/ / How to reduce tracks in sequencers and audio editors: basics

How to reduce tracks in sequencers and audio editors: basics

Any musician in creating his ownthe composition sooner or later collides with the fact that the recorded instrument parts or vocal tracks among themselves need to be reduced, that is, to make all instruments sound natural and not overlapping each other. About how to reduce the tracks, then we'll talk. But we will consider not only the manipulations associated with the composition of professional sound, but also some actions that may be needed, for example, to combine two audio tracks into one mix or associated with cross-laying one track to another. This will determine the choice of the preferred program and the actions performed in it.

How to reduce tracks: a general idea of ​​the actions performed

The first thing we will touch on is the information, so to speak, inclassical understanding, when in one mix you need to adjust the sound of each track. Here the most important thing is not only to adjust the volume, but also to set the optimal level of dynamics with frequency processing of the track in such a way that the instrument also sounds without distortion, and the frequencies of different instruments do not cause side effects. How to reduce tracks? Most sound engineers in the simplest case for the master track, not to mention the processing effects of each track, recommend using a bundle of compressor and equalizer (although in fact, such tools can be much more). In addition, you should not get carried away by effects for individual tracks, because too many of them can cause the instrument to sound distorted, or the frequency will be lost on the track (for example, if the reverb level is too high). On the master track of all kinds of delays, chorus, flangers and reverbs do not set (so you can lose the natural sound, and even the drums crush).

On the other hand, mixing tracks cannot only to set their parallel sound, but also to combine several tracks in a certain sequence so that they sound one after another without interruption and with the same loudness (or superimposed one on one with fading and increasing or without it).

What to use as software?

As for the choice of the program, by and largeaccount all these packages can be divided into two types: music sequencers and audio editors (or similar applications in the form of virtual studios, which combine the capabilities of both types of programs). The first type includes packs like FL Studio, Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, etc. In the second class, you can mark programs like Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro editor), Sony Sound Forge, Cockos Reaper, Acoustica Mixcraft and many others. Among professional studios, the championship, no doubt, belongs to the most powerful package of Pro Tools.

Mixing, merging and overlaying tracks using the Cool Edit Pro editor example

So, first, let's look at some operations withaudio files as an example of the package Cool Edit Pro. Despite the fact that it is not being released now, the program for a novice user looks much simpler than its analogue in the form of Adobe Audition, although most of the functions remain unchanged.

So, how do you reduce the tracks in this application? Suppose we want two tracks to sound in parallel.

Mixing tracks in Cool Edit Pro

To do this, in multitrack mode, loadEach track is an audio file and set their position relative to each other. Effects should be superimposed on each track separately, but it is better to adjust their parameters or the volume of each track on the remote control.

How to connect two tracks, for example, to the secondbegan to sound right after the end of the first? In normal mode, the cursor is positioned at the end of the first track, and then the second is inserted as a file. You can also pre-process the tracks, so that one at the end has a Fade Out, and the other has a Fade In.

Using Crossfade Mode

They can also be positioned on the multitrack grid as desired, and without using it, you can apply the crossfade effect in the normal mode.

In principle, any such program for informationtracks has similar tools, and in any application they are called exactly the same. For leveling the volume, it's easiest to use the normalization function (Normilize), and to limit the sound of peak frequencies - limiter.

Mixing tracks in FL Studio

Now a few words about the popular FL sequencerStudio. Basic operations remain unchanged, but even if you use only the built-in tools of the program itself, you can achieve a very impressive result.

Outputting a track to a free mixer track in FL Studio

First, you need to associate each track withfree mixer slot, using the appropriate function, then you can add effects to the tracks and adjust other parameters like volume or panning on the remote, rather than in the step sequencer.

By default, the master track contains the Fruity Limiter, in which you can switch to compressor mode and select the desired preset.

A bunch of effects for the master track

You can also use one- ormulti-band compressors, in which the possibilities are somewhat greater. The main thing here is not to crush the general sound. Particular attention should be paid to the frequencies of the reducible tracks. It is better to process them in advance with a parametric equalizer, setting the optimal sound with cutting out the peak frequencies.

Mixing with VST effects

If you use the effects of VST like EZ Mix,selection of preset modes for information that on the master track, which on a separate track, can be significantly expanded. In addition, the effects of saturation are not bad on the master track. But the expansion of the panorama through the installation of Stereo Enhancer is best left on each individual track.

Recommendations in the end

And of course, these are only the very first elements inintelligence. Describe absolutely all the actions and capabilities of such programs will not work just physically. Regardless of which program is used to track tracks, it remains to add that in many respects the mixing depends on both musical instruments and vocals. So, the basic elements of the drum sets (bass drum and working drum) should be in a panoramic position strictly in the center, and the hats, plates and volumes can be scattered across the panorama. If you use drum plug-ins like Superior Drummer or Steven Slate Drum Sampler, you do not need to worry about the volume and panning. Keyboard parties look good in stereo expansion. Bass guitars are strictly centered. Leading or rhythm guitars can be spread over the panorama, and when using a drive, use the stereo widening or a small percentage of the delay for the leading parts. But in order to fully learn the information, do not be afraid to experiment, and for the final processing for the first time, the AAMS program will work well, in which, after analyzing the track of any professional performer, you can set similar parameters for the sound for your composition.

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