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Thread: What is the best order in mixing tracks?

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    I like the comp on the MB for some glue usually and not as much for peak management...but not every comp is well suited for MB use. I'm using a hardware unit on my console MB...it's an Overstayer Stereo VCA Compressor...has some similarities to the Smart/SSL/API stereo comp units...it's really designed with MB use in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    So then...does that mean your bus processing is set for....what exactly?
    I assume you have one default setting then that you like and you always mix into it...? ..
    Right. :>)
    I get the logic. 'If you put on last it -might- change the mix [too much], and make for more work instead of less.
    But in going that way, do also you consider at times, the mix that 'could have been' had you gotten there without it. In my estimation in things like this, the different paths' tend to results in different ending.
    As an example of taking the direct opposite manor;
    Band comes in, and there is no experienced solid insight as to where their recording's sound ought to land.
    I could, but wouldn't typically want to try to presume it.
    My approach is to follow and sort through all the basic stuff, in do a 'least amount of processing first order.
    I.e. How good can these tracks sound before we resort to 'verb, delays, compression..
    It often ought to open some doors (alternates) to another approach.
    When that happens :>) towards the end.. the master comp is like a last sweet dab on top. -Serving this existing really nice mix.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixsit View Post
    Right. :>)
    I get the logic. 'If you put on last it -might- change the mix [too much], and make for more work instead of less.
    Yeah, there can be that thinking too...though I would think if it changes the mix too much, maybe you're using too much, or it's not dialed in too good.
    Also, when it's on the MB from the start, every individual track addition and/or change, causes the dynamics processor to react a little differently.

    When you first generally set the mix, and then apply MB dynamics processing, you're hearing the sum going to the MB and the processing, and then you adjust the MB processing for the mix...not the other way around, adjusting the tracks/mix for the MB processing.

    Just seems kind bassakwards starting a mix with MB processing already on...but I can see if you mix similar music all the time, having a sorta default MB processing start point that you engage once your mix is almost there, then you tweak the MB processing to suit the new mix.
    These days, with how people use their DAWs, processing is all over the place. People are often "mastering" individual tracks before they've even finished recording the rest of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Yeah, there can be that thinking too...though I would think if it changes the mix too much, maybe you're using too much, or it's not dialed in too good. ..
    I specifically avoided going there.
    'Cause... there's a world of engineers that can and do.. kick my but out there.
    And, they can do it better and faster.
    Nope. I get it. 'Would not be prudent at this juncture'
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    IDK what other people do. Most of the time, my master bus is just a touch of "glue" and a soft knee into a hard limit, and maybe a tiny bit of "frequency bias" or overall color. It is very much like pushing the mix to tape. It's not really meant to emulate anything specifically, but I apply some similar principles. Mostly I just push it as hard as I need to get what I want, and if it ain't working, I go back to the track level and fix it there. Not that I'm afraid to adjust the settings at the bus level when it's obviously necessary. None of it is set in stone until it's rendered to a file marked "final".

    Like I said, though, I personally have been holding that off til I'm pretty much done anyway, and if I'm doing a whole bunch of very different tracks as an album, I usually bypass this for the "mix for mastering" render, and then push all of them through the same final master chain, and adjust levels and EQ at the track level to make everything play nice.

    Again, this isn't a right or wrong argument. Plenty of people make great recordings both ways, and you don't have to look far beyond this forum to find people you've heard of who prefer one of the other or somewhere in the middle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post

    Again, this isn't a right or wrong argument. Plenty of people make great recordings both ways, and you don't have to look far beyond this forum to find people you've heard of who prefer one of the other or somewhere in the middle.
    I agree...it's what works for you.
    I was just curious how a preset MB process that you mix into would work say....if you've got a real full, punchy, loud Rock mix and then after that you do a real sparse ambient mix...?
    I mean...the two would probably warrant a different MB processing approach, which is why I questioned about mixing into preset MB processing.
    Not saying you can't do that...and then bypass the MB processing when you reach the end, and opt for something totally different...just saying it would feel kinda bassakwards in my mind.

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