Mixing Basics

New York Compression Trick OR Parallel Compression on Drums

Technique that was used back in the time by almost all New York producers.

This helps too beef up the drums for example.

  1. Have a drum group mix and create a send track to which the whole drum group is sent in parallel to.
  2. Set a compressor with extreme setting: for example 10:1 ration (which is almost like a limiter) and let it compress a lot.
  3. Bring up the send track until you hear how it beefs up the drum. Choose the volume level as you want.
  4. Add after the compression some EQ on the send track and beef up the Bass and the High. This gives then more bass and snap, hiss to the drums.
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EQ on Two Same Sounding Instruments

When you have two similar sounding instruments in a mix, each playing a kind of different riff, use the following EQ tip in order to make them stand out:

  • Roll-off the bottom-end with a high-pass filter on the two sounds. You should not here a difference when setting the filter. It is basically to get rid off the low end which does not define the instrument.
  • On instrument 1 you attenuate a sound at a certain frequency. At than frequency you up the gain.
  • On instrument 2 you lower the gain at that same frequence that was boosted on the other.
  • Optionally bring up a different frequency range with the gain on Instrument 2 to make it sound even better in the mix.

Instrument 1 EQ

Sound 1 eq

Instrument 2 EQ

Sound 2 eq

Volume Automation: Use Gain Plugin.

Instead of using the volume setting of a track for fading / volume automation, add a Gain plugin on the track and use the Gain volume of that plugin to automate fading / volume. In this case you can use the overal volume slider during the mixing to set balance right. The automation will remain as is and will change according your balance. No need to each time redraw the automation when mixing.

Gain Plugin

Korg MS-20 – Vintage Synth

Korg’s MS-20 is one of the most popular vintage synths on the second-hand market. Its unique aggressive sound and flexible semi-modular architecture helped make it an icon of the late 70s analogue.

Released in 1978 with the whole MS series range they offeren hugely increased synthesis power.

I’m a big fan but unfortunately cannot afford the real model, so I went for the Korg software synth and Korg MS-20 App on the Ipad which are really good and fun to use.

Well-known musicians using the Korg MS-20 are amongst others:  Astral Projection, Liaisons Dangereuses, Soulwax, AirLiam Howlett of The Prodigy, Simian Mobile Disco, Daft PunkWilliam Orbit, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Goldfrapp, Mr. Oizo, Royksopp, Aphex Twin.

See the Korg Ms-20 in action in below videos. Enjoy.


Refer to wikipedia MS-20 page for more info.

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