Typical order of track processing

A bit off topic but I thought I’d ask here. Would this be the standard way to mix anylon given track ?

Set fader to desired level > e.q> compression> automation

I’m not sure I really understand your question (being specific really helps in these forums :wink: ). I assume you are refering to mixing.

If you are asking about the audio signal flow, then no that isn’t how it works. In general the audio flows from the top of the channel strip to the bottom, so the fader is at the end of the chain. The major exception to this is that the last two Insert slots are post-fader & sends can be set to occur either pre or post fader. Also the signal never flows through Automation. Automation simply allows you to control & change any parameter’s setting over the course of playback.

If you are asking about what tasks you do in which order (i.e. workflow) then there is no real answer. This is because the process is iterative rather than being in a specific order. Changing one setting may cause you go back and re-adjust settings you’ve already made. For example you could set a level on track1 then your EQ & then apply compression which causes you to adjust your level setting again. Then you do something similar on track2, which causes you to change the EQ on track1. Most folks (but not everyone) starts by setting levels for all the channels so everything is roughly at the level you want to hear it in the final mix. Then you listen and decide what is the most important thing(s) to change to make it sound better. Keep doing this, in whatever order, until you like it enough to stop making changes.

Yes, your second answer was the one I was getting at. Thanks

I was just a bit unsure about adjusting levels again after applying something like compression. Would moving the fader again effect the compressor’s settings, subsequently altering the way in which compression is applied…?

No. The fader is the last in the chain. It will not affect the input level of a inserted compressor. Though, any inserted effect may cause need to lower the level of the track via the fader.

No as jimmys69 has pointed out moving the fader will not affect how the compressor works because it is changing the level after the compression is applied, but if you adjusted the level using the pre-gain that would change how the compressor actually behaves since it would change the level before going into the compressor.

However this doesn’t mean that you might not decide to change the compressor settings after moving the fader. Consider how a compressor works. It lowers the hottest part of the audio in effect narrowing the range between the loudest and softest audio on the track. When you then set the output of the compressor so the loudest sections are just as loud as before compression this makes the softer sections sound louder than they did before compression. So say you’ve done this on a guitar part and it sounds good. But later you decide that the overall guitar needs to be lowered in the mix, so you move the fader down a bit. Then you might discover that while the loudest sections still sound good, the softer parts are now buried in the mix. To remedy this you could increase the compression a bit to make those soft sections cut through the mix again. Heck just bringing up the background vocals in the mix might make you want to change guitar’s compression. The point is that it is all iterative, and changing anything might make you decide to change something else that you had thought was set the way you wanted.

Getting your head around the art of mixing is complex and needs a more comprehensive approach than you’ll get by asking questions here (although feel free to ask, keeping in mind you will at times get conflicting answers/approaches). I’d suggest you get a book (or five) on the topic. Also Groove 3 has a bunch of training videos on mixing from beginning to advanced - and their All Access Pass is currently on sale.

I so agree with raino here.

This is why experience is what it takes. Nobody can tell another what the right way to a good mix is. That is totally subjective to the one doing the mixing.

But understanding how things work and asking questions should be the priority. It is a learning game. From learning you gain experience. From that experience you find what works for you and your music/clients. Then it gets easier. Well, at least through experience you learn how to do it better. :slight_smile:

The fact that internet forums/tutorials are available to get advice is awesome. 20 years ago, we just had whomever we knew in the industry and hoped they had a clue.