Ask Joe #51 – Re-Mixing: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Questions go here:

Questions covered this week:

  • Should I use volume automation or clip volume?
  • Is it okay to go back and remix songs you mixed a long time ago?
  • What’s the deal with lop-sided overhead mic panning?
  • If you could just use one mic to record drums, what kind would it be and where would you place it?
  • How do you deal with latency when mixing through outboard gear?

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Intro to Automation [Video]


Which automation mode to YOU use the most? Leave a comment below.

Compression vs Automation

Compression vs Automation.png

When you’re working on a mix, how do you make sure the lead vocal stays at a consistent level throughout the song?

One way to even out the level of the vocal is to use compression. Compression can be a great way to make the vocal level more consistent, because it turns down the louder parts and turns up the quieter parts.

I almost always use at least some compression on the lead vocal in my mixes. But sometimes there are sections in the song where the vocal still gets “lost.” What to do?

It’s very easy to reach for the compressor and add more compression. After all, if you compress something heavily enough, it becomes one consistent volume. Problem solved, right?

Eh…not really.


Day 27 – Use Automation (Secret Weapon) [31DBR]

Welcome to Day 27 of 31 Days to Better Recordings.

Once you’ve set the levels and panning for your mix, and you’ve dialed in the EQ and compression to just the right amount, you’re done, right?

Not quite.

What you have right now is what’s called a “static mix.”

There’s a “secret weapon” that you should know about. It’s called automation.

Most of you probably know what automation is, but do you use it in your mixes? Or is it something you think doesn’t matter? Well, I have a few reasons why you SHOULD use automation in your mixes.


4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix

It’s inevitable.

If you’re recording music at home, you’re going to have noise in your recordings. You obviously want to do everything you can to reduce the amount of noise in your recordings.

A few suggestions for cutting down on noise:

  • Use thick packing blankets. (I feel like that sentence is direct copyright infringement on the Home Recording Show…they love blankets over there.) These can be a cheap way to block out some noise.
  • Record in a separate room. This is ideal but not always possible.
  • Use a dynamic mic. They’re less sensitive and may not pick up as much room noise…but they usually require more gain, so you may have more pre-amp noise. Doh!
  • Record in outer space. Again, this isn’t always possible.

There are all sorts of tricks for cutting down noise, but that’s not the point of this article. Let’s just assume that you’ll deal with noise at some point in your home recording career…and by “some point” I mean “every day.” 🙂

On to the main attraction…4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix.