TO TAKE YOUR MIX TO THE NEXT LEVEL IT‘S IMPORTANT TO ORGANISE YOUR PROJECT INTO GROUPS TO UNLOCK FURTHER MIXING POTENTIAL.
Once you've mixed all the individual channels in your mix it's time to take it to the next stage which is grouping all your channels into busses on your DAW and applying addition mixing to those busses.
CLEANUP YOU PROJECT
Before you organise your groups you first need to organise your project. In this day and age of limitless tracks in DAWs it‘s easy for your project to get out of hand, messy, and look like an endless chaotic sea of parts and chunks of audio, midi and automation (mine certainly do).
The first thing you should do before you start your mix is to organise your project. First delete all unused and muted parts so clean up the, then re-order all your tracks so similar tracks are bunched together (Drums, Guitars, Synths, Vocals, Effects, Bass etc..), next give a little colour coding to divide the groups and arrangement, and make sure everything is properly labelled. I find this organising and cleansing process seems to immediately give some clarity on the project which can often get out of hand, as well as setting you up for Group Bus Processing.
Fig: After Organising And Grouping
ORGANISE & PROCESS YOUR CHANNEL INTO BUS GROUPS
Now you've organised your project and you‘ve completed your main mix you can go ahead and create bus groups to send all your parts through, it’s a vital phase of the mix to work on groups as a whole as this opening up a whole other level of processing options beyond the intial mix. All DAWs have the option to group parts into Busses, and although the system for doing it may be different the result will be the same.
TYPES OF BUS GROUPS
- DRUMS & BASS
- LEAD SYNTHS
- STRINGS & PADS
It's important to bare in mind that all projects will require different buses depending on the instrumentation used, essentially you should be grouping together elements which share the same positioning & behavior in the mix.
You can then go ahead and add some bus processing which generally consists of some subtle bus compression, EQ, console emulation (such as Waves NLS Emulation), Tape Distortion, subtle FX (Reverb/Delay), Multi-band Limiting