[LAD] Half-OT: Fader mapping - was - Ardour MIDI tracer

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Thu Aug 21 21:20:17 UTC 2014

On Thu, 2014-08-21 at 15:50 +0100, John Rigg wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 12:39:05PM +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> > IMO each channel by default
> > should provide your (Fons') parametric EQ and post fader aux sends.
> Those who usually try to record the right sound in the first place might find
> this a nuisance. Unfortunately one size doesn't fit all.

An EQ and a fader for each channel is a must have and never ever could
be a nuisance. Control over volume and frequencies are needed tools for
mixing music. There is nothing like "recording the right sound in the
first place" regarding the mix of several tracks. Controlling
frequencies can be used to get the "right sound" for an individual
instrument and yes, you can record it that way in the first place and
then you don't need the EQ for this task, but when mixing music the EQ
is needed to control interaction of the sound from different tracks, too
keep the sound you recorded right in the first place. Nowadays many
people use compressors to do the work that actually is a task of an EQ
and not the ask of a compressor. A transparent acoustic pattern and
control over dynamic range by a good engineer mainly is done using EQs
and faders and not by using compressors and fade ins and outs.

> > If
> > people start mixer automation for the fist time, a notification should
> > pop up and mention, that:
> > 
> > > Fades are rare in music mixing
> Some might find that patronising. I personally mix a lot of recordings with
> fade outs, even if it's just to fade the end of the last note or a long reverb
> tail.

Fading out a reverb is disgusting, anyway, I'm mixing pop music myself,
somebody perhaps sings ten words and you want a delay just on one of the
words, this kind of mixing is done and some people might like fading out
a reverb or to add reverb to the end of a guitar solo ... the claim is
that fates are _rare_ and to add delay or reverb by a fade or to fade
out reverb or to fade out a song and sometimes to adjust the volume is
done, but it's rare and not that often as fades are done by amateurish
computer music "engineers" using mixer automation.

Another problem of bad mixing are dynamic effects for each track and
different sorts of delay for each track. This usually isn't done with
knowhow, it's usually done because of a lack of knowhow.

On Thu, 2014-08-21 at 08:30 -0700, Len Ovens wrote:
> Good I must be doing things right. The only fades I have used are fade
> out at end of song and I have drawn that in. Often, to make it sound
> right, I have to fade the lead (louder) tracks faster than the backing
> tracks anyway.

Pop music usually ends as classical music ends, with a composed end,
only the around 3 minute radio versions need a fade out. Bad composers
already make this part of their compositions, they don't compose an end,
they repeat something and make the fade out part of their composition,
usually the same kind of composer who don't shy away from repeating the
first half of their song by transposing it two half steps for the second
part of the song. There are different levels of simple pop music. I love
simple pop music without too much cheap tricks. But within the last
decades cheap tricks became more and more the business.

However, a fade out for the radio version is ok, lead and backing
usually are on separated subgroups, another feature that also a virtual
mixer should provide by default, needed for the fade out you described
and for the post fader aux sends I mentioned.

The design of virtual mixers shouldn't be that modular as they are. Some
people might not need this or that, but to learn how to mix and to
decide when something is needed or when not, there's the need to have a
good default mixer. Some people, including myself have the knowhow and
could use a modular mixer, but it does cause extra work or at least a

> Certainly adding individual reverb per track does not make sense as
> having the whole "band" in one sound space would be the normal target.

There are exceptions, such as gated drums, but indeed, it's good common
practise to use one reverb. _But_ the reverb is not simply given to the
clean stereo sum, it's controlled for each channel individually, that#s
a good reason for using aux sends. The pad string like sound needs
another volume of reverb, than the dominant pop music kick does need.

On Thu, 2014-08-21 at 09:01 -0700, Len Ovens wrote:
> Not having anyting other than level certainly ecourages one to record
> the right sound. It has with me.

You only can estimate what sound is needed for the end mix when you're
much experienced and even then it can't be optimal. Faders and EQs are
basics for doing a good mix. To act from necessity is ok, but stupid
when good EQs are available for the mix. I will repeat it. The EQs for
_mixing_ are less needed to give the recorded instrument a sound
characteristic, this can be done for the recording. For _mixing_ the EQ
is needed to _keep_ this recorded characteristic when mixing with other
recorded instruments, when the frequencies start to interact. The EQ
also is needed to control dynamic range of the mix and to control
transparency of the mix.

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list