Above are my notes on side-chaining.
I have been mixing for about two and a half months now. Mostly at open labs on Tuesdays or whatever other days I could make it.
I was EQing mostly the kick on the tracks to give it a fuller sound and more attack. During tracking, I spent more time time adjusting the kick than any other mic. I think the kick is so important in a mix. For lows in your mix you really have to pay attention to bass and kick. There are so many instruments that lie in the mids that lows are important to capture correctly.
Professor Hartzell pointed out to me that I had some amp noise that I had to cut out. I had noticed it but didn’t realize it was as big of a problem as it is until I heard the song on a stereo in the classroom. So now I listened back to check wherever I had unwanted amp noise and used gates to control them.
Bill, the guitarist, had mentioned he wanted some effect on the vocals on “Questions in Longing” because of the songs reggae feel. I added some reverb on the vocals. I did a medium plate. I didn’t want it to sound big, just different. I decided not to add any on any other songs because they didn’t quite fit the songs feel.
In one open lab, Brian Boyd had been talking to me over the last several weeks about my project and brought up how in country the instruments often compete in the mix. He proceeded to show me a ducking technique he had just learned from Bill Korecky. The only difference from other ducking was the use of the phase button. It made me experiment with ducking. I ended up just using it the regular way but I had never really tried ducking in my mix before. Usually I used side-chaining to duck the harp or guitar during the vocal parts.
My main focus was mixing volumes. In some of the tracks, there are so many instruments and so much going on that mixing the volumes played the biggest role in making the mix work well and give everything it’s own place. I worked really hard on automation. I booked time in the C24 for the ease of recording automation.
This took more time and dedication than I had thought but I made sure I had enough time before my project was due to take care of any last minute things. I had fun mixing the volumes but definitely learned a lot. There are so many options. At the same time I didn’t want to make the volumes go all over the place, I just wanted to highlight what needed to be highlighted in its right time.
The only thing I decided to cut from any mixes was the mic’ed amp for rhythm guitar on “Say It Ain’t True” because that song had so much going on that this freed up enough space to not make it sound muddy. We still had the direct track from the rhythm guitar and it sounded better, more clear than the mic’ed amp.