Behind the mix Ep.1 “Lost My Way”: Session Setup & Mixbus Processing

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In this video Series, I am going to show you how I mixed a song from start to finish, every processing technique and every approach and every decision that I took in order to achieve this mix.

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Today We are going to cover…

1. Session Setup

2. Mixbus Setup

3. How I brought cohesion and punch to the mix using a touch of Bus compression

4. How I sculpted the sound of the overall mix with saturation and EQ.


Session Setup

Let’s take a look at the overall session as you see I am not using my usual template but this time I only have my individual tracks and my master bus, I wanted to try something different on this mix.

I have some samples on the drums, but I am going to show you why they are there in the next post we are I am going to show you what I did with the drums.


Master bus Setup

On the Master bus I have a few processes going on:

  1. Compression
  2. Saturation from: A second compressor, virtual mix bus, and tape emulation
  3. EQ: To boost a bit of highs and lows.

Master bus compression

In my mix process usually. I will bring up a master bus compressor first. On this song, I was experimenting with another master bus compressor which is the Fg-red which is an emulation.

Setting wise I wanted to experiment and try a faster attack with an autorelease this as you can see is a preset, I wanted to just try it out and I found out that I really like this setting and what it’s bringing to this mix.

Secondly, we have another compressor following it, it’s not compressing anything but I like the tone of it and what it’s bringing to the mix.

I hear that it glues the mix a little bit more and the snare really pops out and just really controls the overall dynamics but it’s not squashing the mix.

With the second compressor (which is there only for the coloration it’s bringing to the mix, not to compress further) I notice that it brings out nicely the upper midrange, guitars, and the organs as well.


Virtual mix bus and EQ

I always like to put the console emulation and the EQ before the compressor but I will always set the compressor first.

Let’s talk about the virtual mix bus, this is just gluing the mix and bringing some tonal qualities that I really like, let’s AB it. I am hitting it quite hard, by the way, I really like how it fattens up the mix a little and it expands the midrange. 
Now let’s go ahead and see the EQ. I am boosting a little bit of 10k for a little bit air. And I am just boosting 100hz for a little bit more of extra fatness.


Tape Emulation

Now let’s go ahead to my third plugin in the chain which is the tape emulation. I really like this for how it sounds, I am not hitting it too hard.

I like how it smooths out the highs and brings out the lows in the mix.


Concluding

The mix is far from done. But I consider this as a very good starting point. We will need less EQ and compression to bring it to the finish line.

A lot of problems are solved just with the mix bus processing, now it’s time to do some fine tuning of balances and make sure that everything sits at its place properly.


That’s it for today

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