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Mix Rescue: Steven Separovich | Audio Files

Take a listen...

This month we explore a mix in which distortion, reverb and modulation effects provide powerful alternatives to EQ.

A mix of the two kick samples without any editing or processing. Notice how the tonality changes over time, and how occasional beats are hollowed out by phase-cancellation.

The same kick samples edited to maintain a stable phase relationship and then processed with a combination of the Dominion, GClip and Cubase Q plug-ins.

The original hi-hat part lacked body and breadth.

An extremely short spring reverb, without predelay, from the SIR covolution plug-in added a lot more body to the sound, while equalisation tamed the hissiness. Width was added using Mda Detune and GVST GStereo plug-ins, in combination with Cubase's Double Delay and Mod Delay.

The raw track for the main electric bass-guitar layer.

The same track with two parallel processes: Mda's Combo distortion plug-in (set to 'Radio' mode) to add bite and Jeroen Breebaart's Ferox tape-emulation plug-in for extra warmth.

The raw audio for the main lead synth. There was too much low-frequency energy, and the sound as a whole lacked presence and width.

The synth line as it appears in the remix. High-pass filtering removed the redundant low end, while Silverspike's Ruby Tube and another miniscule SIR reverb transformed the tonality. Sends to Kjaerhus Audio's Classic Phaser and Cubase SX's Rotary plug-in provided internal movement and stereo interest.

The unprocessed version of one of the two rhythmic synth lines.

The attack phase of each synth note was improved using Digital Fishphones' Dominion, while GVST's GClip and Mda's Combo added harmonic complexity. Kjaerhus Classic Phaser and Classic Flanger gave a more metallic timbre and spread the sound across the stereo field.

The raw vocoder tracks didn't have enough vowel and consonant information in them, and suffered from limited intelligibility within the mix.

Stereo reverb and limiting made these tracks more engaging, but little could be done to improve the intelligibility of them on their own.

The original vocal tracks which Steven used to feed the vocoding.

Heavy limiting and high-pass-filtering was used to extract maximum intelligibility from the unvocoded vocal parts. The Metalizer and GSnap plug-ins helped to blend them with vocoded parts and the mix as a whole.

The final combination of unvocoded and vocoded vocals.

Steven's original mix.

Mike Senior's remix.

Published March 2008