture.


The other delay effect is another stalwart of mine, a three-sixteenth-note ping-pong delay patch with four taps spreading progressively outwards across the stereo image. The effect is implemented here in Reapers' bundled ReaDelay plug-in, with some peak-flattening on input from Stillwell Audio's Transient Monster and a progressive low-end roll-off starting at around 600Hz from Reaper's ReaEQ. This delay patch added extra stereo spread and fine detail to the piano and lead vocal parts.


Of the two widening effects I used for this mix, the first is an established classic: a pair of short, hard-panned, pitch-shifted delays. Every engineer's settings for this effect differ slightly, but the parameter values I used for this mix are fairly typical: left-channel delayed by 11ms and shifted down by five cents; and right channel delayed by 13ms and shifted up by five cents. I also like to high-pass filter the return of this effect, because that makes it feel a bit less like a chorus and more like an enhancer. The turnover frequency I've used for this in Reaper's ReaEQ is around 1.5kHz, but the filter slope is fairly gentle. Strings, mandolin, echo synth, and vocals all had a dash of this effect.


Here's the complete guitar arrangement from the outro build-up of the final remix -- it was deliberately balanced to remain in the background, so you can only really hear properly how I constructed the arrangement when it's on its own. The opening guitar part is the band's own, while the remainder were added during the remix process by Dan Jeffries, using IK Multimedia's Amplitube 2 plug-in.


In order to keep the lead vocal's head just above water during the final section's climax, I turned to a sneaky parallel processing trick, using polarity-inverted signals from the guitars and cymbals, gated under the control of the vocal, to phase-cancel some clear space for the singer only when required. See the main article for a full description of this setup. Here's the end of the final remix with the parallel gate in action -- compare it with the InvertedGateOut file to hear its impact on the vocal intelligibility.


This is the same section of the final remix, but with the parallel gate processing muted. For comparison with the InvertedGateIn example.


Turn Back To Spring's song 'Another Day Calling', in its original incarnation mixed by SOS reader Lee Thorpe.


My initial remix of 'Another Day Calling', based on the band's multitrack files. This went a more lo-fi route, but that proved to be unsuitable for what the band were looking for, so I scrapped it completely and started again from scratch. Compare this to the FinalRemix file to hear the difference between the two versions for yourself.


This is a version of the final remix to demonstrate the impact of my EQ processing. The only difference between this and the main FinalRemix file is that I've bypassed all my channel and buss EQ processing, including all EQ in the effects returns and the special dynamic EQ configuration I used on the bass.


Here's another demonstration version of the final remix, but this time with all the send effects muted, so you can judge how much they added to the sound of the final mix -- A/B this against the complete FinalRemix file for the most revealing comparison.


The final approved remix of 'Another Day Calling' based on the band's original multitrack recordings. The final section is supplemented with some additional guitar overdubs played by Dan Jeffries.