IF YOU WANT TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SIGNAL PROCESSORS , ITS BEST TO LEARN A FEW LIKE THE BACK OF YOUR HAND AND BIN THE REST
Making good music or mixes is all about maintaining an inspired flow and workprocess. If you get consistantly slowed down in your flow because you’re tinkering and learning new compressor and FX then you are disconnecting yourself from the creative flow.
We all fall into the same trap of acquiring an infinite array of signal processing tools, but the reality is that having too many options is extremely counter productive. Not all compressors are the same, not all EQ is alike, and you are much better knowing a few inside and out than having hundreds of options. Professional mix engineers dedicate time to really learning and getting to grips with the uses and characteristics of each plug-in they use, and if you don‘t do the same you‘ll never really get the depth and intuitive understanding of each plug-in that you need in order to get the premium ‚pro‘ results you want. This is one of the most important steps to achieving amazing results, and is probably also one of the most neglected steps.
You need to take time and sit down with each tool and really experiment. Run each process over a drum groove, bass part, synth or guitar track, and study the effect of each signal processor. Which compressor one works best for each sound source? which reverb, EQ etc...? Write it down, make a list. Decide on your favourite tools, learn them deeply and put the rest in an archive folder. You‘ll achieve more professional results much quicker if you know exactly what to reach for when it‘s mix time, rather than reaching out in the dark and experimenting from the ground up each time.
Summary: Build a small and familiar arsenal of compressors, reverbs, EQ, manipulation and modulation tools, distorters, harmonic generator, delay, chorus, console and tape emulators.
- Select 2 of each type of processor,
- 2x EQ,
- 2x Compressor
- 2x Reverb
- 2x Tube, Tape Distortion Unit
- 2x Delay Units
- Spend the day with each of them and learn the nuances inside and out. Save presets as you go. Spend time experimenting with different sound through the process' and really explore what you can do with each processor.
- Now move into applying these tools in your mix and you will see how much more control you have over your music now you know the tools more deeply.