Reaper Tips and Tricks: Mixing it in the box

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After some very tumultous 14-hour days of recording and rerecording and mixing a little I have 4 songs almost done, 3 of them approaching final mixes. On the way I made some discoveries I’d like to share with you:

If the mix is too muddy, you might want to check your vocals or anything else that you sprinkle with reverb. Every reverb changes the frequencies, and I sometimes use a bright reverb instead of an eq to make a track brighter. That being said, some of the bigger reverbs add a LOT of low end. To get that under control have an additional eq at the very end of the FX chain with just a low cut to clean the mix.

If your mix is too loud (yes, that IS possible!) make a huge group of everything that sounds balanced together. Take those tracks and drag them into a new track, making that track a group of all the others. Instead of decreasing the volume of each track seperately, most likely destroying the mix on the way, you can just pull down this internal master fader by 2 db and keep the mix. I usually have the vocals in one group, and the rest of the music in another.

De-essers rock. I had a quite traumatizing experience with those when the singer of the first recording I played was reduced to a lisping gnome by one of those. But yesterday I realized that I can make my vocals much louder and still pleasant if I just de-es them a little.

To any pro this is pretty basic stuff, but I still hope this helps someone out there.

Love,

J

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