AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - October 10, 2019

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Alan and nearly 30 students squeezed into Tempe Studio G for his highly anticipated mix clinic. He began his mixing career entirely completely in the box because it was what he had to do at the time, and at El Dorado Studios he gained knowledge and experience using both analog and digital equipment. When he had money, he began purchasing his own equipment, upgrading his computer and purchasing D/A converters. Eventually plug-ins advanced and portability was a major selling point, so he began to make his way back into the box.
He gave some great tips for summing mixes in the box, including using an aux track as your final mix bus, bussing that to another aux for parallel compression, and using a final aux to sum those two. He then split the output of his final bus for separate monitoring and recording. He uses auxes prior to these for each group of instruments, and uses a VCA as his Grand Master Fader for those busses. He showed us how he listens through the track and makes specific markers at each major section of the song. When he starts the mix, he aligns the vocals with Vocaline or ReVoice Pro, then begins tuning the vocals with Melodyne. He also time aligns the instrument, but he warned to be careful when doing so because the instruments might be tuned to each other but not to the absolute grid. He recommended that we deal with sibilance as early as possible, because it will be accentuated after the vocals are compressed. He showed us how he edits toms, rarely with a gate, but instead by chopping up the waveform in ProTools. Alan shared that there is a good chance you'll need to trigger drums, but that you should not completely replace the drums except sometimes with the kick.
He also provided students with a few plug-ins that are essential to his workflow, including a few very cool free ones! Finally, we spent some time exploring plug-ins and effects before Alan closed out the clinic.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society