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NAMM Sneak Peek

The Alternate Mix Habit

It’s standard practice for many pro engineers to create alternate mixes of a song after the “regular” mix is completed. This practice isn’t a bad idea for home and project studio engineers as well; you never know when you’ll need an alternate mix, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to do when you have the regular mix still up on your board or DAW than it is to recall it later. These mixes have been useful for us, for backing tracks at gigs, for demos and competitions, and more:

  • Standard mix, as you would do for CD or MP3 release.

  • Standard mix, lead vocal and lead vocal effects muted.
  • Standard mix, lead and backing vocals and vocal effects muted.
  • Standad mix, “minus” versions, if you will ever perform with the mix as a backing track while playing some instruments live.

You may also consider doing “vocal up” and “vocal down” mixes, where the lead vocal is turned up or down by a dB or two, respectively.

Be sure to include a 4- or 8-beat count off if the mix will be used for live performance.

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