Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Challenge: Mixing only with filters (with free Vst plugins!)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
We are starting the new year with a challenge that will teach us how to separate the various parts in the mix, carving the right place for each instrument.

The challenge consists in this: to mix a project, even better if a project with all microphoned parts (for example a microphoned drumset, microphoned guitar amps and so on).

Obviously we're not talking about a challenge with a prize, but an educational one: to dig into the root of the sound, and draw out a mix as natural and unmodified as possible, just avoiding the various parts to clash together (or to cover each other) without all the layers of effects, editing, autotune, quantization.  The ideal would be to mix a live song, and luckily it is sufficient to google "live multitrack project" to find some free one, available for educational purposes.

How to achieve mix separation
For this challenge we just need to rise in each track the high pass filter until the sound starts to become thin and to lose its body, and then stop and take it a little back, then to use a low pass filter until the track starts sounding dark.
This way we will achieve separation, and we'll be forced to choose what element to leave in which area.
We could start from the picture on top.
I've drawn on this picture the starting points: we can start by filtering more or less the tracks bringing them on these areas, then from there it's all a matter of fine tuning, which changes from song to song, and from genre to genre.

Here is the website of Christian Budde, which offers a selection of free equalizers and high pass and low pass filters, among which Rubberfilter, but any eq/filter which lets us dial the frequency is good!

I'd be really happy to hear your mix just using a filter, if you want, share it with us!

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