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Understanding the Mixer panel

From: Audition CS6 Essential Training

Video: Understanding the Mixer panel

Previously, we looked at the controls that are common to each track in your Multitrack Session. The point of working in this multitrack view is that you can see your audio clips, move them around, adjust them, record, and so on. But the compromise is that the track controls have to be a little bit smaller and can be difficult to use, especially if you're into the mixing phase of your session. Fortunately, we also have the Mixer View to work with. What you have here are controls that are identical to the ones you have in Multitrack mode. But here they've taken on the more traditional appearance of an actual mixer. Notice that each track is still on its own track, and we can see their names at the bottom of each module.

Understanding the Mixer panel

Previously, we looked at the controls that are common to each track in your Multitrack Session. The point of working in this multitrack view is that you can see your audio clips, move them around, adjust them, record, and so on. But the compromise is that the track controls have to be a little bit smaller and can be difficult to use, especially if you're into the mixing phase of your session. Fortunately, we also have the Mixer View to work with. What you have here are controls that are identical to the ones you have in Multitrack mode. But here they've taken on the more traditional appearance of an actual mixer. Notice that each track is still on its own track, and we can see their names at the bottom of each module.

I've got a Host, Music Bed, where my two audio files currently are. The Book Review Track, Sound Effects Track, and the Master Track appears all the way to the right. Now if you have more tracks than the space to display them, this area becomes scrollable horizontally. My level is controlled with these faders and this gives me much more fine grain control over volume levels than the dials here in the Multitrack view do. You can drag the sliders up and down manually. You can also click above and below the fader switch to have it jump incrementally to the next position.

And we still have the actual decibel level being displayed down here. And again, you can drag those horizontally. I can set this back to 0, by clicking it and just typing 0 and pressing Return. Above those controls--and again, notice that each of these controls are identical for each track--we have the M, S, R, and I buttons. Again, Mute, Solo, Record, and Monitor Input buttons. And above that we have our Pan Controls, which works the same way as we saw earlier. You can drag left and right to pan. Now in the Multitrack mode you have these four buttons here, so you can see the controls for Inputs and Outputs, Effects, Sends, and EQ.

Here in the Mixer View, they each have their own place. You can still collapse and expand these sections if you want to, but it is possible to see all four sections at once. Note though that if your Audition window is too small, or your screen resolution is too low, in this case my screen resolution is too low, some of these arrows is going to be grayed out. And I'm going to have to close a couple of these other ones before I can open the ones that are grayed out. But I'm recording this movie at a relatively low resolution, which is why those are unavailable. In most cases, you'll probably be able to see all those controls at once.

But continuing to work our way up we have the EQ. Now each track has its own EQ module. You can turn it on and off with the power button, and you can adjust its settings with the Edit button. And that opens the EQ in its own window. So I powered it on--and let's move this out of the way so you can see it in the background here. And I'll just select a preset of say Heavy Guitar which changes my curve. And you can see that EQ curve is reflected here in this sort of thumbnail version on the track module. I'm just going to leave that powered off for now. Above the EQ is the Control for Sends.

We'll get to this feature in the upcoming movie on Creating Buses. Next we have Effects, and as I mentioned earlier, each track can have its own collection of up to 16 effects that apply only to that particular track. So when you select an Effect here--I'll just close that--you can see it gets listed in the track. It also shows up in the Effects Rack under Track Effects. This is just a larger interface to working with effects you have applied to individual tracks, since the track interface here is kind of tiny. So right now I have Speech Volume Leveler and Convolution Reverb set to this track.

If I were to select the second track here, notice it's just showing me the hard limiter effect that's applied to this track. So Effects you add to tracks show up under Track Effects here in the Effects Rack. And again, they're only applied to the selected clip. If I switch to Clip Effects, any effects I add in here get applied to the entire mix as a whole. Now I also have the option here to determine whether the effects are applied pre or post-fader. Pre-Fader means the effect is applied to the original signal, Post means the effect will be applied to the signal after it's been adjusted by the fader on that particular track.

So boosting or cutting the gain may affect the Effect in that case. Now unclick is Pre-Fader, if you click it, that's Post-Fader. You can tell by the little arrow it follows the fader in that case, and it precedes the fader in this case. And there's also the option here to Pre-render Track Effects, which is useful to do if you got a lot of effects applied to a track and your computer might not be powerful enough to apply them in real-time. When you Pre-render an Effect, Audition creates a temporary Wave file of the track with all the Effects applied, and it plays that track when you listen to the mix. I have a short movie on this later in the chapter.

