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Mixing In The Box and Why You Should Too

Only published comments... Sep 10 2010, 10:30 AM by Andy Gray
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I have been mixing what is now called "in the box" since Pro Tools TDM first came out, I could see how amazingly fast and flexible it could be even with limited plug-ins and 3rd party support: back then there were no analog modeled plug-ins and effects like Reverb and Delay sound very clean/digital and didn’t really have the mix color's compared to using lots of different outboard gear. But that was a long time ago, 15 years or more!

 

Since then things have really moved on, we now have amazing open sounding I/Os like the 192 which I just love ( I can’t wait to hear the new ones!) and most of all we have modeled plug-ins which recreate perfectly the character of the outboard gear we all love including their quirks, as well great new plug-in which no outboard unit can match. With the right mix of plug-ins you now have all the colour and variation you have in most studio's around the world...with the added bonus of being able to run as many as you have DSP or CPU power. I have a hardware EMI TG1 Limiter which I love on overheads: not cheap, but amazing. Now I have the plug-in as well and man, it sounds exactly the same and I can use it across the whole kit like you would the dynamics on a SSL...which makes it even easier to mix "in the box" (not my favorite term) and still get the open rich sound.

 

Now we have HEAT which has really changed the game. As you learn how to use it it will change the way you mix in Pro Tools in a big way, for me it was a missing link (which I didn’t know I was even missing as I was doing other tricks during mixing to achieve it but that takes time and DSP!!!) It adds a glue to the mixing console within Pro Tools and as your mix builds and you get your balances you find HEAT making things sit and gel in a way only an analog desk did before. With HEAT now you have the warming, harmonic distortion building and growing with your mix naturally as it would an analog desk which really does make HEAT a central tool in my workflow now.

 

 

I have some tips on mixing 100% in Pro Tools for my next blog post...stay tuned.

 

Cheers,

 

Andy

 

 

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About Andy Gray

Hello. I am Andy Gray. I'm a Writer/Producer...started out as a Programmer & Engineer synths & SP12s. I was also in "Amoebaasassin" a UK Dance band and one of the first Progressive House bands with a punk singer. I was partners with Paul Oakenfold for many years and wrote a lot of tracks in that team. Most of my songs end up on movies--Bourne Identity, Collateral, Natural Born Killers, Zoolander. Mostly car chases and action cues, which got me into the film work. I started work on the score for Sword Fish right after I scored two movies--Timecop II and Steal. My current band Fatal are finishing up an album for release in 2011, some of the album tracks have found their way on to US film tracks and TV. It's a kind of dark electronic/alt-rock vibe. Another big passion is working with bands and recording live instruments--Pro Tools has always played a major role in the way I work. Lately I have been working more and more with bands. using my collection of vintage mics and Cool pre's then mixing on the D-Control. Recording and mixing has never been more fun or sounded better. I have worked with some great people over the years as a Producer/Programmer and Remixer under the name "Grayedout"--Tori Amos, Gary Numan, Liz Fraser, Ian Brown, Madonna, HumanLeague, Paul Oakenfold, Radiohead, Korn. Most recent productions are Enter Shikari and Hard-Fi.

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