Use the link above to download the full Cockos Reaper project for my remix of Zwiepack’s ‘Air’. This mix was carried out in Reaper v5.1, using a variety of third-party plug-ins to supplement Reaper’s own internal processing. All the project’s audio files are provided in the ZIP archive’s ‘Audio’ folder. Please be very careful when playing back this project for the first time, because if your installed plug-ins vary from mine then you may get unexpectedly high output levels from some tracks!
The ZIP archive's 'PluginScreens' folder contains bitmap images of the settings for all the third-party plug-ins I used, so you can see all my settings even if you don't have all the same plug-ins installed. I've named the image files according to track number and plug-in slot number, so it should be pretty quick to find what you're looking for. Where there's more than one important page of settings in the plug-in GUI I've created several images of the same plug-in and added a suffix letter to differentiate them.
Some general points about my mixing approach: I recorded two completely different mic rigs for this session: a dominant-array-plus-spots setup and a peer-arrays setup, with additional room mics serving both rigs. (For more information about my usage of the terms ‘dominant array’ and ‘peer array’, see Chapters 9 & 10 of Recording Secrets For The Small Studio.) At the outset of mixing this album project, I did alternative rough mixes of one song showcasing the sounds of the two mic setups so the band could decide what they liked best. They preferred the ambient naturalness of the dominant-array setup, but the timbre of the individual instruments in the peer-array setup, so my mixes ended up being something of a combination of both approaches. In other words, I used the dominant array as the basis of the sound, but substituted the peer-array close mics in place of the original spot mics. This caused no practical problem with the sax mic, because it had very little spill, but sax spill on the bass mic caused the sax’s combined room sound to be a little right-heavy. To remedy that, I reversed the panning of the room mics and also mixed in a little more sax ambience on the left-hand side using the overhead mic (which I’d left set up after the recordings the band did with percussion on the previous day). I also ended up using a little of the bass spot mic in the mix just to provide a bit more mid-frequency definition, especially where softly played higher-register bass notes needed to be brought up in the balance.
- Raw Multitracks: You can find the unprocessed multitracks for this mix in the 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library if you fancy remixing it for yourself from scratch.
- The ‘Busses’ Folder Track: My whole mix goes through this folder track. The MainComp track within that folder is where I apply any overall mix-buss processing.
- My Track Colouring Conventions: As anyone who’s seen the Mix Rescue screenshots in the magazine will know, I normally colour tracks by instrument: yellow for drums/percussion; red for bass; orange and blue for guitars, keyboards, and other track fillers; and pink for lead and backing vocals. In addition, I tend to colour effects returns purple and any added audio I’ve put in (eg. overdubs, samples, or synths) green.
- My Plug-in Naming Conventions: If I’ve added an ‘RR_’ prefix to the plug-in name, that just means I’ve rendered it to audio, usually to preserve CPU cycles. If I’ve added an ‘AA_’ or ‘PM_’ prefix, that’s just to remind me that I’ve automated or parameter-modulated some of its parameters. Number prefixes are to remind me of any non-standard plug-in routings I’ve set up. So, for example, if I’ve renamed a ReaEQ plug-in ‘1+2_ReaEQ_3+4’, that means that its input is coming from track channels 1+2 and its output is feeding track channels 3+4.
- The exciterMPS plug-in: There's nothing fancy about this -- it's just Scott Stillwell's bundled ReaJS plug's Exciter module, but I've tweaked the code to expand the range of the frequency slider.
- Further Questions? If you would like any further information out this project, let me know and I’ll try to add it to these notes in due course.