And then at the top of the track we have our Input/Output settings. And again, this is where you determine where the signal coming into the track is coming from, which is important if you're recording live into Audition and where it's being sent to. By default, the Output goes to the Master track, but you may be sending it through an external audio device for further processing. Now at the very top we have the Polarity Reverse button, and that reverses the phase of the track. For example, sometimes when using two different models of microphones to record the same sound, or if the microphones are near each other so that the sounds they're recording bleed into each other, you may run into an issue where they have opposite polarities from each other.

To telltale sign of this is that the audio sounds really thin or has points where it seems to drop out. Now many pre-amps have a phase which actually reverses that signal, but if you weren't able to do that during the recording process, you can try clicking the Polarity Reverse button here to see if it solves the problem. If the problem is a phase issue, that should do the trick. Now we haven't talked much about it yet, but the Master channel over here is where all the elements come together. As I mentioned earlier, by default, all the signals from all of your tracks are sent to the Master channel, and how you mix them affects the relative levels of each other as they're sent to the Master Channel.

And the signal from the Master Channel is what you're mixing to, and it controls how your final output sounds. Notice it has its own Fader, Effects Area, and EQ, and so on. but there's no Input or Output settings and no Record Enable button because you don't record to the Master Channel. So again, all of these items are available from the Multitrack Editor view as well, but you'll probably find it more comfortable to work with the mixer in some cases. You may very well find that you like to work with both simultaneously, in which case, remember you can make the mixer its own panel set by dragging it out of the set, placing it maybe at the top of the screen or wherever else you want to place it.

Of course, if you have the screen real estate, you can hold down Command on the Mac, or Ctrl on Windows, and just make it its own floating window. I don't really have that kind of space to work, if you have some, I'm just going to pair this back with the Multitrack Editor, and I just like it on the right there. All right, so that's the Mixer panel.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audition CS6 Essential Training
Audition CS6 Essential Training

56 video lessons · 22567 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 7s
    1. What is Audition?
      1m 7s
  2. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  3. 21m 6s
    1. Understanding the Audition interface
      8m 49s
    2. Setting up input and output
      4m 7s
    3. Setting essential preferences
      8m 10s
  4. 25m 3s
    1. Importing audio files
      6m 39s
    2. Extracting audio from a CD
      4m 6s
    3. Importing video files
      2m 21s
    4. Recording audio
      4m 50s
    5. Creating a multitrack session
      7m 7s
  5. 8m 8s
    1. Understanding frequency
      1m 50s
    2. Understanding amplitude
      1m 40s
    3. Understanding sample rate
      2m 34s
    4. Understanding bit depth
      2m 4s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Understanding the Waveform Editor interface
      6m 2s
    2. Making selections
      6m 5s
    3. Adjusting the clip amplitude
      2m 49s
    4. Fading clips
      4m 5s
    5. Normalizing
      5m 17s
    6. Copying, cutting, and pasting
      7m 40s
    7. Undoing, redoing, and using the History panel
      4m 5s
    8. Generating silence
      1m 56s
  7. 24m 1s
    1. Using the Spectral Frequency Display
      2m 53s
    2. Using the selection tools
      7m 18s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      6m 34s
    4. Removing background noises
      7m 16s
  8. 46m 31s
    1. Understanding destructive vs. nondestructive effects
      12m 35s
    2. Applying compression
      9m 20s
    3. Understanding reverb vs. delay
      4m 44s
    4. Working with filters and EQ effects
      6m 46s
    5. Using special effects
      4m 26s
    6. Isolating vocals in a stereo track
      4m 27s
    7. Working with time and pitch effects
      4m 13s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Creating a multitrack session
      6m 1s
    2. Recording and importing audio
      9m 42s
    3. Understanding the multitrack interface
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding the Mixer panel
      6m 13s
    5. Editing clips in Multitrack View
      9m 49s
    6. Grouping clips together
      2m 43s
    7. Creating bus groups
      7m 42s
    8. Routing and working with sends
      4m 7s
    9. Using automation
      12m 25s
    10. Pre-rendering tracks
      2m 19s
    11. Exporting the mix
      4m 13s
    12. Exporting the session
      3m 22s
    13. Burning the mix to a CD
      4m 45s
  10. 25m 17s
    1. Working with audio from video
      6m 23s
    2. Importing a sequence from Premiere Pro
      3m 59s
    3. Adding a soundtrack to a video
      3m 45s
    4. Exporting a session back to Premiere Pro
      3m 32s
    5. Using Automatic Speech Alignment
      7m 38s
  11. 9m 46s
    1. Understanding the interface
      6m 17s
    2. Using pan envelopes
      2m 44s
    3. Exporting a multichannel mix
      45s
  12. 52s
    1. Next steps
      52s

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