Studio 101 - Part 9: Mixing, Part 2: Pulling It All Together
We’ve come to the point where we would like to finalize a mix. Given the setup options that we learned about last month, we know that we can group, organize, and control everything that we have thus far recorded. But unless the artists we recorded are incredibly disciplined—and play with perfect levels and dynamics—the result may well end up falling flat. So changing volumes, pan positions and effects settings are part of our mixing process, but it isn’t just a matter of turning knobs and moving sliders.
In many cases, a mixdown doesn’t happen in real time; rather, it happens as fast as the computer can calculate the contents of the output file. This means it may run dozens of times faster than normal, and you just won’t have a way to perform any mix ‘moves’ in the process. You might find ways to disrupt this behavior, but you shouldn’t. Rather, you should embrace the engineer’s Super Power: automation.