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A reader from the Netherlands asks:
Q. I am struggling with one thing. Many musicians says that it is better to mix on just 2 channels (stereo) but my ear and me likes the sound of multi channel mixing. Is there any guidance in that ’cause why there is the possibillities to mix 28 channels in the RME? or is it how you doing the mastering at the end?
A. ok, what I do is this. group all of my drums and send them to a stereo buss. I then put a multi-band compressor such as waves c4, LinMB or whatever your preference is, on the buss channel to ‘glue’ all the drums together. I will then create another buss with just the reverb on it and send a little signal to the reverb buss from the drums buss. I do pretty much the same thing for all my keys and also for all vocals. that way I have a single fader to control the level of the drums, one for the keys and one for the vocals. I usually leave the bass on it’s own or sometimes, depending on the style of track, I might send it to the drums buss. I always work with a limiter such as waves L2 or McDSP ML1 on the master fader and usually have it set to reduce the gain by around 3 to 5dB. This way, while I’m mixing I can always hear the kind of compression that it will end up with when it’s played on radio. When I run off the mix I bypass the limiter.
A reader from the USA asks:
Q. How can I stop a recording of a vocal from peaking?
A. You need to use a Limter on the vocal channel. Limiters reduce the peaks in the recording without affecting anything else. Read the following article to learn all about Limiters: http://recordmixandmaster.com/2010-02-what-is-a-limiter
A reader from the UK asks:
Q. My lead vocal recording sounds a bit woolly and muffled. What can I do to make it present and stand out in the mix.
A. Over compressing or having the attack on your compressor set too short can cause the vocal to sound a little dull. Assuming your compressor is set correctly, try boosting a little around 4Khz for a male voice and 5Khz for a female voice to give it some presence. You can also try reducing somewhere around 250Hz which is usually where muddiness lives.