Culling the Best of...

I don’t know why it took me so long to do this.

After I released You Don’t Have to be Hot to Like Country I realized exactly how much I liked the drums in that mix. In other songs I’ve released, the drums were always flat / lifeless, and that’s been the albatross around my neck.

So I exported the settings for each drum track as a new preset. Then in the Media Bay, I added the “Author” attribute and typed my initials so that I can easily find the presets in the next project I start. I also exported the settings for the bass guitar from another song where it sounded particularly good, i.e. good bottom without being muddy and yet enough presence to cut through the mix.

I’m sure I’ll add more presets for horns (trumpet, alto, tenor, and trombone), Hammond, Rhodes and piano at some point in the future. Right now, I’m simply happy that I’ll start to get some consistency in my mixes, instead of having to reinvent the wheel each song.

I’ve already applied these presets to When She’s Gone and although I had to rebalance the track volumes I’m generally pleased with the result.

If you haven’t done something like this already and have created enough songs so that there are enough variations for you to choose from, I highly recommend doing so.

Nice. Are you using track presets for this? Or just presets in your plugins?

Track presets for each of the six drum track types (kick, snare, hats, cymbals, toms and he catch all “misc”), the HPF drum group channel, the master drum channel (HPF and kick and toms feed into this), bass guitar, all four reverb sends and then a general purpose mastering track preset for the mastering project that I now create for each song after I’m done mixing.

Henry Ford would be proud!

Pretty much, though I’m not simply applying presets and calling it a day. Instead, I’m using them as a starting point and making adjustments as needed. The idea is to get a consistent set of results for similar types of material.

Really this is a response for me not producing material frequently enough to have a good workflow committed to memory. Instead, I would slap on a HPF on the bass guitar with a rolloff that could be anywhere from 25-45 Hz and a slope of 12-48 dB/octave. Maybe there would be a slight boost at 100 Hz but maybe not. Etc. It all worked but the variation between songs was too much for my taste.