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    • #248
      MJ Klein
      Keymaster

      In early September, I mixed a tune for Eric Guicherit. He cut the tracks on a Tascam Portastudio and exported them for me. Except for a TC-Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 vocal processor, 100% of the processing was done in the X32. I only had a 2 track drum mix to work with, but I crushed the drums with an 1176 compressor. I used 2 reverbs on the mix to create the soundstage.

      I’m from Boston and I was one of the more prolific engineers and producers there in the 80s and 90s. I tend to go for a big production sound, and that isn’t exactly what Eric wanted. I did 2 mixes and although he appreciated the mixes and the engineering involved, he wanted sometime a little less ACR and more intimate (he was very patient with me – but he’s Swiss, and Swiss people are so polite and cool!). Being able to instantly recall the last mix I did and modify it per his instructions was just too easy. Since the adjustments to the mix mainly dealt with levels of FX, and since the FX levels were not dynamic during the mix, pretty much all I had to do was make an adjustment to the initial FX levels at the beginning and save it (S2+K5 on the transport). Literally 15 minutes after I started , I had Mix 3 in the can. Eric was happy with the mix, his exact words being “YES! Now you nailed it.” That is what every mix engineer wants to hear!

      The mix wasn’t that complicated, but some of the vocal levels had to be ridden, and also the backing guitar tracks had to be carefully ridden to not interfere with the vocals. I grouped them with a DCA and that made my life a lot easier. The automation is so smooth that you can’t really hear it working in the mix. But, you can take a listen for yourself and see below, the guitars drop about 3dB from the opening level, when the vocals come in. They come back up when the harmonies come in (because the vocals become thicker) and stay up between vocal lines. I was able to tweak those moves to perfection. Having smooth automation moves is definitely more desirable than trying to gate or compress something into submission. Often, compression is over-applied just to prevent fader riding when doing manual mixes. Less compression gives this mix more “air” and the soundstage is very defined.

      If I had been mixing Eric’s tune on most any other console with it’s native automation system, I would have had to put a sheet over the desk until Eric gave me the thumbs up on the mix. However, because I was using X32ReaperAutoMate, I was simultaneously working on 2 other projects and keeping the studio busy. I can’t tell you how many times our old Studio A door was locked because of a mix-in-progress that was so critical we didn’t even dare power the console down, let alone touch anything. Thankfully, those days are gone! X32ReaperAutoMate will keep your studio busy making money. Small blocks of time are now productive because of instant recall. In the old days, it could take hours to set up the console with the recall systems of the day. Now, if I have a 2 hour block of time, I can spend nearly all of that time working on a mix, because all I have to do is connect X32ReaperAutoMate, start Reaper, and load the mix file.

      I want to personally thank Patrick-Gilles Maillot for creating this incredible tool for professional mixing on the X/M32. As I make progress on other projects I will post about them here.

       

      Feel free to leave comments.

      MJ Klein

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