Mixing is fun.

It’s one of my favorite parts of the whole recording process.

There’s nothing quite like sitting down at your desk with a fresh cup of coffee and a blank session in front of you.

You hit that magic triangle (Play button) and listen to the raw tracks. Then you begin sculpting the sound.

Setting levels. EQ. Compression. Reverb. Delay.

So far, so good.

But it gets even better.

Mixing one track is fun. What if you doubled it?

Would it be twice as fun?

Answer: Yes.

(Sometimes.)

I’m talking about parallel processing.

I was first introduced to parallel processing years ago while reading a recording magazine. (Actually, I think it WAS Recording Magazine.)

There was an article about processing a lead vocal, and the author talked about duplicating the vocal track and processing the second track differently from the first, then blending the two together.

We call that parallel processing.

If you’re like me, just the idea of parallel processing makes your brain go crazy with ideas. You could heavily compress the second track, or EQ it differently, or add distortion…the list goes on and on.

The takeaway point for you? If you’re having trouble getting a track to work in the mix, try duplicating it. This is a bit more advanced, but it can be a fantastic tool for your mixes.

For some advanced training on parallel processing, check out the latest hour-long video I posted for VIP members.

Not a member? You can join here:

www.HomeStudioCorner.com/VIP

  • It can be gimmicky, but one thing it’s kinda good for is when you find you have a drumtrack that doesn’t seem to have enough “guts” to drive the rest ov the mix. So make a copy ov the drums, or if they is separate tracks make a rendered stereo mix. Put a f**k-ton ov compression on this track. Then *tastefully* blend it in with the original drum track(s). Notice, I said TASTEFULLY! Can work really well to make your drum mix nice & phat. This can be done live too, if you stick a compressor on a sub-group then route it back through a spare channel. In these parts that’s known as “The Silly Drum Thing”.

  • Jon

    So when you say “duplicate the track,” are you talking about copying the track or recording a tight second take?

    • Copying, duplicating would be double tracking causing a whole different, “chorusing” effect.

      • Exactly. Valid technique, but a different animal.

    • I’m talking about actually duplicating the track, creating an identical copy.
      Doubling is another great technique, but it’s different from parallel processing, which generally means processing the same exact signal two different ways and blending them together.