Mixing is where all the musical spices of the music recipe come together. As in cooking, if the balance is just right the results are a sonic delicacy. I don’t know why I’m using cooking references here, but my point is that, to me, mixing is where the track really comes to life. Inside Audio Mixing we have lots of articles to help you get the most out of your mixes.
So Waves came out with a new plug-in called Vocal Rider and I have one question.
Is this plug-in really necessary?
I guess this may work well in the broadcast world, but they're pitching it as a mix tool for vocals. To me that means mixing, as in mixing music. Does anyone else feel that the engineer who uses this plug-in is just plain lazy?
Maybe I'm a little irked because a HUGE part of mixing a song with vocals, especially a lead vocal, is the human placement of the vocal within the track. That requires listening to all the parts of the arrangement and finding the best place for the vocal as the song progresses from beginning to end. That requires feel and emotion from the mix engineer. Can you get that from a plug-in?
Then again, maybe the real reason I so annoyed is because this could potentially put me out of a job. It's like the Ronco Rotisserie of audio - "just set it and forget it".
To me, I think this may be the laziest plug-in ever created. What do you all think? Feel free to leave a comment below.
It may not be glaringly obvious, but my real mission right now is to help musical artists launch their careers. I want to help musicians who don't have much experience or much money get a better handle on their sound. Since I'm not a manager or agent or record executive my role is to help you make higher quality sounding records. As I read the three sentences above I noticed one word that keeps popping up. That word is "help". Musicians, I want to help you. Really. That's it. So what am I getting at you ask? I want to talk to you about the concept of FREE.
Chris Anderson, Editor In Chief at WIRED magazine, came out with a book this week titled Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. But that's not what I'm writing about, yet it is what I'm writing about. Here's my point.
I have offered my services to many, many people for free. FREE! And only a handful of people are willing to take advantage of this offer. Why is that?
I know I'm no Pensado, Maserati, Lord-Alge (Chris or Tom), Marroquin or Tan. But unless you've worked with me and had a really bad experience why wouldn't you take advantage of a free offer? I have to admit that I've only offered this at my place of business - about 1,200 people - but there are A LOT of musicians there yet most do not reply to my ad. So I'm wondering, do most people see free as being synonymous with cheap? If I posted an ad for $75 mastering per song do you think I would get more replies?
In case you are not familiar with Izotope Ozone it's a mastering processing suite made by Izotope. As I just stated, it's made for mastering, but I use it all the time on an insert on channels when I'm mixing. This app is so sweet and for only $250, in my opinion, it's a steal. You can read all about it and download a fully functioning demo from Izotope.com.
Yes, I did say "the BOMB". And yes I know it isn't 1993 anymore, but these plugins are A-MAZE-ING! Clearly, the only way to describe something so cool is to say "the BOMB".
I started using T-Racks 3 Deluxe on individual channels in mixes and they sound great, but they suck up some serious processing power. So I started using them on my output bus as sort of a pre-mastering tool and man, what a difference! I understand that the deluxe package is a standalone mastering suite, but you can use them anywhere so I chose to reduce my processing overhead by concentrating them to my output. I don't think I will use the package for mastering because I am very partial to Apple's Wave Burner. But this suite will certainly hold a permanent place on my output bus.
Waves Audio introduces Waves Center, an innovative new processor that separates phantom Center audio from side (L/R panned) content. Ideal for final mixes and mastering, Center lets users zero in on the phantom Center and bring out or bring down the vocals without affecting everything else. Perfect for post-production engineers and DJs as well, Center allows users to reposition, isolate and even eliminate elements of a mix.