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Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea

Mixing in Logic definitely has its advantages over mixing through a traditional console. From one, everything is recallable to 100% accuracy. That means if you need to fix the vocal level a touch 5 or 500 days after you mixed it, you can open the project and everything comes right back. If you are sitting in an expensive mastering session however, you might not have access or time to do that. So, here are some tips to save yourself by making alternate mixes. Alternate mixes are simple and easy to do, especially since Logic has an offline bounce mode. I recommend always making a version without vocals and a version that is a cappella, or only voice.

Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea

Mixing in Logic definitely has its advantages over mixing through a traditional console. From one, everything is recallable to 100% accuracy. That means if you need to fix the vocal level a touch 5 or 500 days after you mixed it, you can open the project and everything comes right back. If you are sitting in an expensive mastering session however, you might not have access or time to do that. So, here are some tips to save yourself by making alternate mixes. Alternate mixes are simple and easy to do, especially since Logic has an offline bounce mode. I recommend always making a version without vocals and a version that is a cappella, or only voice.

For one, it's common for licensing companies to need a version of the tune with no vocals for use in advertising, film, TV. For two, if you get the lead vocal level wrong, which is one of the most common things that can happen in the mix, you now have a way to save your mix and just add the vocal back at the right level when you're mastering. To do this, just simply mute the Vocal track and bounce it, naming it something that make sense, something like Nathaniel, then the date, then NOVOX. Once you are done with that, solo the track and do the same, this time naming it VOX only at the end.

One thing you might wish to add or not is the voice effects, but I'll leave that up to you. You might want to do the same thing for the bass track, since the bass level is often a level problem in the mix. Another method that comes in handy for mastering are stems. Stems are a few separate pieces of your mix broken down by instrument. To make them, you need to decide which mix elements go with one another. For example, in this mix, I might do just the Drums and Percussion. So, I'd solo all the Drums tracks and then maybe the Beat and Shaker tracks.

Then I might go back and do just the Guitars, then the keyboards and Harp and the Bass separate. That would be five stems. Again, just solo all the tracks you want to include in the stem and bounce. Finally, another approach to alternate mixes is to make different versions. For example, you might have a bass down version, or a vocal up version, or you might increase or decrease the level of those elements, a few dBs in either direction. These will be in addition to the master mix you think is the best one, just in case. The one thing to remember when you make alternate mixes is to be careful of the naming of the files.

You don't want to be in a situation where you can't remember what is what. So, be thorough when you're naming.

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This video is part of

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Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 28548 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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