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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.
So one of the toughest things I find for new mixers to understand when learning how to mix is how to separate the technique from the underlying goal. I like to call this looking before you leap or understanding the challenge versus understanding the solution or strategy. So before I get into the core signal processors and how to use them in your mix, I want to take a brief moment just to remind you to think about why when you think about the how. So before processing a track or tracks, you want to make sure to think about how this helps you achieve your overall goal as you are defining your mix plan.
Determine the challenge or aesthetic goal, then work out a solution or plan for approaching this challenge or achieving that goal. For example, you wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first. So make sure that technique you are thinking about fits into the context of your specific mix. You also want to remember before you go crazy with plug-ins and signal processing, that signal processing might not be the solution at all. Maybe it's a problem with the arrangement, like the tracks just don't fit together or problem with the recording, like there is too much noise, things are out of tune or out of time.
So remember to think about mixing in a bigger context of music production. So my goal in this course is not to go show you every tip, trick, or recipe that I have ever heard of. I know you are smart, I know you know how to Google and read magazines, but I really want to focus on just to teach you how to think like a mixer. When you learn to think like a mixer, you will be able to easily evaluate and implement any tip, trick, or technique you find during your career and there is going to be lots of them. So remember, mixing is half techniques and tricks, and half the strategy or knowing how, when, and where to use these tricks to achieve your overall artistic goal.
So I want you to begin thinking critically about the mixing process. Don't be the student that gets assigned a term paper and turns in the finished one he downloaded from the Internet. That strategy might work from time to time, but the age-old adage rings true. You are only cheating yourself in the long run. So strive to be a mixer who makes conscious decisions.
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