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Setting up your effects

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Setting up your effects

Mixes go a lot faster if you set up your effects before you begin your mix. In this movie, I'm going to show you a couple of quick and easy effects setups that'll sound good for not only mixing, but tracking and overdubs as well. It's a good idea to have at least some effects set up before you start the mix so you won't break your concentration to set them up later. The first thing we're going to do is set up two effects, and these are going to be just reverb. I'm going to go up to the Track menu, I'm going to say New, and since reverbs are usually in stereo, we're going to have two stereo aux inputs.

Setting up your effects

Mixes go a lot faster if you set up your effects before you begin your mix. In this movie, I'm going to show you a couple of quick and easy effects setups that'll sound good for not only mixing, but tracking and overdubs as well. It's a good idea to have at least some effects set up before you start the mix so you won't break your concentration to set them up later. The first thing we're going to do is set up two effects, and these are going to be just reverb. I'm going to go up to the Track menu, I'm going to say New, and since reverbs are usually in stereo, we're going to have two stereo aux inputs.

The first thing we'll do is name our aux inputs, and we'll name them Short Rev and Long Rev. Now the next thing is we'll insert some reverbs into these channels. So on the Short Rev, we'll come up to Insert A > multichannel plug-in, and come down to Reverb. I happen to like the D-Verb, so we'll add that. And usually a short reverb is added to the drums, especially the SNARE. So we're going to start with a Small Room, and we're going to take the DECAY time and put it up at about 1.5 seconds.

This is only a starting place and in fact, this will be tweaked to the track where we'll get into a little bit later. And the PRE-DELAY, we're going to bring that up to about 20 milliseconds. PRE-DELAY is the onset of where the reverb starts. So if you hit the SNARE drum, the reverb will actually start 20 milliseconds later. And once again, this is only starting place for us; we'll tweak this later to the track. This is the Short Reverb and go to the Long reverb and once again, we'll add an Insert on A, go to multichannel plug-in, come down to Reverb, and say D-Verb again. And in this case, we'll go to a plate.

Usually, we want to add the different-sounding reverb every time. Keep this Large and put this maybe at 2 seconds. And once again, we'll add 20 milliseconds of PRE-DELAY and this is going to change depending on the tempo of the track and depending on what the track needs. So now we started with two reverb effects channels. Now we're going to add two delay effects channels as well. Do the same thing. We'll come up to the Track menu, say New. We want two of them. And delays are usually in mono.

So we'll say Mono Aux Inputs, and we create them. And once again, when we name them, say the same thing. We will say Short Delay, and the second one we'll say Long Delay. Now for the short delay, come down to Delay, same thing. On Insert A and we'll just go to Long Delay in here, and the reason why I like to use Long Delay is if I have to change this later, it gives me some room to move. I can move it up so it's really long; I can move it down so it's short.

If you only select the Short Delay, it stays very short, and if you decide that you want a longer delay then you have to reinsert it. This is just an easy way to do it, at least in Pro Tools. So now for DELAY, I'm going to take it down to maybe 175 milliseconds, and the reason why it chose 175 is that's a favorite of Paul McCartney's. If it's a favorite of his, it's a favorite of mine. And FEEDBACK, which is the number of repeats, we'll add 4%. And once again, this is just a starting place, because we'll change this depending on the tempo of the track and depending on what the track needs.

So this is our Short Delay. Now we're going to go to the Long Delay. We'll go to our plug-in on Insert A, and down to Delay, and we'll say Long Delay II (mono), and we'll go to about 300 ms or so, and we'll put 3% or 4% of FEEDBACK, and that's a good place to start. We're not finished, however, because in order for the channels to send into these effects, what we need to do is set up a path for that to happen. So for the Short Reverb, come up here to where it says no Input, and this is actually the input into that effects channel. And we're going to go down to the Bus and say Bus 11 and 12 is the input into the Short Reverb.

And to Long Reverb, we're going to come down here and we're going to assign Bus 13 and 14. Remember, it's stereo, so there will only be two buses. Since the delays are mono, I'll only do one bus, and we'll come down to Bus 15 for the Short Delay. And now we'll come down to Bus 16 for the Long Delay. We're not finished yet. Even though we have all of our effects set up, now what we want to do is we want to go to the channels that we think we're going to be adding reverb and delay on and set those up so they're pretty much ready as soon as we get into the mix.

So we know for sure that we're going to add it on the SNARE, so we'll go and we'll add an effects SEND. And this is going to be on the very Short Reverb, and the Short Reverb was on Bus 11 and 12, and it is all set up. And we're going to add a short reverb probably on the toms as well. So an easy way to set it up is you hit Option and all you do is drag the SEND and then drop it on the Floor Tom, and we'll do it again on Tom 2 and Tom 1, and now we're set up on the drums to add reverb.

Now let's say we want to add a longer reverb. We're going to add this on the guitars and on the ORGAN. One of the beauties of having subgroups-- and this is something we talked about in the last movie--was that it allows us to add reverb on several channels by just adding it on the subgroup channel. So this is what we're going to do. We're going to go to the ORGAN subgroup and we're going to say Bus 13 and 14, which is the Long Reverb, and that's all set up and ready to go.

We're going to add the same thing over on the guitars. So now we have guitar 1. We bring this over to guitar 1 on the subgroup, bring it over on guitar 2 on that subgroup as well. Now, vocals. The lead vocal well, we want the Paul McCartney 175 milliseconds, and that's the Short Delay. So now we're going to come over to the bus and we're going to add Bus 15, and that's already sent to the short delay. And for the background vocals we want the Long Delay.

So we'll come over here and we'll set this up for Bus 16, and now our whole mix is set up and ready to go. To sum it up, setting up your effects before you begin mixing can help your mix go a lot faster. Your own particular starting point might use a lot more effects, and you might add more effects as you go-- you probably will--but this is a good place to start from.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 19419 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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