This month we deal with thorny phase-cancellation problems, overhaul musical arrangements and get creative with effects, as we rise to the Mix Rescue challenge.
The following audio files demonstrate some of the mix processing I used to create my remix — you can listen to or download these at www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep07/articles/mixrescuea....
A rough balance, without any processing, of all the different drum and percussion layers for the first section of the track up to the beginning of the second verse. You can hear the phase-cancellation problems with the kick drum particularly well in the latter half of the file, during the chorus.
The fully remixed drum tracks, edited for arrangement purposes and to take the sting out of the low-end phase problems.
The raw lead vocals have both been high-pass filtered and heavily compressed for the remix, although with slightly different settings. To contrast the two main sections, the verse vocal has been left very dry-sounding, while the chorus vocal feeds an effect chain with Mod Delay and Rotary plug-ins.
The repeated last phrase of the verse has been given a very different character by switching in a Step Filter plug-in and an extra delay effect under automation control.
This MP3 file simply contains a rough balance, without any processing at all, of the two tracks that make up the main layered bass sound in Richard's track.
The final processed bass sound, which relies on independent compression and EQ settings for each of its layers.
A rough mix, without any processing, of the two guitar parts that come in during the song's introduction.
The same two guitar parts, as they appear in the remix. The first was high-pass filtered at 400Hz and then treated with Cubase SX2 's Metalizer, Ring Modulator and Overdrive plug-ins, as well as with Digital Fishphones' Blockfish; the second was also high-pass filtered, but then sent to an opposition-panned eighth-note delay.
Both of the guitar parts were also sent to a further effect chain, which incorporated the Mod Delay, Chopper, Rotary and Symphonic effects, to produce a sound that is similar to a tremolo synth pad.
Transforming Richard's raw recordings into something fulfilling the same function as the sound in his original mix required a chain of Cubase SX2 effects that included Flanger, Symphonic, Magneto, and Step Filter. In addition, a Chopper plug-in provided a slight level swell through each bar.
These MP3 examples show the effects of the multiband compression I decided to use on two of Richard's original synth sounds, with the aim of bringing their levels and frequency spectra a little more under control, but without altering their basic characters.
The mellow synth pad sound from the second chorus of Richard's original mix was rendered redundant during the remix process, so I transformed it into a high counter-melody line instead, with the assistance of brutal 2kHz high-pass filtering, some phasing and some firm compression.
Here are the extra sound effects I used to enhance the texture between the second verse and second chorus.
The new guitar break that occurs after the second chorus of Richard's song was created using a combination of audio editing, off-line and real-time processing, plus a couple of delay effects.
The original mix that Richard sent in to Sound On Sound.
My remix of the same raw multitrack files.