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In this course, author Bobby Owsinski reveals industry tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on any digital audio workstation. He offers recommendations for setting up an optimal listening environment, highlights the most efficient ways to set up and balance a mix, and shows how to build a powerful sound with compression. The course also explains how to master the intricacies of EQ; incorporate reverb, delay, and modulation effects; and generate the final mix.
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.
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