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Mix Rescue | Media

Audio files to accompany the article.
Published September 2008

When different parts compete in a mix, it isn't always easy to decide what's most important. We take you through some strategies to achieve better separation of parts for a clutter-free mix.

The low frequencies of the kick-drum and bass-guitar parts were competing for space in the mix, so I inserted a compressor on the bass part and then triggered it from the kick-drum track, making the low-end better controlled.

Here I've bypassed the bass ducking processing to show what the track sounds like without it. If you want to hear how the ducking sounds on the soloed bass part, check out the BassProcessed file below.

The primary layer which makes up the main chorus riff, without any processing.

The primary guitar-riff layer with digital and analogue-style EQ, as well as some M&S stereo widening. No send effects were used on this part at all in the final mix.

The secondary layer which makes up the main chorus riff, without any processing.

The secondary guitar-riff layer was processed with digital and analogue-style EQ, and the mono file was given stereo width using a hard-panned convolved double-track. Again, no send effects were used on this part in the final mix.

The combined guitar-riff sound, comprising the two processed layers.

The unprocessed bass part which underpins the main chorus guitar riff.

The bass was first digitally EQ'ed and compressed before being treated with a parallel distortion effect. You can also hear in this processed file the impact of the triggered ducking processor, briefly pulling down the bass level by 6dB whenever the kick drum hits in order to keep the low end of the mix under control.

The complete chorus riff mix, mixing the two guitar parts with the bass. Comparing this with the GtrsMix shows how much of the perceived guitar sound is actually provided by the bass part's distortion processing.

The lead vocals in the chorus were processed with some compression from Digital Fishphones Blockfish, some digital high-pass filtering, and a small amount of Aphex-style psychoacoustic enhancement. Send effects included a stereo widener (using small pitch-shifts and delays), a simple stereo delay, and a little of the very long reverb which was features more prominently on the song's verse vocals.

This file is identical to LVExciter, except that I have bypassed the psychoacoustic enhancement processing to show the extent of its contribution to the overall sound.

Jacob's original mix.

My remix from Jacob's raw multitrack files.