[fruityloops] Re: Mixing advice

  • From: Andrew Ebling <andyebling@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fruityloops@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 25 Nov 2002 13:35:18 +0000

Hi Rui,

On Mon, 2002-11-25 at 12:46, Rui.Barata@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I need advice in mixing related matters. I've never done it before and I
> don't know where to start.

Mixing is a bit of an artform and it takes a long time to get good at
it.  I'd like to think that I had a reasonable grasp at the basics, but
I still have a lot to learn.

There are many good mixing tutorials available on the net, this a good


(btw. there are lots of other good tutorials on various topics available
here: http://www.computermusic.co.uk/tutorial/features.asp)

It is possible to translate most processes over to working in
fruityloops using a bit of careful thought and creativity.

> Is it to do it with FL or is it better to use another software?
> What shall I do first?

There is no reason why you couldn't turn out quite respectable mixes
using fruityloops alone.  However, it may be easier to export everything
and mix it in another application.  Its largely down to the way you like
to work, your budget, your computer hardware etc.

Here are a few fruity specific mixing tips that I have found useful
(basically this is my own procedure for getting ready to do a mix):

- Try and get your track more or less finished as far as its basic form
is concerned before you worry too much about mixing.

- Feel free to add FX, play with volume levels etc during the
composition stage of writing a new track.  Save a copy of the track in
this form (and back it up while you are at it) then mute everything and
remove all FX from all channels and the master channel.

- Divide your synths/samples/generators into 16 related groups, but try
and keep the drums separated in their own tracks.  Then assign these 16
groups to the 16 FX channels, even if you don't intend to add any FX. 
(during the writing stage I tend to leave FX channel 1 empty and just
assign anything not needing FX to that channel, but that approach is not
helpful at the mixing stage).

- Name each of the FX send channels something useful (select the FX
channel then right click on the title bar of the FX window).

- Add a Fruity Send plugin to the last FX slot of each of the FX
channels.  These will act as your "faders" for each of the 16 channels,
rather than sending audio to one of the FX send channels (the
conventional use of the Fruity Send plugin).

- Switch to pattern mode and go through each of the patterns in turn,
making sure that the generators are making good use of the available
headroom (i.e. the level indicators are showing a good level on each of
the FX channels but not going over 0dB).  Adjust the volume settings of
the generators in the step sequencer (and in channel settings too if you
can't get enough gain to get a good level).

- Switch back to song mode and slowly introduce parts into the mix one
at a time.

- Perform all your level/pan edits using the Fruity Send plugin in the
last FX slot of each FX channels (i.e. leave the levels in the step
sequencer alone).

- Follow a standard mixing tutorial from this point on.

Other general tips:

- If your song divides nicely into sections (into, verse, chorus etc)
you may want to mix each section separately, recording automation for
that section into its own dedicated automation pattern, that way you
only have to mix the chorus once, even if it appears 3 times in the
track... If you need variations on later repeats of sections, just clone
the pattern and make the required changes.

- Don't try and mix a whole track and get it "right" in a single
sitting.  Try and knock out a mix in an hour, or two hours at the most. 
Burn the mix to CDRW (or record it to tape) and leave it for a few
days.  Then listen to it on the hifi, in the car etc and make some notes
on stuff that needs to be fixed/changed.  Then sit down and make those
changes before burning the new mix and listening to it again.  Go round
this loop until you are happy.  Your track is then ready for mastering.

hope this helps, comments and discussion welcome!



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