The next two weeks we are deep into group mixing prior to moving on to mastering. Ariel our instructor considers the group mixing exercises ( we all work together mixing one of our classmates project) as the most important part of this Dubspot course. I agree. Working together finding solutions to problems in the mix is just a great way to learn and is a real highlight of this course.
Yesterday we worked on one of my tracks. As always taking the time to organize , group and color code all of the tracks makes a profound difference in the ability to work quickly and accurately. Having reference tracks to use as a guide helps immeasurably, finally having a separate mix track that allows you to quickly see how the changes you are making to a particular instrument impacts the overall mix is a significant help in having a good workflow.
Determining which and how many plugins to use, deciding where to locate them (in the track, on a send, or the master) can only be done if you have a clear idea of which elements should stand out, which are secondary and which need improvement. Use of time and/or modulation based effects should be done carefully and with reference to your goal. This is where reference tracks really help.
Working on my project with the class was great. We ended up with a nice mix that closely mirrored my reference tracks and had some fun stacking up a bunch of plugins on the vocal tracks and doing some nice panning on the guitars. All in all a good, productive class.
Note some great Ableton Live workflow tips this week on the dubspot site