#Mixing Essentials (3) 🎛 | Saturation

In the explanatory steps of this brief overview of mixing and mastering, we have now already traversed the dimensions of volume and frequency spectrum. They can be easily distributed in the visualization on a surface in height and width. However, with this we have also exhausted this visualization.

Another basic function like saturation can only be traced with listening experiences and their description. In general, this can perhaps be described as a manipulation of ‘density’ and ‘sound texture’ – depending also on the effects used in detail, which of course differ from each other. In a further metaphorical comparison, one can speak, among other things, of a ‘roughening’ or ‘plasticizing’ of the sound. The number of plug-ins for this – like all the others – is now large. The origin of these effects is a sound difference that arises between purely digital and thereby rather low-noise recording techniques compared to physical audio tapes of earlier times. It is still practiced today, depending on one’s preferences, to record tracks onto tape and play them back even after the fact. Many of the plugins refer to tape recorders by their names and/or design or even emulate special models of this hardware.

Holger Steinbrink explains it here for KEYS in German:

Here are three more tutorials on the basics of saturation from Musician on a Mission, Sage Audio, and Warren Huart of Produce Like A Pro:

Continue Reading

#Mixing Essentials (1) 🎛 | Compressor

A first step in most sound recordings is usually a volume boost; hence the first part of the “Mixing Essentials” on the following topic. As opposed to just ‘turning up’ an entire volume, compressors are used – sometimes already between the instrument and the recording device. The compressor raises the volume of the weaker parts of the sound. This is because what can sometimes be heard well by the human ear in real space tends to be drowned out on the electrified signal path; and even more so in the interaction with other audio tracks.

KEYS author Holger Steinbrink explains a few basics here:

Philipp Ernst from abmischenlernen.de can also be consulted on the topic:

Rick Beato on more specific aspects:

As mentioned here in passing, compression goes from a strong flattening to clear upper limiting of the amplitude for which you use a limiter. At MixbusTV the difference is explained:

Joe Gilder once again summarizes basic functions and recommendations for the use of compressors in a different way. It is about the factors attack and release, about the application to single tracks or several in a mix bus, order of equalizer and compressor as well as the question of volume vs. sound quality.

Continue Reading