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Once recording and editing are finished, audio engineers can take advantage of the training in Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools to punch up the final output. Digidesign Certified Expert Brian Lee White covers all the basic mixing tools that every producer and engineer should know, from using EQ to add clarity and focus to using compression and limiting to maximize track levels within a mix. Brian stresses the importance of setting up a solid mixing plan prior to any work in Pro Tools, and gives advice on the best plug-ins for each stage of the process. Exercise files accompany the course.
While it may be a bit overused this point, the telephone effect is a perfect example of creatively using EQ to fit something in a mix and go for a specific strong aesthetic statement. You see a telephone is a bandwidth limited audio system. Meaning that it limits the frequencies it carries to reduce the load on the system. So, less frequency range equals less information to be carried. So, to achieve this with an EQ, we can simply use our High and Low Pass filters, effectively creating what we call Band-pass Filter to limit the frequency range of the track.
So, let me just show you a quick example. I'll do it right one the lead vocal and I'm going to up to the EQ 7-Band and I'm going to use the 7-Band because it's going to give me the High Pass Filter and the Low Pass Filter along with some parametric filters that I can use to create some resonance. Let me just reset this to the factory default and I'll put in pretty aggressive High Pass and the Low Pass Filter and what I'm doing is I'm just focusing the frequencies between these two points.
So, you can see the gray area's what's being removed. Let's listen. (Male singing: Bound... We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget...) Now, if I want to sort of give it a little more punch, try to make it a little bit more like an old sounding radio, I'll take and I'll boost a bit here to create a little bit of resonance in those upper mids and this can kind of sound cool. Let me move these into bit more, to really get that effect going.
(Male singing: Bound... We hit the town.) So, if we listen to this in the mix, (Male singing: Bound... We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget...) It might not be appropriate for this specific song, but you can hear how it sort of lends a unique aesthetic quality to that specific part of this song.
Right, the lead vocal and how it's sitting against the other instruments. So, the idea with this is we are sort of really taking and reining in on the frequencies and putting in a really focused place in the Mix and it's kind of cool trick. It's a bit overused but it does create a really cool distance on whatever sound that you put it on. I like to use this sort of telephone style effect on my Delay Returns and you can actually see if I return to my Memory Location 100 and I scroll over to my Delay Return here, I'm actually using sort of telephone style effect right on the Delay.
And what that's giving me with my lead vocal is you get the original lead vocal, the dry sound and then as it comes back again to the Delay, it's kind of lo-fi and resonating here in the higher mids, which kind of lends a cool quality to it in the mix. So give it a try sometime!
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